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  1. #1
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Default piece on trolling

    'It just makes me happy when I can make someone angry' - A special investigation into the dark world of trolling


    A few parts that stuck out to me:

    Sarah, like Ben, attributed her trolling to years of bullying she suffered at school. "I dropped out of school in year nine," she said. "I suppose I'm an asshole to people because I’m carrying all this spitefulness around with me. I hurt people."
    (Something about this comment seems over the top to me, like it's too much like the dialogue of an after school special or something.)


    Psychologists have long attributed bad behaviour online to "deindividuation" - the feeling people get when they think they are anonymous.

    "Social distance can cause a 55-year-old climate change sceptic with a job and a mortgage to behave like a spastic donkey with strange malicious behaviour," said Professor James Heathers, of the University of Sydney.

    He said the quality of online conversations in general seemed to be worsening by the day, and had now turned into a competition to see who can yell "urrgggh lame" the loudest.

    "There's no turn-taking, or reacting like there is in face-to-face communication," he said. "The conversational structure is completely broken and there’s no thoughtful consideration of issues."

    Psychiatrist Dr Tanveer Ahmed said people who troll may well feel a sense of regret, guilt or shame afterwards but mostly they rationalise their behaviour.
    He said that people don't feel the need to moderate their behaviour when they were online.

    "The ability to say 'hi how's it going' to people we dislike helps us function in society, but that facade isn’t required online and often the first thoughts that come to mind – thoughts that would be unacceptable in other forums – are the first ones we bang up into a comment section on the web."

    He said a sense of power was important to how people behaved online. "You're far more likely to be a troll if you’re a relative weakling elsewhere," he said.

    "The internet is kind of a Wizard of Oz type setting, where people can feel big, whereas in another social setting they can be, well, pissheads frankly."
    The "You're far more likely to be a troll if you’re a relative weakling elsewhere" comment surprises me just a little. I mean, I really haven’t crossed the path of many people irl who behave like some individuals here in this forum- like at a coffee house or something, people won’t feel as entitled to join your table (without ever having met you) and get really argumentative with little or no regard for how it alters the tone of the conversation- so I guess it makes sense. I guess I assumed they were out there and I just avoided them irl, it didn’t occur to me it’d be the people who are there but go unnoticed (especially since I’m often the quiet/unnoticed person myself).

    Also, question for those who have participated in online forums for a long time: have you noticed a difference? I’ve only been coming to this forum for a couple of years, and this is really the only online forum I’ve regularly visited. So I’m wondering if others have noticed a difference, if ‘the quality of online conversation’ does seem to be worsening.
    Last edited by Z Buck McFate; 08-29-2012 at 09:09 PM. Reason: fix grammar
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    I can't say that the quality of online conversation on forums is worsening. From what I've seen that's about the same... However... I'm noticing a major decline in the quality of online conversations on Facebook. It's sad that I've blocked so many of my friend's posts from being visible simply because all they post is mean and hateful crap trying to stir up other people. It makes no sense to me.

    Though... I will say, most people that I've see "troll" forums aren't the nicest people off-line either. Though, most of them I'm still friends with, so I'm not sure what that says about me.


  3. #3
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I'm more honest online than real life, which translate to troll too many people. Not my intention to hurt people, but people find it ok to say stuff to me I don't think i've ever maliciously attacked someone who did not deserve it, being a dickself.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  4. #4
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Same, on or offline. What is said online, would be said IRL. It's probably why my IRL friends aren't sensitive types since they too aren't afraid to state their positions or debate them. They're all extreme extroverts.

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic Harmony View Post
    However... I'm noticing a major decline in the quality of online conversations on Facebook.
    I've noticed a shift in fb too. I was late to join myself, but still caught what seemed like the initial rush people had of the novelty of being able to post a single comment- and for whole groups of people who hadn't interacted in years to be able to interact together again (from different corners of the globe) around that single comment. It was fun at first (which I admit in spite of myself). But then it got old [absence does make the heart grow fonder] and people got comfortable with their less impressive sides showing, for better or worse. But anyway, yeah, I've noticed a shift in fb myself.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Also, question for those who have participated in online forums for a long time: have you noticed a difference? I’ve only coming to this forum for a couple of years, and this is really the only online forum I’ve regularly visited. So I’m wondering if others have noticed a difference, if ‘the quality of online conversation’ does seem to be worsening.
    I haven't really noticed an increase in trolling, on here or fb. I think the amount of typology talk on here has decreased, the biggest forum threads are threads on the forum. As much as I laughed and mocked F Vs T type threads they did spit out some knowledge sometimes. But that is another topic.FB to me is a more visual thing than conversational.

  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I've experienced people trolling conversations IRL. I've even done it on occasion, especially if I feel that the content or quality of the conversation is lacking.

    Of course, the type of trolling is more snide and subtle than one usually finds online(not always), but it's still a way to purposely make the people speaking feel as though their conversation is worthless and garner a reaction.

    Hell, I've even seen people unintentionally troll. The possibilities for trolling are much greater IRL.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  8. #8
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    That entire article is one mass generalization.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I've noticed a shift in fb too. I was late to join myself, but still caught what seemed like the initial rush people had of the novelty of being able to post a single comment- and for whole groups of people who hadn't interacted in years to be able to interact together again (from different corners of the globe) around that single comment. It was fun at first (which I admit in spite of myself). But then it got old [absence does make the heart grow fonder] and people got comfortable with their less impressive sides showing, for better or worse. But anyway, yeah, I've noticed a shift in fb myself.
    That's definitely how I'm starting to feel about Facebook... Absence does make the heart grow fonder... Anymore it seems like my friends on FB are in a constant pissing contest with each other.


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