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 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Trolls

    I understand. My step-dad and his father were mean IRL trolls. I remember when I was 10 and got shoved off the merry-go-round at school. I was just standing there minding my own business, and some kid dared another to shove me off. It broke both the bones in my right arm (almost took the whole thing off). Very painful.

    After I got back from the hospital, my step-dad and his father walked into the living room where I was laying on a foam mattress in front of the TV with a bunch of pillows. They look at me and said things like "Oh, you think you are living the life, ehy? We should make you go out and feed cows right now. Get up, get dressed!" and "I think you only broke your arm because you are jealous of your baby sister."


    It took me a while into my adult life to understand they were trolling me. Up until that point in my life, I had never run across people that behaved like that. It was scary and confusing.

    I guess that is what makes it so easy for me now to observe the conversations people have, and participate in a fashion that runs along the funny streak.

    One of our funny ones was...I would always ask when we were going somewhere..."Who's going to be there?". His response was always "George Harrison".

    I was almost an adult before I ever learned the answer to that one.

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