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1 No. 1
Troll Culture

Stefan Krappitz

Betreuerin: Prof. Olia Lialina

Merz Akademie

Wintersemester 2011/2012
Expand all images
>> No. 2
Trolling is a phenomenon, that is normally covered in a very biased way. The usual tenor seems to be, that trolls are neckbearded basementdwellers without a life, or stupid bored teenagers that just hit puberty.
Hardly anyone has written about trolls in a positive way, other thatn the trolls themselves and most people wouldn’t even go as far to associate trolling with the word culture, thus ignoring early online-communities like alt.flame.

Altough the word “to troll” was propably not mentioned in this context until the usenet of the early 90s, similar behaviour could even be seen in Socrates, who lures others into thinking of themselves as savants or scholars who then proceed to teach the, now famous, philosopher. This went on until Socrates asked questions, that questioned the whole philosophy of the other, leading to his realization to not know anything. This cannot be compared entirely to the trolls of modern days, but the phenomenon was there for a long time.
The Internet, however, amplified this behavior with anonymity, ephemerality and the following disinhibition of the mind.

In this thesis, I want to describe the phenomenon of trolling, as a culture.
By respecting the trolls, I wish to give a neutral summary to anybody interested in learning about it.

To do so, I will first examine the culture of the chans, especially 4chan, who are often said to be breeding grounds for trolls. By understanding the differences between modern social networks and sites like 4chan, we will explore the primum mobile behind the trolls actions, not by analyzing their behavior isolated, but with knowledge of the culture they often come from.

For the sake of neutrality, this book will teach you how to be a successful troll, just as it will teach you to avoid trolls and defend from them if they have already picked up on you.
>> No. 5
>> No. 9
Once I met a guy who knew suspiciously much about
It turned out he was a b-tard, a user of 4chans random board.
He described the site with one sentence. Beautiful and simple, yet precise:

>“4chan is the worst and the best place on the internet at the same time!”

The site might well be one of the most interesting places on the internet.
Here is a short definition from the site itself:

>“4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where
>anyone can post comments and share images.
>4chan‘s collaborative-community format is
>copied from one of the most popular forums in
>Japan, Futaba Channel. Different boards are
>dedicated to different topics, from Japanese
>anime, manga, and culture to videogames,
>music, and photography. Users do not need to
>register a username before participating in
>the community.”
(4chan: FAQ. as of Dec. 06 2011 Url: http://www.4chan.org/faq)

Most important is, that everybody is allowed to post anonymous.
Hardly any rules exist for both moderators and users.(4chan: Rules. as of Dec. 06 2011 Url: http://www.4chan.org/rules)
When it gets deleted, there are no copies or archives of the thread.
The most popular board by far is /b/, or “random”.
Here, hardly any rules, other than real-life laws (no child-porn for example), exist at all.

Since it has been titled by many as a paradise or homebase for trolls (Mattathias Schwartz: The Trolls Among Us.as of Dec.06 2011 Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html) it is important to get a basic understanding of 4chan and its culture before we
can deeply analyze trolling.
>> No. 10
4chan’s predecessors:
>> No. 11
Futaba Channel (or “2chan.org”) is a japanese imageboard not to be confused with the popular japanese textboard 2channel (2ch.net).
It’s predecessor textboard 2channel is widely popular in Japan with a worldwide Alexa-Rank of 309 and a rank of 19 in Japan.(Alexa: Site Info of 2ch.net. as of Dec.15 2011 Url: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/2ch.net) This makes the website
more popular in Japan than sites like blogspot.com or Windows Live.(Alexa: Top Sites in Japan. as of Dec.15 2011 Url: http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries;0/JP)
It consists of more than 600 active boards, which usually contain around 600 threads with a post limit of 1000 for each. The 2channel BBS has no focus on a certain topic.(2channel: General Information. Translated by Google. as of Dec.16 2011 Url: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.2ch.net%2Fguide%2F)

Altough it’s not an Imageboard like 4chan, anonymous posting is the norm on 2channel. Hiroyuki Nishimura, the creator of 2channel, shares Christopher Pooles views on anonymity by saying, that he only provides a platform on which people are free to decide what they do with it. (Lisa Katayama: Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura. as of Dec.16 2011 Url: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-06/mf_hiroyuki)
In his book “Epic Win for Anonymous” Cole Stryker explains the huge success of the site by the nature of japanese culture. Since straight talk and audacity are often interpreted as rudeness or disrespect, 2channel is a place for emotionally repressed Japanese to vent, he says. (cf. Cole Stryker: Epic Win for Anonymous. New York 2011, p.130 et seq.)
According to shii, wikipedia admin, internetaddict and channelsphere celebrity, 2chan (also called Futaba chan) was created “on August 30th 2001, as a refuge for 2channel (or 2ch) users when 2channel was in danger of getting shut down from excessive internet traffic.”Everything Shii Knows: Futaba Channel. as of Dec.16 2011 Url: http://shii.org/knows/Futaba_Channel)
Today it is not used as a refuge anymore and has developed its own culture.
The big difference in design is, that Futaba channel allows images to be posted alongside of the text, thus giving birth to todays channelsphere.
The original php-script of Futaba channel is still in use in countless modified forms. Even 4chans board-software is a modified version of the original futaba-script. (4chan: FAQ. Software. as of Dec.16.2011 Url: http://www.4chan.org/faq#software)
With an Alexa-Rank of 391 in Japan and 6421 worldwide (Alexa: Site Info of 2chan.net. as of Dec.16 2011 Url: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/2chan.net) the site itself never became overly popular in the western world because of the language barrier.
>> No. 12
While Something Awful is not a technical predecessor of 4chan, it might well be it’s
cultural ancestor. Created by Richard “Lowtax” Kyanka in 1999, at first as more of a personal
site dedicated to lowbrow humor, satirical reviews of pop culture and comments on the
dumber corners of the web, it eventually became a flourishing community with nearly 160.000
registered users in its forum (Something Awful: Forum. as of Dec.18.2011 Url: http://forums.somethingawful.com/)
and many editors that contribute to series like “The Weekend Web”.(Something Awful: The Weekend Web. As of Dec.19 2011 Url: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/weekend-web/)
While the main page became somewhat of a very special comedy site, its forums nowadays make
up over 75% of the websites hits.
(Alexa: somethingawful.com. As of 19.Dec 2011 Url: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/somethingawful.com)

One of the websites customs is image manipulation.
An example for this is a series called “Photoshop Phriday”, in which users
collectively manipulate images to a given topic every friday.(Something Awful: Photoshop Phriday. as of Dec.19 2011 Url: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/)
This culture of participation and dark humor made it a unique community and one of the most
important early meme factorys.
The forums users are known as goons.
Urban dictionary sarcasticly says this about the Something Awful Users:

>“Members of the Something Awful Forums.
>They were named this after repeated verbal attacks
>on a website caused the owner to complain to Something Awful
>owner Lowtax about him and his “goons.”

>Goons have neckbeards, no real-life social skills,
>a tendency for whining about dumb superficial crap,
>and a knack for shutting down anyone who has anything
>worth making fun of. They’re known for their sarcastic and
>elitist tendencies, though many on the internet find them hilarious.

>Usually proud members of such Forums as GBS, BYOB, FYAD, or ADTRW, goons patrol the Awful Forums
>attempting to type funny jokes while their fingers slip off the keyboard due to Cheetos grease.

>Goons spew overused catchphrases like “Do you
>have stairs in your house?” or “All your base
>are belong to us,” though they are also
>responsible for founding and popularizing
>various internet memes, web sites, and trends.

>There are many varieties of goon, depending on
>the particular forums they frequent at SA. GBS
>goons are often sarcastic and clever, while
>FYAD goons are elitist and abstract, BYOB
>goons are laid-back and random, CC goons are
>artistic and very critical, and ADTRW goons are anime-obsessed.”
(Urban Dictionary: goon. as of Dec.19 2011 Url: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=goon&defid=2580035)

The abbreviation SA in this quote is of course Something Awful, whereas GBS, BYOB, FYAD, CC and ADTRW are sections of the Something Awful Forums. While you can’t clearly point out what BYOB and FYAD stands for,
(I’ve read that FYAD stands for “Fuck You And Die” (Something Awful Forums: SAclopaedia on FYAD. as of Dec.20 2011 Url: http://forums.somethingawful.com/dictionary.php?act=3&topicid=24) but it never states something official on the site) CC means “Creative Convention” and is a forum about arts, GBS means “General Bullshit”, and ADTRW is the “Anime Death Tentacle Rape Whorehouse” which deals with anime topics.

Christopher Poole was also an active member in the Something Awful Forums, especially in the ADTRW, in whichs IRC-channel he announced his plans to start 4chan in 2003 (Jonathan’s Reference Pages: 4chan history. as of Dec.20 2011 Url: http://www.jonnydigital.com/4chan-history)
>> No. 13
4chan was launched on Oct.1 2003
(4chan News - WELCOME by moot. as of Dec.14 2011 Url: http://www.4chan.org/news?all#2)
as an unofficial sister site to 2chan.net. (Ibid.)
It’s founder, Chris Poole, better known as “moot”
was 15 years old when he started 4chan.
(Jamin Brophy-Warren: Modest Web Site Is Behind a Bevy of Memes. as of Dec.14 2011 Url: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121564928060441097.html)

Chris Poole was a big fan of the japanese site 2chan.net,
where he, not understanding japanese language,
could only look at the pictures.

Nevertheless 2chan or Futaba was popular amongst ADTRW-goons
for its focus on otaku culture. At some point, 2chan blocked non-japanese IP-Adresses from posting to the site.
Jonathan’s Reference Pages: 4chan history. as of Dec.20 2011 Url: http://www.jonnydigital.com/4chan-history)
Maybe this is what sparked the idea of opening an english version of the site.
This website would be called 4chan, because it’s
the ADTRWs IRC-channel.(Ibid.)

Christopher “moot” Poole registered the URL 4chan.net and most
of its first users were in fact the goons from Something Awfuls ADTRW and FYAD
(Encyclopaedia Dramatica - Something Awful. as of Dec.20 2011 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Something_Awful#FYAD)
bringing parts of goon culture over to 4chan.net.

This included the mentioned lowbrow humor, image manipulation
culture, early memes like image macros and the elitist community
mentality of keeping newbies out by using in-jokes and a
specific language which has to be learned, before one gets accepted.

After problems with domainowner GoDaddy in February 2004,
(Everything Shii knows: 4chan. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://shii.org/knows/4chan)
moot lost the domain 4chan.net and registered 4chan.org.
Over time, 4chan grew and today it has 53 independent boards
(not including the secret ones). However if a newspaper is
writing about 4chan, it is almost always writing about its
“random” board, /b/, which was the first board implemented
(Wikichan: The Complete History of 4chan (cached version) as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://www.peeep.us/85e62424)
and got 30% of the websites traffic according to an interview with moot from 2009.
(Rex Sorgatz: Macroanonymous Is The New Microfamous. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://fimoculous.com/archive/post-5738.cfm)
>> No. 15
4chans culture is somewhat unique on the english-speaking web.
Its most important /b/-board and its anonymous users have been
titled an internet hate machine, hackers on steroids , an ocean
of piss , a paradise for trolls (german: das Trollparadies ),
a meme factory , the asshole of the internet , niggertits and
countless other names.
(Fox11 News: Report on anonymous. as of Dec.4 2012 http://youtu.be/DNO6G4ApJQY)
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: /b/. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/B/)
(Gerald Himmelein: »Das Trollparadies«, in: ct, 6/2008, p. 98 et seq.)
(Jana Herwig: Moot on 4chan and why it works as a meme factory. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://digiom.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/moot-on-4chan-and-why-it-works-as-a-meme-factory/)
(Nick Douglas: What The Hell Are 4chan, ED, Something Awful, And “b”? as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://gawker.com/346385/what-the-hell-are-4chan-ed-something-awful-and-b)
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Niggertits. as of Dec.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/index.php?title=Niggertits&redirect=no)

It is definitely not a safe-for-work
website and you should not post there until you’ve read along
for long enough to understand the culture. Otherwise, its
critical community will just call you a “newfag”
(or “newcandy-ass” as fag is currently wordfiltered to candy-ass
as I’m writing this) or “the cancer that is killing /b/”.

However, in my opinion, this place is of high cultural value.
As /b/ is the board, that has influenced the web the most,
I will concentrate my work on this board, when I’m talking about 4chan.

Sorry /v/, /a/, /sci/, /r9k/ and all the other great boards!
>> No. 16
he sites design hasn’t changed much since it was created in 2003 and can
be somewhat confusing to someone, who is new to the place.
Unlike on other forums, everything else than the first page is mostly
irrelevant. You don’t scroll to the bottom of the boards first page and
continue to read on the second page. The board has so many users, that
you can just refresh the first page and get served with different threads.

Everyone can just create a thread or reply to one without having to
register a username. The only requirement is, that new threads have to be
accomplished by an image, since 4chan is an imageboard. On replys however
adding an image to your post is optional.

If posting under your pseudonym is important to you, it is possible to
enter a username and a password, which will then generate a so called
tripcode, identifying you when posting.

However, posting under pseudonyms rather than the default anonymous
posting will propably lead to you being called a namefag by the
community, since identity or even pseudonymity is mostly not seen as a
good thing on 4chan.
This function is often used to identify as the OP, the original poster
who started the thread.

If you leave the fields for username password and email empty, you will
post as anonymous, just as a vast majority of the users on 4chan do.
(cf. Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/papers/4chan-icwsm2011.pdf)

When you’re starting a thread, it would be a good idea to put “noko” in
your email-field. This redirects you to your newly created thread or
reply. Otherwise your thread could move away from the first page in the
time your browser needs to load it and you will often never see him again.

New threads appear on top of the first page.
Each of the 15 pages contains 15 threads, that are displayed together
with its three last responses. You have to click on reply to view the whole thread.

Every time a thread gets created or an existing thread gets an answer,
it moves to the top of the first page, moving all other threads down.
If a thread reaches the bottom of the last page, (15 at the time of
this writing) it gets automatically deleted without backups.
The average time a thread stays on the first page varies strongly by the
daytime, but generally the median time a thread spends on the first
page is just 5 seconds.(Ibid.)

This “survival of the fittest” under threads ensures, that only the best
content stays on the first page as it constantly get replys.
Nevertheless, even the best threads have to die, since all threads
have a limited number of images that may be posted or replys it can get.
When the imagelimit is reached, the users can still post text-only replys
in which they sometimes post a link to a new thread where the discussion
continues. Alternatively they can attempt to archive a very good thread
on external sites, which I will explain later when it comes to ephemerality.
>> No. 19

Most people visiting the site for the first time will not only find
the design of the site confusing. 4chan and especially /b/ are one
of the internets most creative breeding grounds for so called memes.
Memes are ideas or just in-jokes, that spread virally over the
internet (and sometimes even into real life).

The term itself is coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins
in his book “The Selfish Gene”:

>“Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes
>fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes
>propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body
>via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme
>pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the
>broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or
>reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and
>students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the
>idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from
>brain to brain. As my colleague N. K. Humphrey neatly summed up an
>earlier draft of this chapter:’... memes should be regarded as
>living structures, not just metaphorically but technically.
>When you plant a fertile meme in my mind you literally parasitize
>my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme’s propagation in
>just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a
>host cell.”
(Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene. New York 2006, p. 193)

Dawkins idea of memes, and especially the term itself leaked into popular
culture and became a meme itself. For Dawknis, knowledge about manufacturing
tools, the concept of religion or the thought of life after death were
memes(Ibid.) but in internet culture it stands for in jokes that spread
around the internet until everybody knows them and they die.

In his book “Epic Win for Anonymous”, Cole Stryker states that memes
are not pictures, videos or microcelebrities but concepts:

>“People use the word meme to describe visual content like videos or
>photos or offbeat microcelebrities, but it’s important to recognize
>that the meme is the concept. A photo or video might be just one
>execution of that concept among many. As memes evolve, they branch
>out in countless ways, shifting and merging with other mashed-up,
>mutated memes. Sometimes, in order to understand a given iteration
>of a meme, one must also be familiar with dozens of others.”
(Cole Stryker: Epic Win for Anonymous. New York 2011, p.28)

It is really important to see, that a meme is not the funny picture
your friend sends you over facebook, but the idea behind it.
This way, memes get remixed and mashed-up with other memes all
the time and the thought evolves from mind to mind like a biological gene.

Cole Stryker also describes the stages in the life of a meme. (Ibid. p. 205 et seq.)
Tough he also points out that they don’t work for every meme, they are still
a nice model and that’s why I summed it up here.

Some kind of content is created and uploaded to the internet.

At some point that may be years later, someone will discover the
content and posts the content, for example, to 4chan with a comment like “WTF”.
If it is succesful, the thread explodes and mashups will be made.
Eventually the meme will jump to other threads.

At some time, the memewave jumps over to one of the content aggregators.
Reddit for example. If it is good, it will be upvoted by the community
and eventually appears on the front page, where many see it.

Word of Mouth
Once it has been on the front page of a content aggregator, people
will start tweeting and blogging about it or posting in on facebook.
That is also the point where sites like 9gag start using the meme.

Blog Pickup
If a meme seems to be established, sites like knowyourmeme will
research the phenomenon. A race over the most valuable background
informations starts to cover as much of the story as possible
before the meme explodes into mainstream. This is also the point
where the icanhascheezburger-network propably dedicates a blog to it.

