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Does Trolling Have Any Redeeming Features?

~~~

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#1
It seems like everyone is anti-troll. Samara Weaving suggested that she wasn't into trolls recently. Surely there is some UN convention on discrimination which includes trolls? So I thought I would play the devil's advocate here.

This is not a universal argument. It is agreed that some trolling doesn't add to arguments. However, are there not cases in which trolling can get people to think? Can it not cause cognitive dissonance? Can it help resolve paradoxes?
 

Lot

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#2
I do some IRL trolling. It can force people to look at their own views and find actual justification for why things are wrong or right. In the past I gave an argument for why molesting a child isn't wrong. That really rustles jimmies, but in all reality, not many people know why it should be considered wrong. I got the argument from 4chan (not a shcoker I'm sure). that argument also can be extended to other forms of sex. It forces a person to understand the nature of sex and it's ethics, before they can defend their own position. IT helped me to rethink the way I thought, and I'm in a better place now that I can understand sexual ethics and what it means to be a consenting adult. I shouldn't have to say it, but I will. I totally think molesting children is wrong.

So I think that as an INTP, we are in the best place to use trolling to help others grow i their own understanding or social norms. In the age of postmodern questioning, we need to reestablish some universals for society to keep progressing. We are good at tearing down and questioning ideas and we aren't so scared of being rejected for being seen as the odd man out.

(I'm a bit light headed from smoking hookah. So I hope that made sense.):D
 
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#3
(I'm a bit light headed from smoking hookah. So I hope that made sense.):D
Oh man, I really miss smoking hookah. It's bad for you but soooo relaxing.... :smoker:

As for trolling, I'm anti-troll. To me the troll is somebody who by definition does not enter a discussion in good faith, but enters it just to be an ass. This strikes me as a waste of everybody's time, including the troll's. I think it's possible to radically question assumptions without resorting to trolling; I see no reason why, for example, Lot couldn't play devil's advocate without resorting to trolling, or why a good reductio ad absurdum couldn't be employed to make much the same point. As a rhetorical strategy, it just strikes me as rude.
 
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#4
Trolling can be fun if done intelligently, like at Defcon where they "troll" in such ways to expose security risks through social engineering and other means, or I even consider "To Catch a Predator" trolling. Chris Hansen is the biggest troll.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#5
However, are there not cases in which trolling can get people to think? Can it not cause cognitive dissonance? Can it help resolve paradoxes?
You're confusing trolling for dialectics / the Socratic method. The difference between playing Devil's advocate and trolling is that one seeks to infuriate and mislead, shamelessly inserting intentional fallacies and inaccurate facts in the process.

How is that in any way conducive to reaching validity, critical thinking, or reconciling contradictions? Sure it can cause cognitive dissonance, but for all the wrong reasons.

To me the troll is somebody who by definition does not enter a discussion in good faith, but enters it just to be an ass.
^ Yes.

If there is any possible redeeming value to trolling, it would be getting people to lighten up.
 

Polaris

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#6
I find it unnecessary when there are other more constructive and positive/clever methods of inspiring conversation. One is never sure about the intentions of a troll as the comments are loaded with too many possibilities, and just makes the conversation awkward (different in RL, as it is possible to read facial expressions and therefore possible to deduce what the intentions of the comment are).

To me, trolling comes across as cowardice. Just lay the cards on the table, be frank or I will lose interest quickly.
 

crippli

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#7
I don't understand the cyber definition of a Troll. To me it is a concrete being. They live in the big mountains. Just one hour driving from here there is a whole mountain range that is called the home of the trolls. It is known for it's beautiful scenery. This is the home for the lesser trolls. Bigger Trolls have mountains for them self.

People can call the Troll alert all they like. But the truth is that all the Trolls are asleep. I am offended that mere humans presume to be like these magnificent creatures that for the time being sleep within the mountains.

I am worried that when they do wake up they will be met with a lot of hostility to all this cyber-hostility. Yes, there are stories. But you can not believe the tales of humans, they are spun and often mirror images of our self instead of actually being descriptive. Get it from the Trolls themselves if you want the truth!

And fact is that Trolls have been and seems to continue to be a source of inspiration.
http://www.squidoo.com/troll-of-norway
 

Solitaire U.

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#8
IMAO, the #1 redeeming feature of trolling is that it rallies and strengthens the social bond in the community where it occurs. I call it the 'Pearl Harbor Effect', because when it works it can transform a fragmented, isolationist, individualist society into a troll-exterminating juggernaut.
 

Jennywocky

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#9
As for trolling, I'm anti-troll. To me the troll is somebody who by definition does not enter a discussion in good faith, but enters it just to be an ass. This strikes me as a waste of everybody's time, including the troll's. I think it's possible to radically question assumptions without resorting to trolling; I see no reason why, for example, Lot couldn't play devil's advocate without resorting to trolling, or why a good reductio ad absurdum couldn't be employed to make much the same point. As a rhetorical strategy, it just strikes me as rude.
yes, would we label someone as a "troll" if people can perceive the "troll" is just being devil's advocate? It's partly a semantics issue; I wouldn't label someone a troll if I perceive they are picking a legitimate strategy. I usually save the label for a person who consistently (regardless of circumstance) is just trying to piss off or annoy others without offering anything substantial to the conversation.

Sometimes legitimate posters will use a method in a discussion that could resemble a bona fide troll. For example, when someone is making an argument that seems so thoughtless/stupid/near-sighted/self-absorbed that they don't even deserve a legitimate response, I've seen people enter the thread and just completely derail it with the most inane posts possible; there's some grey area with that, but they're actually making a point by not responding on topic... "This line of thinking isn't even worth a serious response; wake up, doofus." I guess such is trolling behavior, but it wouldn't make them "trolls" as far as their forum persona goes; a "troll" tends to use those kinds of strategies pervasively.
 

Proletar

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#10
Of course. They are anti-schemers, just like the joker in batman. Just like Socrates, they tell us "Wait. Why do you believe this? Are you sure that you have enough knowledge to be so sure?"

And then, exposes the 'experts' and self-proclaimed saints as the angry, hateful and ego-inflated bitches that they are.
 

