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. icon
    ethorad (profile), 10 Aug 2012 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Ok, I'll poor ink on your suit as you head into work, rig the office chair in your cubicle to fall the moment you sit on it, and do it day after day after day like a common troll to see how long it takes for me to get fired or for you to send in a report."

    As you suspect, the answer is not very long. However that's not the point. In that example you would, presumably, classify what you were doing as pranking or practical joking. I would call it harassment or trolling.

    My point is those on the receiving end of the nastier trolls have a different opinion of what's going on that the perpetrators. One action, two names. Both cause hassle for someone else for your own amusement.

    And with each there are levels - if you switched my mouse around occasionally or used dry humour like your father it is on a very different level to causing physical damage or similar with practical jokes.

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