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Sinless and Purrfect
Troll / Trolling

An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response.

Dr. Will Kirby defines troll as an individual who enjoys creating conflict on the internet. He or she creates and fuels arguments which upset other members of the online community.

"Trolls thrive in the anonymous space that is the internet. Trolls crave attention from others, and they don't care whether the attention is positive or negative. For trolls, other users are not quite real people; they are abstract characters on the other side of a computer screen. Trolls don't feel bad about hurting the feelings of other people in the digital space.

Trolls view chat rooms and newsgroups as a challenge where the winner is the user who creates the biggest argument, the user who upsets the most people in the most dramatic way. A troll wants to be the user getting the most attention.

Troll behavior discourages many users and makes for a less vibrant online community. New users may not post because they fear ridicule. Established posters may leave an online community because the noise has overwhelmed the real discussion. Trolls can make an entire community paranoid, leading users to become negative or to accuse a user engaged in normal criticism as a troll.

Remember, trolls feel rewarded by creating the biggest altercation possible. They want to get a reaction out of you. When you fight with a troll, he wins. When you reason with a troll, he wins. Any time that you give a troll attention, he gets exactly what he wants.

If you decide to leave a discussion because of the negative tone, do not dramatically announce that you are leaving. While that message may make you feel better, it only convinces the troll that he is winning. "

A troll's main goal is usually to arouse anger and frustration among the message board's other participants, and will write whatever it takes to achieve this end. One popular trolling strategy is the practice of Winning by Losing. While the victim is trying to put forward solid and convincing facts to prove his position, the troll's only goal is to infuriate its prey. The troll takes (what it knows to be) a badly flawed, wholly illogical argument, and then vigorously defends it while mocking and insulting its prey. The troll looks like a complete fool, but this is all part of the plan. The victim becomes noticeably angry by trying to repeatedly explain the flaws of the troll's argument. Provoking this anger was the troll's one and only goal from the very beginning.