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
    Vidiot (profile), 9 Aug 2012 @ 8:49am

    There's a semantic split here

    Interesting to see Krappitz' article, only one day after I was called out... light-heartedly... as a troll by my 19-year-old, for injecting one or two wiseass remarks into a multi-party SMS conversation. I'd been conditioned to associate "troll" with the know-nothing nonsense described -- and demonstrated -- above; never heard/saw the label applied in the joker/wiseass scenario. This kind of semantic schizophrenia happens all the time... a term is used harmlessly by one group, and perniciously by another, leading to nasty misunderstandings. Need a new term here...

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