Feeding the Troll


I made a mistake and began feeding the troll. Or maybe it is not a mistake, maybe it is a smart thing to do. I am undecided about this.

The term troll in this context refers to someone who intentionally posts inflammatory remarks with the hope of generating responses that turn into flame wars.

Some of you are probably wondering what I am referring to, so here is a short summary. I post on a number of blogs. One of my posts was met with a number of remarks by an anonymous poster. Most of the people that frequent this particular blog would consider these comments to be inflammatory. And many of them would recommend that the best way to deal with said troll is to simply ignore him.

Initially I had intended to do so, but I engaged him in a dialogue because I like to debate and I think that sometimes ignoring someone like creates other problems.

I should add that I am not convinced that he is a troll, I rather think that he believes what he is posting to be true, and that is more disturbing. I am not going to lose any sleep over the troll because I am not surprised that people have the beliefs he espouses, but I am mildly surprised by it.

Really the ultimate question in my head was whether engaging him lent any credence to his POV. When push came to shove I opted to respond for the purpose of demonstrating that his remarks had all the strength of Potemkin’s Village.

So I hope that I accomplished that. If I did that I’ll be satisfied and if not, oh well.

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8 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack August 29, 2005 at 11:19 pm

    “Potemkin Head”

    That is funny.

    Helena,

    I know how that goes. I have experience with feisty Cubans.

  2. Helena August 29, 2005 at 11:17 pm

    I always feed the troll. It’s because of these damn Cuban genes. They just make me wanna fight back when someone talks smack.

  3. Melliferous Pants August 29, 2005 at 9:54 pm

    I thought you were talking about me until you said “him.”

    My sister calls me Potemkin Head. Troll is a term of endearment in my family.

  4. Jack's Shack August 29, 2005 at 4:23 am

    I feel pretty good about it.

  5. PsychoToddler August 28, 2005 at 8:39 pm

    If you make your points (or counterpoints) clearly and succinctly, and then end the discussion, that’s fine.

    You’re playing into his hands if you let him drag you into a long flame-war. Then all you’re doing is giving him attention he doesn’t merit.

  6. BarbaraFromCalifornia August 28, 2005 at 3:00 pm

    From someone who fights for a living, I have learned, for my own piece of mind, to pick and choose my fights.

    Most of the time, trolls want you see anger. It feeds them and get their juices pumping. Staying focused, and standing our own ground is good for ourselves, and peace of mind. JMHO

    Have a good Sunday.

  7. Stacey August 28, 2005 at 1:27 pm

    You did the right thing by answering the troll, because oftentimes silence means acceptance.

    And there might be untold numbers of people reading that blog who have learned from the plethora of facts you put forth.

  8. callieischatty August 28, 2005 at 1:23 pm

    tough question.

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