When did discussing something become trolling someone? Do people not know what a troll is anymore?

I'm literally laughing my ass off, because I see so many people in a discussion/argument accusing other people of being trolls out of the blue. Usually for not agreeing with their perspective, even when the accused 'troll' has not insulted anything and uses evidence.

Do people not know what a troll is anymore? Or is this a new trolling techique that trolls came up with?


Most Helpful Guy

  • It does indeed seem that the term troll does at times gets bandied about in a casual fashion and used as an ad hominem attack, in place of people attempting to directly refute others arguments.

    However it is perhaps worth noting that the term troll would seem to lack a precise definition, and thus the application of the word troll would depend not only on the specific meaning which one ascribed to it, but also on whether or not one felt an individual met the requirements of their particular definition.

    It might also be noted that providing evidence doesn't really prove a person isn't a troll. Just because one offers evidence in support of a view, it does not mean that they themselves believe in that evidence. And what about when the evidence provided doesn't really support the argument (or at least the strength of the argument) being made? It's easy to quickly find tangentially related articles. Reading over those articles and attempting to ascertain their relevance can be time consuming, especially if one wants to give another's argument a fair hearing. It can leave open to question whether or not the person providing the evidence just simply doesn't understand the evidence they've provided, or if they are intentionally attempting to waste other's time.

    At least in my experience though, it doesn't seem like trolls are exactly rare. Certainly it would seem to be the case though that with regards to certain topics (especially those relating to large scale social or ethical concerns) that there are indeed a significant number of people who will provide contentious statements which offer little or nothing to the discussion. But also, what about those who do provide more substational arguments, when those arguments are both inflammatory and hyperbolic and lacking in a sense of academic rigor. Are they trolls? Or just people providing an honest or 'raw' opinion?

    A good example of this to me is perhaps topics related to feminism (and to note, I don't wish to suggest there are no possible valid arguments against certain aspects of feminism). Those who argue against it seem to love to use pejoratives and evoke the concept of Nazism, while being filled with conspiracy theories and a questionable understanding of science. Does the fact they believe their arguments or can provide evidence for them (which may or may not be relevant to their points) mean they aren't trolls? Does it matter?

    A question for the ages I suppose.


Most Helpful Girl

  • people think everyone is trolling.


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What Guys Said 3

  • Troll these days is anyone who has a different opinion than you. It seems when people talk about a discussion they really just mean a circle jerk where everyone continue to agree with the threat creator initial stance and add argument to why it is right.

  • People throw it out there to be dismissive sometimes or it's an excuse because they can't handle it when people disagree with them.

  • Talking about sex, religion, and politics, to someone you don't know, and aren't dating, are trollable topics, especially abortion. Just don't talk about it

    • Why would I take anout them to someone Im dating or someone Im friends with? Why would I want to ruin a date with contravetsy? Also, ANY TOPIC IS TROLLABLE. Seriously, you can watch a baby video and some troll says "I HOPE THAT BABY DIES IN A FIRE!"

    • Because you trust them more than random people

    • Sex, politics, and religion, just don't talk about them to people you don't know, got it?

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