I understand trolls – to a certain extent. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve trolled a few boards in my time. I can understand how trolls tick. Most of them are just assholes. They come in, they troll a board (generally with porn), get banned, laugh mischievously because they have a floating IP, log off, log back on, and reregister to troll again. Trolls like this can be the downfall of message boards. I know. I’ve seen it happen. And this is where counter-trolls come in.
Have you ever been part of forum wars? Real forum wars? Where Bob pisses off Larry on message board A, but Larry knows Bob owns his own message board, and so he and a couple of buddies traipse on over there to troll the place up. Larry quickly bans the trolls, gathers his own elite army of counter-trolls, and goes back to board A to troll that board. It could go on forever or end in a matter of minutes.
Larry and Bob eventually make up. And then, since they’re on some sort of trolling spree, they decide to pick a random board off the internet (would a boy band message board suffice? Of course!) and off they go with their two groups of trolls and just flood the board with horrid messages.
These things do happen. I know. From first hand experience.
Now, I’m happy to say I’ve moved on from this childish behaviour. In fact, when I was doing this, I was only 18 years old. Did I really know better? Probably. But in my own defence, I was in Larry’s group. We were initially counter-trolling. I know, no excuse. But what can you do?
I say if you’re going to be a troll, you should do it uniquely. My trolling techniques were never… how do you say this? Normal… I would rarely post porn. No, not porn. Porn is so… boring, so mundane, so average.
The first time I trolled, I was silly enough. I posted random lyrics from one of my favourite bands (that is virtually unknown). I flooded the board well enough. Got a post in each forum on the board. I was banned within ten minutes. Rejoined, using the same IP, and started over again. Banned again. This time they banned my IP. Smart people.
The second time I went trolling, I had a little more fun. I had access to Kirk/Spock slash graphic manipulations, and I used them all over a board where a few members had wreaked havoc upon the board I frequented. No staff were around to stop me, and I managed to put up a fair amount of disturbing photos of Kirk and Spock making out behind trees, and Spock with his shirt off, and Kirk staring longingly at the Vulcan.
The world is a messed up place.
I do not condone trolling. In fact, I am highly against it. See? People can change! I was never a bad person. My trolling was done light-heartedly, which would explain why the topics of my trolling were not very offensive at all. Well, except to the homophobic. Or the people who detest Star Trek.
And quite honestly, the second time I trolled – they never banned me! They deleted everything we had posted, and I was back the next day able to post more! But I didn’t. Once was enough.
Okay, so I ran with the wrong crowd once upon a time. I don’t anymore. I don’t approve of trolling, I am 100% against it. It’s rude, it’s annoying, and it should not be allowed. But we’ll never stop it. And sometimes there is a reason behind it, while other times it just comes out of nowhere.
People. Stop trolling. Enough is enough.
Let’s all be adults.