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Trolling: Am I weird for not getting it?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by musicalman, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. musicalman

    musicalman Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,
    As a person who tries to understand different perspectives, I like to get a sense of why people do what they do. I'm not always successful, but I enjoy trying to work out other people's points of view, since it is therapeutic for me sometimes. But one thing I have never understood the mindset or purpose of is trolling.

    From my understanding, a troll, at least in this case, is a person who likes to post remarks on social media deliberately for the purposes of causing confusion, or strong emotional responses or reactions. What I'm having trouble with is understanding why someone would deliberately want to do that.

    The reason I even decided to post this thread here btw was twofold: Firstly, I fell victim to a trollish comment which offended me greatly and caused a bit of an awkward kerfuffle last night, and secondly because I'm sort of afraid for those autistics and other people who can't tell the difference. Hell even I can't tell the difference between a troll and a serious comment most of the time. I'm getting better, but I like to think I'm fairly well-equipped socially and I still struggle with this. I guess I'm not alone, though.

    To clarify, I have trolled in the past. Well, if you count saying things to friends to get a reaction out of them. But when I did that, there were two key differences between me and the trolls I'm talking about. First, they're my friends and I know they won't take me seriously when my sarcasm comes out, and second, if things start going south, I'm always prepared to back out and let them know I was just messing around. I would never say something serious in public or in a large group to toy with people's deep emotions or to start a riot as it were. If I did, I would feel bad if someone took it too seriously, and I could easily say something which would deeply offend or otherwise hurt them. I can't take that chance in good conscience.

    So I guess what I'm confused about isn't so much the principal, since with friends or people you know, it's good fun to say something stupid to see what they'll do. The confusing bit for me is why some people are willing/able to go so far with it. I love a good bit of sarcasm so long as it's clearly sarcasm, but I don't love blurring those lines on purpose and reveling in the fires that result, or even worse, pretending I'm being serious when I'm not, just to increase the temperature to melting point. I don't know if I'll ever truly understand why people feel okay doing this on a large scale, but I figured I'd ask, just in case it can be explained.

    So yeah, what do you think? Am I just weird? Lol
     
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  2. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Some people get a thrill out of creating chaos. They feel powerful when others scramble in reaction to their comments.
    I liken this to the class clown in middle school, they are just making a scene to get attention. Very sophomoric behavior at best.

    We, myself included, fall victim when we feel the need to educate ignorant people or defend ourselves. Sometimes I get sucked in when I think I am going to have a respectful debate about the issue. It doesn't take long to figure it out.

    Don't feed the trolls.
     
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  3. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I think you just answered your own question here. It's to get a reaction, I think, a stimulus. I don't get it either, it's not something I'd do. It's one thing to poke gentle fun at a person whom you know well, who you know will understand that it's not meant seriously and just a joke - that's not trolling - and another to provoke with the intention of stirring up anger and other negative emotions to get a reaction, which is trolling. I don't know why people do it, probably a combination of factors - personality, childhood experiences, environment.
     
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  4. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    I used to call it, “being Grandpa.” It was my Grandfather’s favorite
    sport: provoke as many people at a family dinner as possible.

    Some are quite skilled at it. Sophists, etc.
     
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  5. LadyS

    LadyS Work in Progess

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    In addition to what others have said, some also do it as a way to lash out when things in their personal life aren't going well and online is a great way to bite people anonymously to feel "better" about oneself. Online trolling is just another method of bullying. And most trolls don't realize that it can cause stress to the people who actually care about what's being said.

    I find it pretty easy to detect trolling which can fly over other heads. For some reason it frustrates me to no end when I see others trying to debate with one, because the troll usually wins and the cycle continues. Just a big forehead slap to the face.

    Some hints:
    - If it's a singular biting comment that seems to be at odds with the OP and you can't tell if it's sarcasm, it most likely is sarcasm and/or trolling
    - if it's serious debatable issue, trolls usually leave controversial comments and only zero in on loose points that are not airtight and ignore the rest of what you said even if it's 100% fact. Safest way to debate online is not to write a long drawn thesis, but make a singular point or statement that forces the other side to think about it and not look for the weakest links in your argument to poke at to draw your attention away. Trolls usually ignore the logical calm rational comments and respond to the emotional ones.
    - many of the online ones are actually paid trolls hired by companies to try to cause confusion, chaos and pull at emotional strings to distract from the actual issues. You usually can tell by their names and profile info. And also by their poor spelling, letter/word spacing and grammar. The earlier trolls used to call people names but I've seen some newer techniques being employed. It actually made me want to start a company for anti-trolling.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  6. 1ForAll

    1ForAll Active Member

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    Not weird. I understand what you are saying.

