The Ultimate Line of the Wannabe Internet "Troll"

in blog •  last year

It isn't anything sophisticated, yet it is super effective. It isn't an intelligent or creative insult, but it hardly ever misses to hit the spot and achieves the ultimate goal of each troll... a reaction.

The wannabe troll needs no wordcraft, no sartirical or sarcastic mindset. They need not be quick witted. They will never surprise anybody with their original insults, oh no.

Don't expect to read anything like:

You are so active that the energy you dissipate will halt the rotation of the earth and reverse gravity.

No, that level of wit and sarcasm is way beyond them, but unlike the most intellectual retort theirs will hardly ever miss the target.

Their efficiency is lethal.

Just because they apply that same old line over and over at a very specific moment, in a very specific situation.

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They're hunters. They're snipers. They know to bide their time. They lurk in and stalk popular posts and threads waiting for that one specific moment.

Because their otherwise limited rhetorical skills won't land them any position on a discussion team, they have to stick with their good old trick, line.

They never read Oscar Wilde, the Encyclopedia Dramatica doesn't have sufficient mudkips for them and FARK to them sounds as a typo of a popular cussword. Voltaire they most definitely haven't read.

One line, that is all. One simple retort.

Almost always guaranteed to hit bull's eye.

When they see their opportunity, lethal and ferocious like a black panther they leap forward and hit out.

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Six words.

Six words only.

Lethal claws cutting through the neck.

A blow as hard as if struck by a mantis shrimp.

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At the exact right time.

Or wrong time, depending on who you are.

Six words only. Six words cutting through you and ripping you open.

A simple punitive retort. Even not a smart one. One merely highligting a specific situation. From high on a condescending perch. Just one reply. A reply without the troll ever having added value themselves.

It almost always works. Time after time.

Only when you recognize it, recognize the behavior and are in control of your own emotions.

Only then will you spot the trolling.

Spot the No shit, Sherlock/Captain Obvious element of their retort.

Because, that's all it is. A simple, straightforward analysis. A factually correct statement about a previous behavior.

Yet, the troll lethally struck.

With an envious success rate. Except when you know to recognize it and can, instead laugh at their own limitations.

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Obviously, as with any troll the same mantra applies: don't take the bait.

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Respond and you will confirm exactly their claim. Walk away, don't fall in their trap. Take a breather and move on. Don't confirm their exact claim.

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Oh... that one line?

The line they drop time after time after you try explaining your position? The Captain Obvious statement which is so darn bloody efficient? Those six words???

Now you're just being defensive.

Told you it wasn't smart a retort or sophisticated a sentence. ;)


Photo Credits: Rhett Noonann and Alksander Vasenin

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That and "Triggered!". Which drives me buts, because I have emotional flashbacks and I DO get triggered, but I know the difference between a trigger and being upset or annoyed at someone.

The defensive "attack" line hits people in the right place to get them to be defensive, even when they were not. To counter it is to be defensive. It's not a bad thing to be defensive in many situations. Sometimes it can cause friction in conversations with loved ones, or spouse, but defensiveness is fine, it's not wrong.

That line is:

  • accusatory
  • creates defensiveness to prove their point
  • attacks us in a way that makes us look like the attacker
  • it's NOT non-violent communication
  • it makes it seem as though being defensive is a bad thing when it's not necessarily.

If we reply, then we fall right into their trap. It's tough to not reply. This is exactly the sort of thing narcissists will use, even if they say something different than that line, it's always similar and with the same intent.

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Thanks for your awesome, comment @binkyprod!

even when they were not

Often this is a very vital component too. The troll denies one the right to argue their case by demeaning it as being defensive. And, of course, for the troll the beauty is that the only defense against that line is... being defensive. Affirming their exact claim.

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Exactly. And when one feels attacked, defensive, confronted, the last thing we want to do is tell them they were right, or tell them off.

A lot of people talk about the Grey Rock method for dealing with narcs and I think the same should apply to trolls. If someone in trolling you in person, you can use that, monotone voice, not impressed face, no expression, and be like whatever. Online however, silence is best. Tough at times, but at least we'Re not feeding into their energy vampirism of trolling and keeping our energy for something of more value.

Start writing an AI bot! They love that sh*ttt. =)

"Now you're just being defensive."
That is only 5 words hehe ;) But yes, they sting! It is like your reaction or response was swept away with a wave of the hand! (Or middle finger perhaps) grrrr
On a side note, I saw your comment, but don't know how to DM, I am a bit thick today! lol I looked on Discord but couldn't find you :)

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That is only 5 words

[Goes defensive] I did count you are as two words. :P

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@cleverbot take the contraction apart and you have 6 words.

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And you got an upvote for that covert spam? Wow, I'm clearly in the wrong business.

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so reading your post and leaving a comment constitutes spam now? I put no links to other sites in this comment. What exactly is spam?

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BS. Cleverbot was never in this thread. Congrats on the self-upvote on that reply too. I have a high BS alert sense, tyvm.

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I was trying to guess as I read, I think I was way off, was expecting a petty insult, but I guess those are easy to shake off. Trolls gotta strike deep into the ego.

There's a great article about levels of response that this reminds me of... http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html that's where I thought you might be going but it seems slightly orthogonal.

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I now wonder what you were thinking that one line was, @eonwarped.

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Hmmm... Well don't expect it to be witty because you'll be disappointed haha. To be completely honest it was going along the lines of some sort of insult or some fancy debate words that I always forget what it means (e.g. ad hominem). Straw men, too. That usually appears quickly as well.

Besides ignoring this line though, got a good response for these six words?

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All too smart for the defensive troll. :D

lol. You gotta keep one step ahead of the trolls or they will get you. There's no end to them on the internet but at least reputation scores help on steem.

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I actually did spot it. The troll also followed me here after leaving that comment. So I decided to give them a welcome letter, because I'm that nice.

When I really wanted to trigger kids online I just asked them if they were a girl because they sounded like one.

That one line alone tilted many people off the face of the earth.

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It still worked online? That was common in primary school, 5th and 6th grade, for us. :/

But yes, those sensitive alpha egos...

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Haha it wasn't kids that I used to say that too. They sounded college age or older. People that didn't sound like they were going through puberty which is all the more funny on it triggering them.

This was very entertaining. You had me at hello. Nice job keeping the suspense.

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Thanks @steemmatt, glad I managed to keep up the suspense. As I started writing this I wondered how long I could stretch it without actually mentioning that one line.

Love the suspense and the humor twist! It is really nice, simple and neat. I enjoyed every single paragraph.
Greetings!

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Thank you, @mokamisschievous. Glad you liked it and were curious until the end. Hope it wasn't an anti-climax as such.

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Not at all, it was so simple it became funny

A lot of preamble to get those 6 words :) but I laughed. The article is a pretty legit approach to trolls though. Nice writing

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Thanks, @mdf-365. Glad you laughed.

As I started writing the intro paragraph it quickly became obvious to me I wanted to see how long I could keep those 6 words out of it. Without overdoing it.

It became a challenge of sorts. During the time I had the draft open I often thought: "Ohhh eff dat, let's say what it is!"