Fantastic internet trolls and how to fight them
Trolling trolls for pleasure, sport, and peace of mind.
Most people realize that dealing with trolls online is futile. Most people stop engaging with trolls and simply block the mind-numbing little cretins.
Most people make it a point to ignore the desperate attention-seeking cries of keyboard-wielding neanderthals.
Most people are smart enough to disengage with devil’s advocate demons, as it wastes their time and helps no one and solves nothing.
Sadly, I’m not most people, and I’m also deeply entertained by trolls. To me, trolling is a game and it gives me mental stimulation so that I don’t feel like a walking lobotomy.
You could say I’m a troll myself, by that definition. However, I protect people. I’m the white knight of trolls, I guess.
Don’t believe I’m a top-tier troll? See below for my perfectly realistic, unaltered, anatomically correct selfie for proof.
For those of you that don’t want to commit to blocking every dumpster fire or perhaps you find it as amusing as I do, I thought I’d write a little illustrated guide. I’ve used some of my favorite fantasy movies for good measure.
Quest on, nerd.
Fearmonger trolls enjoy gaming the system. They may prey on the insecure to rally them to battle against an internet enemy simply because they can. They may spread ‘fake news’ to cause hysteria. They may even be believable for all of .2 seconds.
How To Deal
Fearmonger trolls are harmless and can be pretty funny to watch tweak out all over the platform you are on when you call their bluff.
But if these fearmonger word-gerbil trolls have a following? They are extremely dangerous and should never be given a stage for their ideas, especially if they are particularly charismatic.
To deal with fearmongering trolls, you can employ the tactic used by the protagonist in the movie Flight of Dragons. Just shout logic at them like you are a broken furby. Any logic will do.
You can even shout logic at fearmonger trolls that isn’t even fully relevant. It’s even better if the logic has no context.
If you frame your logic in their trolly devices and mimic them, they almost always can’t rebuttal you, as you’ve used their methods against them and they won’t give up the act.
You know you’ll have won when fearmongering trolls say ‘don’t reply’ or ‘pls stop’.
Some of my best friends are of this specific variety of troll. Explorers like to debate, they debate well, but they often start a discussion with no prompting. Which of course can be annoying. They like to explore ideas and challenge people.
How To Deal
Explorer trolls can be made into great friends, actually. Engage them with civility.
If an Explorer troll’s pursuit is knowledge and they honestly aren’t psychopaths, they’ll realize at some point you are trying to engage them in earnest, and they might just stop pestering you if you ask.
The best of trolls are analytical but not evil. The worst ones morph into the next type of troll with the modifier of ‘bait and switch’ tacked onto them like a badge of filth. The key concept of The Explorer is that they are testing boundaries.
You know you’ll have won when they add you on Skype or Discord and ask you how your day was.
Berserker trolls are not here to debate. They may have been here to debate for all of five minutes and pretended they were a nice little oddball but their character shift is visible when they start going full-aggro on you.
How To Deal:
Block berserker trolls. They are angry, petulant, bitter people who feel so unfulfilled in life they have to shit all over everyone else.
Berserker trolls are often not very smart, so you could potentially rhetorically bury them, but their anger will always win.
Berserker trolls may appear to be intelligent at first and just want to talk, but it’s a fucking trap. They are obsessed with making you feel like they feel, every single day. Which is shitty, stupid, and sad.
If you must engage with these angry, flaming miscreants, I have to tell you now you are going to need to get your hands dirty.
To combat trolls who have anger issues, you need to fight fire with fire like Lady Amalthea in the Last Unicorn, and stab a bitch with your horn.
Moral high-grounds will not work here with berseker trolls. Berserkers with some intelligence can also become doxxers and that’s just a whole new level of shit you don’t want to deal with.
You know you’ll have won when they delete their account or block you instead.
The Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat trolls are quite brilliant with their capacity to never make a lick of sense. They will curl in on themselves, over ideas, and around words and under sentences to knock you down. They like co-opting the language of the party they think you belong to in order to disarm. They also think they are very, very, very, very, very clever.
How to Deal
Patronize the shit out of Cheshire Cat Trolls. Correct them on their inability to make sense and correct them when they take you out of context.
These confusing subset of trolls may get righteous when you decide to dip into ad-hominems, but don’t be concerned about that. Because they certainly aren’t. This is a game to them, and they enjoy it. They may be Secret Berserkers, and only time will tell, or jilted Explorers — who the hell knows.
But you will always win against trolls who think they are clever, if you point out how inane they are.
If you make a mistake in debating/arguing with ‘clever trolls’, just admit to the mistake. Give them that point so you can hammer home your next one. They do not like answering direct questions and instead question you.
Don’t take the bait, just keep poking holes in their semantics and ask them the same question, repeatedly.
They’ll get tired eventually. I’ve only ever had one last about four days of sparse replies and he ended up becoming a very impotent Berserker.
You know you’ll have won against Cheshire Cat trolls when they stop responding or become an impotent Berserker.
This Dweaboo is obsessed with an aspect of nerd culture. They have created many a great meme and many are actually great fun. They are often, however, incredibly annoying.
How to Deal
There are several ways you can avoid anime-loving trolls. One of which is to delete your twitter account. They spawn there and they are never going to leave.
You can also join along on the crazy magic carpet ride nerd-trolls provide, collect a few memes, and learn some new obscure nerd references.
You can also just wait all of an hour and nerd-trolls usually get bored and go away on their own.
These can also be called Spammers. But not all Spammers are Dweaboo’s and not all Dweaboo’s are Spammers.
You know you’ll have won the flame-war when they get bored and go find someone else to irritate.
And our last troll of the day, the one I want you to pay close attention to.
The Mad King
The Mad King troll is incredibly smart. He is well spoken or well read, and knows what he’s doing. He’s a veteran troll. The reason he is a troll and not a reliable debating partner or source of inspiration is because he is generally delusional. And his intellect and his delusion, his extremely perverse and warped worldview, make him caustic and civil at best, and devastating and damaging at worse.
Mad Kings are the snipers of trolls. They will shoot to kill.
How to deal
Don’t deal with Mad King trolls — they’re too smart and have too much time on their hands. Watch very carefully. If his response to you is more than a few sentences and he actually sourced what he was talking about — but still appears delusional — stop all contact. He’s gishgalloping.
Gishgalloping is spewing out as much information as possible, that at first appears credible, but it is nearly impossible to dissect since there’s actual truth between the lies.
Mad King trolls will rely on you not taking the time to counter each of their points. Because ain’t nobody got time for that.
There’s nothing worse than a smart person who holds extremely warped views. They have become his entire life, and he can’t go back, and it’s all he sees.
You won’t win against intelligent, warped, twisted trolls. It will take more time and effort to combat them than you want, they’ve done this dance more than you, and they are a better shot. Walk away.