Trolling

I remember all my friends and my siblings kept calling each other “trolls” one day.  I never knew what they were talking about, and just continued to ignore those comments.  Then one day I got so curious I just asked them what it meant, and I was a little surprised at what it meant.  When they told me “trolling” was when you just messed or patronized someone for the sole intention of pissing them off.  I tried to figure out the how that word came to mean that, but it seemed that there was not real logic behind the word.  And my brothers and friends had no idea either, and just used the word because it was common discourse among gamers.  Since I am not a gamer, I obviously would never understand their discourse. 

Trolling reminds me of another method of trying to get a response from someone: satire.   Satire was probably the original “troll”, and it just shows how powerful satire or “trolling” truly is.  Satire works because usually the concept is so outrageously ridiculous that it begs a reaction from the targeted audience.  The same concept applies to “trolling”.  When I see some of the “trolling” my friends or brothers do; it is actually quite humorous.  It’s humorous because it takes wit to “troll” someone well, and it become even funnier when the other person takes it too seriously.   I find it ridiculous that some people react to trolling so negatively and seriously.  It’s like they don’t get the idea that the person is trolling them on purpose. 

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5 responses to “Trolling

  1. Pingback: To Choose, To Court, To Woo, To Win « Women in Contemporary Relationships

  2. I definitely agree with the idea of Satire being like trolling. In a sense, the Satirist is a version of the Troll. I think that there’s a difference in how the two can be interpreted. Satire will always have a reaction that is expected or predetermined whereas Trolling at times seeks a reaction for the sake of getting a reaction. Satire sways away from this in order for it to truly be a work of satire and not a farce. Trolling can very easily become a farce if not managed well or presented with enough wit. With this difference acknowledged, I can definitely agree that there is a correlation between Satire and Trolling.

  3. I disagree that satire is similar to trolling. Satire exists to educate the reader or viewer on a specific issue by showing a dramatic version of the alternative. It generally involves social and political commentary. On the other hand, the purpose of trolling is solely to get a laugh and annoy people. Trolling does not intent to educate people. It can definitely be used as social commentary, but that is not what it is for.

    • According to Whitney Phillips’ article, however, one might see trolling as a way to expose certain types of politics – sensationalization of suffering, for example, or inauthentic group grief. I agree with you that satire and trolling are not quite the same thing, but how might we separate them in terms other than one has a “higher” purpose than the other?

  4. Trolling may be on purpose, but I’m not sure that reduces the damage that it does to people. Trolls overwhelmingly target people that don’t feel they have the luxury not to respond – usually this means people who are lower the cultural hierarchy than others. Accusing someone of taking something “too seriously” ignores the power structures that make words and teasing harmful in the first place; certainly, trolls would have less fun if people didn’t respond to their provocations, but expecting a person not to defend themselves against an accusation that is harmful assumes that they have the privilege to do so.

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