Thursday, February 24, 2005

Detecting a chat room troll

Anyone who has ever posted in a chatroom knows about trolls. Trolls are mentally ill people who have fled into cyberspace to inflict their psychosis on the rest of us. The sole point of a discussion board is to serve as an electronic bar where ideas and information can be exchanged. The fact that people disagree makes for great boards. My major problem with Free Republic is that we end up agreeing too much.
Trolls are not about dissent they are about disruption and harassment. They come with multiple names and writing styles and harass the same posters. They talk to each other and pretend to form a fan club for each other. The rest of us have to deal with cluttered boards and annoying minutia.
Writting styles are like fingerprints and this is the achiles hell of a troll. The writting style can not vary as we have one brain and subtle clues in spelling and grammar are often evident. Repeated phrases that get repeated under various identities. A new name pops up and continues old grudges with familiar material. A noob wants to debate minutia like the political line vs circle theory. The point is to waste time rather than discuss substance.

15 comments:

The Disgruntled Chemist said...

I think you've got the wrong idea about Free Republic. The majority of people on there, in my experience, want to agree with everyone. Debate and dissent is not tolerated; earlier in the month I got banned in 12 hours for offering a dissenting viewpoint, nothing more - I certainly did not violate their terms of use in any way.

Kudos to you for being interested in actual debate. Feel free to stop by my blog and comment anytime - you're sure to find someone to debate with (usually me). Have a good day!

Warren said...

"Writting styles are like fingerprints"They most definately are!

I have outed a couple of trolls that did not realizing that their style provded a 'fingerprint'. With a little work, sometimes goggle even provids an email address and links to other boards where they post regularly. I traced three of them back to another board, which they ran, and a link to a fourth poster that pretended that she didn't know where they came from.

They were even silly enough to fill out the personel profiles, on their own board, which I provided a link to for 'interested parties'. Then I hacked my own personel profile with a hidden redirect, (I knew they would look at it when I outed them), which redirected them back to their own 'hidden', private message board.

It scared them enough that they dissapeared, never to disrupt that particular message board again.

Who were these trolls? Adut men and women ranging in age from 45 to 62.

No doubt they make obscene phone calls in their spare time. And yes, sometimes they co-ordnate their efforts.

Redbeard said...

Men and women ranging in age from 45 to 62, yes, I can believe that. But adult? Nope. Textbook cases of arrested development.

I fully agree with Beakerkin that these people have a psychological defect of some sort. These are cowardly people who would never open their mouths in a public place, but who feel all safe and secure hunched over their computers and spewing bile.

It's really very sad that this rotten segment of society has been showcased due to the freedom of the internet. Double-edged sword, and all that.

Warren said...

On the psychological defect thing, I agree.

The Internet gives them a degree of anonymousness which gives them cover, (they think).

More than one of them has ended up receiving a snail mail letter with an aerial photo of his residence inside. (Not from me, I don't think they are worth a stamp).

Craigy B said...

I dunno about chat room trolls, but I just detected a BLOG TROLL.

beakerkin said...

Really who?

How about presenting your case ?
Where is the fiction ?

Anonymous said...

0/10

Anonymous said...

why snivel about trolls? in a chat u can always use iggy or u can just ignore

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Trolling is for fun fool's. You think they are mentall? It takes a intelligant person to troll properly, trolling is a cunning manipulation of people's feelings and knowledge. A true master troll will ignite an intire chat or thread with anger, or calm them down only to relize they were trolled. If you notice someone trolling, they are a sad troll-a true troll troll's without anyone guessing untill well after the troll has struck.

Anonymous said...

im a troll ....i also have a 160 iq....a product of boarding schools and strict teachers if you will. If genius is as genius does what pray tell is more genius than inciting an entire argument with one word.Perhaps it is you who are ''mental'' or ignorant.

beakerkin said...

People with high IQ's typically have no need to boast. As for your claimed education like the rest of
self promoting boast it is likely exagerated.

As for being mental, it is often a mattrer of perspective or genetic defect in your case

Anonymous said...

If you're so intelligent, then why do you not utilize proper capitalization and punctuation?

beakerkin said...

Good point in my case laziness. As for these people with self proclaimed high IQ's one never knows with mental defectives. It does help keeping track of them easier.

Anonymous said...

The trolls just got trolled. Look how pissed thry're all getting. Lmao..