Mainstream Exposure
When a certain level of virality is reached, mainstream media will start
to report on it. This is the point when memetic microcelebrities
start to get interviewed. Since memes are some kind of in-jokes,
they will soon loose their appeal as everyone knows them.

At this point, microcelebrities from memes get hired for tv-commercials.
Advertisers jump on the meme to promote products.

The meme is over, as every bit of fascination is drained by inimaginative
rehashes and abundand mainstream coverage.

One exception is, for example, http://www.zombo.com/.
It is a single serving site with a repetitive flash animation,
welcoming you to zombo.com. The site has been created by Josh Levine in 1999
and has never exploded into the mainstream. It has never died, yet never
took off to be so famous that everybody knows it.
(Whois: zombo.com. as of Jan.5 2012 Url: http://who.is/whois/zombo.com/)
>> No. 20
File 13275140529.jpg - (73.19KB , 598x477 , Duckroll[1].jpg )
An example where the rules applied is rickrolling.
Rickrolling is, when you get a link to seemingly very interesting
content (“Dude check out the new trailer for gta4”) sent to you by a
friend. But when you click it, it doesn’t lead you to the promised
trailer, but to the music video of Rick Astleys 1987 hit song “Never
Gonna Give You Up”.

One of the earliest known “Never Gonna Give You Up” videos was
uploaded to YouTube on May 15th, 2007.

Meanwhile on 4chan, duckrolling was a meme. Duckrolling originated
from a wordfilter on 4chans /v/ (videogames) board. The word “Egg”
was changed to “Duck”. Someday someone posted the word “Eggroll” and
got it wordfiltered to “Duckroll”. Soon another member of the board
created an image with a duck on wheels.

fig. 1: Duckroll

It then continued as some kind of bait-and-switch game, where one would post
a promising link to an external site which then didn’t lead to the
promised content but to an image of a duck on rolls.
This was called duckrolling. It really went to the next level, as
someone started linking to Rick Astleys music video on youtube
instead of the duck image.
Soon, people started rickrolling their friends over twitter,
facebook, email and of course over ICQ, MSN and various other messengers.

As 4chan declared war on scientology, they used the song on their
demos to rickroll their enemies.
(Sean Michaels: Taking the Rick. as of Jan.5 2012 Url: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/mar/19/news)
This was about the time when it
spread into the mainstream. Newspapers reported on the phenomenon and
on April Fools’ Day 2008, youtube linked every featured video on the
front page to a rickroll.
(Michael Arrington: YouTube RickRolls Users. as of Jan.7 2012 Url: http://techcrunch.com/2008/03/31/youtube-rickrolls-users/)
Later that year, anonymous even manipulated the MTV Video Music
Awards, so that Rick Astley won the price for “Best Act Ever”.
(Matthew Moore: Rick Astley named Best Act Ever. as of Jan.5 2012 Url: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/3395589/Rickrolling-Rick-Astley-named-Best-Act-Ever-at-the-MTV-Europe-Music-Awards.html)

By this point the meme could be considered dead in its present form.
Various other variations followed, like Trololo(Eduard Khils
interpretation of “I Am Glad, Cause I’m Finally Returning Back
Home”), the BarackRoll, the Macroll, the Kiproll, the Batroll
and many more.
(Youtube: Mr. Trololo original upload. as of Jan.7 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/oavMtUWDBTM)
(Youtube: BarackRoll. as of Jan.7 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/wzSVOcgKq04)
(Youtube: John McCain Gets Rick Rolled by Obama. as of Jan.7 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/HioPyCID6RI?t=28s)
(Youtube: McRoll’d. as of Jan7. 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/Ssh71hePR8Q)
(Youtube: Mudkip: The Insane Edition. as of Jan.7 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/MKzqP4-0Z6M)
(Youtube: Batroll’d. as of Jan.7 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/XCspzg9-bAg)

The meme itself was not the video of Rick Astleys
“Never gonna give you up”, it was the idea to trick people into
watching it. Like this, it was easy to evolve the meme by replacing
Astleys video with others.
However, none of these videos was as successful as the original rickroll.
>> No. 21
File 132751483750.png - (52.85KB , 1181x886 , anonymity.png )
Over 90% of 4chans users choose to post as anonymous.
Anonymity and Pseudonymity were a standard in early web, which
is dispersing now, as companies like Google and Facebook live
from the personal data of its users. This changed the web.
Therefore I want to introduce you to two kinds of anonymity.
Vertical and Horizontal anonymity.

fig. 2: vertical and horizontal anonymity

Facebook allows its users to change privacy options so, that only
close friends or nobody at all can see ones status updates. This
is often the kind of privacy people find important. I call it
horizontal anonymity, since it is anonymity between users. The
other kind of anonymity is more important, altough not many people
recognize it as this. I call it vertical anonymity, because it is
between the users and the system.

Altough facebook, for example, lets its users set up a wide
variety of privacy settings, they only affect horizontal and not
vertical anonymity.
If you set your privacy settings so strict, that nobody else
than you can read your status updates, facebook still knows of
them and there is no way to prevent facebook from knowing it.
4chan doesn’t only offer horizontal, but also a lot of vertical anonymity.
The admins of the site will give an ip-adress to the legal
authorities if, for example, someone posts child porn.
However the site feels horizontal and vertical anonymous because
even the admins of the site don’t know more about you, than your ip-adress.
With your identity unassociated from your real-life person, you
are completely free to experiment online.
Sherry Turkle points out, that anonymity provides ample room for
individuals to express unexplored parts of themselves.
(Sherry Turkle: Life on the screen. New York 1997, p.185)

Another good thing about anonymity is, that hierarchys can’t
establish. Since there are no signs of status or prestige in an
anonymous posting, posts themselves will be judged by their
content and not by whom it was written.

In my opinion, both vertical and horizontal anonymity are needed
for culture as 4chans random board /b/. Other than that,
ephemerality is important.
>> No. 22
File 132751505449.png - (26.87KB , 1417x1417 , anonymitycredibility.png )
In real life, the human brain protects us from neverending embarassment.
If we do something really stupid, we might find ourselfes target for the
others laughter. Even if what we did was horribly stupid, people will
eventually forget after enough time has passed (that is, of course, unless
your failure is so epic, that it will go down in written human history).

The Internet is different. By default, everything stored is availible
forever, until the data gets deleted or lost during a hard drive crash or some other rather unusual things happen.
Facebook, for example, doesn’t take this into account.
With the new timeline feature, that was introduced as I am writing this, a
persons complete history is displayed for people to look after every
single thing one did on facebook. It even encourages you to share
real-life events in a curriculum vitae style, so that it is not only a
browsable résumé about everything you did on facebook, but about your whole life.
This, and the fact, that facebooks creator Mark Zuckerberg thinks, that
multiple identities are a sign for a lack of integrity
(David Kirkpatrick: the facebook effect. New York 2010, p.199) adds up to a
strange uncanny feeling when posting on websites like facebook.

Popular Websites have different feels of ephemerality and anonymity with
facebook as one extreme and 4chan as the other. Before I’ll figure out the
role of ephemerality on 4chan, I’d like to discuss this issue by means of
different online services.

fig. 3: different communities approach to anonymity and ephemerality
>> No. 23
We already discussed facebook’s approach on ephemerality and anonymity.
Google’s own social network Google+ doesn’t differ much from that.
Both companies live from the personal data of its users. Therefore,
it is mandatory to use his real name, rather than a pseudonym or
even posting anonymous. While technically pseudonymity is possible
on those networks, both punish it with account deletion. This is
because they have an interest in building a big database with
reliable information on which they can deliver custom
advertisements. Google has, in addition, an immense database of its
users. But since the most google services allow for pseudonymity,
they can’t connect the collected data to real-life identities.
(Harry Mccracken: Google+’s Real-Name Policy. as of Jan.1 2012 Url: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2094409,00.html)
That is why you register Google+ with your existing Google-Account.
Regarding ephemerality, they slightly differ. While Facebook sets
new standards against it with its timeline feature, Google+ doesn’t
offer old posts on the silver plate. Nevertheless, it allows users
to browse old content simply by scrolling down on the wall.
The good thing about this is, that people usually think before posting.
Everything you post on Facebook is propably visible to your
friends, parents, coworkers, grandparents, students and there might
be a chance, that your own children will see it in 15 years. By
these decisions, your actions are closely linked to your person.
>> No. 24
While also a social network, it doesn’t force real-life identities.
Everyone is free to choose a pseudonym and a picture of an unicorn as their
profile picture. The effect of this is a whole other culture with
myspace-style glittergraphics, people that own multiple profiles for
different purposes (as a musician, to find like minded people for taboo-
topics or just for meeting new people).
(Myspace: BDSM Iran. as of Jan.1 2012 Url: http://www.myspace.com/bdsm-iran)
It’s more who you want to be, than who you are.
>> No. 25
While the site doesn’t ask for real-life identities, it is not really anonymous. Pseudonymity is common here. By this, it is possible to connect and build a reputation
while not being forced to connect that reputation to your person.
The fast paced action and complex connections of replys, who can become difficult to
read when looked at later, give the page an ephemeral feel, altough it is saving old
tweets. This all leads to a culture, where on the one side businesses and experts of all
kind do marketing for themselves under their real-names, while on the other side people
use it to chat under pseudonyms or to distribute news.
>> No. 26
This service puts a strong focus on building a reputation under your pseudonym. Posting there is not anonymous, since your posts are connected to your
pseudonym, but real life identities are not common. To ensure high quality
content despite the abandonment of real identities, the site uses a karma-
feature. Posts and comments on the community can and will be up- or downvoted.
Only the best storys and comments will be displayed on top of the page. Users
are encouraged to think about what they do, as everything is judged by the other
users and posts are saved, visible for everybody on ones profile page.
>> No. 27
The median thread at 4chans /b/ has a lifespan of 3.9 minutes before it gets deleted.
(cf. Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/papers/4chan-icwsm2011.pdf)
Some unpopular threads may even reach the bottom of page 15 and get deleted in 28
seconds.(Ibid.) In a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the
University of Southampton they found out, that over the whole evaluation period, the
longest living thread existed for 6.2 hours.(Ibid.) Other boards than /b/ may not be that
fast-paced, but still, everything will get deleted sooner or later.

4chans users have basically found two ways to cope with this ephemerality.
The first way is to vote the thread into an online-archive like http://chanarchive.org.
Everybody can propose threads to archive, and when a certain number of archieval request
for one thread is reached, it will be mirrored and availible on the archive.

The other way of overcoming the ephemerality is to save the best images on your hard-drive.
(chanarchive.org: You’re on trial for murder. The 12th picture in your /b/ folder is the prosecution’s main evidence against you. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/22863)
(chanarchive.org: The strange world of /b/: Comment. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/3041#73804526)
(cf. Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/papers/4chan-icwsm2011.pdf)

Many users have /b/ folders on their computers, in which the best content
gets saved in form of images, texts or screenshots of epic threads. In days where online
archives weren’t so common and the chanculture didn’t leak into the mainstream or got
documented by encyclopaedia dramatica and know your meme, keeping a local /b/ folder was
quite important for users and still can be a kind of a status symbol.

Another interesting thing is, that 4chan gives its users the tools to affect this
ephemerality. Every thread has an image- and a postlimit. When this limit is reached, the
thread will sooner or later die, as it gets displaced by other threads. Every time you
comment on a thread, it goes to the top of page 1 and from there travels downwards as
other threads are created or receive replys. A technique for keeping threads alive is
called “bumping”. Here, a user will comment an interesting thread without adding real
content to the discussion, just to bump it back to the first page, usually with the word “bump”.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Bump. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Bump)

On the other hand, writing “sage” into the email field will push the thread one post
towards the post-limit without bumping it to the first page. This is commonly used to
display discontent with a thread. Sage is derived from the japanese word sageru, which
means “to lower”.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Sage. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Sage)
>> No. 28
The research paper of scholars of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and
University of Southampton also pointed out, that ephemerality is in fact a motivator
to create content.

>“One may think users would see no point to contributing if their actions will be
>removed within minutes. However, if /b/ users want to keep a thread from expiring
>within minutes, they need to keep conversation active. This ‘bump’ practice, combined
>with a norm of quick replies, may encourage community members to contribute content.
>This hypothesis was derived from our observations, and will need to be tested more rigorously.”
(Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/papers/4chan-icwsm2011.pdf)
>> No. 31
File 132751950117.jpg - (34.20KB , 682x400 , Oldfags2.jpg )
Usually, the good thing about anonymous posting is, that content will be
judged by itself and not by the reputation of the author. Therefore everyone
could contribute freely to a conversation without facing personal prejudice.
There should be no hierarchys. Somehow, 4chans users have managed to establish
mechanisms to display status and credibility.

Newbies, or newfags in chanspeak, are said to be “the cancer that is killing /b/”.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: The cancer that is killing /b/. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Newfag)

This elitary society has developed a very complex language and codex,
peppered with in-jokes and memes. Failure to conform to this codex leads to
disrespect or even hate from the community.

To make successful posts on 4chan, you first have to lurk the forum for up to
several years to learn this language, the memes and be able to follow the code
of conduct. Not many actually do this, and that’s why the oldfags (the
opposite of newbies in chanspeak) don’t like it when the site is getting media
coverage. They’d like to keep the environment as hostile to newbies as
possible to enforce their own status, or as encyclopedia dramatica puts it:

>“In the end though ‘The cancer that is killing /b/’ is just another way for
>oldfags to exert themselves above others with a false sense of superiority.
>As if being part of /b/ longer makes you any more or less of a dickhead than
>anyone else. When your only form of social interaction is an image board,
>it’s not surprising that you might create your own ridiculous and irrelevant
>social hierarchy in order to boost your own sense of self-importance, and
>then claim that others are ruining it to further solidify your non-existent status.”
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: The cancer that is killing /b/. Bottom Line. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Oldfags#Bottom_Line)

Oldfags are also sometimes seen as the cancer that is killing /b/ for their
You could think of them as Statler and Waldorf from the muppets.

fig. 4: Statler and Waldorf
>> No. 32
File 132752066323.jpg - (70.43KB , 484x291 , chocolate mil2.jpg )
One example of this culture is, that not liking chocolate milk can get you banned:
>> No. 33
File 132752075289.jpg - (40.12KB , 584x412 , TW8UJ[1].jpg )
>> No. 37
File 132752160034.png - (11.25KB , 210x182 , 210px-Triforce_svg.png )
Another technique to demask newfags is, or was, triforcing.
The triforce is a symbol from the popular video game series “The Legend of Zelda”
(Wikipedia: Universe of The Legend of Zelda. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe_of_The_Legend_of_Zelda#Triforce)

It should look like this:

fig. 7: triforce

Members of 4chan have rebuilt this triforce with a series of unicode
commands. If it is done right, it comes out like this:

▲ ▲

This is commonly accompanied by the prompt “newfags can’t triforce”.
Regular space-characters will be removed automatically, which is why a
copypasted Triforce, altough it looks correct in the comment field, after
being submitted looks like this:

▲ ▲

Triforcing can be seen as an index, a signal whose presentation is
only possible by someone with particular skill or knowledge.
(Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/papers/4chan-icwsm2011.pdf)

However, as this sort of failure became a meme itself, not only newfags
falling for the bait produce incorrect triforces.
(chanarchive.org: Triforce. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/14519/triforce)
This is just an example of a way to expose newbies. Other forms include
>“newfags can’t greentext”,
“newfags can’t blank post” or “newfags can’t uʍop ǝpısdn ǝdʎʇ”
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Triforce. as of Jan.4 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Triforce)
>> No. 38
File 132752363349.jpg - (175.27KB , 1000x751 , 1316644640901kl.jpg )
Then, there is yet another technique to overcome the limitations of anonymity.
Timestamping. This is used to get credibility on posts. Think of a guy bragging about his drug
collection on 4chan. He could upload a photo of it, but then nobody would think
the photo is legit. After all it is really easy to pull images of google.
To prove the images authenticity, the original poster has to write the date and a reference to the site
it is posted on (e.g. “sup /b/”) on a piece of paper which will be placed in front on the thing he wants to show.
(chanarchive.org: Doing balancing tricks with my dog. as of Dec.4 2012 Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/21610/)

Another technique is writing the time and date with a reference on ones body. This is mainly
common for so called “camwhores”, people who post (often pornographic) pictures of themselves on the internet.

fig. 8 & 9: timestamps. Source: 4chan
>> No. 39
File 132752367320.jpg - (59.11KB , 500x352 , 4551035232_179100a821.jpg )
>> No. 40
If you are interestet in 4chan and anonymous or the actions of the hacktivist group Anonymous,
I strongly recommend you to read the book “Epic Win for Anonymous” by Cole Stryker. The only
thing I have to criticise is, that he uses to talk about bored teenagers when he talks about
4chans users. While for some, or even most this may be true, there is no proof for such a
claim and I am pretty sure, that all kinds of people browse 4chan. Maybe sometimes they just
act a bit like bored teenagers as an effect of the Internet Inhibition Effect (I’ll talk about
that in the next chapter).
Here is a link to the books page on amazon (sponsored):

Furthermore, I recommend you to read the research paper by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and University of Southampton with the title
“4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community”. It’s
availible online for free at:

>> No. 41
>> No. 42
As I did research, I came across various definitions of trolling, but I
felt, that most of them are inaccurate. The definition cited on
wikipedia is from 1999.
Judith Donath has written a good essay about it called “Identity and
Deception” These are two parts, where she describes trolling, the first
part is however a quote she uses, which is initially written by a user
of the usenet-group soc.couples.wedding in 1995.

