How would you define a troll?
Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:28 PM
To me, trolling is distinct from abuse in that it involves an element of deceit. I would consider those I've come across over the years who invent a fake life to attract the sympathy (and too often the cash!) of trusting users to be trolls. Those who invent fake usernames and/or trawl the Internet looking for 'victims' with the sole intent of inflaming tensions for their own amusement to be trolls. Those who commit crimminal fraud are trolls.
I don't consider someone who invents a username to say something they are to afraid to say under their usual pseudonym to be a troll, just a coward. I don't consider someone who says something offensive to be a troll, just an idiot. I'm not sure Charlotte Dawson was trolled so much as bullied although I do believe that some of her bullies were trolls iykwim.
What's your definition?
ETA: On second thought I don't necessarily think someone who commits criminal fraud online is a troll as there are scammers operating via phone and mail. I only believe that a person is trolling if they use the unique environment provided by the Internet to deceive others.
Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:31 PM
Anyone who takes it to the next level where it isn't harmless and results in personal harm to another or breaks the law. Isn't a troll in my view, but a criminal using the internet as a vehicle to commit a crime.
There's a very big difference to me re trolls and criminals. I've always defined trolling as an annoying but harmless activity. Definately not one that commits a crime, de-frauds or harms others. But, that is just my view.
Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:15 PM
To me a troll is someone who exists (in an online sense) solely to cause dissent.
I don't consider an anon to be a coward, or someone who speaks contrary to popular opinion to be an idiot. And neither are trolls IMO.
An anon to me is someone who is seeking an opinion/ input, not someone who invents a username to provide input or opinions that they don't have the stones to stand accountable for. A counterpoint is hardly offensive in and of itself unless it is accompanied by willful ignorance and/ or hate speech in which case I'd consider the speaker to be an idiot.
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