Quit Calling People Trolls
Trolling is essentially what everyone does all the time anyway, Damon Linker argues
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2014 1:19 PM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2014 1:53 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you want to troll Damon Linker, just accuse him of being a troll. In his latest column for the Week, Linker calls the term "facile, vacuous, imprecise," and "insipid." After all, "everyone online wants to be noticed, have a say, start an argument, be recognized as clever." There are thousands of people online saying things that someone considers outrageous. "Are they all trolls?" We can never know if someone means what they're saying, which means accusations of trolling "invariably amount to an ad hominem attack."

Was Niccolo Machiavelli trolling when he wrote The Prince? Was Nietzsche trolling when he said that "God is dead"? Malcolm X, Ayn Rand, HL Mencken, and countless others could look like trolls in the right light—and it's much easier to call them that than engage with their ideas. "At its most basic level, trolling is what everyone is doing online every hour of every day. … And at its best, trolling is coterminous with thinking itself—which often requires provocation as a goad to move the mind out of its well-worn grooves." Click for Linker's full column.

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iq145
Jul 11, 2014 8:03 PM CDT
July 9th 2014 Christopher Wilson, a 22-year-old computer science student, has been sent to jail for six months for refusing to hand over his computer encryption passwords. Wilson has been accused of "phoning in a fake warning of an impending cyber attack against Northumbria Police that was convincing enough for the force to temporarily suspend its site as a precaution once a small attack started." He's also accused of trolling on Facebook. Wilson only came to the attention of police in October 2012 after he allegedly emailed warnings about an online threat against one of the staff at Newcastle University. ... The threatening emails came from computer servers linked to Wilson. Police obtained a warrant on this basis and raided his home in Washington, where they seized various items of computer equipment. ... Investigators wanted to examine his encrypted computer but the passwords supplied by Wilson turned out to be incorrect. None of the 50 passwords he provided worked. Frustration with his lack of co-operation prompted police to obtained a order from a judge compelling him to turn over the correct passphrase last year. A judge ordered him to turn over these passwords on the grounds of national security but Wilson still failed to comply, earning him six months behind bars.
heretoday
Jul 10, 2014 7:39 AM CDT
A "troll" in the IT world is someone paid to incite arguments and fights on message boards to get clicks for the owner. The sign of them is they say the most outrageous and factious things without their comments getting deleted or banned. Rocky, Fractel, and several others here qualify for that easily. The best thing to do is just ignore them or block them but Newser doesn't let a person do that which also indicates they have paid trolls here.
iq145
Jul 10, 2014 12:39 AM CDT
"Everyone online wants to be noticed, have a say, start an argument, be recognized as clever." This is the VERY reason Facebook is so successful today. But anyway, the true original word for what they're talking about in this article is "Flamer". i don't know where "troll" came from or how... Interesting story: Christopher Wilson, a 22-year-old computer science student, has been sent to jail for six months for refusing to hand over his computer encryption passwords. Wilson has been accused of "phoning in a fake warning of an impending cyber attack against Northumbria Police that was convincing enough for the force to temporarily suspend its site as a precaution once a small attack started." He's also accused of trolling on Facebook. Wilson only came to the attention of police in October 2012 after he allegedly emailed warnings about an online threat against one of the staff at Newcastle University. ... The threatening emails came from computer servers linked to Wilson. Police obtained a warrant on this basis and raided his home in Washington, where they seized various items of computer equipment. ... Investigators wanted to examine his encrypted computer but the passwords supplied by Wilson turned out to be incorrect. None of the 50 passwords he provided worked. Frustration with his lack of co-operation prompted police to obtained a order from a judge compelling him to turn over the correct passphrase last year. A judge ordered him to turn over these passwords on the grounds of national security but Wilson still failed to comply, earning him six months behind bars.