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.