>“Are you familiar with fishing? Trolling is where you set your fishing
>lines in the water and then slowly go back and forth dragging the bait
>and hoping for a bite. Trolling on the Net is the same concept - someone
>baits a post and then waits for the bite on the line and then enjoys the
>ensuing fight.”
(Judith Donath: »Identity and Deception«, in: Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (ed..): Communities in Cyberspace. London 1999, p. 45)

>“Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played
>without the consent of most players. The troll attempts to pass as a
>legitimate participant, sharing the group’s common interests and
>concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and
>other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from
>trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending
>poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well
>they – and the troll – understand identity cues; their success at the
>latter depends on whether the troll’s enjoyment is sufficiently
>diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group. Trolls can
>be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a
>newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in
>the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become
>sensitized to trolling – where the rate of deception is high – many
>honestly naïve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can
>be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting
>is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation
>is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one’s online reputation.”

In my opinion, this is more a description than a definition, because it
focuses too much on the usenet environment. It would also propably
include fraud, which is not trolling.

Cole Stryker has his own definition for trolling:

>“Trolling is the act of agitating or fooling people for fun under false pretenses.”
(Cole Stryker: Epic Win for Anonymous. New York 2011, p.94)

This definition is short and elegant, works most of the time, but is
not flawless. Think of a guy trolling a vegan forum, by saying that
eating meat is awesome and he really likes it. Strong reactions are
likely to happen, but this didn’t happen under false pretenses, if the
guy really likes meat.

Another example, where this definition would not fit is Operation Slickpubes.
(Youtube: Anonymous member covered in pubes runs into scientology building. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrZk0C91mfg)

A guy covered himself in petroleum jelly and pubic hair and ran into a
Scientology building, smearing as much of the petroleum jelly and pubes
on church property as possible. Since he was covered in vaseline, the
security staff couldn’t grab him, so he managed to escape. The whole
action was filmed and put on youtube, with “The Ballad of Agent Pubeit”
sung to the pictures. Altough, this was also politically motivated as a
part of Project Chanology, the comedic part in it is so strong, that it
classifies as trolling. Classifying Project Chanology as trolling is
also in accord with Julian Dibbells Article “The Assclown Offensive”.
(Julian Dibbell: The Assclown Offensive: How to Enrage the Church of Scientology. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/17-10/mf_chanology)

However, altough I can’t look into Agent Pubeits head,
I can hardly imagine him just pretending his disapproval for
Scientology. This case was especially important, because he propably
didn’t do it for his own amusement only, but for the amusement of a
whole community, who watched it on YouTube, while he got arrested.
(NY Daily News: Greasy vandal in hate crime vs. Scientology. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/greasy-vandal-hate-crime-scientology-article-1.423223)
>> No. 43
I discussed these definitions with the users of the Something Awful Debate & Discussion Forum
and got great input that really helped me, so I will try to put up my own definition for trolling here:
>> No. 44
Trolling is the act of disrupting people for personal amusement or the amusement of many.
>> No. 45
File 132752590820.jpg - (77.36KB , 800x407 , 215499488_8pSZr-L-2[1].jpg )
I’d also like to explain a term, I will use from time to time in this text:


The term “lulz” originated on Encyclopedia Dramatica and became a standard
term in chan-culture. It is a corruption of the internet acronym “lol” which
means laughing out loud. However, lulz is not synonym with lol. A more
suitable synonym would be entertainment, sometimes at the expense of someone
else. Lulz is therefore near to the concept of schadenfreude.

An example for lulz would be Nelson from the Simpsons, when he is pointing at
someone, yelling his famous line “Ha Ha”.

Another, more comedic, explanation of Trolling is “John Gabriels Greater
Internet Fuckwad Theory” (GIFT) by Penny Arcade authors Mike Krahulik and
Jerry Holkins, published in march of 2004.
(Penny Arcade: John Gabriels Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/)

fig. 10: John Gabriels Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory

Penny Arcade is a webcomic focused on video games and video game culture,
written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik.

The theory is based on the assumption, that a normal person being able to act
anonymous while having an audience will likely act like a total fuckwad.

In an Article about rude comments on YouTube, published on advocate.com,
Clay Shirky is cited saying:

>“‘It’s called John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory,’ says Clay
>Shirky, a journalist and New York University adjunct professor who studies the
>social and economic effects of Internet technologies. The theory is based on
>this simple equation: Normal Person + Audience + Anonymity = Fuckwad.

>‘There’s a large crowd,’ says Shirky, ‘and you can act out in front of it
>without paying any personal price to your reputation,’ which creates
>conditions most likely to draw out the typical Internet user’s worst
(Will Doig: Homophobosphere. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://www.advocate.com/article.aspx?id=22197)

In June 2004, an essay of John Suler got published in CyberPsychology &
Behavior entitled “The Online Disinhibition Effect”,
where he figured out different core concepts, that influence behaviour on the internet.
(John Suler: »The Online Disinhibition Effect«, in: CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 7, No. 3 (June 2004), pp321-326)

Since psychology is not my primary field of research, I will only mention
those concepts without elaborating them too far.
>> No. 47
The core concept of the online disinhibition effect relies on a loosening of social
restrictions and inhibitions that would otherwise be present in normal face-to-face
interaction during interactions with others on the Internet.
(cf. Wikipedia: Online disinhibition effect. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect)

This leads to positive and negative effects, or benign and toxic disinhibition.
The factors that lead to disinhibition are:

Dissociative anonymity:
Anonymity disconnects the doings from the identity.

This one overlaps with anonymity, in that it removes identity cues.One can’t be
physically seen on the Internet, therefore, the need to concern oneself with
appearance and tone of voice is dramatically lowered and sometimes absent.

Because of the asynchronous conversations on the Internet, it’s easier to just throw
out an opinion and leave (and sometimes never come back). In this way the poster can
achieve catharsis by “voicing” his feelings, even if the audience is invisible.

Solipsistic Introjection:
Without visual face-to-face cues, the human mind will assign characteristics and
traits to an online interlocutor, according to our own desires, needs and wishes.
Those traits differ from what the interlocutor actually has in person. The user constructs
a made up persona for his interlocutor in a role playing style to reinforce the “reality”
of the person he is communicating with.

Dissociative Imagination:
People may see online interactions as a kind of game in which they just log off
whenever they whish. Thus they are able to dissociate their online persona from the
offline reality.

Minimizing Authority:
A lack of identity cues often leads to a lack of hierarchy or social position.
Authority, that would prevent someone from saying something offline, may be abscent online.

These six factors add up to the online disinhibition effect, which can lead to
benign and toxic results. In the context of this writing it is an interesting
theory for antisocial behavior on the internet.

Another interesting point of view, when discussing trolling, are the theories of
Carl Gustav Jung.

In Jungian theory, every human has a persona and a shadow.
The persona is how we present ourselfes to the outside world, how we would like to
be perceived. The shadow-archetype stands for dark subconscious desires, that are
also part of our character, but which we don’t like to display to the outside world.
(Wikipedia: Shadow (psychology). as of Jan.9 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_%28psychology%29)

Confronting yourself with your shadow-archetype is helpful and the key to
self-actualisation. Not confronting the shadow-archetype results in projection. The
act of projecting your darkest subconscious desires into another person is not
really good for a peaceful society. For example, one could imagine a woman who feels sexually
harassed by a coworker, who is in fact not doing anything at all. Still the woman
fells harassed. The Jungian answer to that paradox would be, that the woman itself
has a subconscious sexual desire for the coworker hidden in the shadow-archetype.
Since she doesn’t confront it, she projects this desire into her coworker and feels
like he is the one desiring her. Maybe, the anonymity of the internet brings out the

This This could mean, that trolling is a way of confronting yourself with the
shadow-archetype to achieve self-actualisation. Viewed like this, trolling can be a
gain of some point to our society.

Jung also believed, that the shadow is the seat of creativity.
(Carolyn Kaufman: The Dark and Light Sides of the Shadow. as of Jan.9 2012 Url: http://archetypewriting.com/articles/articles_ck/archetypes2_shadow.htm)
This would explain, why 4chan is such an enourmous meme-machine.

However, since I’m not a psychologist I will refrain from going deeper into this materia.

Nevertheless, I’d be really glad to see interdisciplinary research on this topic happen.
>> No. 48
It is hard to find out, when and where exactly trolling was mentioned first in this
context. Searching the Usenet for the first appearance is further hindered by the
fact, that (unrelated) troll dolls were popular at the time, where the word trolling
is thought to be mentioned first.
(Wikipedia: Troll Doll. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_doll)
As Mattathias Schwartz says, it propably happened in the late 1980s.
(Mattathias Schwartz: The Trolls Among Us. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html)
Previous to appearing on the Internet, it appeared as a military term in “trolling for
MiGs” where it meant pulling enemy MiG and SAM fire away from dive bombers by sending
fighter jets into hostile airspace.
(John Saar: »Air Carrier War«, in: LIFE, 4. Febr. 1972, p.28 Url: http://books.google.com/books?id=EkAEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA28)

The quote from an 1995 Usenet group, that Judith Donath gives, suggests that it
derived from the fishing term “trolling”.
For trolling as a fishing technique, wikipedia gives this definition:

>“Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or
>bait fish, are drawn through the water. This may be behind a moving boat, or by slowly
>winding the line in when fishing from a static position, or even sweeping the line
>from side-to-side, e.g. when fishing from a jetty.”
(Wikipedia: Trolling (fishing). as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolling_%28fishing%29)

Another use for the word trolling from the pre-internet era is in gay slang.

>“troll v. wander about looking for sex.”
(Ken Cage: Gayle. a history and dictionary of gay language in south africa. Houghton 2003, p.100 Url: http://books.google.com/books?id=WSn7026sq_cC&pg=PA100&dq=gay+troll&sex&sig=lZCrvPfm9hktgJ5XzoovSU6Z_3w)

The noun “Troll” comes from Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore, where it
describes a supernatural creature that dwells in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves,
lives together in small family units, and is rarely helpful to human beings.
(Wikipedia: Trolls. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll)

In Norwegian fairy-tale “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, a greedy troll is waiting under a
bridge for his victims.
(Wikipedia: Three Billy Goats Gruff”. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Billy_Goats_Gruff)
The earliest mention of the word Troll that is associated with Internet Trolling I’ve
seen was on alt.flame by a user called Troll.

>“Just some credentials: I am called Troll. I didn’t get the name because
>I’m a fun guy. I am the the champion of channel +insult on irc and I
>have thrice defended the title before the channel went down, so I can flame with the
>best. Flame away if you like, but ‘I’m gonna deal it back to
>you in spades. ‘Cause when I’m havin’ fun ya know I can’t conceal it. Because I
>know you’d never cut it in my game.’ -Guns N’ Roses”
(alt.flame: Hi boyz and girlz. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.flame/browse_thread/thread/2ae03150685f403a/472da61199f426b1)

That quote dates back to Mid 1992 and gives no clue, where his name comes from. However the fact that he is using it as a noun could induce, that he indeed linked it
to the mythological creature.

In a discussion from September 1993 on alt.urban.folklore however, it is clearly
linked to the fishing term and used as a noun. Phil Gustavson wrote this:

>“I agree that it’s unproductive and rude to jump on naive new posters
>and gloat about it, especially when there are so many deserving veterans

>Trolling can be fun, if it’s reasonably subtle. Honest trolls usually
>even have a more or less concealed message saying “This is a Troll” to
>the imaginative reader. But asking a question straight out and abusing
>anyone kind enough to post a straight answer just makes the group look
>cliquish and inbred.
>Fishing allowed, but artificial flies with barbless hooks only.”
(alt.urban.folklore: Death to Trolling. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.folklore.urban/browse_thread/thread/cd29352f5cb19116/16e2d7b5e327a44b?#16e2d7b5e327a44b)

The next poster, Richard Joltes, dates the first appearance back to somewhen in 1992:

>“I can’t recall exactly when trolling became popular on AFU (I
>think it was about 1 - 1.5 years ago) but at that point it was largely a
>response to the huge number of totally clueless folks who’d never read the FAQ or
>lurked on the group, but just jumped in and started babbling, thus making the signal-
>to-noise ratio even worse than usual...if that’s possible. These days it’s really
>getting out of hand, and I’m just as guilty as anyone else of indulging on occasion.”

The already mentioned quote from Judith Donaths text dates back to 1995 and even explained it with the fishining analogy:

>“Are you familiar with fishing? Trolling is where you set your fishing lines in the
>water and then slowly go back and forth dragging the bait and hoping for a bite.
>Trolling on the Net is the same concept - someone baits a post and then waits for the
>bite on the line and then enjoys the ensuing fight.”
(Judith Donath: »Identity and Deception«, in: Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (ed.): Communities in Cyberspace. London 1999, p. 45)

My guess is, that both the norse supernatural creature and the fishing technique have
influenced the word. While it could have been “fishing for newbies”, Trolls were soon
imagined as ugly angry people and so the analogy to the Nordic creature grew common.
>> No. 49
File 132753232089.jpg - (112.21KB , 606x539 , trollascii.jpg )
Apart from that, the prase “Do not feed the trolls!” became a common on the internet. Sadly it is again difficult to pinpoint the first appearance. Here are some ASCII-Graphics, that could be found in usenet groups:

fig 11: ASCII Graphics of Trolls from the collection of Janne Nikula
>> No. 50
File 132753237521.jpg - (109.62KB , 302x450 , troll-doll.jpg )
The Troll in the second graphic also has some resemblance with the troll dolls that were popular at that time:

fig 12: Troll Doll

As a conclusion to this chapter I would say, that the verb “to troll” originates from the fishing
technique, whereas the noun “Troll” originates from the norse supernatural creature. Both seem to have
developed simultaneously and the words “Troll” and “trolling” became a meme. Today, people understand the
word without the analogy to either the creature or the fishing term.
>> No. 51
Altough the term “trolling” was coined in the late 1980s there were of course trolls before the internet. Here are some examples:
>> No. 52
The ancient Greek forum was a place were people came together and discussed. Therefore it is an ancient equivalent of todays internet-forums.
Since trolls are common these days, it is most likely, that there were trolls of
some sort back in ancient Greece. One of them was so good, that his name is well
known until today: Socrates.

Being one of the grandfathers of modern philosophy, he used an interesting
technique to create wisdom.
When people had discussions, he joined in and pretended to be in the role of the
student knowing nothing. This lead to his interlocutor taking the role of the
teacher. This teacher would then talk about his insights and what he knows. As
time passes, Socrates started asking questions, slowly showing, that all the time
he was the teacher. By his question, he proved his interlocutor wrong, and made
them think about what they really know.
(Peter Kunzmann et al.: dtv-Atlas Philosophie. Munich 2009, p.37)

The saying “I know one thing, that I know nothing” is commonly attributed to him,
altough it is misinterpreted and its original meaning is more in the direction of

>“This man, on one hand, believes that he knows something, while not knowing
>[anything]. On the other hand, I – equally ignorant – do not believe [that I know anything].”
(Wikipedia: I know that I know nothing. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_that_I_know_nothing)

Furthermore he said:

>“So now I do not know what virtue is; perhaps you knew before you contacted me,
>but now you are certainly like one who does not know.”

Socrates was not claiming, that he knew nothing. The saying described his
technique of proving other people wrong without teaching them better.

At the end of the discussion, the outcome mostly was that someone who thought to
know something, just got teached by Socrates that he was wrong and now had to
rethink everythink. This was called Elenctic Method.
(»Elenktik«, article in: Peter Prechtl and Franz-Peter Burkard (ed.): Metzler Lexikon Philosophie. Begriffe und Definitionen. Stuttgart 2008, p.131)
Socrates primary goal was to make people think about what they think to know.
Everything should be questioned.
(Wikipedia: Socratic Method. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method)
Since it is hard to say if he also did it for
his own amusement, classifying him as a troll according to the definition above is risky.

Still Sokrates is worth to be mentioned, as he is seen as the first troll
by many.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Socrates. as of Jan.8 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Socrates)
>> No. 53
Diogenes of Sinope was a Cynic Philosopher. The school of thought of the cynics criticised the
values and goals of society and religion. They criticised these issues with a provoking livestyle.
Their goal in life was happiness through inner independence and autarky. Three main things stood in
the way of achieving this luck. Angst, nescience and desire for goods.
According to the Cynics beliefs, the way of achieving inner freedom lied in frugality, bodily and
mental asceticism.
(»Kyniker«, article in: Peter Prechtl and Franz-Peter Burkard (ed.): Metzler Lexikon Philosophie. Begriffe und Definitionen. Stuttgart 2008, p.131)

In the case of Diogenes of Sinope, the consequences were pretty impressive.
He was banned from the city of Sinope, after he defaced currency.
After that, he came to live in a barrel in Athens to challenge established customs and values. It is
said, that he posessed no clothes.
He smashed his wooden bowl, one of the few things he posessed, as he saw a boy drinking from his
bare hands.

When Plato gave Socrates’ definition of man as “featherless bipeds”,
Diogenes plucked a chicken and brought it into Platos academy, saying:
“Behold! I’ve brought you a man.”
He also strolled along the marketplace with a lit lamp at daytime, saying he is looking for an
honest man.
His most important anecdote is however the encounter with Alexander the Great. He wanted to meet the
great philosopher and asked Diogenes, if there is any favor he could do for him. Diogenes replied:
“Yes, stand out of my sunlight” after which Alexander declared, “If I were not Alexander,
then I should wish to be Diogenes.”
Plato described Diogenes as “a Socrates gone mad.”

