Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dealing with a Podcast Troll on BlogTalkRadio

Listen to internet radio with Vaspers SEO and Web Usability Show on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to this episode and hear me deal, live on the air, with a podcast troll who called my Vaspers Advanced Technology Show episode.

Download the mp3 (right click and Save As) of my lesson entitled "Internet Trolls and How to Defeat Them".

That was funny. In the middle of my episode on dealing with internet trolls, a guy called in and asked "What about the intelligent troll? How does one deal with them?"

That was a dead giveaway that the guy was a troll, considers himself "intelligent", and was offended by my statement that trolls tend to be 13 years old, immature, juvenile.

He resisted any attempt by me to get him to explain his opinion, or to give me a concrete example of "intelligent trolling", or to explain his views of trolling in general. Like a typical troll, he kept accusing me, criticizing me, and looking for an opportunity to unleash his envy and hostility in a sociopathic "calm" but intense manner.

Another clue that he was a troll is that he had no sense of humor. This made him seem mentally ill. When he said, "There's no such thing as an absolute", and I said "That statement itself is an absolute, so that's funny you said that. You made me laugh. Thanks for being comical." -- that's when he seemed to go into melt down mode.

He even said, "You mean that doesn't happen very often?" Again, he's accusing me of being a grumpy guy. I replied, "No, it happens a lot. I like to laugh. I like it when people say funny things, like you just did."

You must remember that a troll wants to annoy, ridicule, engage in personal attacks, and disrupt a conversation or speech. They like to stir up trouble. They sadistically enjoy making a person angry.

Somewhat interesting for a few minutes, but once I realized he did not genuinely wish to discuss the topic, I hung up on him, after saying "If you have anything more to say about trolling, go ahead and say it, otherwise, I'm going to get back to my discussion".

This will go down in history as a live example of Vaspers the Grate, Troll Smasher Extraordinaire, Master of the Anti Troll Methodology, inventor of the word "blogocombat", Destroyer of Cyberbullies and Crybaby Serial Flamers -- in action -- using my own principles in a real world demonstration.

Here is a comment thread that was posted on GooglePlus on my announcement of this episode.

David Kowalski1:25 AM

Thanks for the helpful discussion! I look forward to the follow-up. 

Whatever the age or intelligence of trolls, I consider them all juvenile (even though they try to sound smarter and superior -- like the caller you had). 

The less subtle of them start out attacking what someone says, often because they do not like it (or, as it seemed with your caller, for example, to get a perverted kick out of thinking they have belittled you). Whatever logic, evidence, or documentation you produce contrary to them makes no difference. 

They have put their pride on the line and they cannot back down -- no matter what tactics they must employ -- and they must feel like they have had the last word and "won." It seems they just have to feel the kind of giddy sensation a bully does after physically beating up someone.

If you present irrefutable evidence and logic on the original topic, they will find a way to change the topic as many times as necessary. I have had trolls misrepresent what I have said (and even what they said earlier) so that the discussion/argument changes to what was actually said. 

Another dodge and switch they use is to reply as though you were arguing for a related but substantially different point -- just to escape from the one about which they felt were "losing." If all else fails, they seem to think they have "won" if they can fluster or anger you with insults. Thank Google for the block feature.

Ciro Villa1:13 AM
Would have hung up on the (obvious) troll sooner than you did.  I admire your patience... :-)

Steven Streight1:36 AMEdit
I admit, I like to mess with trolls a little bit, just to make it abundantly clear to my audience that a person is engaging in trolling behavior.

I gave that caller the opportunity to explain his point of view and discuss the topic, but you could hear in his tone of voice the real motive of his call.

His tone was accusatory. He seemed to be a champion of some delusion he called "the intelligent troll". Obviously he bases his self esteem on being "intelligent" when he trolls. What a mixed up kid. LOL
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Ciro Villa1:44 AM
It was actually almost "subliminal" in the sense that he was actually a troll calling to argue about trolls...very strange ..

Steven Streight1:54 AM (edited)Edit
Heh. It's common for trolls to hate anyone who exposes their methods, provides tips on how to derail them, and calls them all a bunch of idiots. He naturally had to rise to the occasion, accept the challenge, and try to "intelligently" debunk me.

He accidentally proved several of the points I was making about how trolls operate and how to derail them.

He presented a fairy tale entity he called the "intelligent troll", because he was deeply offended at my statement that trolls are juvenile and stupid. An intelligent person doesn't waste time trolling people for sadistic thrills.

You could tell that I turned the tables on him by laughing, good naturedly, at his silly, self-contradictory remark, "There's no such thing as an absolute". It was like he was about to go into melt down mode.

Trolls are not used to people laughing at them in a public venue like a podcast. He also didn't seem to understand the internet very well, because he wanted to call a comment thread a "chat".

I was tempted to really push the idea that a troll cannot be intelligent, but he seemed too emotionally fragile to endure much criticism. Like any bully, he's comfortable only when he's the one doing the punching. 
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Ciro Villa1:55 AM
He seriously reminded me of some folks (now blocked) that I have had to deal with in the past here on G+ (albeit just in text and not in voice), but exact same uber argumentative tone and attitude, with no room for a civil dialog; just arrogance, pompous, sanctimonious and patronizing tone, very typical of trolls...

Steven Streight3:27 AMEdit
This was the first time I have dealt with a troll in an audio podcast. Generally, I don't take calls on my podcast, because the callers have tended to take over and move the discussion toward their own ideas that they want to talk about, rather than staying on the topic of the episode.

I was a bit amused by the audacity of this troll and his rather ignorant but pompous style.

Notice that he, right off the bat, made an accusation, a complaint, a critique. He didn't act like a normal intelligent person. He didn't say "Thanks for taking my call. This is an interesting topic. But I wonder why you have not considered the fact that some trolls are pretty smart."

Instead he immediately makes an accusation and keeps robotically saying "intelligent troll" over and over again. His brain is fried but he doesn't realize it yet.

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