Sunday, February 10, 2008

On Troll Patrol: More Guidance for Baha'is

I have posted previously on Internet trolls, best known for their presence on forums, but also known to visit blogs. Yes, there are Internet trolls whose focus is on attempting to engage Baha'is. From a forum administrator on Ubuntu comes a "definitive guide to trolls" from which I have drawn a few excerpts. Once again, I am struck by the profound difference between the behavior of trolls and the behavioral standards Baha'is are encouraged to abide by, whether online or face-to-face. -gw

Classic Troll Tactic Number 6: Have a tantrum. When all their other tricks are exhausted, Classic Trolls will become angry and start shouting. Often they revert to Vulgar Trolls when this happens.

The Bitter Troll. Bitter Trolls are a curious cross-species. They can be trolls of any breed in their larval stages, but become Bitters after their previous activities are seen for what they were. What sets these trolls apart from other classifications is their behavior after they have been spotted and labeled as trolls. Angry, frustrated, and resentful about being "outed," the Bitter Troll will wage a campaign of indignant complaints intended to focus attention away from the troll and on whomever is responsible for identifying the creature. Often, a troll mutates into a Bitter just prior to becoming a Vulgar.

The Bustr. Bustrs are obsessive Bitters by whom you could practically set your watch. A Bustr never forgets, never forgives, and holds a grudge until the day it dies. Also a variant of Agenda trolls, Bustrs typically move from forum to forum complaining about the objects of their ire, often cutting and pasting age-old diatribes that have little meaning to most of their audiences. Most Bustrs are relatively incoherent, though a few of the more lucid ones are potentially dangerous stalkers.


Sholeh said...

Has this been happening to you recently, George? Definitely happening to me, I traced the IP address and I actually have an idea of who it might be, but it really is some of the most childish behavior I've ever seen...especially since I just delete the comments as soon as they're made.

My favorite is when a troll comes into a private forum or a blog and tries to cause trouble, then shouts about their "rights" being taken away and being "censored" when their comments are deleted or they are kicked out.

Thanks for giving these pointers, a lot of bloggers don't know how to react, especially if the person is being subtle. :-)

George Wesley Dannells said...

The vast majority of blog comment abuse directed at Baha'i sites comes from one troll. The total number of Internet trolls frequenting Baha'i blogs is actually very small. Marco is right: If you are getting slimed, know that you are visible and being effective in your presentation of the Faith. Delete but document each ocurrence of comment abuse, is my advice.