Diogenes was also known for masturbating in public, eating at the marketplace, which was considered
rude at the time, urinating on people who
insulted him, pointing at people with his middle finger and defecating at the theatre.
(Wikipedia: Diogenes of Sinope. as of Jan.8 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope)

This would qualify him for an excellent troll, if he didn’t do it to teach society about values. It
is really hard to say, if his personal amusement played a role in his doings. On the other hand, I
believe it to be quite possible, that he had a lot of fun when he was urinating on critics.
His goals were inner freedom as the key to happiness. If his doings were to pursue that ideal, that
implicates he really did it for teh lulz (for his enjoyment).
This would qualify him as one of the first documented trolls.
>> No. 54
File 132753306714.png - (866.83KB , 1024x708 , 1262355338650.png )
Trolling Second Life isn’t a very hard thing to do, but few managed to be so
famous as Ralph Pootawn is.

What is Second Life? I’ll just take the explanation of
http://www.ralphplsgo.com, the site dedicated to document Ralph Pootawns doings:

>“The ‘game’ Second Life is a virtual world made by Linden Lab that launched
>on June 23, 2003 and is accessible with an Internet connection.

>A free client program called the Second Life Viewer enables its users, called
>Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can
>explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group
>activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one
>another, or travel throughout the world (which residents refer to as ‘the
>grid’). Second Life is for people and trolls aged 18 and over.”
(ralphplsgo.com: What is Second Life?.as of Jan.11 2012Url: http://www.ralphplsgo.com/second-life-ralph-pootawn.htm)

Ralph Pootawn is a green, trollish (the norse mythology kind) looking guy
with a beer can in its hand and a pipe in his mouth, who is systematically
breaking the communities unwritten rules. Entering someones virtual houses is
considered to be rude, like in “First Life”. In the picture that started his
fame, Ralph was standing right next to a couple engaging in virtual
intercourse, watching. As the man said “ralph pls go” he simply answered
“no”. This became a meme on 4chan, and altough there were many more actions,
this recurring pattern, where he invades someones privacy and after being
asked to leave just says no, became his signature move.

fig. 13: Ralph Pootawn: The picture that started it
(chanarchive.org: Picture from original thread on /v/. as of Jan.11 2012 http://chanarchive.org/4chan/v/4972/ralph-pls-go)
>> No. 55
File 132753313052.jpg - (21.39KB , 459x399 , 1262521686091.jpg )
It didn’t take long for 4chans /v/ board to create spinoffs with ralph photoshopped into all kinds of pictures.

(chanarchive.org: Pokemon Ralph.as of Jan.11 2012 Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/4964/ralph-pootwan-oc)
>> No. 57
File 132753323060.png - (123.58KB , 320x224 , 1262357861219.png )
(chanarchive.org: Aerith dies Ralph watches. as of Jan.11 2012 http://chanarchive.org/4chan/v/4972/ralph-pls-go)
>> No. 58
File 132753332322.png - (870.68KB , 1024x708 , 1262605472886.png )
fig. 16: another action of Ralph Pootawn
(chanarchive.org: More Ralph Trolling. as of Jan.11 2012 Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/4959/more-ralph-trolling)
>> No. 59
File 132753337171.png - (35.34KB , 500x100 , PN_Website_Logo.png )
As described above, Second Life is full of possibilities for trolls.
The Patriotic Nigras are an organisation of trolls or, more precise, griefers. Their signature are similarily styled avatars. In detail, their avatars have dark skin, are tall, wear a suit and an afro-haircut.

fig. 17: logo of the Patriotic Nigras
>> No. 60
File 132753393697.jpg - (55.07KB , 795x480 , PRICELESS.jpg )
4chans /b/ and /v/ boards, again, are the initiators of the organisation and
the characteristic avatars are an hommage to a previous raid on the browsergame
Habbo Hotel. In this infamous Habbo Hotel Raid, users of 4chan arranged that
they all created similar avatars and blocked doors, or especially the pool,
saying that the “Pool’s closed due to AIDS”.

fig. 18: Picture documenting the Raid of Habbo Hotel

Pool’s Closed achieved meme status and another result of the action was, that
creating an afro-american avatar with suit could get you banned right away in
Habbo Hotel.
(knowyourmeme.com: Pool’s Closed. as of Jan.12 2012 http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pools-closed)
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: The Great Habbo Raid of 2006. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/The_Great_Habbo_Raid_of_July_2006#The_Aftermath)

In 2007 they defaced the Second Life headquarter of politician John Edwards.
(John Brownlee: John Edwards Meets Second Life ‘Feces Spewing Obscenity’. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://www.wired.com/table_of_malcontents/2007/03/john_edwards_me/)
They also received coverage for an action during an interview with Second Life
enterpreneur Anshe Chung (username).
(Wikipedia: Patriotic Nigras. as of Jan.12 2012Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotic_nigras)
Mrs. Chung claimed to have raised over 1 million dollars worth
of in-game property and got invited to an interview that
should be livestreamed to CNET.
(Julian Dibbell: Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses. as of Jan.12 2012Url: http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/16-02/mf_goons)
During the interview however, the room got
flooded with phalluses. Another technique includes abusive use of the games
script-engine. Thousands of crates are spawned and drop airborne onto the
citizens of an area, which then are either forced to log off, or see their
character doing things they propably don’t like, like yelling Arnold
Schwarzenegger’s catchphrase “Get to the choppaaaaaaa!”

This technique is stunningly similar to what Julian Dibbell described in his
essay “A Rape in Cyberspace”.
(Julian Dibbell: my tiny life. London 1999, pp.11-30)
Back then, the word griefer didn’t exist, so it was called Rape in Cyberspace.
This story took place in a Multi User Dungeon, Object Oriented,
or short MOO.
(Ibid. p.14)
They were somehow like a combination of a chatroom and a text-rpg.
So these MOOs, or more specifically it’s the Lambda MOO the story is about,
were Second Lifes forefathers and grieving was quite similar to what groups
like the Patriotic Nigras are doing today. In the essay, a user called Mr.
Bungle used a subprogramm called “Vodoodoll” to control other players. He used
this to make them commit sexual actions to their self against their will.
To add more humiliation to it, he made his victims do it in the living room,
the most crowded public place of Lambda MOO. Dibbells narrator philosophises
about a connection between the mind and the identity the user took on while
playing, stating that
>“when it comes to sex, perhaps the body in question is
>not the physical one at all, but its psychic double, the bodylike
>self-representation we carry around in our heads - and that wether we present
>that body to another as a meat puppet or a word puppet is not nearly as
>significant a distinction as one might have thought.”
(Ibid. p.17)
He goes on and states that
>“what happens inside a MUD-made world is neither
>exactly real nor exactly make-believe, but nonetheless profoundly,
>compellingly, and emotionally true.”

I find it quite interesting, how the same author writes an article for Wired
about that topic nearly 10 years later and points out, that

>“‘the Internet is serious business’ means exactly the opposite of what it says.
>It encodes two truths held as self-evident by Goons and /b/tards alike — that
>nothing on the Internet is so serious it can’t be laughed at, and that nothing
>is so laughable as people who think otherwise.”

He then closes the article with these words:

>“In the end, no matter what they say, life on the Internet really is a serious
>business. It matters. But the tricky thing is that it matters above all because
>it mostly doesn’t — because it conjures bits of serious human connection from
>an oceanic flow of words, pictures, videoclips, and other weightless shadows of
>what’s real. The challenge is sorting out the consequential from the
>not-so-much. And, if Rich Kyanka’s steely equanimity is any example, the antics
>of the Goons and /b/tards might actually sharpen our ability to make that
>distinction. To those who think the griefers’ handiwork is simply inexcusable:
>Well, being inexcusable is, after all, the griefers’ job. Ours is to figure out
>that caring too much only gives them more of the one thing they crave:
>the lulz.”
(Julian Dibbell: Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/16-02/mf_goons)
>> No. 61
You propably heard of this girl that posted an invitation to her birthday
party on Facebook and forgot to set the invitation page to private.
Everybody could join the party and so did people. The event spread virally
on reddit and also on 4chan and soon, over 60.000 people were listed as
confirmed guests on the facebook page.
(Robert Quigley: Kate’s Party: Or, How 60,000 Trolls Facebook-Crashed a Random Party in Australia. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://www.geekosystem.com/kates-party-facebook-meme/)
The incident sparked media controversy about
facebookparties worldwide, while professional internet
troll David Thorne started to sell t-shirts for the party. After the
facebookpage got shut down, it revealed, that the entire party was the
brainchild of mastertroll David Thorne. He successfully manufactured the
page in a way, that he even managed to mobilize the anonymous masses from
4chan. The bait was really clever and the fact that he even earned money
from it by selling t-shirts adds extra lulz to it.

This is not his only famous action.
On his blog http://www.27bslash6.com he exhibits his doings.
He especially got attention for his attempt to pay a bill with a drawing
of a spider.
(27b/6: Next time, I’ll spend the money on drugs instead. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://www.27bslash6.com/overdue.html)

David Thorne is the prove that not all trolls are 14year old basement dwellers.
>> No. 62
File 132753556778.png - (32.06KB , 400x200 , Youporn11.png )
The users of 4chan, also known as anonymous, are a collective with somewhat of
an hivemind. If they start doing something, results can be so remarkable, that
even traditional media outlets report about the event. One example for a
successful trolling was “YouTube Porn Day”.

The anonymous horde organized the raid on 4chan, stating that everybody opens
several YouTube-accounts, uploads pornographic content and sets it to private,
so that it can’t get flagged or moderated. The pornographic content would be
entitled and tagged with things like “marblecake” or
“Jonas Brothers” - if it had happened later in 2010 that would propably have
been “Justin Bieber” - or even Disney-related stuff.

fig. 19: Instructional poster that was distributed before the raid

The participants of the raid were told to suddenly set all their videos to
public at May 20, 2009 00:00:01 GMT.
As a result of this, the site was immediatelly flooded with huge amounts of
porn. At some point almost every video on the frontpage was of pornographic
nature. To add to the confusion, some participants cut matching stillframes, to
the deceptive video title, into the porn before uploading it, so that the
preview image of youtube wouldn’t spoil the pornographic content until somebody
clicked on it.

As moderators of youtube started to realize what was happening, they were
looking directly for videos tagged with “marblecake”, since that was a codeword
for anonymous to track their success during the operation. As an answer to that,
anonymous changed its tactic and split up into two groups.
The first one continues uploading porn without the tag marblecake or other
chan-related tags, while the other group was randomly flagging normal
videos on youtube, making the flag-as-inappropriate-mechanism useless for the moderators.

After that, the American media covered the event and brought statements of
various people, including a 12 year old girl, searching for “Jonas Brothers”
whose phrase “I’m 12 years old and what is this?” achieved meme-status on the
(Siobhan Courtney: Pornographic videos flood YouTube. as of Jan.13 2012 Url: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8061979.stm)

However, when checking up background information on 4chan raids, keep in mind,
that rule 1&2 forbids talking about 4chan and /b/. Therefore, it is
common for 4chan users to blame it on the comedy-website ebaumsworld, who is
regarded as an enemy of, amongst others, 4chan and anonymous.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Rules of the Internet. as of Jan.13 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Rules_of_the_internet)
(Wikipedia: ebaumsworld. as of Jan.13 2012 Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBaum%27s_World#Copyright_infringement)

Another notable raid of anonymous is the manipulation of the Times poll for the
most influential person of 2009. Not only did they vote moot, 4chans creator, as
number one, they also arranged the next 20 places so, that their first letters
made up the sentence: mARBLECAKE ALSO THE GAME, which are two memes from
chan-culture. In the end, moot was acknowledged as a winner by time magazine.
(Ryan Singel: How Anonymous Hackers Triumphed Over Time. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/how-anonymous-hackers-triumphed-over-time/)
(Time Magazine: The World’s Most Influential Person Is... . as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1894028,00.html)

anonymous is perhaps the most notorious group of trolls on the internet at this
time. However not all of their actions are that clever. Another one, for
example, included posting irritatingly flashing gif-animations on an internet
forum for epileptics.
(Kevin Poulsen: Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2008/03/epilepsy)
>> No. 63
His most notable action was the so called Craigslist Experiment.
(Anick Jesdanun: Prankster posts sex ad replies online. as of Jan.13 2012 Url: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14791788/#.TxD3Wvl3ruR)
He set up a fake ad on Seattles Craigslist of a woman searching for a
dominant male to have sex with. In 24 hours he received 178 replys
including contact data and photos, sometimes even of genitals. In mid
2006, he made these replies public on LiveJournal, from where they
spread over to Encyclopedia Dramatica.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: RFJason CL Expeiment. as of Jan.16 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/RFJason_CL_Experiment)
This generated a lot of buzz all over the internet and was controversely
discussed, even in traditional media.
(Bill Thompson: When private and public collide. As of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5335054.stm)
>> No. 64
Everybody knows, that trolling is a art! Few however receive prizes for their
art. Dennis Knopf is one of those few, that actually received an award for
trolling YouTubes users.
There are tons of “bootyshaking”-videos on youtube, where mostly young girls
dance to reggaeton, dancehall or hiphop music. However, since most of these
young girls don’t have their own camera guy, they usually put the camera on a
table and walk behind it to switch it on, before they walk in front of the
lens and start dancing. It usually takes the protagonist about 2 seconds to
switch on the camera and walk into the frame. In those two seconds, you see
nothing but the dancers room. Dennis Knopf downloaded the videos, left the
audio track, but looped these 2 seconds, where the dancer didn’t enter the
frame yet. By this, he came up with bootyshaking videos minus the bootyshaking.

He then reuploaded these videos of empty rooms under the same names, with the
same tags. Like this, people searching for young dancing girls, found those
videos of empty rooms as related videos when browsing through the regular
videos of girls shaking their booty.

Altough this was not only done for entertainment, there is an unmissable
comedic component in this artwork.

Youtube users left comments like:

>“‘i think somethin missing but i jus dont know wat’

>‘What a fine ass!!! Can’t believe that.....’

>‘it just seems like somethings lacking....’
(YouTube: POONER AND A.DUBS BOOTYMEAT. as of Jan.13 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/svJuZESEsEw)

>“‘what happened 2 the real video? this guy takes all the booty poppin vids,
>and takes out the best part.’
(YouTube: poppin booty. as of Jan.13 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/jzeB8cCTiOc)

>“‘ummmmmm....nobody wants to see your dirty dusty ass mattress...WHERE IS THE
>ASS JIGGLIN’???????’

>Big ol’ ass!!’

>‘Where tha fuck is that bitch at?’
(YouTube: ASS JiGGLiN FOR D-R0C. [tHiS ONES BEttER]. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/rnnlID0wAok)

This project got awarded with an award for best online online work at Stuttgart Filmwinter, 2009.
(Wand 5 e.V.: Preisverleihung 22. Stuttgarter Filmwinter. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://www.wand5.de/wand5cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=107&lang=english)
>> No. 65
>> No. 66
The case of Jessi Slaughter demonstrated, what will happen if you react in
the worst possible way to a mass of anonymous trolls.

Before the incident, she was already a microcelebrity on Stickam amongst
Internet tween scenesters. To make a long story short, she had haters and
replied to them by uploading a video to YouTube. For obvious reasons, the
original version of the video is not online anymore.
However, many copies exist.
(YouTube: ORIGINAL Jessi Slaughter before emotional breakdown. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/Yy4gGs8_90w)

In this video, 11-year old Jessi Slaughter (not her real name) said things like
>“[...]I’m happy with my life, okay? And if you can’t like realize that and
>stop hating, you know what, I’ll pop a glock in your mouth and make a brain slushie.”
(Ibid. t=0:23)
>“Suck my non-existent penis, okay? Just suck it! Get AIDS and die!”
(Ibid. t=3:00)
Prior to that she posted several things similar in tone. However, at some
point, 4chans /b/ got hold of the video and started hating on her. They
didn’t only troll her online, but found out and circulated her real name,
adress, phone number and links to all of her other social media profiles.
The news quickly spread over to tumblr, where they circulated easily,
because of the quick possibility to share and repost things.

From there on, the usual harrasment started. Trolls allegedly sent pizza
deliveries and considered sending call girls to her house and bombarded her
social network profiles with hateful comments.
(Adrian Chen: How the Internet Beat Up an 11-Year-Old Girl. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://gawker.com/5589103/how-the-internet-beat-up-an-11+year+old-girl)
Altough, this is trolling, I won’t go into details. The acts themselves
were uninspired boring cyberbullying and therefore are an example, that
trolling often is not funny to anyone else than the trolls themselves. Just
when the trolls started to loose interest, a new video was posted by Jessi Slaughter.

This time she had an emotional breakdown while her dad was threatening the
trolls with absurd claims, which can be considered the worst thing to do
when in such a situation.