    I guess the confusion comes from not knowing whether those others are doing it intentionally or not, as that could determine our response, if any. We often have no way of knowing what that answer is, without more context or information, or without a large sample size of those offenses and their reactions to any critiques there, and/or unless those offending others were honest or seemed sincere in why they said or did such, as any number of things can cause offensive remarks to be made:

    -Ignorance
    -Bullying
    -Need for entertainment
    -Need for attention
    -lack of empathy
    -Irrational, Delusional or Distorted Thinking
    -Bias
    -Other emotions clouding their judgment
    -Other unknown agendas

    The bottom line is I have fallen for that trap from time to time, as I sometimes am not totally sure if those offenders with strange claims sincerely mean what they say or are being sarcastic despite usually being good at picking up on that stuff, or I cannot be sure if they are doing it with intent to harm or without. Regardless, I see that all as harming as some persons viewing think it's the truth, and it invokes intense emotions, and I feel more places should be vigilant of that, and stop it in its tracks.





    -
     
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  7. QuestJan

    QuestJan Active Member

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    More like a breath of fresh air.

    I have gotten so horrified by current events that I think I became a facsimile of the sarcastic troll you describe. I am taking measures to return to the disposition you champion.
     
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  8. phantom

    phantom Active Member

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    People don't always troll because they are sadistic or something

    People can troll to get some interaction and fun out of people, while keeping those people at a huge distant because they are afraid of being rejected if they were to act genuine.

    Think of it as a young boy bullying a girl he likes, he want's to interact with her desperately, but is to afraid of being rejected to show what he genuinely wants, so he decides to annoy her instead.
     
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  9. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    At least in my awareness, it gives them a sense of power. By getting you to react to a troll post they have controlled your behavior. The more emotionally you react, the greater the control. Trolls want you angry or scared or sad or whatever but righteous indignation is the purest of honey to them. Ignoring a troll or unemotionally announcing that a post is a troll and then ignoring it is the proper way to deal with them. Anything else is rewarding the behavior.

    Trolls are a creature of the internet. The anonymity makes it impossible to punish the behavior and the more it is attempted, the happier the troll gets. Cancel their account? Block their IP? Change IPs and create a new account. Back online in days to minutes.

    But there will always be someone who "Cannot let this outrageous statement stand!" Always. They launch into the troll with all the arguments and indignation at their command. The troll then squeals with delight and leads the clueless respondent on with ever more troll posts. Because of this, the troll almost always wins. For this reason, I do not bother with forums that are not heavily moderated.

    do-not-feed-the-trolls-1024x651.jpg
     
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  10. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Or feed trolls their own BS
    Turn it back on them.
     
  11. Paul Lee

    Paul Lee Well-Known Member

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    There's a reason why you shouldn't feed the trolls.

    Most of them thrive on a reaction. Even mentioning them is giving them what they want. But they can be rather persistent.

    Like I know this one guy who goes through the bother of editing all of the wiki pages I did, so he gets tagged to them. You edit it, he gets emailed that somebody was editing the page. And that's not including his obsessive nature, like wanting to see movies where you're only an extra, reading your posts on forums, and writing fake reviews, or sarcastically praising your acting. It just so happens he was on here, 3 years ago.
     
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  12. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I think even that is too nutritious.
     
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  13. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    By this, I would understand that Creationists = Trolls.
     
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  14. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Power.

    You should study psychology! It's a lot of fun and you get answers to questions like this.
     
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  15. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    It's about power that is the bottom line. People manipulate others to gain a sense of power and control. People who do not feel that they have power turn into bullies regardless of what forum they are in and who they bully.
    We all engage in bullying from an early age such as when a toddler takes another childs toy then won't play with it. It wasn't about the toy. Or how early children learn how to push parents buttons to get what they want. Power. The question is "Do I want to be this person?" How can I have a sense of empowerment without making anyone a victim of my need?
     
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  16. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    @Fino and @Martha Ferris I agree.


    “...their fear is transmuted to desire...”
    (for power)

    I think the quote is from the Inferno, by Dante Alighieri.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  17. Paul Lee

    Paul Lee Well-Known Member

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    The Australian stalker I know, is soon gonna be in a lot of trouble. I cannot say any more than that. :D
     
  18. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    Please update us, or I won’t be able to stop wondering about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
  19. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    I don't understand trolls either.
     
  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Another kind of trolling is this: being mean, unkind and abusing newbies on forums. I see this so often - not here, but on other forums - a newbie joins with a question, and many members, instead of helping or answering the question, react with sarcasm, silly answers or snarky comments. This is totally uncalled for, maybe not exactly trolling but a form of bullying. I can't understand it, why can't people be more accepting and just... help!!
     
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