A troll is a person who posts inflammatory comments in an attempt to start a fight on the internet. The term itself originated from the trolling fishing method.
As most species of mythological troll can only be totally defeated through the use of fire or acid, many internet users assume this will be true of the internet troll. However, the internet troll is a Min-Maxing Powergaming Wanker, and always has some combination of templates and one-level PrC dips to make it immune to Flaming attacks, or worse still is able to feed off them and increase its Trolling ability. This is the reason 3 trolls seem to pop back up and start three more worthless RAGE threads for every one that is defeated by logic or sage, neither of which are listed as doing fire or acid damage in the DMG or PHB. At least one work of Urban Fantasy has made the obvious combination of having internet trolls that are also monstrous trolls.
Note that calling someone a “troll” has also become an excuse to quickly dismiss an opinion one disagrees with, despite the possibility that said opinion may be perfectly valid and reasonable.
Rating a troll
Trolls are to be given a rating on a scale of 1 to 10, based on how subtle they are in their trolling, whether or not it's an amusing troll, and the general quality of their post. This type of contentless post can also be a troll.
For example: Racial and sexist slurs, name calling and childish insults merit -1/10.
"Hey gaiz, 4e lolololol", merits a 0/10. Everything slightly above that merits "made me reply/10".
Old Man Henderson is the only known case of a 10/10 troll. There are no other examples of a 10/10 by an individual troll at this time, as trolls are usually physical and/or mental children who aren't intelligent enough to post quality material. Having said that, some theorize that 10/10 trolls are only rarely identified because their victims never actually realize they're being trolled, since the trolling is RAGEworthy and artful enough to merit 10s, and the victims are thus distracted by other concerns such as removing their own lower jaws and bludgeoning themselves to death with them. Groups of trolls have been known to combine their forces, mostly by sheer chance, and this can create some of the dankest of attacks. Noted in the "How to triforce for newfags" incident back in 2009.
/tg/ rating system
An alternative rating system has been suggested for /tg/ in which one adds or subtracts points based on the success of the troll. While trolling is mostly a subjective experience, users are encouraged to try to objectively rate based on cleverness and creativity of the troll post in question. In general, zero points are to be awarded for common and obvious things that fail to induce responses or anger. This usually indicates laziness and lack of cunning. The majority of troll posts on the internet would probably be rated a zero. Examples would be:
- Posting copypasta designed to induce rage. We've all seen it. Though it might cause nostalgia when someone new sees it and flies into rage.
- Posting an image of text instead of an actual relevant image.
If the troll post is good enough to earn some points, points should then be deducted for things that make the troll more obvious, or which indicate they're completely clueless about what they're supposed to be doing. Deductions are for particularly uncreative or stupid people attempting to troll. Indicators of this are things like:
- Using a name or tripcode.
- Using an avatar in combination with a name or tripcode, forcing a personality.
- Bad grammar or spelling, especially common grammatical errors like misuse of "your" and "you're," "its" and "it's", or the use of incorrect phrases like "should of."
- Alternatively, obnoxious Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness like "shan't"s.
- Obvious lack of knowledge on the subject he/she is trolling.
- Anything indicating the troll is under the age of a majority of the site's posters.
- Spamming the same thing over and over again.
Points are awarded on the rare occasion that a post elicits a true emotional response from not only the judge, but most of the board as well. Some things that are awarded points are posted repeatedly, but as long as they continue to make fa/tg/uys sputter and froth through rolls of quiverfat, they should still warrant at least a point. The material is either generating rage on its own or the troll is a creative and astute one. Again, trolls warranting any points at all are exceedingly rare, and can sometimes go undetected for long periods of time. Examples of this are:
- Posting furry art. As often as it's done, it should be worth no points, but it never fails to create a thread that always reaches maximum post count.
- Posting furry art that you drew for /tg/ containing /tg/ characters. This can sometimes even make a mod rage and order a ban. Always guaranteed to reach autosage if it doesn't get deleted first.
- Posting furry porn causes everyone involved to lose their minds in collective frothing rage, but it is so easy that only half the points should be awarded.
- Making a long, seemingly knowledgeable and well-written post with a few factual or fluff errors intentionally slipped in. Most people won't notice them but a few fa/tg/uys and Neckbeards are guaranteed to see it and write long, rage-filled posts on how the poster is WRONG WRONG WRONG. Bonus points are awarded if other people who don't see the errors quote the post somewhere, believing it all to be accurate.
Judges may write up a brief report on why the troll post received the score it did.
How Not to be Trolled
Seriously, that's it. That's literally all it takes. However boundlessly noble and correct your reasoning may be for posting in an obvious troll thread, IT STILL FEEDS THE TROLL. The response you've prepared is undoubtedly quite witty, thorough, and undeniably right, but please, for the love of God, don't post it. Not even with sage; sage posts do not count against the bump limit or the image limit, and will inevitably be answered by the troll. Remember they're called "trolls" after a type of bait fishing, so if you don't take the bait, they have no power. Also remember Alfred's story in the The Dark Knight about the caravan raider who was stealing precious stones and then throwing them away: "So why steal them?" Bruce Wayne asks. "Well, because he thought it was good sport," Alfred explains. "Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn." Maybe a bit melodramatic for our purposes, but that's the basic principle a troll acts upon.
While it is possible to countertroll (not only refuting the troll but saying something to upset them instead) don't. In addition to becoming the very monster you're fighting, this takes a lot of skill, personal knowledge of the troll and a degree of malice to pull off and could have far-reaching consequences. Many people who troll and aren't sadistic people have serious issues and are easily upset. Whether or not you believe the Bible, not for nothing does it say "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21 (people have killed themselves over cyberbullying, which can just involve mean messages).
If you simply ignore the troll, report as many of his/her posts as you have the patience for, and hide the thread, the troll will either starve or be swept up by one of the local janitors (who, unlike the mods, have been known to show up occasionally). The other option is to stay off the internet entirely, but since you're on here, I'm guessing that'd be like chopping every other toe and finger off.
The last and most desperate option is to simply exterminate EVERYTHING, then do the same to the leftovers and then again even when there is nothing left, not even the matter of it, not even the ATOMS! NOTHING! PURGE IT ALL!!!!
"Calling them "trolls" is a little misleading, at least trolls actually do something. They control bridge access for goats and ask people fun riddles. Patent trolls just threaten to sue to the living shit out of people."
Patent trolls are real-world extortionists that shake down people for 'infringing' their criminally vague, broad, and utterly useless patents (unless you count having a patent that that can be used for shaking someone down, and only for shaking someone down, as useful).
- Female Space Marines
- 50 Copper and Ludi'drizz't
- Forbidden Temple of the Great Falls
- "Troll" a poem by Shane Koyczan
- Fish of Fury
There is no better troll bait than Female Space Marines.