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, 11 Aug 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If a troll takes it too far or no one laughs, there's really no chance of a graceful dismount OR EVEN AN APOLOGY, as the apology of a troll - "it was just a joke" comes far too close to the reply of an unrepentant bully: "can't you take a joke?"
    [ reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]"

    DataSheet, you raise an excellent point. I think those types of appologies are quite unacceptable. You made me think a bit about it and I have a good compromising thought on appologies that I think we could both agree upon. I am not debating your statement, I'm just trying to establish where I think the grounds of apologies are.

    I didn't initially mean those types of apologies, but you are correct. Some do not stop and don't mean it. What I mean by "apologize" is coming to the realization that you hurt someone. Might not have been your intention to hurt the person, but you did. There are many ways to make a very genuine and sincere apology. As you pointed out (in context), most of the ones that continue to laugh at how traumatized you are don't really carry any sincerity.

    It's when the apologies are given by a person who feels really bad about their actions, sympathize with the person they traumatized, and are sensitive enough not to continue on trolling are the ones that are sincere.

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