In this second video, she is seen crying, saying that her life is ruined
and that she hasn’t been able to sleep or eat. Meanwhile her father joins
in and goes on a rant at the trolls. While this is already a bad thing to
do, he displayed his lack of basic understanding of how the internet works
by saying things like:

>“You dun goofed”,
(YouTube: Jessi Slaughter And Her Dad. as of Jan.15 2012 http://youtu.be/esNHjSaEURg?t=41s)
>“You bunch of lying no good punks. And I know who it’s coming from because I backtraced it.”,
(Ibid. t=1:49)
>“You’ve been reported to the cyberpolice”
(Ibid. t=1:58)
>“consequences will never be the same”.
(Ibid: t=2:21)
This, of course, agitated the trolls again.

In the aftermath of this story, Adrian Chen posted an article on Gawker
about what happened. One of his statements was:

>“Don’t pick on 11 year-old girls. Seriously. No matter how dumb they
>seem—no matter how much they might seem to deserve it—they are, at the end
>of the day, 11 year-old girls. You wouldn’t make an 11 year-old girl cry
>in real life; why do it on the Internet?”
(Adrian Chen: How the Internet Beat Up an 11-Year-Old Girl. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://gawker.com/5589103/how-the-internet-beat-up-an-11+year+old-girl)

This is undoubtly correct. However, trolls are simply a part of the
internet and Cole Stryker is just as right when he points out that decrying
the trolls is sort of like decrying a gang of thugs who mugged a guy
wandering dark alleys wearing a suit made of hundred dollar bills.

>“But at the same time, internet trolling is a constant. If given the
>opportunity, people will always be awful on the internet. Decrying the
>trolls is sort of like decrying a gang of thugs who mugged a guy wandering
>dark alleys wearing a suit made of hundred dollar bills. The girl was
>posting suggestive photos of herself, threatening people who posted nasty
>comments about her videos and taunting her bullies. In other words, this
>girl was inviting it. This doesn’t excuse the harassers, but no one would
>have come after her if she hadn’t been acting wildly inappropriate for an
>eleven-year-old girl.

>Only eleven and posting nudes and threats online! Which is why the real
>failure here lies squarely on Mom and Dad’s shoulders. All 11-year-olds are
>idiots. When given the power of a worldwide platform to exhibit their
>vanity, they’ll take it. Kids with unfettered internet access need parents
>who understand how the internet works.”
(Cole Stryker: The Jessi Slaughter Scandal. as of Jan.15 2012 Url: http://www.urlesque.com/2010/07/19/jessi-slaughter/)

This case is an example, why parents should know what their kids are doing on the Internet.
>> No. 67
>> No. 68
There are countless ways to troll, so it is really difficult, if not impossible,
to come up with a list of what one can do.
Even if I would write a list with trolling techniques, it would very soon be rendered obsolete,
as the websites would adapt and victims would not fall for it anymore, as they got aware of the trolls.
Nevertheless I want to analyze the things, that will most likely remain true.
After all, my ideas still are not meant to be executed 1:1.
They are rather an inspiration for future actions.
A successful troll always has to find new creative ways to infiltrate a system.
The success of a troll should be based on how much comedy he creates and by
which creative ways he generates the lulz.

Before giving instructions, I would first like to adress some special forms of trolling.
>> No. 70
If you really don’t like that girl from school and decide to post
photoshopped pornographic pictures on her Facebook wall, you are likely to
embarass yourself more than that girl.

This is not successful trolling, since it is propably only funny for
yourself and needs as much of a creative mastermind to come up with, as
punching an eleven-year-old girl in the face.

It gets worse, when groups of trolls all target the same person as in the
case of Jessi Slaughter. This is different in that many light trolls will
add up to a wild mob with pitchforks and torches. While this may be funny
for the trolls, usually most bystanders will think of you as insane
brainless retards. Trolling people can be done in a beautiful way, but
ruining their life should be a border not to be crossed, especially if the
victim is a defenseless eleven-year-old.
Trolling individual people can be very interesting however, if the victim
is not an eleven-year-old and it doesn’t drive the victim to the edge of suicide.

Again, remember Julian Dibbells quote on the phrase “Internet is serious business:

>“‘the Internet is serious business’ means exactly the opposite of what it
>says. It encodes two truths held as self-evident by Goons and /b/tards
>alike — that nothing on the Internet is so serious it can’t be laughed at,
>and that nothing is so laughable as people who think otherwise.”
(Julian Dibbell: Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses. as of Jan.12 2012 Url: http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/16-02/mf_goons)

While there is nothing more ridiculous than people who take some certain
things on the internet too serious, it is quite normal to care about your
real-life. When I’m using the term real-life, please note that it does not
neccesarily exclude online activities. Life on the Internet is real too
and sometimes it matters, sometimes it don’t. Deciding where to draw the
border is one of the most important things when it comes to identity on
the Internet. Ruining this real-life and laughing about people taking it
serious is, contradictory to mocking people who are taking weird aspects
of online life too serious, the lamest variation of trolling.
>> No. 71
File 132753737216.png - (787.62KB , 1920x1028 , 2012-01-16_15_54_14.png )
The techniques of griefers vary widely. Griefing is trolling in computer-games.
While some forms of grieving are really lame, others are beautiful works of art.

One example of a lame griefer would be someone yelling nonsense into ones headset while
playing online games with voicechat enabled. The energy the griefer needs to shout all
the time is way higher than the energy the victim needs to mute the griefer.

Intentional team-kills in online shooters are a bit more fun if they are timed and
executed in a proper manner. Just shooting your whole team down at the spawnpoint will
propably result in rage from other players but also in a ban from the server and very few lulz.
Since there are countless games in existence, there are unique possibilities for griefers
in each game. Open world multiplayer games however offer the best possibilities for
griefers. The Patriotic Nigras, for example, are a very prominent group of second life griefers (see chapter 3).

Another open world multiplayer game is minecraft, which suffers heavily under its
griefers. Minecraft is a game where you wander around, collecting resources, to build
structures, craft complex items from simpler ones and try to survive the nights in which
monsters appear. In its multiplayer mode, people tend to create complex cities.

fig 20: Minecraft

Since the possibilities to troll are endless, I will dedicate the game its own chapter.
>> No. 72
When trolling, there are in general a few things to consider in order to be successful.
>> No. 73
Inexperienced trolls tend to use exaggerated characters.
If the victims are inexperienced as well, that may work, but if one wants to troll more experienced users,
it is extremely important to fake a reasonable identity. Judith Donath writes about this issue in her
essay “Identity and Deception” from 1999.

She writes about a theory by Amotz Zahavi, from 1993 which reads, that we have to distinguish two
different types of signals: conventional- and assessment signals.
(Judith Donath: »Identity and Deception«, in: Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (ed.): Communities in Cyberspace. London 1999, p. 32)
The latter are signals, that are sent
indirect and therefore more reliable. In terms of semiotics, this would be called an indexical sign.

>“Big horns on a stag are an assessment signal for strength, for the animal must be quite strong and
>healthy to support these massive growths. The horns are a signal: potential rivals or mates need not
>directly test the stag’s strength. Assessment signals are reliable, since sending an assessment signal
>requires that the sender possess the relevant trait.”

Assessment signals are the hardest to fake, but if you manage to do so (think of photoshop),
you can get a lot of the needed credibility out of it.

Conventional signals on the other hand are quite easy to fake but less believable. An example for such a
sign would be the claim, that I am very stong.
There is most likely no way to check the truth behind the signal in an online community and
therefore this kind of signal is less valuable.
Also, as Donath puts it,
>“conventional signals can become unstable: due to excessive deception,
>a once meaningful signal can become noise.”
(Ibid. p. 33)

In conclusion, it can be said, that trustworthy signals are important for a successful troll.
>> No. 74
Before you start to troll, you first have to learn about your targets.
Different communities may have grown accustomed to certain types of trolls.
A feminist community is likely to know you are a troll, when you just signed
up and write things like “Yo bitch go back to kitchen and make me a sammich!”.
The signal behind this message is, that you are a mysogynist and therefore the
arch enemy of feminism. The bad thing is, that everybody would come up with that
idea at first thought. The feminist community has likely been trolled by many
like this in the past and so that signal became noise.

Groups or people that get trolled often are often the hardest to troll since
they develop a sense which makes them more aware of trolls.

Learn about the customs of your targets to find strong and reliable signals to use.
>> No. 75
The Internet allows for few identity cues, so be careful about those you
display. Think about what your victims can read out of your identity.
This starts with your account-name or your email adress you use to register.
Don’t overdo it. When you try to act stupid, don’t do too much or you’ll
be implausible. Language is another important cue you display. Be conscious
about it and analyse the language patterns of your victims before you start.
Some are common all over the internet, like WTF, LOL or BRB (what the fuck,
laughing out loud, be right back) and others, like chanspeak, zangendeutsch
or 1337speak are more like local accents.
>> No. 76
Think about what site or more generally speaking what medium you want to troll.
Keep in mind, that all this is not limited to facebook or the internet.
Basically, you can troll whereever and whomever you want.
>> No. 77
File 132753804480.jpg - (83.73KB , 636x454 , How_to_troll.jpg )
Now that you know your victims, you can, for example, play with expectations.
Every community has these expectations. 4chan displays small thumbnails in the threads.
If you click on them they load the big version of the image.
One thing I remember was an image with a text written over it:
“HOW TO TROLL”. Only the Headline was readable on the thumbnail,
while the rest of the text was just to small to read as a thumbnail.
However, it looked as if there were instructions on “how to troll”
written in that image file. When you click on it, instead of resizing
to a decent size, allowing for the text to be read, the graphic stays
in thumbnail size. At that point you realise, that there are no
instructions and you have been trolled.

fig. 21: How to troll

A variation of this would be to place a static image that looks exactly like an
embedded youtube video on a website.
The user is tempted to click the play button, just to find out he got trolled.
>> No. 78
File 132753828587.png - (124.88KB , 300x250 , 4e40dcff752c477083d67bb687ccee2d76ba9232.png )
The technique of breaking interface-promises works in many communities. On the
next-generation imageboard canv.as,
(Michael Arrington: 4chan Founder Unleashes Canvas On The World. as of Jan.17 2012 http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/31/4chan-founder-unleases-canvas-networks/)
there is, for example, a little “play”
symbol in the top right corner of animations. This button is often pasted
on top of static images:

fig. 22: troll post on canvas
(Canvas: FTFY. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://canv.as/p/594as/reply/245257?nav=exploitable)

Those techniques are quite mild and just ideas. Overusing them would turn the
signal to noise and few would fall for it. One could also try to mimick someone,
who is well respected in a community. On 4chan, impersonating moot, the admin,
is rather easy. However, it can get you banned and experienced users will not
fall for it. Also, infiltrating is not always done on the Internet.

Think of an office troll, who makes copies of a paperclip and puts those copies
back into the tray. Co-workers trying to copy documents would have the paperclip
on them. People would be really confused, because nobody would expect someone to
do such a thing.
(The Art of Trolling: It Must Be Stuck Somewhere. As of Jan.17 2012 http://artoftrolling.memebase.com/2011/10/26/irl-troll-it-must-be-stuck-somewhere/)

Cole Stryker writes about the motivation to troll:

>“Mine is a generation raised by video games, which teach children to test the
>boundaries of their rule sets, mess with their environments, and memorize entire
>tiny universes until they’re able to spot and exploit holes and glitches. [...]
>When playing a game the way it’s supposed to be played gets boring, they seek
>out cheat codes and other ways of essentially ‘breaking’ the game. It’s one
>thing to beat or win a game, but can you say you’ve truly mastered a game until
>you’ve broken it?”
(Cole Stryker: Epic Win for Anonymous. New York 2011, p.104)

The perspective to see trolling as a search of exploit holes in a system seems
pretty fitting here.
So when trying to troll in a classy way, try to figure out how a system works
and then mess around with it, so that something truly unexpected happens.
>> No. 79
Since classy trolling is about creativity and often deceptive usage of
signals, it would not be a good idea to give actual instructions on how to troll.
Instructions given now would have little to no effect in some years,
when certain signals have gotten too noisy. Anyway, I will give a few
examples as inspiration for own ideas.
>> No. 80
When trolling in a forum, there is mostly one problem you will face:
your postcount.

If your first post on any forum will be somehow strange, people will
immediatelly think that you are a troll that just signed up to troll the forum.
Therefore you either have to build up a reputation first, which is pretty
time consuming and only suitable when your idea to troll the forum is truly
epic, or you start off with a reasonable background story and without insane claims.
Registering on a queer internet forum, writing “God hates fags! You are
disgusting!” in your first post will just get you banned. The fact, that
you came there to cause trouble is so evident, that you won’t even offend
an unexperienced user. After all there is the question why you registered
an account on a queer forum if you are against gays.

A more subtle and therefore successful forum troll would maybe sign up at a
conspiracy and mystery forum to tell the other members of your creepy
campfire story. Just write something along the lines of “Hey, this is my
first post and I’ve heard about this story some months ago and didn’t find
anything about it online. So I came here to ask if someone of you knows
something about it.
This is a legitimate reason to sign up on such a forum and it is also not
unusual, that the search for answers brings newbies to such forums.
Therefore people will not assume you are a troll in the first place. When
telling your story, be sure to keep it believable in the first posts. As
the thread gets momentum, you can come out with more and more crazy details.
>> No. 81
File 13275386376.jpg - (25.09KB , 450x437 , art-of-trolling.jpg )
Trolling doesn’t always have to happen on the Internet. If your Internet
connection is not working, you might aswell get outside and troll people
without using a computer. You just need an idea. Possibilities are countless.

Maybe you could manipulate signs to corrupt their message:

fig. 23: bathroom troll. image source unknown.

Offline trolling is especially beautiful, because most trolls are online-only.
Therefore signals that have become unreliable on the internet may be still considered reliable offline.
Also, the more open a system is, that is the more possibilities to act exist in
it, the more possibilities exist for finding new ways to troll.
One thing I remember doing myself when I was younger, was going into my brothers
room to turn all his furniture upside down while he was at school.
Another great idea would be to set an alarm clock to 4 A.M. and hide it
somewhere in the victims bedroom. Another idea would be making candy apples with
onions instead of apples.
(Art of Trolling: The Real Reason I Don’t Take These From Strangers. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://artoftrolling.memebase.com/2011/11/02/irl-troll-the-real-reason-i-dont-take-these-from-strangers/)
>> No. 82
File 132753955654.jpg - (748.15KB , 2560x1920 , sjb4s.jpg )
Polls can be a very good target to troll, but usually you will need support.
If you are familiar with 4chans culture and the poll looks promising to troll,
chances are they will do it. However it is important to know, that /b/
is noones personal army and requests that disregard that rule often backfire.

The best example for a successful raid on a poll was Time’s vote vor the most
influential Person of 2009 on which I wrote in chapter three.
Another exaple would be the vote for the 2008 MTV European Music Awards.
anonymous voted Rick Astley as the best act ever with about 100 million votes.
(Matthew Moore: Rick Astley named Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music Awards. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/3395589/Rickrolling-Rick-Astley-named-Best-Act-Ever-at-the-MTV-Europe-Music-Awards.html)
4chan users even started using scripts and someone programmed an autovoter to
achieve one of the greatest RickRolls.
(Wikidot: Vote Rick. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://bestactever.wikidot.com/)
(Tony Austin: WinRickVoter. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyaustin/2951935994/)
While such huge actions are rare, smaller polls can be easier to raid.
Just use your common sense when judging if there is a potential for lulz in an
online poll, before you try to get the channelsphere to raid it.

fig. 24: Alligator’s poll trolled
>> No. 83
Regular online chatrooms are not as popular now as they were in the
days before Web2.0 but it is still very promising to troll them.
Unlike on forums, you are not branded as a newbie or potential troll
by your low post-count or recent signup date. While the regular
trolling (as in trolling forums) works fine here, some special
forms of chat trolling are possible.
In practically every chatroom, there are lots of males looking for chatsex.
They are pretty easy to troll by pretending to be a woman, for example,
just to reveal later on, that you are a man. One of the best known chattrolls
was bloodninja. He mostly trolled on AIM (AOL Internet Messenger) and his
victims were mainly girls looking for chatsex.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: bloodninja. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Bloodninja/logs)
In the beginning he started out playing along, just to drift into absurdity
while the conversation proceeded. This is one example of a bloodninja chatlog:

>“Bloodninja : Ok baby, we got to hurry, I don’t know how long I can keep it ready for you.
>j_gurli13 : thats ok. ok i’m a japanese schoolgirl, what r u.
>Bloodninja : A Rhinocerus. Well, hung like one, thats for sure.
>j_gurli13 : haha, ok lets go.
>j_gurli13 : i put my hand through ur hair, and kiss u on the neck.
>Bloodninja : I stomp the ground, and snort, to alert you that you are in my breeding territory.
>j_gurli13 : haha, ok, u know that turns me on.
>j_gurli13 : i start unbuttoning ur shirt.
>Bloodninja : Rhinoceruses don’t wear shirts.
>j_gurli13 : No, ur not really a Rhinocerus silly, it’s just part of the game.
>Bloodninja : Rhinoceruses don’t play games. They fucking charge your ass.
>j_gurli13 : stop, cmon be serious.
>Bloodninja : It doesn’t get any more serious than a Rhinocerus about to charge your ass.
>Bloodninja : I stomp my feet, the dust stirs around my tough skinned feet.
>j_gurli13 : thats it.
>Bloodninja : Nostrils flaring, I lower my head. My horn, like some phallic
>symbol of my potent virility, is the last thing you see :as
>skulls collide and mine remains the victor. You are now a
>bloody red ragdoll suspended in the air on my mighty horn.
>Bloodninja : Fuck am I hard now.”