~~~

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#11
Hmm..that is an interesting argument Proletar. Sounds like intention is a big factor. This may or may not be in the same vein but what if the intention is troll-like but it ends up leading people to think? I guess I'm responding to EyeSeeCold too. Any counter-arguments?
 

redbaron

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#12
I can't really tell if Trolling has any redeeming features unless you post a picture.
 

Polaris

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#13
This is becoming a little more complicated as the word troll seems to bring up different associations for different people.

I think we need to define exactly what we mean by "trolling" first, and then decide whether trolling has different categories, as in: when does playing the devil's advocate progress to trolling?

Or are they the same?

And intention, yes. Is the intention to inspire and provoke revision of thought and challenge attitude due to genuine curiosity, or is the intention hidden as the former, but the actual motivation more selfish, as in ego trying to crush other ego? I don't think the former is trolling, but the latter would probably fit.

And yes, @crippli has a point; humans are giving real Mountain Trolls a bad name.....:D
 

Hadoblado

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#14
Of course. They are anti-schemers, just like the joker in batman. Just like Socrates, they tell us "Wait. Why do you believe this? Are you sure that you have enough knowledge to be so sure?"

And then, exposes the 'experts' and self-proclaimed saints as the angry, hateful and ego-inflated bitches that they are.
This.

Also, if a trolling is clever, then it's sorta like a practical joke, and can be enjoyable for all involved. I have fallen victim to many a vicious trolling, only to laugh at it once I realise.

From my perspective (and this is not historically accurate), it is the mindless hate-mongers that give the rest of the trolls a bad name. They give the community a reason to hate this most noble of internet specimens.

On a side note, I continuously 'test' people by throwing them a couple of trollstones. It can be blatant, or it can be subtle, but either way their reaction will tell me something about them.
 

Grayman

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#15
Is my bullshitting a type of trolling? I often bullshit people in real life and expect them to know I am bull-shitting and laugh at it bullshit back a little. Often they do.

On the Internets people tend to take it seriously. When that happens I tend to play along with it. I suppose at that point I really am trolling. But I cannot help but be curious what arguments they would come up with against it or where the whole argument might go. Probably the worst and best of who I am is driven by my obsessive need to satisfy my thirst for curiosity even at the expense of other people.
 
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#16
Is my bullshitting a type of trolling? I often bullshit people in real life and expect them to know I am bull-shitting and laugh at it bullshit back a little. Often they do.

On the Internets people tend to take it seriously. When that happens I tend to play along with it. I suppose at that point I really am trolling. But I cannot help but be curious what arguments they would come up with against it or where the whole argument might go. Probably the worst and best of who I am is driven by my obsessive need to satisfy my thirst for curiosity even at the expense of other people.
Nehe. This.
 

Rook

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#17
I have no problem with trolling, and the more sophisticated and intelligent forms can be quite amusing.

The reason I have no problem with it is simply because the internet is peopled by actual human beings.

Face to face, one meets ignorant asshats, confidence tricksters and crafty pranksters of a great variety.
It is only expected that such persons will be active on the internet as well, for they do exist. Thus trolling is another part of human interaction, for it represents actions and mindsets that have existed through all the ages.

To extol, or moan at the existence of malicious social intent is to hold an ignorant, ideological view of the true nature of we merry apes on this spinning waterrock.

The internet, just as meatspace, is not a perfect utopia of genteel discussion and emphatic interaction.
No, it is the representation of our collective biological chaos in electronic form.

Trolls are your neighbors, drivers and children.
Trolls are inherent to our species.

One can not seek to redeem that which is unstoppable.
One can only choose to accept it as reality, or waste breathing-time throwing mud at trains.
 

QuickTwist

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#18
Holy necro batman. I was not expecting this from Greyman.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#20
Trolling means misinformation for a purpose.

That trolls tend to have bad intentions simply means they're not that funny.

\(o.O)/
 
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