An internet troll is a person who disrupts internet discourse through inflammatory, hostile or pointless posts. They aim to cause a reaction and therefore 'feed' on responses particularly hostile ones. If ignored, they usually move on.
There are three species within the genus Troll:
- The Multiple Personality Disorder sufferer
- The Attention Whore a.k.a. Dullard
- The Disruptive Child
The Multiple Personality Disorder sufferer
This Troll species has its own sub-species:
- The Stirrer: An established user who creates an alter ego for the purposes of stirring trouble. This Troll will often post fake pictures, have a â€˜cyber-sex-changeâ€™, make use of PMs and quote imaginary message logs.
- Billy-No-Mates: A new user (most likely without friends in The Real World) who instead of taking it steady, getting to â€˜knowâ€™ online personalities and contribute â€˜valueâ€™ posts, instead charges in, submitting tens of posts of drivel per day, then when established users turn on them, they create further user identities to defend the â€˜originalâ€™ user.
The Attention Whore
This Troll is unable to exercise self-restraint. Not one to understand the concept of â€˜quality not quantityâ€™, this user racks up an enormous number of posts in a very short period of time; possibly 1 post out of every 50 of which adds value to a thread.
The Disruptive Child
This Troll is usually a civvy with no understanding of things martial. Again there are sub-species:
- The Woolly-Minded-Liberal: a closed-minded individual; war and everything associated with it is â€˜badâ€™. No discussion â€“ they are right.
- The Anti-Establishment Provocateur: not to be confused with a Devilâ€™s Advocate, this Troll is, like the Woolly-Minded-Liberal, a closed-minded individual who has read anti-establishment literature, but has neither the intellect or the inclination to think about what they have read, thus can only repeat it parrot-fashion.
- The Walt: someone who pretends to be something they are not. An annoyance and an insult to those who â€˜doâ€™; despite being proven not to know of what they speak, this shameless Troll will post spuriously till the end of time. This Troll is occasionally found on other military-related websites and will sometimes be invited to play amongst the Big Boys & Girls of ARRSE.
N.B. I have chosen not to 'name names' as the oxygen thieves sadly thrive on 'publicity'.
Wikipedia has a full description of internet trolls, including a history of the term.