I’d say there are many pieces to the phenomenon of professional Twitter troll, but briefly, here are two to keep in mind:
- Sometimes “troll” is a label used to either discredit or undermine someone who’s honestly bringing a fair, contrary perspective to the table. The author of the previous story defines “troll” in terms of getting a reaction, but then, legitimate points can draw a reaction too.
Milo has gone beyond that, though, seeking reactions outside of legitimate arguments.
- There’s a sense of separation with these people, that they’ve found legitimate discourse to be futile, that they find they’re not being heard, so they move to other forms of expressing their disagreement with The Man. In part this goes back to point 1. Someone like Milo may have started out interacting with legitimate arguments, but having been discredited as a toll while actually participating constructively, he went down the road of embracing the label that was applied to him.
I think the previous story really captures both of these elements. The author’s writing was dripping with us-vs-them language, and he expressed revulsion so strong that it would prevent him from actually trying to communicate, which Milo probably knows perfectly well.
The author was playing the game he hated, even if he can’t step away far enough to see the role he’s enabling.