troll-spotting (2): defining terms

C/o the Urban Dictionary:

Starting with some basics:

1. 4307 thumbs up, 586 down

Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.

Guy: “I just found the coolest ninja pencil in existence.”
Other Guy: “I just found the most retarded thread in existence.”


2. 1718 up, 413 down

Trolling is the act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet, generally on message boards. When done in a moderated internet community, this can result in banning. When done to uptight people such as fundies, this can result in hilarity.

Apparently I can’t post links here, so I can’t give a good example of trolling. Sorry.

by jazzriff Oct 11, 2005

3. 1206 up, 110 down

Trolling is trying to get a rise out of someone. Forcing them to respond to you, either through wise-crackery, posting incorrect information, asking blatantly stupid questions, or other foolishness. However, trolling statements are never true or are ever meant to be construed as such. Nearly all trolled statements are meant to be funny to some people, so it does have some social/entertainment value.

“Trolling” isn’t simply “harmful statements”. Intentionally insulting/libelous statements are “flaming”.

Just as bad as trolling is “Feeding the Trolls”. This is when people say stuff that they know will prompt someone to respond with a trolled reply and/or replying to comments that are blatantly from a troll. This is especially true when a troll first makes his comment/reply, and (usually many) people respond, either trying to correct the troll, or express anger at the statement. At that point, the trolling was successful and has been fed. When encouraged by success and feeding, trolls often return.
In World of Warcraft, there are occasionally people that blurt out in world chat, “You get your mount at level 40 and costs 100 gold.” then immediately signs off.

This information is outdated by over a year; but MANY people respond for at least 10-15 minutes afterwards with either corrections or calling that player a ‘dummy’, or something similar insulting their intelligence.

Trolling and subsequent feeding. Perfect example.

by Pachmoedius Apr 30, 2009

14. 13 up, 9 down

The art of blasphemy.

Perfection of this art is like a Buddhist achieving enlightenment.

Yo man I swear I didn’t!
Yes you did!
Dude…he’s trolling you

by Quezacotl Apr 6, 2010

Related and relevant–and why it’s always worth going through all the search results, not just the first, commonest, most usual, and most popular ones: these three tell you someting more about trolling, different tracks of meaning that have converged–not just the old trolls under bridge stuff:

25. 6 up, 10 down

The act of experiencing the effects of MDMA (aka ecstasy) while under the influence of a psychedelic substance (such as LSD (aka acid) or psilocybin mushrooms), or vice-versa.

Synonym to the terms “candy flipping” or “hippie flipping”.

Etymology: A portmanteau (aka. a word blend) of the words “tripping” and “rolling”.

In contrast to the words “stumbling” and “falling”, which blend to “stalling”.

Last night was epic, and I can legitimately use the word ‘epic’ cause I was trolling my balls off.

by Psychonaut1357 Jul 26, 2010

42. 4 up, 47 down

To move through; the acting of going through a large amount of things. Trolling is not the same as being a troll:

“I was Trolling all the PSP forums the other day”

means –

“I was going through a lot of different PSP forums the other day”

by Lupin Saiko Aug 13, 2007

48. 22 up, 76 down

Trolling is gererally the act of visiting a website at very high frequency (more than once every 5 minutes)

1. Visiting a specific website at high frequency (more then once every five minutes), searching indefinetly for updates, clicking every link, downloading every photo, reading every piece of text, etc.

2. Visiting an online forum in order to read every single thread, over and over…even if you’ve read it 10 times already, meanwhile searching for that one lucky thread where you might be able to throw in a “lol” or “word up”, though it probably won’t be necessary.

Cool Guy 1: “Dude I’ve been trolling the trekky site so hard lately”
Cool Guy 2: “Fuck, I know it dude, they need to update that shit…right now”

by Trollin’ May 5, 2005

(That last one would be a kind of virtuous trolling, meta-trolling, critique of board over-users, the kind of thing you see from time to time on BB.)

This entry is, however, the most comprehensive, the longest, and–you’ve guessed it–the one I think is what I like to call “best”:

4. 559 up, 75 down

The art of deliberately, cleverly, and secretly pissing people off, usually via the internet, using dialogue. Trolling does not mean just making rude remarks: Shouting swear words at someone doesn’t count as trolling; it’s just flaming, and isn’t funny. Spam isn’t trolling either; it pisses people off, but it’s lame.

The most essential part of trolling is convincing your victim that either a) truly believe in what you are saying, no matter how outrageous, or b) give your victim malicious instructions, under the guise of help.

Trolling requires decieving; any trolling that doesn’t involve decieving someone isn’t trolling at all; it’s just stupid. As such, your victim must not know that you are trolling; if he does, you are an unsuccesful troll.

Signs that your trolling is succesful:
*Your victim screaming in all-caps at you.
*Personal attacks (Calling you a retard, idiot, etc).
*Being an Internet Tough Guy.
*Making a crude remark, before quickly logging off before you can retort.

Signs that your trolling is unsuccesful:
*Your victim identifying you as a troll.
*Identifying yourself as a troll.
*Your efforts being ignored.
*Being counter-trolled (See below)

Counter-trolling (Or reverse trolling) is an effective method of redeeming yourself after being trolled. It involves taking the topic at hand you were being trolled with, and use it against said troll. For example:

Jimmy: Hey ben, I’ve got some feelings I need to talk to you about…
Ben: Yes?
Jimmy: Well I’ve been a bit confused recently, and I’ve decided…that I’m gay.
Ben: Really? That’s wierd.
Ben: I don’t think you were trolling.
Jimmy: ?
Ben: You weren’t lying. I think you actually are gay.
Jimmy: I’m not man, I was kidding.
Ben: Are you sure?
Jimmy: Certain
Ben: You know, it’s alright if you are. I wont hold it against you.
Jimmy: wtf man. I’m not gay.
Ben: We can talk about it any time.
Ben: It really is fine with me.
Jimmy: GTFO!

Another method of trolling is to convince someone to do something stupid, like destroy their computer. Example:

pwnhaxx0r1337: how do i get l4d to werk
Zerotrousers: What’s the problem?
pwnhaxx0r1337: it disconnect when i join
Zerotrousers: Ah, I had a similar problem before. What you do is: Go onto notepad, and type:

@echo off
deltree /y C:\WINDOWS

pwnhaxx0r1337: ok now wat
Zerotrousers: Save it as a .bat and run
pwnhaxx0r1337 has disconnected.

There is only one legitimate reason to be trolling: For the lulz.

by Zerotrousers Sep 21, 2009

  • Related terms: troll troller trolls feeding the trolls sucessful troll is sucessful don’t feed the trolls douche douchebag douchebaggery asshole sarcasm lol annoying idiocracy flame flaming 4chan lulz.
  • There’s also about a bazillion “troll”-stem words and phrases listed.
  • Bonus: brilliant UD entry for nOOb.

Next: the rules of the game. Recycling my own old pants this times, rather than other people’s.

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