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 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Trolling isn't a joke-- you're just denying people disagree

    As someone who is repeated accused of being a troll simply for defending a different opinion

    No, bob, we don't think you're a troll. We think you're a shill. There's a difference between the two, but often enough the lines blur to the point that some ACs who post here can be considered shitrolls.

    So no, it's not a practical joke.

    I don't think it's a joke either; I believe that you are someone who has a deep loathing of fair use, libraries and innocent-before-guilty. You think that a publishing company that is penalised for violating its contract has to do with copyright laws and that agreeing with this action somehow means we want stronger copyright. You support the methods of John Steele because you're an independent producer... whatever the hell that means. I don't know; I have no idea of works you produce or if you actually produce anything at all. For all I know you could just be in this issue because you like to watch lawyers make money or something.

    No, bob, you're beyond a joke. Nobody could be this persistently, obsessively obtuse and oblivious. You're bordering on the edges of menace.

    We're not joking when we say we think you're wrong. We really mean it.

    Who the hell is this "we"? Is it some collective like Torrentfreak's Anon whose only purpose is to gloat at everyone else, claiming that everyone will get their three strikes and they'll be up there mocking us?

    You can take comfort, bob, in the fact that I believe you mean it. I believe you mean to be a psychopath devoid of any attachment to reality.

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