Controversy arose when the staff of the website fugly.com claimed
to be behind the bloodninja chatlogs.
(Fugly: The Legend Of Bloodninja. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://www.fugly.com/victims/bloodninja.php)
Since bloodninjas true identity has remained unknown to this day,
it is hard to prove or deny these claims.
Omegle is different than other chatrooms, in that it randomly connects two
conversational partners to a private 1on1 chatroom. The catchphrase of the
site is “talk to strangers”. However most of the people there are either
trolls or males looking for chatsex. One particular way to troll them is
to impersonate a 14 year old girl. When the chat partner wants to engage
in chatsex despite the age, you can play along for a few lines and then
claim to be from an organisation hunting for pedophiles.
This is an example of such an encounter:

>“You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
>You: hey
>Stranger: asl
>You: 14 f us
>You: u?
>Stranger: 20 male us :p
>You: add me myspace? :p
>Stranger: sure
>Stranger: Show me your titties pl0x? :D
>You: idk
>Stranger: c’mon
>You: lol i guess kk
>Stranger: link?
>You: Hello, I am an agent from Perverted Justice investigating adults engaging sex with underage children on >Omegle. Within a minute we will have the chat log and your IP address. We will arrest you in two days.
>Your conversational partner has disconnected.”
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Omegle logs. as of Jan.17 2012Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Omegle/logs)
>> No. 84
File 13275402795.jpg - (85.94KB , 970x724 , SHOE_ON_HEAD1.jpg )
Another new form of chat has emerged recently: videochats.
Chatroulette is a website, where two random chatpartners get
connected via webcam and textchat simultaneously. Like on
Omegle, many of the participants are men looking for chatsex with women.
Few people on chatroultette know, that a webcam video is not
necessarily authentic. Prerecorded videos, still pictures or
even YouTube videos can be displayed as the webcam image.
Therefore it is easy to just take a YouTube video of an
attractive female looking in a webcam as your webcam image
for chatroulette. This way, some men will do a lot if you
promise them to expose your breasts afterwards. In
particular it has become a meme to make people put a shoe on
their head. If this is accomplished, the troll will make a
screenshot and leave or reveal their true grinning webcam image.

fig. 25: Chatroulette users with shoe on head.

By using a program like ManyCam, you can use a video or a
still image as your webcam image.
According to Encyclopedia Dramatica, there are a few more
things to consider when trolling with a fake webcam image:
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Chatroulette - Protips. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Chatroulette#Protips)
If you are using ManyCam, be sure to turn off the logo.
When using any video that has sound, right-click on the
video window and go to settings. Under the microphone tab,
look for something like WavOut mix or Stereo mix. It lets
them hear whatever you hear, including themselves, so check
the box to reduce echo and keep inbound volume low.
You can find videos of webcamgirls on YouTube or streaming porn sites.
With the Firefox-addon “Video Download Helper”, you can
download and use them as source in ManyCam.
Make shure to recompress all videos as avi files with size 640x480 or 320x240.
When using a fake webcam image, getting people to put their
shoe on head is, of course, not the only thing to do. Many
trolls just use shock-images as their webcam image. This is
much more rewarding to the troll, because he can see the
victims reaction on the image. Tough this is easy to do,
there are certainly more creative ways to troll with this technique.

Another technique is just wearing a strange costume to see
reactions or using a puppet in front of your webcam.
(Tanner Ringerud: 20 Great Chat Roulette Trollin’ Screenshots. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-20-greatest-chat-roulette-trolls-nsfw)
>> No. 85
File 132754042199.jpg - (40.88KB , 600x187 , garfield_zalgo_4.jpg )
Really promising is the use of the Zalgo meme on chatroulette.
This is the definition of Zalgo from ohinternet.com:

>“In short, Zalgo is a faux-Lovecraftian internet-based
>mythos typically accompanied with mangled text and vague
>implications that Zalgo will soon be destroying the
>world/the poster’s sanity/humanity. Zalgo is not necessarily
>an entity, but is more of a concept, much like Lovecraft’s
>“The Colour Out of Space.”
(Oh Internet: Zalgo. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://ohinternet.com/Zalgo)

fig. x: Zalgo Garfield
>> No. 86
File 132754049428.jpg - (31.06KB , 590x425 , rebecca-black.jpg )
fig 26: typical Zalgo Photoshop

While those creepy pictures are one part of the meme,
the mentioned mangled text is another part of it.
Technically it is normal text with lots of unicode
characters attached. Those characters will eventually
even go over the borders of textboxes. Many People don’t
know this and get creeped out by this alone. Those Zalgo
texts are really easy to make with a generator like the
one on http://eeemo.net/. When combining this text with an
animated version of a Zalgo image, people that don’t know
the meme will likely be shocked.
>> No. 87
File 132754053165.jpg - (133.17KB , 850x427 , omegledeath.jpg )
fig. 27: Omegle videochatter trolled by the Zalgo meme.
>> No. 88
File 132754070197.jpg - (13.33KB , 380x214 , 4b55bd81-f7fa-4b3a-a55a-1e245d87e15d.jpg )
When trolling sites like Facebook, you will often need an
own identity for that purpose. when doing so, be sure to
hide your friendlist since it is likely to be empty in a
trollaccount. Also try to hide details such as the date of
registration and other cues, that could identify you as a
troll. When you are looking for a profile picture, do not
search google images with terms like “guy wearing
sunglasses” and take one of the first hits. Even tough
these images often seem to fit, chances are that they are
somehow known to some of your victims. Even if only one
person may recognize your profile picture as fake, that
person may flag your profile or inform the others, that
it’s fake.

This is especially a problem, since google can do a
reverse image search.

A better approach on getting to suitable pictures is to
search for “DCIM” with Google Imagesearch and go to page
169, for example. DCIM is part of the default
filenamesyntax, some digital cameras save in. By searching
for this, you will likely get unedited photos straight out
of a digital camera. Professionals won’t do this, so the
chance of picking a picture of a somewhat famous person is
rather low. Again, remember to pick a reasonable pictures.
Fake profiles with supermodelesque photos already ring an
alarm bell in anybody who is longer than two years on the Internet.

Some activities don’t require false identity to troll.
You can troll your friends easily on Facebook.
One example would be to post a secret on your wall, that a
good friend has commisioned to you. The important part
about this is to set privacy so, that the message is only
visible to you and that friend. He will see this message
in his newsfeed and will panic since it appears, that
everybody can read the secret. Nevertheless be careful
when doing this, because Facebook itself can read
everything, even if it’s hidden.
(knowyourmeme: Trolling. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/180587-trolling)

Another fun thing to do with privacy settings is only applicable, if you have access to the victims account.
This is the case when someone goes to the bathroom and
leaves facebook open unattended. Just edit their default
privacy settings so, that nobody other than you and
themselves can read the messages. If not leaving traces is
more important to you than seeing the effects of your
action, don’t make it visible to yourself.

It will propably take your victim some time to discover
what happened. Until then, he will be asking himself, why
nobody likes or comments his posts anymore.

fig. 28: Facebook Troll with accomplices or sockpuppets
>> No. 89
Trolling in games is called griefing and possibilities
for griefers are endless.
Generally, the more open a game is, the more
possibilities exist to grief it.
SecondLife is obviously one of the most griefed games of all.

Minecrafts multiplayer mode however has lots of griefers too.
Sadly, most of the griefers in minecraft only destroy
random blocks or burn down structures and items by
placing lava on them. These techniques are really
uncreative and will produce low levels of amusement in other players.
Therefore I will give some examples on how to grief Minecraft in a
more classy way. Simply destroying everything is a way
to cut the branch off on which we are sitting as
griefers. People will stop playing and we won’t have
people left to grief.

One thing would be to build a small house with lots of
TNT underneath. The floor in the house consists of
pressure plates, which will blow up the whole house with
everyone inside if someone enters it.
If you don’t want to build a house, you can just bury
TNT, put dirt on top of it, and wire it to a pressure
plate on top of the TNT.
Also using pressure plates, you could create a trap
door. This is even better, if the hole has walls of
obsidian, which need a lot of time to break. When the
victim dropped into the obsidian hole, it can be closed
with another block of obsidian to seal the trap.
Another idea would be to dig a large dark room under
your victims structure.
Because of the darkness, monsters will spawn and make
noises. If the victim finds the source for the noises,
he will encounter an army of enemies.
Those are just a few ideas for griefing minecraft. There
is no one way of trolling right and there are countless
other ways to be a successful griefer.

If you need further inspiration, Minecraft wiki has a
list with techniques.
(Minecraft wiki: Griefing. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Griefing)
>> No. 90
Just don’t do it!

It’s like pissing in an ocean of piss.
If you really have the urge to troll 4chan, pretend to be a newbie
or pretend to be an oldfag. To troll 4chan-users in a classy way,
you first have to lurk the forums in order to get familiar with the
culture. When this is done, a lot of ideas for minor trollings will
come into your mind. To be a really successful troll on 4chan, you
have to get the rear cover of a large part of 4chans users to
help you.

One example would be to come up with a method that only trolls
newbies and those who are refered to “the cancer that is killing /b/”.
(knowyourmeme: the cancer that is killing /b/. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-cancer-that-is-killing-b)
>> No. 91
A popular theme for YouTube trolls is switch and bait. Just
post a video, that includes something entirely different than
what the title and the preview image suggests. Anyhow this is
so common on YouTube, that it won’t raise eyebrows. Users
will just downvote you and click the back button on the
browser. Therefore it is mostly pointless.
Another once popular technique was to include sudden screamer
images into a video that required users to concentrate on
something on screen.
This is why most users check the coments and rating for a
suspicious looking video before watching it.
Maybe the best way to troll on YouTube is via webcam
videoblogs or in the comments to other videos. This however
is not really YouTube specific.
Trolling the comments is most likely leading to lulz when
it’s a video of a band with fanatic fans or if the owner of
the video is a religious fanatic.

There is also a technique called cloning, where one user will
clone an entire YouTube account of somebody else. The trick
is to exchange capital i’s and small l’s. I and I look the
same. Therefore it is possible to create an exact clone of
your victims account. All you have to do is copy their name,
videos and, in best case, their friendslist.
Like this you can act like an idiot under the name of someone else.
>> No. 92
Because of the lack of immediate reply and the small
chances of making an impact, this is mostly boring.
Wikipedia has an active userbase, which will control most
of the content. The community behind Wikipedia is so aware
of trolls, that trolling them has become too hard in
relation to the little effects you get.
>> No. 93
Yahoo Answers and other similar sites are a good choice if
you want to spread horrible advice or ask incredibly stupid
questions that agitate many users.

This is an example for trolling such sites:

>Q: When a guy says GO MAKE ME A SANDWICH what’s a good comeback?
>A: Well, you better comeback with a goddamn sandwich.
(Yahoo Answers: When a guy says... as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100223093446AAzK2eM)

Another famous question from the site is “how is babby formed?”
(Something Awful: Yahoo! Answers Revisited. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/weekend-web/yahoo-answers-revisited.php)
If you are interested in trolling Yahoo Answers,
Encyclopedia Dramatica has a good guide to it.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Yahoo Answers. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Yahoo_answers#How_to_troll_specific_categories)
>> No. 94
File 132754146494.png - (92.69KB , 688x600 , 688px-Trolling101.png )
Apart from the categories that were already explained here,
there are certain groups of people, that are rather easy to troll.
Hackers or Sceners are likely to rage about wannabe hackers that
use ph4t l33tspe4k sKillZzzZ!!1!1oneoneeleven.
(cf. Judith Donath: »Identity and Deception«, in: Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (ed.): Communities in Cyberspace. London 1999, p. 40)

Other groups that are easy to troll are religious fanatics. This
includes atheists.
Just pointing out, that atheism is just like religion is
annoying atheists to no end. Again, Encyclopedia Dramatica has
an article with ready-to-use arguments to troll atheists.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Atheist. How to troll your average Atheist. as of Jan.18 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Atheist#How_to_troll_your_average_Atheist)

The next group of people that are easy to troll are fanboys of
all kinds. Not only religious fanatics are great targets.
Fanatic fans of bands or comics or Apple computers, or gaming
consoles are great targets in that they are easily offended
when you say something against their beloved targets of
appreciation. In Germany, there was a young girl called Angie
who got trolled hard after uploading a video to YouTube in which
she threatens everybody who makes fun of her and other fans of
the band Tokio Hotel.
(YouTube: Angie-Lasst Tokio Hotel Fans in Ruhe - English Subs. as of Jan.18 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/AfjjZWYmKmE)

As a result of all the trolls, she changed
her mind and uploaded a rant on Tokio Hotel, proclaiming, that
the trolls have cured her from her wrong beliefs.
(YouTube: Angie ist kein Tokio hotel Fan mehr- English Subs. as of Jan.17 2012 Url: http://youtu.be/8YJXXcX-y_o)

Mac- and PC-fanboys are also trolled easily. Just think about
the endless possibilities.

Last but not least, trolls are really easy to troll. Imagine
yourself putting up a video like that of Angie intentionally to
agitate lots of trolls.
The trolls won’t think that they are the ones who get trolled
until you reveal the story. However, you should think of a
clever way to reveal yourself before you start to troll the trolls.

This comic sums up the concept of “trolls trolling trolls” pretty good:

fig. 29: trolls trolling trolls
>> No. 95
This is a great way to troll fans of japanese anime.
Most anime don’t get translated by the creators and therefore,
non-japanese-speaking people have to rely on subtitles that were
added by fans. If a troll changes these subtitles in a clever
way, the average viewer won’t even know he’s been trolled.
>> No. 96
File 132754164751.jpg - (106.96KB , 500x500 , rmd8r.jpg )
Sometimes great actions start on the Internet and end in offline reality.
The story of Agent Pubeit from chapter three or the Facebook Party
that David Thorne organized are good examples. Another great example
was an anonymous action called “Forever Alone Involuntary Flash Mob”.

In this action, 4chan users created fake profiles on dating sites and
made appointments with men. The meeting point was Friday 13th May of 2011 7:30 P.M. at a green payphone on times square.
This area was covered by webcams, so 4chans users could see all the
disappointed men wandering around, not knowing what just happened.
(Vice: Forever Alone Involuntary Flashmob. as of Jan.18 2012 Url: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/forever-alone-involuntary-flashmob)

fig. 30: Instructional poster from 4chan
>> No. 97
File 132754180299.jpg - (54.22KB , 475x542 , dont-feed-the-troll.jpg )
Now that we know how to troll the world, we should also
know how to keep trolls under control.

fig. 31: Don’t feed the trolls!

The best strategy to battle trolls is to not attract them
in the first place.
If you, however, made the bad mistake of feeding the trolls,
thus getting into their focus, it is hard to shake them off again.

On the next pages, I will describe how to fight back when
trolls have already started to attack you:
>> No. 98
>> No. 99
>> No. 100
>> No. 102
If you already became a target for the trolls and now want to shake them
off, all you have to do is resist the urge to fight back. While attacks on
your virtual identity hurt you because it is a part of your person, trolls
mostly use fake identities, that are uncoupled from their person.
Therefore, no emotional connection between the troll and its online
identity is given, making them effectively bulletproof.

In an interview with Mattathias Schwartz, Jason Fortuny came up
with his Green Hair Analogy.

>“Fortuny: ‘You have green hair. Did you know that?’
>Schwartz: ‘No,’
>Fortuny: ‘Why not?’
>Schwartz: ‘I look in the mirror. I see my hair is black.’
>Fortuny: ‘That’s uh, interesting. I guess you understand that you have
>green hair about as well as you understand that you’re a terrible reporter.’
>Schwartz: ‘What do you mean? What did I do?’
>Fortuny: ‘That’s a very interesting reaction. why didn’t you get so
>defensive when I said you had green hair?’

(names added for clarity)

If I were certain that I wasn’t a terrible reporter, he explained, I would
have laughed the suggestion off just as easily. The willingness of trolling
“victims” to be hurt by words, he argued, makes them complicit, and
trolling will end as soon as we all get over it.”
(cf. Mattathias Schwartz: The Trolls Among Us. as of Jan.20 2012 Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html)

He draws a line between hollow accusations, that can be easily proven
wrong, and hard accusations, which can’t be proven wrong that simple and
often enough are soft spots in their victims personality just because of this.
Trolls themselves hide their true identity and therefore mostly can’t be
attacked with hard accusations, since they don’t offer those identity cues
needed to work one out. And even if the victim hits one of these soft spots
in the troll, he would never let you know.
Trolls also know, that even those hard accusations are only spoken out to
do harm and not because it is the honest belief of the attacker. Therefore,
if the troll knows (and he does instinctively), you didn’t mean this insult
to him personally, but as a desperate attempt to hurt you back, he can
shield everything from his true personality and every attempt to fight back
will bounce off from the metaphorical mask, the troll is wearing.

The only way to beat off the trolls is to make it as hard as possible to
get lulz from you. If you are easily offended, you might be what is called a lol-cow.

