Tag Archives: Internet trolls

‘Trolls’ are out there, but not sure they’ve found me

Someone who I do not know has begun following High Plains Blogger and has emerged as an individual I gather appreciates the point of view expressed in this forum.

Lately, though, this person has begun questioning the quality of the “trolls” who criticize my point of view. This individual believes I should get “better trolls.”

I’m an old guy and I am not entirely sure what an Internet “troll” really is, so I looked the term up. Here’s what I found:

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.

This definition has me wondering: Do I even have anyone who follows this blog who fits the description mentioned? I am not entirely sure that I do.

I have plenty of critics. They weigh in frequently when I criticize the president of the United States. When they do, they often draw responses from other High Plains Blogger readers who take them to task for what they say. When those exchanges begin, I generally stay out of the way; I’ve mentioned already on this blog that I prefer to let my commentary stand on its own and let others have the last word.

Now and then, though, the back-and-forth gets pretty darn fierce, even ferocious. That’s when this particular individual — again, someone I do not know — takes Internet foes to task, all the while urging me to “get better trolls.”

Even though I have been blogging for about a decade now I do not know how to do what this individual is asking of me. Nor do I even fully believe I have “trolls” as defined by the example I have provided who are weighing in regularly.

Whatever. I’ll just keep plugging away and take the brickbats along with the bouquets. Hey, it goes with the territory.

One troll disappears, more to emerge

I have become “acquainted” with trolls.

They aren’t my favorite audience members. They seem to lurk out there, waiting for my posts to appear. Then they pounce with negative responses.

I don’t mind the negativity if it is based on principled arguments to substantiate their point. I do mind the pointed barbs that contribute nothing to current discourse.

I’ve been reluctant to comment on them because, well, because I don’t want to encourage other trolls.

Recently, I took the rare step of blocking one of them. He and I aren’t connected on any social medium. He just kept chirping about issues on which I would comment. Then he got into name-calling, challenging my intelligence while remarking about how my posts were a “waste” of his time, which I presume is of great value to him.

So I cut him off.

Recently, another frequent critic of High Plains Blogger apparently has decided to block me. Imagine that, will ya? This individual is a fervent supporter of Donald John Trump Sr. She took supreme offense at my constant carping against the president.

This individual — and I reluctantly use the term “troll” here — is an actual acquaintance of mine. But I guess I have to describe this person as a classic “troll” as it has been used to define certain Internet users.

I found this description via Wikipedia: In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement.

Yep. That describes the individual who blocked me. This person would engage in some heated back-and-forth with other readers of this blog, arguing just for the sake of arguing.

I won’t lose a wink of sleep over getting blocked by this person, because I am acutely aware that there will be others who’ll step up to take the place of any such “troll” who drops off this blog’s grid.

Oh, just so you know, I still love writing this blog.