HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Wally (profile), 9 Aug 2012 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re:

    " Tripping people up, pulling their chairs out, covering them with ink ... all practical jokes to the joker, all as welcome to the recipient as trolling."

    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.

    The true art in trolling isn't merely practical jokes I might add. My father used it daily on his students to great effect through his subtle dry humor trolling. Funny thing is, most of his jokes made you think a bit to get the punch line has been brought aware to an issue. Most people who have taken sociology or philosophy in college have witnessed a troll teaching.

    The art requires you to not only to evoke a reaction, but also to raise social problem awareness. Now admittedly, some trolls raise the awareness of the problem of trolling quite inadvertently. That type of trolling is where it should end.

    My favorite troll of all time is truly my father. He never lets up until either my mom or I give him a look. One of the things I warned my wife about was his quick way of picking on you for the smallest science mistake. I was in another room and I was in earshot of my now wife and my father talking.

    Dad: "So how do you like that pop (soda for you New Englanders)"
    Wife: *sort of searching for the right words not suspecting a thing* "I don't know, it's sort of water based, I don't like it all that much"
    Dad *mocking teasing scoff* *me pausing listening to his response*: "Well you know Mae, all pop is water based"

    Every once and a while he will ask her how the water based pop tastes when he sees her drinking Rootbeer or any other soda pop. We all still chuckle about it.

    So really the point is, yes there is an art, yes it raises social awareness, and can be more fun if you can get your "victim" to laugh with you about it.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.