This is the definition of a lol-cow that encyclopedia dramatica gives:

>“A lol-cow (latin: Rideo Risi Risum Bos taurus) is a victim of a Flame War
>who can’t help but be milked for lulz time and time again. They have a
>compulsive need to give up as many laughs as possible at their own expense
>despite themselves.”
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Lol-Cow. as of Jan.20 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Lol-cow)

Trolls will feed of your angry reactions, so do not feed the trolls.
When you become target of a large number of trolls at once, you shuld also
consider to remove as much of your private information as possible from the
net. When doing this you have to be very careful. Just delete or hide
things, that the trolls didn’t already find. If you try to delete something
off the Internet, or worse sue something off, after the trolls found it,
you are likely to become a victim of the streisand effect:

This effect was named after actress and popstar Barbara Streisand when she
sued a photographer in 2003 for displaying a picture of her house on a
website. The photographer took a picture of it, along varios other houses
to document coastal erosion. Nobody would have cared for it in the first
place if Barbara Streisand didn’t try to take the photo off the internet.
As news of this “censorship” spread, she generated so much buzz, that the
picture in question got passed all over the internet. Today, it is even
visible on Wikipedia.
(Wikipedia: Streisand Effect. as of Jan.20 2012Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect)

Even if you might not be Barbara Streisand, you should think about the risk
of the streisand effect. When removing information about yourself from the
internet, be sure to make it quiet.

Another important action is to change your passwords to something safe if
the trolls have reached a certain grade of notoriety. It may also be a good
idea to inform people that your profile might get hacked before it actually
happens and the troll writes disgusting things under your name.
You might also want to inform a moderator of the site you are getting
trolled on, if possible.
Also, sending them compliments may throw them out of their role.
>> No. 103
The best practice against trolls is to not become their target.
Ignoring them right from the start is the best technique.

No common rules exist in avoiding trolls other than that, but beeing careful
what to put online and common sense mostly work fine.
It is generally good, not to display yourself in extremely eccentric ways to the
public unless you think you can handle the trolls. Other than that, any kind of
Internet Fame will get you haters and trolls, but these should really not hold
you back from doing cool things.

This also does not mean, that you should withdraw every information about you
from the Internet, because that would just make the Internet a very cold and
lonely place.

It is really important to always assume good faith initially.
>> No. 104
When it comes to dealing with trolls, one can see different interesting approaches on various sites.
These are some of them:
>> No. 105
If you are building a community, it is obviously always a good idea to set up
rules, even if there aren‘t any rules to the quality of the content. This
gives you as an admin legislation to ban offenders and people can be sure not
to get banned as long as they don‘t disobey the rules.
>> No. 106
Another theory about rules in a community is from Jonathan Zittrains
book „The Future of the Internet“. In this he mentions the dutch
project „verkeersbordvrij“, in which a town is freed of nearly all
traffic signs.
(Jonathan Zittrain: The Future of the Internet. London 2009, p.127f)
This project proved a counterintuitive result: A dramatic increase in vehicular safety.
Without signs to obey mechanically, people are forced to drive more
The reason for this is, that when we face heavy regulation, we see
and shape our behavior more in relation to reward and punishment by
an arbitrary external authority, than because of a commitment to the
kind of world our actions can help bring about.(Ibid. p.128)

However, this technique does not always work alone. 4chan, for
example, is a magnet for trolls, with its „laissez faire“ policy.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, started out with this principle of
verkeersbordvrij and it worked well in combination with the next principle.(Ibid. p.133)
>> No. 107
A website that is very liberal with its users, is likely to
become victim of trolls sooner or later. Therefore it is
always good to include a system, that monitors changes and
saves every version of the page independently.
This kind of system can be seen on Etherpad, or on Wikipedia.
Etherpad is a collaborative online text-editor, that allows
multiple users to write on the same text simultaneously.

Since everybody can just delete the whole text, an autosave
feature that saves every keystroke and enables the other
users to revert the text after it has been vandalized is embedded.
Wikipedia uses the same system.
(Ibid. p.133f)
If an edit is made,it will save a new version of
the article without overwriting the old one.
Every user of wikipedia can see your changes.
Since people are not controlled by rules but
by the motivation to create something good, that they have in common.
>> No. 108
While this is not always to maintain, a small community is
usually safer when it comes to trolling. Dunbars Number describes
the border, until which every participant of the community might
know the majority of the others.

Various numbers are proposed: 150, 230, 290...The key point is,
that it determines the ultimate size of the capabilities of a
community‘s members to sustain social relationships.
(Anaesthetica: Attacked from within. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2009/3/12/33338/3000)

In a community, where everybody knows everyone, a nice and
friendly environment is much more likely, since users will have
lesser problems to spot irregular behavior from the others. If a
user happens to be a troll anyway, the group of users can still
make decisions on how to deal with the troll and similar issues
in the future. The community collapses when at a certain size of
a group it turns into a society. Ferdinand Tönnies investigated
the difference between community and society. In his definition
of a community, it is made up by a small group of people, that
don‘t need formal rules, because a sense of common mores or norms unite them.(Ibid.)
A society, by his definition, is a larger group, that can‘t rely
on the same sense of norms. It is based on explicit rules that
require enforcement.(Ibid.)
>> No. 109
Telling your users about trolls is usually a good idea for a community.
If users are aware of trolls, it is much more likely that nobody will feed them.
Wikipedia, for example, has its own guide on dealing with trolls:
>> No. 110
The forums of Something Awful have a very interesting approach to
prevent trolls. Every user has to pay 10$ to register an account.
This is a one-time fee, but if you get banned, which happens easily
there, you will have to register a new account for 10$. This is why
Something Awfuls users, use to say something along the lines of
„10bux“ as a reply to any really stupid post on their forums.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Something Awful. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Something_Awful#10bux)

From my short time on the forum, I can already tell, that this seems to
work pretty fine. You pay 10$ once to become a member of one of the
most bizarre community on the web. Trolling Somthing Awful is still
possible, but the fact, that it costs you a certain amout of money,
prevents most trolls from doing so.

Kuro5hin is another community that charges 5$ for signup to keep the trolls away.
(rusty: K5 Becomes “Gated Dysfunctional Community”. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2007/9/10/13920/3664)

To generalize this, you could charge a signup-fee to keep the trolls out.
A major downside of this creation of walled gardens is, that people
might be more afraid to say something controverse because they fear
to get banned. Free expression might be in danger where this
technique of regulation is applied, so fairness between moderators
and users should be very important.

Another technique to keep out trolls is to ask very specific
questions when registering an account.
I remember seeing this myself in a german forum for knifes.
Since fans of kitchen knifes are often real nerds, the question was
really tricky for anybody who is not familiar with the topic.
The question was something like: „Which famous manufacturer is known
for a hole in the blade?“. I didn‘t know the answer and a troll that
is not familiar with knifes wouldn‘t know either. But since trolls
surely can use google, this technique is pretty useless (the answer
was „Spyderco“).
Apart from its uselessness against trolls, it sends a critical
message of elitism in the direction of new users. Think of a guy
that wants to know something about a certain type of kitchen knife
and therefore tries to register an account.
He is not the expert that can answer the question, but he may want
to become one. Trying to filter out such people in the process of
registering an username is, in most cases, damaging for a community.
>> No. 111
Finally, banning trolls is one of the most common methods against them.
However, if the troll is really decided, he might just register a
new username and continue. Also, if you are dealing with lots of
trolls, you will have little time to research everyones motivation.
Everybody that looks like a troll will be banned or sometimes even
autobanned, regardless of collateral damage.

This can become very bizarre, like in the case of the Habbo Hotel
Raid, where 4chans users raided a browser game for kids with black
characters wearing an afro and business suit. After this action,
being black, having an afro haircut and wearing a black business
suite resultet in an autoban.
(knowyourmeme: Pools closed. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pools-closed)
>> No. 112
Dealing with griefers largely depends on the game but there are
some interesting ways, that games or modifications deal with them.

The Call of Duty series, for instance, features a killcam.
In the genre of First Person Shooters, cheaters are often using
wallhacks, enabling them to see through walls, or aimbots, that
automatically aim and land headshots every time. A combination
of both is also common and even more frustrating for the other
players. Therefore, the newer parts of the Call of Duty Series,
has this killcam, where a player, upon his own screendeath, sees
his killing out of the perspective of the player that shot him.
In this perspective, the characteristic movement patterns of
those cheats are clearly recognizable.

In addition to that, the game runs on the creators own network
which monitors every players activity. Each game is recorded by
default and you can watch your own replays in a cinema mode. By
this, it is really easy to record videos of cheaters as evidence
and report them to the creators of the game whose task it is to
ban the cheaters from the online games.

Minecraft, which is also suffering heavily from griefers, has an
active community that developed mods for the games multiplayer mode.
At first, you should be careful on how and where you advertise
your server. More publicity means more griefers. Also, admins
should be fair to their users. If the admin threats the users
bad, they will sometimes start to grief as a form of rebellion.
(Minecraft Wiki: Griefer. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Griefer)

Server modifications against griefers include scripted locks,
that only enable the legitimate owner of a crate to get to its
precious content, or plugins, that prevent players from placing
blocks, until an admin has given you the permission to do so.
Sometimes only in a certain area.

Logging plugins log every action of the players like on Etherpad
or Wikipedia, enabling the admin to revert the actions of a
griefer. Many of those anti-griefer plugins are availible online.
(Minecraft Wiki: Mods. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Mods#Server_Mods)

On SecondLife, the owners of virtual land can decide what the users
are allowed to do on it. It‘s quite common to forbid dropping items
and sometimes to fly around. This can prevent griefers from
vandalising a place with large numbers of objects, but dedicated
griefers will find a way to grief different.
An example for that would be Ralph Pootawn on whom I wrote in chapter 3.
He just violated the unwritten social rules that exist on second life.
>> No. 113
In case of Wikipedia, the formula is simple, as Clay Shirky puts it:

>“A Wikipedia article is a process, not a product, and as a result,
>it is never finished. For a Wikipedia article to improve, the good
>edits simply have to outweight the bad ones. Rather than filtering
>contributions before they appear in public (the process that helped
>kill Nupedia), Wikipedia assumes that new errors will be introduced
>less frequently than existing ones will be corrected. This
>assumption has proven correct; despite occasional vandalism,
>Wikipedia articles get better, on average, over time.”
(Clay Shirky: Here comes everybody. New York 2009, p.119)

Youtube also uses a similar principle. The large number of users
will flag inappropriate content and upvote good content. This grants
that the first page is always filled with high-rated content, while
trolls will get downvoted and, if their video violates the code of
conduct, deleted by a moderator.

This type of crowd control works really well in nearly all cases, as
everybody can see on the site. However, when anonymous started their
YouTube Porn Day, they engineered the attack so, that the usual
mechanisms don‘t work. A very large amount of pornographic content
was uploaded at once, tagged with false names and often edited
together with normal videos. The community flagged those videos, but
there were so many, that the moderators didn‘t manage to delete them
all immediatelly. This especially got more complicated for them,
when 4chans users decided to flag normal content as inappropriate to
create confusion. Because of this action, the signal to noise ratio
the moderators get through the reports was really low. It took the
team of YouTube several hours to clean up their site.

Apart from these extreme situations, these mechanisms work very well to prevent trolls.

A downside is, that this leads to groupthinking. Only the popular
videos will get more popular and most new videos don‘t get more than
30.000 views on youtube. The same problem applies to various other places, like reddit.
>> No. 114
While most people argue, that anonymity will lure the trolls,
kuro5hin user Anaesthetica issued the interesting thought of
anonymity as a gain for the community’s quality.

>“Anonymity counters vanity, instilling some degree of egolessness
>into users. Ad hominems are less effective, and the substance of
>the comment means more than the person saying it.”
(Anaesthetica: Attacked from within. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2009/3/12/33338/3000)

In an anonymous system, trolls would have problems to sustain
their unwarranted self-importance and baiting or harassing
individual users is near impossible. This does not prevent all
forms of trolling, but it mitigates some forms. (Ibid.)
>> No. 115
A persistent identity allows for effective control through
moderation, rewards and penalties.

Douglas Rushkoff describes Identity as one of the most important
prerequisites to maintain a human internet.

>“Our digital experiences are out-of-body. This biases us toward
>depersonalized behaviour in an environment where one’s identity can
>be a liability. But the more anonymously we engage with others, the
>less we experience the human repercussions of what we say and do.
>By resisting the temptation to engage from the apparent safety of
>anonymity, we remain accountable and present-and much more likely
>to bring our humanity with us into the digital realm.”
(Douglas Rushkoff: Program or be Programmed: Ten commands for a digital age. Berkeley 2010, p. 84)
>> No. 116
Troll Culture today is more than just acting after the definition of a troll.
>> No. 117
File 132754479616.png - (132.07KB , 1085x462 , trollface.png )
DeviantArt user Whynne created the iconic trollface, in an
attempt to draw a figure called “Rape Rodent”, which is a
creepy looking drawing of Mighty Mouse.
(Encyclopedia Dramatica: Rape Rodent. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Rape_Rodent)

fig. 32 & 33: Rape Rodent and Trollface

In the initial comic that featured trollface, Whynne wanted to
criticise false trolls. People write incredibly stupid
arguments online and upon corrected by someone else, they
realize how stupid their first post was. Instead of admitting
that they were wrong, they’d pretend to have been trolling all the time.
It describes people, that use the pretense of trolling to
excuse themselves from poor reasoning.
($Heidi: An interview with Trollface’s creator. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://heidi.deviantart.com/journal/A-Trollface-April-Fools-214248153)
However, the facial expression somehow fitted to how many
people imagined trolls would look when they are doing their
>> No. 118
File 132754497469.png - (73.06KB , 755x1255 , Trolls_by_Whynne.png )
fig. 34: “Comic - Trolls” by Whynne
Url: http://whynne.deviantart.com/art/Comic-Trolls-98357844
>> No. 119
File 132754501285.jpg - (207.11KB , 853x1551 , lanfkaabi.jpg )
fig. 35: Coolface. Source unknown. Propably 4chan.
>> No. 120
File 132754512026.png - (290.51KB , 503x373 , Capture.png )
After the original comic got posted to 4chan and sparked remakes, 4somebody made another comic with that face, calling it coolface.
Altough the author remains unknown, the comic got so popular, that
many people started calling Trollface Coolface. The catchphrase
“Problem?” also stems from this second comic, which was then
associated with trollish escaping of mischievous or just stupid

Today, Trollface is used widely and has, in certain parts of the Internet,
become a part of a visual language to indicate trolling.

This is often done in a comedic nature, like saying
“Dude, he/she gotta be trollin’!”

fig. 36: Charlie Brown trolled
>> No. 121
File 132754515946.png - (267.04KB , 428x283 , Trolle.png )
fig. 37: Trolling in Spain
>> No. 122
File 132754519791.jpg - (190.28KB , 802x630 , Columbus_Breaking_the_Egg___Christopher_Columbus__.jpg )
fig. 38: Columbus as a troll
>> No. 123
File 132754544129.png - (133.62KB , 500x562 , rage-comics-kitty-butt.png )
In addition to this, Trollface became a part of the Rage-Comic scene.
Again, it is used to indicate a troll.

fig. 39: Ragecomic

In 2011, after his Trollface became common all over the internet, its
creator Whynne threatens one of the largest communities for ragecomics,
reddits f7u13 subreddit, with a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
(Reddit: looks like f7u12 is done. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.reddit.com/r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu/comments/ir9kx/looks_like_f7u12_is_done/)
He demanded for the community to be shut down, or to be monitored
effectively for violations of his copyright to the original trollface.
This action spawned extremely angry and frustrated reactions from the
community. In Internet slang, this is refered to as a “Shitstorm”.
Altough his motivation is not 100% clear, it was almost sure, that he
trolled reddit when he wrote this comment:

>“You know what also makes me happy?
>Trolling reddit and seeing a shitstorm like this develop.”
(Reddit: Whynne comments on looks like f7u12 is done. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://www.reddit.com/r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu/comments/ir9kx/looks_like_f7u12_is_done/c26bo1y?context=3)

Later, while SOPA was in discussion, Whynne posted a journal on his
deviantArt page entitled, „A message to le redditors“ which read:

>“If SOPA passes, I’m going to have a fucking field day, and you’re first on
>my list. Tell your friends.”
(Whynne: A message to le redditors. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://whynne.deviantart.com/journal/#/d4m7uma)

In my opinion, he is a really successful troll!
>> No. 124
File 132754563148.png - (210.43KB , 616x551 , Problem_science.png )
The idea of Trollface evolved and sparked a variety of related memes.
Trollscience is the idea of creating images about
pseudoscientific paradoxes.
Like often with memes from 4chan, it is hard to track the
development, but the prequel to Trollscience could have been a music
video of the Insane Clown Posse, published in 2010, in which they
declared common scientific facts as miracles, while stating that
scientists are lying.
Especially the phrase “fucking magnets, how do they work?” became a
meme and lots of remixes including magnets were made.
(knowyourmeme: fucking magnets, how do they work?. as of Jan.22 2012 Url: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/fcking-magnets-how-do-they-work)

After the Insane Clown Posse turned into a meme, they stated, that
this was all planned out from the beginning. They claimed, they were trolling.
Of course nobody believed them.

Altough there is no verifyable connection between the magnets meme
and troll science, I find it highly plausible, that it inspired the
first troll science comic, which appeared later that year.
(knowyourmeme: Troll Science. as of Jan.22 2012Url: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/troll-science-troll-physics)

fig. 40: a derivate of the first known troll science comic
>> No. 125
File 13275457044.png - (98.77KB , 640x480 , 9Ci5K.png )
Another incarnation of Trollface was Trolldad, which consisted of
comics in which a father trolls his son or daughter.

fig. 41: Trolldad

Those two memes are just examples for the versatility and the
evolution of memes just as a basic thought, that lies beneath
every one of these variations.

