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
    bob, 9 Aug 2012 @ 6:46am

    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, I think most people just want to spend their lives looking in a mirror. They hate the idea that they might not be perfectly, 100% correct and so they look for a label that will minimize and demonize those who dare to disagree with them.

    We've seen time and time again that groupthink destroys organizations. Yet once again, we see people infatuated with the idea of minimizing or denying the contributions of people with different thoughts.

    So no, it's not a practical joke. I spend my time here typing away because the issues are important enough to me. I want there to be a free and vibrant press that's supported by the populace, not by some foundation or an arm of the government. I want creators to have the freedom to control their work and not have it snatched by a mob.

    So quit belittling those who disagree with you and dreaming that it's all some practical joke. No. We're not joking when we say we think you're wrong. We really mean it.

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