Is Trolling Just A Form Of Practical Jokes?

from the it's-all-fun-and-games-until-the-rickrolls-begin dept

As the news of 4chan hitting 1 billion posts has come out, it only seems appropriate that the Surprisingly Free podcast has a fascinating discussion with Stefan Krappitz, the author of the book Troll Culture: A Comprehensive Guide, in which Krappitz tries to suggest that the common view of trolling as being a negative thing is mostly inaccurate. Instead, he suggests, trolling is more a form of practical joking -- "disrupting people for personal amusement." He even suggests that Socrates may have been an original troll, baiting people with silly questions and then mocking them. The overall discussion is quite interesting, even if it seems to underestimate the collateral damage that trolling can cause at times. Still, it does raise some good points, that certainly counter the more common view of completely condemning trolling.

Filed Under: practical jokes, trolling

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2012 @ 11:23am


    Ah what you are referring to is people that are unable to tell the difference in between statements as being an honest effort to communicate vs trying to misdirect to the speakers own agenda vs trying to mislead the person listening.

    Yes, most humans will accept statements from people being genuine, and the rest is assumed to be trolling.

    When, in fact, there are 50 more shades of what the speaker is trying to accomplish.

    On a message board, it's difficult for the listener to distinguish the intent of the authors words. That is why most people, when presented with text that is different from our own ideals in a fashion that is argumentative, the author is automatically shoved into the trolling bucket.

    If there is someone with a different opinion, the best way to be heard is to present your side of the topic in a non-threatening, non-name calling way, and see how the conversation changes.

    I think that is why most of what is said around here is us vs them mentality. The art of effective communication is essentially hosed because the art of debate is gone.

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