The trollface has become a peircian icon, for the construct of
thought behind trolling and slightly changes its message
depending on the context in which it appears.
>> No. 127
The Internet has become ubiquitous and people that are using it, are not
thinking about it anymore. It’s just there. Since it has been designed for
openness, this arises problems, when people don’t ponder on their role on the
Internet and use the openness in an unreflected way, say to display oneself.

This lures the trolls, who often posess a larger amount of media cempetence
and find the weak points in the constructs of the unaware.
On the one hand, it serves us with good lulz and often educates newbies.
On the other hand, some forms of trolling create a hostile environment, which
will influence the culture of the internet in a bad way.
This leads us to the first conclusion:

You can and must understand troll culture now!

By understanding the phenomenon and its functioning, we can evaluate the
up- and downsides individially for each action. Creative, classy trolling is
a beautiful thing when executed well and I find it sad, that the tenor about
trolling is so negative, as of this writing. This is a waste of potential.

Annother problem is, that trolls traditionally think in two categories.
Internet and Real-Life. With the ubiquity of the Internet, this too changed finally.
While people always had some forms of emotional connections to their avatars
or websites, current changes interweave so called Real Life and Internet even
more. While pseudonymity was a norm in the 90s, it disappeared with the rise
of Facebook and Google. This brought an influx of people, that didn’t care
about the computer or the network on its technical layer, but wanted to
socialise with friends online, under their real names, like in “Real Life”.
Given this, even the greatest critic of the concept has to admit, that the
Internet finally IS Real Life, just as much as your Job, your Family, etc...

Our online life has strong impacts on our offline live and vice versa.
The problem with some of the most cruel trollings is, that some trolls have not realized this change.
This leads us to the second conclusion:

Trolls must understand, that Internet is Real Life!

Because trolling is a constant on the Internet, this conclusion would never
stop the malicious, live destroying kind of trolling, as seen in the case of
Jessi Slaughter. Maybe, there will be a new profession of troll blazers,
those who find delight in the task of helping people that are hunted by the
enormous mass of the trolls. Specialists in Internet Culture at marketing
agencies often already know how to deal with trolls. However, the skill of
professional advice should not be limited to few marketing experts that help
big businesses.

Teachers should be educating how to avoid trolling in school. That doesn’t
mean, that children should learn to stop doing anything online in order to
avoid trolls. It should be differenciated. After all, trolls usually go for
the naive and the vain. Trolls like to mock those, that promise to give the
most lulz.
“‘Lulz’ is the pleasure derived from provoking and/or observing unjustifiable
internet rage”, so if you are mad, take some time to think if your actions
are still adequate. This all leads us to the third conclusion:

The Internet is not a place to live out your excessive vanity or unwarranted self-importance!

>> No. 130

Dibbell, Julian: my tiny life. London 1999

Donath, Judith: »Identity and Deception«, in: Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (ed..): Communities in Cyberspace. London 1999

Himmelein, Gerald »Das Trollparadies«, in: ct, 6/2008

Rushkoff, Douglas: Program or be Programmed: Ten commands for a digital age. Berkeley 2010

Stryker, Cole: Epic Win for Anonymous. New York 2011


$Heidi: An interview with Trollface’s creator. as of Jan.22 2012
Url: http://heidi.deviantart.com/journal/A-Trollface-April-Fools-214248153

Adrian Chen: How the Internet Beat Up an 11-Year-Old Girl. as of Jan.15 2012
Url: http://gawker.com/5589103/how-the-internet-beat-up-an-11+year+old-girl

Anaesthetica: Attacked from within. as of Jan.22 2012
Url: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2009/3/12/33338/3000

Cole Stryker: The Jessi Slaughter Scandal. as of Jan.15 2012
Url: http://www.urlesque.com/2010/07/19/jessi-slaughter/

Jamin Brophy-Warren: Modest Web Site Is Behind a Bevy of Memes. as of Dec.14 2011
Url: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121564928060441097.html

Jana Herwig: Moot on 4chan and why it works as a meme factory. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://digiom.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/moot-on-4chan-and-why-it-works-as-a-meme-factory/

Julian Dibbell: Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses. as of Jan.12 2012
Url: http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/16-02/mf_goons

Julian Dibbell: The Assclown Offensive: How to Enrage the Church of Scientology. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/17-10/mf_chanology

Mattathias Schwartz: The Trolls Among Us. as of Dec.06 2011
Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html

Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/papers/4chan-icwsm2011.pdf

Nick Douglas: What The Hell Are 4chan, ED, Something Awful, And “b”? as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://gawker.com/346385/what-the-hell-are-4chan-ed-something-awful-and-b

Rex Sorgatz: Macroanonymous Is The New Microfamous. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://fimoculous.com/archive/post-5738.cfm
>> No. 131

Dawkins, Richard: The Selfish Gene. New York 2006

Dibbell, Julian: my tiny life. London 1999

Donath, Judith: »Identity and Deception«, in: Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (ed..): Communities in Cyberspace. London 1999

Himmelein, Gerald »Das Trollparadies«, in: ct, 6/2008

Kirkpatrick, David: the facebook effect. New York 2010

Kunzmann, Peter et al.: dtv-Atlas Philosophie. Munich 2009

Prechtl, Peter and Burkard, Franz-Peter (ed.): Metzler Lexikon Philosophie. Begriffe und
Definitionen. Stuttgart 2008

Rushkoff, Douglas: Program or be Programmed: Ten commands for a digital age. Berkeley 2010

Shirky, Clay : Here comes everybody. New York 2009

Stryker, Cole: Epic Win for Anonymous. New York 2011

Suler, John: »The Online Disinhibition Effect«, in: CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 7,
No. 3 (June 2004), pp321-326

Turkle, Sherry: Life on the screen. New York 1997

Zittrain, Jonathan: The Future of the Internet. London 2009


27b/6: Go Away. as of Jan.12 2012
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27b/6: Next time, I’ll spend the money on drugs instead. as of Jan.12 2012
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$Heidi: An interview with Trollface’s creator. as of Jan.22 2012
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2channel: General Information. Translated by Google. as of Dec.16 2011
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4chan: FAQ. as of Dec. 06 2011
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4chan: FAQ. Software. as of Dec.16.2011
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4chan News - WELCOME by moot. as of Dec.14 2011
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Alexa: Site Info of 2chan.net. as of Dec.16 2011
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Alexa: somethingawful.com. As of 19.Dec 2011
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Alexa: Top Sites in Japan. as of Dec.15 2011
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Alligator: Would you troll the Alligator’s poll? as of Jan.17 2012
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alt.flame: Hi boyz and girlz. as of Jan.8 2012
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alt.urban.folklore: Death to Trolling. as of Jan.8 2012
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Anick Jesdanun: Prankster posts sex ad replies online. as of Jan.13 2012
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Bill Thompson: When private and public collide. As of Jan.15 2012
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Canvas: FTFY. as of Jan.17 2012
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Carolyn Kaufman: The Dark and Light Sides of the Shadow. as of Jan.9 2012
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chanarchive.org: Doing balancing tricks with my dog. as of Dec.4 2012
Url: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/b/21610/

chanarchive.org: More Ralph Trolling. as of Jan.11 2012
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chanarchive.org: Picture from original thread on /v/. as of Jan.11 2012

chanarchive.org: Pokemon Ralph.as of Jan.11 2012
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chanarchive.org: The strange world of /b/: Comment. as of Jan.4 2012
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chanarchive.org: Triforce. as of Jan.4 2012
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chanarchive.org: You’re on trial for murder. The 12th picture in your /b/ folder is the prosecution’s main evidence against you. as of Jan.4 2012
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Cole Stryker: The Jessi Slaughter Scandal. as of Jan.15 2012
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Davey Wavey: A Message for the Trolls. as of Jan.18 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: /b/. as of Jan.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Atheist. How to troll your average Atheist. as of Jan.18 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Bump. as of Jan.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: How to Troll. as of Jan.17 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Newfag. as of Jan.22 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Niggertits. as of Dec.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Rules of the Internet. as of Jan.13 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Sage. as of Jan.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Shoe on Head. as of Jan.17 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Socrates. as of Jan.8 2012
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Encyclopaedia Dramatica - Something Awful. as of Dec.20 2011
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: The cancer that is killing /b/. as of Jan.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: The cancer that is killing /b/. Bottom Line. as of Jan.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: The Great Habbo Raid of 2006. as of Jan.12 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Triforce. as of Jan.4 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Trollface. as of Jan.22 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Trolling101. as of Jan.18 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Troll Science. as of Jan.22 2012
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Encyclopedia Dramatica: Yahoo Answers. as of Jan.17 2012
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Everything Shii knows: 4chan. as of Jan.4 2012
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Everything Shii Knows: Futaba Channel. as of Dec.16 2011
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Fanpop.com: Troll Doll. as of Jan.8 2012
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Fox11 News: Report on anonymous. as of Dec.4 2012

Fugly: The Legend Of Bloodninja. as of Jan.17 2012
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Harry Mccracken: Google+’s Real-Name Policy. as of Jan.1 2012
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Imgur: Chocolate Milk. as of Jan.22 2012
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Jamin Brophy-Warren: Modest Web Site Is Behind a Bevy of Memes. as of Dec.14 2011
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Jana Herwig: Moot on 4chan and why it works as a meme factory. as of Jan.4 2012
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Janne Nikula: Do not feed the trolls. as of Jan.8 2012
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John Brownlee: John Edwards Meets Second Life ‘Feces Spewing Obscenity’. as of Jan.12 2012
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John Saar: »Air Carrier War«, in: LIFE, 4. Febr. 1972, p.28
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Julian Dibbell: Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses. as of Jan.12 2012
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Julian Dibbell: The Assclown Offensive: How to Enrage the Church of Scientology. as of Jan.8 2012
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Ken Cage: Gayle. a history and dictionary of gay language in south africa. Houghton 2003, p.100
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Kevin Poulsen: Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer. as of Jan.15 2012
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knowyourmeme: Duckroll. as of Jan.22 2012
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knowyourmeme: fucking magnets, how do they work?. as of Jan.22 2012
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knowyourmeme.com: I’m twelve years old and what is this?. as of Jan.13 2012
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knowyourmeme.com: Pool’s Closed. as of Jan.12 2012

knowyourmeme: the cancer that is killing /b/. as of Jan.17 2012
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knowyourmeme: Trolldad. as of Jan.22 2012
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knowyourmeme: Trollface. as of Jan.22 2012

knowyourmeme: Trollface. as of Jan.22 2012

knowyourmeme: Trollface. as of Jan.22 2012
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knowyourmeme: Trolling. as of Jan.17 2012
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knowyourmeme: Troll Science. as of Jan.22 2012
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knowyourmeme: Zalgo. as of Jan.17 2012
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knowyourmeme: Zalgo. as of Jan.17 2012
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Lisa Katayama: Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura. as of Dec.16 2011
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Mattathias Schwartz: The Trolls Among Us. as of Dec.06 2011
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Matthew Moore: Rick Astley named Best Act Ever. as of Jan.5 2012
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memebase.com: And I Thought Your Litter Box Smelled Bad. as of Jan.22 2012
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Michael Arrington: 4chan Founder Unleashes Canvas On The World. as of Jan.17 2012

Michael Arrington: YouTube RickRolls Users. as of Jan.7 2012
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Michael S. Bernstein et al.: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. as of Jan.4 2012
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Minecraft wiki: Griefing. as of Jan.17 2012
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Minecraft Wiki: Mods. as of Jan.22 2012
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Myspace: BDSM Iran. as of Jan.1 2012
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Nick Douglas: What The Hell Are 4chan, ED, Something Awful, And “b”? as of Jan.4 2012
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Oh Internet: Zalgo. as of Jan.17 2012
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Penny Arcade: John Gabriels Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. as of Jan.8 2012
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ralphplsgo.com: What is Second Life?.as of Jan.11 2012
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Reddit: 4chan takes their chocolate milk very seriously. as of Jan.22 2012
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Reddit: looks like f7u12 is done. as of Jan.22 2012
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Rex Sorgatz: Macroanonymous Is The New Microfamous. as of Jan.4 2012
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Robert Quigley: Kate’s Party: Or, How 60,000 Trolls Facebook-Crashed a Random Party in Australia. as of Jan.12 2012
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rusty: K5 Becomes “Gated Dysfunctional Community”. as of Jan.22 2012
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Something Awful Forums: SAclopaedia on FYAD. as of Dec.20 2011
Url: http://forums.somethingawful.com/dictionary.php?act=3&topicid=24

Something Awful: Photoshop Phriday. as of Dec.19 2011
Url: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/

Something Awful: The Weekend Web. As of Dec.19 2011
Url: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/weekend-web/

Something Awful: Yahoo! Answers Revisited. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/weekend-web/yahoo-answers-revisited.php

Tanner Ringerud: 20 Great Chat Roulette Trollin’ Screenshots. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-20-greatest-chat-roulette-trolls-nsfw

The Art of Trolling: Facebook Troll. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://cheezburger.com/View/4273250816

The Art of Trolling: It Must Be Stuck Somewhere. As of Jan.17 2012

The Art of Trolling: The Real Reason I Don’t Take These From Strangers. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://artoftrolling.memebase.com/2011/11/02/irl-troll-the-real-reason-i-dont-take-these-from-strangers/

Time Magazine: The World’s Most Influential Person Is... . as of Jan.15 2012
Url: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1894028,00.html

Tony Austin: WinRickVoter. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyaustin/2951935994/

Urban Dictionary: goon. as of Dec.19 2011
Url: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=goon&defid=2580035

Vice: Forever Alone Involuntary Flashmob. as of Jan.18 2012
Url: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/forever-alone-involuntary-flashmob

Wand 5 e.V.: Preisverleihung 22. Stuttgarter Filmwinter. as of Jan.15 2012
Url: http://www.wand5.de/wand5cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=107&lang=english

Whois: zombo.com. as of Jan.5 2012
Url: http://who.is/whois/zombo.com/

Whynne: A message to le redditors. as of Jan.22 2012
Url: http://whynne.deviantart.com/journal/#/d4m7uma

Whynne: Comic - Trolls. as of Jan.22 2012
Url: http://whynne.deviantart.com/art/Comic-Trolls-98357844

Wikichan: The Complete History of 4chan (cached version) as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://www.peeep.us/85e62424

Wikidot: Vote Rick. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://bestactever.wikidot.com/

Wikipedia: Diogenes of Sinope. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope

Wikipedia: ebaumsworld. as of Jan.13 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBaum%27s_World#Copyright_infringement

Wikipedia: I know that I know nothing. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_that_I_know_nothing

Wikipedia: Online disinhibition effect. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect

Wikipedia: Patriotic Nigras. as of Jan.12 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotic_nigras

Wikipedia: Patriotic Nigras Logo. as of Jan.12 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PN_Website_Logo.png

Wikipedia: Shadow (psychology). as of Jan.9 2012

Wikipedia: Socratic Method. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method

Wikipedia: Streisand Effect. as of Jan.20 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

Wikipedia: Three Billy Goats Gruff”. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Billy_Goats_Gruff

Wikipedia: Triforce. as of Jan.22 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Triforce.svg

Wikipedia: Troll Doll. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_doll

Wikipedia: Trolling (fishing). as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolling_%28fishing%29

Wikipedia: Trolls. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll

Wikipedia: Universe of The Legend of Zelda. as of Jan.4 2012
Url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe_of_The_Legend_of_Zelda#Triforce

Wikipedia: What is a troll? Dealing with trolls. as of Jan.22 2012
Url: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/What_is_a_troll%3F#Dealing_with_trolls

Will Doig: Homophobosphere. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://www.advocate.com/article.aspx?id=22197

Yahoo Answers: When a guy says... as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100223093446AAzK2eM

YouTube: Angie ist kein Tokio hotel Fan mehr- English Subs. as of Jan.17 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/8YJXXcX-y_o

YouTube: Angie-Lasst Tokio Hotel Fans in Ruhe - English Subs. as of Jan.18 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/AfjjZWYmKmE

YouTube: Anonymous member covered in pubes runs into scientology building. as of Jan.8 2012
Url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrZk0C91mfg

YouTube: ASS JiGGLiN FOR D-R0C. [tHiS ONES BEttER]. as of Jan.15 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/rnnlID0wAok

YouTube: BarackRoll. as of Jan.7 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/wzSVOcgKq04

YouTube: Batroll’d. as of Jan.7 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/XCspzg9-bAg

YouTube: Jessi Slaughter And Her Dad. as of Jan.15 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/esNHjSaEURg?t=41s

YouTube: John McCain Gets Rick Rolled by Obama. as of Jan.7 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/HioPyCID6RI?t=28s

YouTube: McRoll’d. as of Jan7. 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/Ssh71hePR8Q

YouTube: Mr. Trololo original upload. as of Jan.7 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/oavMtUWDBTM

YouTube: Mudkip: The Insane Edition. as of Jan.7 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/MKzqP4-0Z6M

YouTube: ORIGINAL Jessi Slaughter before emotional breakdown. as of Jan.12 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/Yy4gGs8_90w

YouTube: POONER AND A.DUBS BOOTYMEAT. as of Jan.13 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/svJuZESEsEw

YouTube: poppin booty. as of Jan.13 2012
Url: http://youtu.be/jzeB8cCTiOc

Zombo.com. as of Jan.5 2012
Url: http://www.zombo.com/
>> No. 132
tl:dr http://youtu.be/oavMtUWDBTM

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