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Monday, 28 November 2011

Idiot's Guide to Internet Trolls ... What?!?

troll 1 | trōl|
a cave-dwelling being with a dwarf intellect making rude comments online, typically having a very ugly appearance despite claims online to the contrary.

troll 2
sending an e-mail message or posting on the Internet with the intention to provoke a response, hateful interaction or draw attention to themselves by being &*$#@.


Until the other week, I hadn't had even one 'hater message', let alone a 'troll', on my YouTube channel since I started posting. But even so I developed a contingency plan just in case - a YouTuber's creed - for when the inevitable happened.  It was:

Do not respond. Perhaps thank them for their opinion, but don't engage.

That motto, however, went out the window when I received my first trolling comment.

Said troll wrote:

This was just way too funny not to respond. I HAD to respond, and so I wrote:

Note: It was for my bowling prank video.

I thought to myself, if you're going to call someone an "idiot", at least get the basic punctuation right. That's three words he's written, and he managed to screw up two out of three. That's an amateur troll's mistake.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't make a habit of fixing people's grammar up, even if they are freakin' hilarious mistakes (because I know I make mistakes on my blog).

I didn't, for example, draw attention to the irony in this statement made on YouTube (despite the temptation):

But seriously, rule number one of trolling must be to not call someone an idiot (a stupid person) - or "a idiot" - and make mistakes primary school kids do not make. 

Mind you, if I called him an idiot for making elementary mistakes, I guess his rebuttal could be "it takes one to know one". That ALWAYS worked in the playground, and if we were to take this premise to be correct, it would confirm his initial analysis of me to also be correct.

Anyway, by being called an idiot it came to my attention that that qualifies me as someone who could write the "Idiot's Guide to Trolling"
 Idiot's Guide to Internet Trolls

So here it is, the definitive guide for any troll or troll wannabe.  I've already mentioned the first rule ... (don't call someone an idiot with bad punctuation, unless you believe it takes one to know one, and you used the bad punctuation as a ploy to confirm the previous statement) ... so here's the second rule.

Rule #2: The Law of Getting Attention

As you can see from the graph above, the more of a tool a troll is, the more attention they'll get... until it gets to a point where everyone realises they are a complete waste of oxygen and decides to no longer engage with them. When this happens, it is time for the herd of trolls to move onto a new video or article.

Rule #3: Less is more.

Often it is tempting for a troll to try to compete with someone who has well thought arguments, or big words... just don't. 

Trolls have limited capacity for insight or retrievable knowledge. Their brains are filled with other things like... well, I'm not sure on the contents (unfounded prejudices, perhaps?), but they don't have any room for any of that "smart stuff".

So the motto for trolls should be: less is more. When someone speaks to a troll using unfair and confusing words with 7 or more letters, combat this with four letter words and personal insults that you claim are true based on your mentalist perception of their words and opinions.

Rule #4: Claim credibility.

Why have credibility when you can just claim you have it?  It is much easier, and can be changed to suit the argument.

A good tactic for a troll is to say they went to Harvard or Oxford (or both) and studied in a relevant field relating to the video. It is common knowledge that Harvard and Oxford graduates trawl the Internet looking for petty fights and cannot spell - so when trolls use this tactic they are taken for their word.

They can also claim good looks, an abundance of sexual partners, or a high IQ. These too are believable and help win any online argument.


If you're anything like me, you are probably tired of the trolls. They can go back to Middle Earth I say! 

Anyway, if you think I have missed out any Rules for Trolls, feel free to use the comment form below and tell me.  Have a great 'troll-free' day!

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