Thursday, August 18, 2011

6 Special Breeds of Trolls on GooglePlus

Here are six categories of trolls on G+, Facebook, etc. There are many more types, but these are common right now:

 1. Gotcha Trolls

2. Real Name Policy Trolls

3. Reverse Trolls

4. Concerned Trolls

5. Covert Filth Trolls

6. Diplomatic Trolls

Many of them are using nicknames and weird avatars that are not photos of their faces. Have you encountered any of these unique types of trolls?

Fake name trolls have slipped past the G+ radar somehow. Do not mention this fact, act like you don't notice that aspect of their methodology. A good way to expose them is to say "You sound like a troll" or "Do you call anyone who disagrees with you -- a troll?"

Blogocombat is a term I use to describe both civil conversations and troll smashing. Blogocombat doesn't mean engaging in long arguments with trolls, for one of the best ways to deal with a troll is to ignore them, refuse to reply to anything they say. They crave attention. Don't gratify that wish.

Trolls think discussions are things with "winners" and "losers". When you stop debating them, they think you "gave up" due to their superior rhetoric, infallible logic, and indisputable "facts". Don't let them drag you into endless argumentation. The moment you realize you're interacting with a troll, leave the conversation. Expose them and move on.

Now let's look at these commonly encountered trolls that lurk on Google+.

(1) Gotcha Troll = Poses a question or makes a statement that is inflammatory to lure opinionated people in who will post a contrary viewpoint.

After this troll and his buddies argue with the person who disagrees with them, they give up, and their last resort, to save face, is to call the post "troll bait" and the person with a contrary view a "troll".

(2) Real Name Policy Troll = Relentlessly attacks the GooglePlus Real Name Policy, accuses Google of being "intolerant" or "against freedom to choose an identity", and will not listen to any other viewpoint.

Exhibits a distinct lack of sympathy or sensitivity to people who have been stalked and abused by nickname and anonymous users.

They get angry with the "you can't wear a Halloween mask to hide your identity in a bank" analogy and emphasize the fringe exceptions to authenticity, such as whistleblowers, people who don't want their boss to read their political comments, or those who live in oppressive countries.

(3) Reverse Troll = Keeps asking innocent sounding questions, in a nice way that is atypical for most trolls, but is trying to derail a conversation (threadjacking), or trying to get attention, not by being abrasive, but by acting dumb and needy. They are the reverse of a regular troll, who tries to get attention by being hateful, accusatory, and filthy.

(4) Concerned Troll = Pretends to agree with a post, but expresses "concerns" ("I agree with what you're saying, but what about ....?") that are designed to disrupt the thread and make people argue about an off topic issue or get them to abandon their opinion, due to the "validity" of these "concerns".

(5) Covert Filth Troll = Will post innocent sounding comments that contradict or mock what someone posts, but remains relatively mild and civil -- until you confront them with their true trollish goals. When you test them by posting "you sound like a troll", they show their true colors by calling you filthy names and accusing you of being a troll (similar to the Gotcha Troll).

(6) Diplomatic Troll = Acts like they are the only mature and rational person in the conversation. Will invite you to expound further on your views supporting the "intolerance" and "disrespect" you are showing to humanity by not agreeing with them.

For example, if you oppose pseudonyms and anonymous users, they call it "intolerance" and "disrespect for a person's right to choose a fake identity".

They will disregard your mention of there being exceptions, and will focus on the part of your position that they don't like, trying to make you look extreme, fanatical, or irrational.

By name calling, and saying they hope to "win you over", they express their own intolerance and disrespect of opposing views.

If you question an authority figure they like and voted for, they accuse you of being anarchist, or hating all authority in general. Their pseudo professorial demeanor is a disguise to trick people into thinking they are being sincere and seeking to reconcile, while they insult and provoke.

Block them and, if they post abusive comments on your posts, delete their comments.

Go to the Options Menu tool of a specific post (see circled down arrow at far right). Click on "Report or Delete a Comment". Then you'll see an X to the right of each comment. Click the X Delete Comment. Then you'll see a strikethrough line going through it. When you refresh the page, the comment is gone.

Click 4chan image BELOW 
for LARGER view. 

You may then be able to read it.


Mark Pack said...

I know "don't feel the trolls" is very common advice, but my own experience is that trying feeding once often works best, as a fair number of apparent trolls turn out not really to be trolls when given a decent response.

Julie Kay said...

I think your post is AWESOME! I have experienced many trolls that fall into one or all of your categories.