August 2, 2008

"But these Internet Savages are more like unto Vagabonds, Wastrels, or even common Thieves, enjoying the Benefits of Society, whilst doing no Good."

Surely, you recognize the voice of our ghost commenter, Sir Archy, dead these 250 Years and more. We'd been missing him, and now he's made an appearance, on that post about the trolls of the web.

12 comments:

Ron said...

Hey Doc! Good to have you back!

dan said...

anne
does your blog cover fat issues for fat people? i have some news tips. may i send?

blake said...

Never has a sepulchral breeze felt so refreshing.

sedo666 said...

Timbaland Lyrics

Bissage said...

Some commenters are more popular than others but nobody doesn’t like Sir Archy!

ricpic said...

If the definition of a troll is one whose posts are deliberately misleading (that's the definition I came up with when I googled troll) then many, like Maxine and her aliases, who are called trolls are in fact not trolls. To insult is not to mislead. Quite the contrary. It's intellectually lazy to call everyone who rubs you the wrong way a troll.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage:
That's cause we all think he is talking about someone else.

AJ Lynch said...

Damn I looked at the date on this post (Saturday) and thought I gained a day. Then realized Ann has not posted yet today. Slacker.

Pogo said...

Maxine's not a troll because she's misleading, but because she's deliberately insulting the host and host's family.

Like Sir Archy said, she acts on the premise "All this I do, because I dare."

And "having neither Sense nor Manners", with the assistance of Althouse, was shewn out of Doors.

(Another excellent post by the Ghost.)

Ann Althouse said...

Ricpic, read the NYT Magazine article for a more sophisticated explanation of what makes a person a troll. My definition -- and I am setting the standards here -- has to do with someone whose malicious intent has been demonstrated over time. You may not see it in one particular thread, where participation may be excellent, but that is just the troll setting up to do damage later. There are a few people who've gone through cycles of damage here, and at this point, I don't care how good some of their contributions are. I don't want the distraction. It's a shame with Maxine, because she was once one of my 5 favorite commenters.

Trooper York said...

I like Sir Archy, but I must admit I much prefer Sir Jughead.

blake said...

"Degrader" is probably the best term.

Because that's what they do; that's their purpose.

They find an area and degrade it. Whether it's by trolling (in the traditional 'net sense of seeking to start flamewars), stalking (thereby making people feel unsafe to comment), or mocking (so as to dampen earnest contributions).

This is harder than engaging in real conversation, or just being genuinely funny. If nothing else, you can simply make enough noise that it drives people away.

And there you've proven your own nihilistic philosophy.