NationStates Jolt Archive

Definition of trolling?

26-04-2005, 20:28
Sorry guys...I know you're busy, so don't worry about getting to this right away. I'm just wondering, with the latest Johnny Wadd thread:

does someone escape the label of troll if they create threads like this under their main nation name? I mean, I'm up for a little entertainment, and I think trolls do a good job of it, but it's kind of hard to take someone seriously when they are so obviously trolling. If I really thought Johnny believed half the stuff he says, I could go mad with joy and debate till my fingers bled...but the joy kind of goes out of things when you're pretty sure they're faking.

Puppet trolling is obviously easier to's hard to say which extreme opinions are real and which are not (like my rhyme?), so I'm certainly not asking for an action here. Just some dialogue about what is and what is not trolling.

27-04-2005, 05:21
I'm too tired to deal with this specific case, so I'll just speak generally.

Copied-and-pasted from here (

I have two definitions of trolling that I moderate by:

1) Someone who posts controversial statements that they don't believe in for the purpose of provoking emotional (usually angry) responses. This is distinct from satire where controversial statements are made for the purpose of making people think. The line between satire and this definition of trolling is a very fine and subtle line, so be careful if you're going to use satire.

2) Someone who posts controversial statements that they believe in, but does so in a manner that is grossly inconsiderate of the points-of-view and sensibilities of other posters and prone to provoking emotional (again, usually angry) responses either accidentally or deliberately.

As an example of #2, I vaguely recall "Tenete Traditiones": he was a pro-Catholic anti-semitic troll (assuming that you could call him Catholic) who believed that Jews were the spawn of the devil and that every church official who said otherwise (primarily since Vatican 2) was a heretic, John Paul II included. I think he genuinely believed what he argued, but the way he went about it was completely inappropriate for NationStates; after 4 or 5 deletions, he got permanently banned from NationStates.

Flamebaiting and trolling are similar. The only difference is that I regard "flamebaiting" to be directed at a specific player or group of specific players whereas "trolling" is directed at anyone of an opposing point-of-view.

--The Modified Democratic States of Cogitation
"Think about it for a moment."
NationStates Game Moderator