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Abu Hadi

How To Spot A Troll

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Salam Alekum Brothers and Sisters,

As most of us know, there are many sincere brothers and sisters who come on this site to learn and discuss and they are legitimately interested in the topics. There are also some that are here just to waste time between classes or on a work break. I am not talking about those people.

As most of us also know, Shiachat is full of trolls. Trolls are people here who are not here to learn or discuss, but are here to propagandize for a certain position or here to deliberately cause problems or fights between brothers and sisters or to spread false information about Shiism or Ahl Al Bayt or brothers and sisters of certain nationalities. They may appear to be regular users, like above, but they are not. So how can we tell the difference. There are a few clues that you can pick up from their posts and member information. These are the most common characteristics.

1) Number of Posts. Most trolls have less than a hundred posts, some have slightly more. They are usually found out by the mods or reported many times by other users and thus get banned or suspended and come back on using a new user name. There are some 'old trolls' here with more than 1000 posts but those are few and far between and most people who've been here a while already know which trolls I'm talking about.

2) Spamming. Most trolls will spam post in many different subforums, even ones that have nothing to do with the subject they are posting about. They will start the same topic in many different subforums and keep bumping the topic even if there is no interest in it. They will also 'revive' old topics, maybe years old, if they back up the position they are trying to spam about. They will also have many posts over a short period of time.

3) Monolingual. Most trolls only speak English. They will try to pretend they know Arabic, Farsi, or Urdu (via google translate) but when you ask them detailed questions they will not be able to answer on the spot or at all.

4) Duck and Run. If you are discussing with a troll, and you make a point that is logical and disproves their central argument, instead of answering they will stop posting on that thread. They may wait awhile then start the topic again under a different name or on a different subforum. Also, they will only have prolonged discussions with the less knowledgeable members, trying to bait them into changing to their position. Once a member comes on who is knowledgeable in the subject, they will duck and run.

5) Bait and Switch. If they can't disprove what you are saying by using logic, they will resort to bad manners and name calling, trying to 'bring down' the discussion into a name calling game. Once they have brought down the discussion into the gutter, they will 'switch' back and chastise other members who were name calling to make themselves look like they are above the others. They may even delete their old posts where they were calling others names.

So if you 'spot a troll' do everyone here a favor and ignore them. If you do that, they will eventually go away. If you egg them on, they will be here forever.

One more thing, just because someone constantly posts about the same subject and with the same position, it doesn't necessarily mean they are a troll, if they don't also have some of the other characteristics. Some people are just very fascinated by, or feel that they have alot of knowledge to share on a particular subject.

That is perfectly fine as long as, like I said, they don't fit the 'troll' description in other ways.

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Something is missing no one has define the Internet term of troll

I think the term troll came from the children's story 'Three Billy Goats Gruff'. The troll is the one who hides under the bridge to attack those who pass over it for no reason. The Internet world adapted that term to mean someone who hides behind different internet identities and uses these to attack those he/she doesn't like or an idea that he/she doesn't like.

Also, I don't think , in general, the quality of the forum has gone down. There have always been trolls here, but the difference is that now that the forum has a lot more people, it also has alot more trolls as a result.

Edited by Abu Hadi

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On 2/12/2017 at 7:02 PM, wolverine said:

That's interesting. I knew psychologists were discussing this modern phenomena. 

As per the article, trolls were asked if they agree with these statements:

  1. I have sent people to shock websites for the lulz.
  2. I like to troll people in forums or the comments section of websites.
  3. I enjoy griefing other players in multiplayer games.
  4. The more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt.

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5 hours ago, Reza said:

That's interesting. I knew psychologists were discussing this modern phenomena. 

As per the article, trolls were asked if they agree with these statements:

  1. I have sent people to shock websites for the lulz.
  2. I like to troll people in forums or the comments section of websites.
  3. I enjoy griefing other players in multiplayer games.
  4. The more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt.

Thanks for reading and summarizing it. Trolls are a nuisance. They come to SC and play nice for a while, knowing that they will wreak havoc when they feel like exploding. 

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On 8/22/2012 at 10:02 PM, Abu Hadi said:

Trolls are people here who are not here to learn or discuss, but are here to propagandize for a certain position or here to deliberately cause problems or fights between brothers and sisters or to spread false information about Shiism or Ahl Al Bayt or brothers and sisters of certain nationalities.

Br. Abu Hadi has good advice:

Quote

So if you 'spot a troll' do everyone here a favor and ignore them. If you do that, they will eventually go away. If you egg them on, they will be here forever.

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