Originally posted by FMF
When you say that " there is a whole spectrum of behavior that is construed as trolling" isn't that licence for anyone to declare anyone else to be a "troll"? I contend that most accusations of being a "troll" here at RHP are people giving themselves licence to simply bail out of discussions with a cheap ad hominem. I don't think the accusation of being a "troll" has much traction or meaning here any more.
Trolling is now seen as a kind of art form and is held in high regard, even entering the
psyche of common culture as a kind of virtue. This evolution from its original sinister
state of simply making life intolerable for people on the internet is difficult to fathom, but
its happened. One hears of football managers trolling members of the press during
press conferences (meaning just making fun of them), or kids on minecraft trolling other
kids by stealing or destroying all the stuff they have made. It has many connotations and
nuances other than simply making life intolerable for people on the internet which is what
i think it was originally intended to mean and may still be perceived as such.
Is it meaningless here or anywhere else to term someone a troll? I doubt it, its certainly
not meaningless to the recipients of trolling behaviour. Is it a bail out? Maybe, but so
what, no one likes to have every last vestige of dignity stripped from them and be totally
left in the lurch with no way out.