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what is a troll?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have now read three posts in which one poster called another poster a troll. What does this mean? Is it an acronym like kwim or nak?
post #2 of 7
It is a small, ugly creature who typically lives under bridges.

No, seriously, it is a person who comes and posts for the sole reason of stiring up trouble. For example, if someone came and posted to the gentle discipline forum that they spank their child and see nothing wrong with it, there is a good chance that they are trolling (or really haven't checked out our site to see what we are all about.) Trolls like to post things they know will be inflamitory and watch the result.

The best thing to do if you suspect someone is a troll is to ignore them and contact a moderator.
post #3 of 7
A "troll" is a person who expressly goes to a site/discussion board and creates controversy and trouble for 1)there own demented jollies, 2)to flame opposing view points, and/or 3)to get people riled up and fighting to cause scisms in cohesive groups. It is not a good thing to be a troll and it is very inflamatory (often) to be accused of being a "troll" or "trolling".

I find the term to be an insult often used to counteract a contrary view point (i.e. you disagree with me so you must be a troll...). It is an easy term to throw around fliply but can be insulting, hurtful and IMHO vulger and close minded, which is not saying that a true "troll" is not all of those things as well .
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for clearing that up. I have had to embarass myself on countless occasions because I did not know what something meant. Usually the acronyms, kwim and nak are two. I wish that there was a sticky in here that would explain these things.
post #5 of 7
there is a sticky. it's in questions and suggestions!
post #6 of 7
thanks Mamakass for asking that! I kinda knew it was bad but didn't know exactly what it meant. Same with 'flaming' but I get the idea now.
post #7 of 7
there is also the term "trolling for flames" that describes this behavior. It is the equivelent of picking a fight. My dh has a few sites he goes to when he is feeling aggressive (bad day at work, lunch with my parents...lol) that are pretty much a bunch of people trolling for flames. I mean that is all they post, everyone. It's a battle of wits and many of the threads end up pretty funny...vulgar, but funny. A kind of "fight club" for nerds.

flames-inflamatory(sp?) comments

edited to add: dh didn't like this explanation. (can't really be considered trolling if that is what the community is for) His definition is good - somebody that goes to an online forum with no intention of being a part of the community, just wanting to stir up trouble.
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