The word "troll" has positive as well as negative meanings. But in internet discussion groups the term Troll is a visual aid for identifying noxious behavior. Like with hacking the word has positive meanings too. But when we talk about trolling we usually mean it in it's pejorative sense.
Key is to recognize the troll within -- and spray him!
I came up with 9 Archetypes of troll behavior. These "Troll Spirits" may infect any of us at one time or another:
- Fisher is the Troll that is referred to in the oldest sense of the term. He's an angler. He throws a hook connected to a line into the waters and sees what fish he can catch by doing so. This isn't always a negative thing. But usually Fisher is fishing with help from his other Troll friends. He'll also use various baits to get people to buy his arguments. He usually works with Trojan.
- is the Troll who comes in, pretends to be on your side, spies on you and then at the best possible time for him (worst for you. Switches side. He usually was never on your side in the first place. And when you go back to his previous statements you can see his efforts to introduce dissension or misdirect the thread. Benedicts are often also spies for the opposition.
- Trojan is the Trojan Horse Troll. He's a horse faced fellow who introduces ideas that sound good until you follow their logic. A typical trojan horse argument is one that introduces some really bad concepts along with positive sounding ones. The purpose of the trojan horse argument is to convince people that the trojan horse is really on the same side as the people he walks with. Then when they go to sleep he and the army of spies he carries with him take over, open the gates to other trolls and burn the place down. He's also sometimes known as stalking horse, because he'll step into an argument to distract people while the other trolls swoop in for hte kill.
- Snappy comes into a discussion all smart alecky and full of comments and snappy come backs. He or she always thinks they are the smartest guy in the room and that everybody else is an idiot. They either dominates or wrecks conversations. And usually they have a bad temper and snap when they run out of pre-programmed snappy comments.
- Dopey, is a person of apparently limited intelligence, or someone who's using too much legal or illegal medications. They are usually harmless, but they sound like idiots and in politics they gravitate to any politician who can promise them unlimited legal pot.
- Sneaky, is a lot like Benedict. He comes in, sometimes with clever arguments, sometimes not so clever. Their main angle is to try to set up straw arguments or trap people into sounding like idiots. They are often also spies.
- Barney troll comes into an argument loving everybody. But over time his friends have a habit of being eaten.
- Geeky troll is a little like Snappy, except they usually do know a lot about at least one subject. They often are also a little dopey, but not always. A Geeky Troll usually is a one subject wonder who knows everything about something, usually a conspiracy theory of some sort. And whose cynicism or paranoia is infective. A lot of us are a little Geeky, but a Geeky troll is usually a bit fanatic about one subject.
- Sleepy trolls are usually harmless. They tend to put people on groups to sleep when they aren't dozing through a conversation. They get irritating because they'll pop into a discussion, say something unrelated to it and then go back to sleep.
- Taz is the spinner. He thinks he's geeky about some subject and he knows all the rules of argumentation; sophism, and how to thoroughly confuse people as he spins his way through a group or thread. Sometimes he's an ideologue, sometimes he sees himself as an agent for the Cons. Sometimes he sees himself as a Con. But he always is aggressive in promoting his views, spinning the facts and attacking others for disagreeing with him.
Beware the Inner Troll!
I plan to add images and more material later. This is a draft. But I thought it could give a laugh to folks.