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THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 4th 07, 03:15 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.go
Guy Macon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 834
Default THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net




THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net


INTRODUCTION

The object of this post is to bring together a definitive document to
cover the phenomena of the Usenet Troll. To many a troll is nothing
more than an annoying method of defeating the killfile whereas to the
heavily killfiled, trolling can be a virtual Godsend.
What I want this document to focus on is how to create entertaining
trolls. I have drawn on the expertise of the writer's of some of
Usenet's finest and best remembered trolls. Trolls are for fun. The
object of recreational trolling is to sit back and laugh at all those
gullible idiots that will believe *anything*.


Section 1: What Is A Troll?

The WWW gives this as a definition:

troll v.,n. To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable
responses or flames. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies";
which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling";, a style of fishing in
which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite.

The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and
flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do,
while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in
fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be
in on it.

The following extract is from a broader expansion of the defining
comments given above:

In Usenet usage, a "troll" is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath
a bridge accosting passers-by, but rather a provocative posting to a
newsgroup intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses.

The content of a "troll" posting generally falls into several areas.
It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction of common
knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of a newsgroup,
or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.

There are three reasons why people troll newsgroups:

People post such messages to get attention, to disrupt newsgroups, and
simply to make trouble.

Career trollers tend for the latter two whilst the former is the mark of
the clueless newbie and should be ignored.

Section 2: Design Issues

A troll is no different to any other Usenet posting. That needs to be
stressed. Any article that you decide to write should be written with
a view to it actually being read by large numbers of people. Simply
X-posting to large numbers of irrelevant newsgroups is not creative
trolling - it is just spam and should be avoided.

The experienced troller spends time carefully choosing the right subject
and delivering it to the right newsgroup. With trolls, delivery is just
as important as the subject.

Start the troll in a reasonable and erudite manner. You have to engage
your readers' interest and draw them in. Never give too much away at
the start - although a brief abstract with hints of what's to come can
work wonders.

Construct your troll in a manner to make it readable. Use short
paragraphs and lots of white space. Keep line length below eighty
characters. Use a liberal amount of emphasis and even the occasional
illustration. A good rule of thumb is that as your troll becomes more
and more ludicrous put extra effort into the presentation - this keeps
the mug punter confused. Let confusion and chaos be your goal!


Section 3 Content
Make your subject a relevant one. Posting "Star Trek Sucks" into
hk.forsale is not going to work very well and is liable to utterly
destroy your hard earned reputation as a troller overnight.

You do not have to make the subject clear. Trolls are aimed at two
audiences, the respondees and the lurkers. The best trolls reveal
their true subject only to the lurkers. In every sense those who reply
to your troll are your tools. So choose a theme for your troll and
stick to it.

Outwardly you need to appear sincere, but at the same time you have
to tell your *real* audience that this is blatant flamebait. Your
skill is shown in the easy way that you manipulate large areas of
the Usenet community into making public fools of themselves.

Section 4 Newsgroup Selection

Choice of newsgroup is as important as the subject, tone and structure
of the troll. You want to appeal to each group you X-post into to ensure
responses from each group. A well delivered troll will anticipate what
those responses will be and thus ensure that contradictions will arise
amongst the different groups that you are setting up.


BAD:
Posting "USA Sucks" to alt.nuke.the.USA, alt.usa-sucks, aus.flame.usa

This is totally on-topic and obvious. A truly useless troll.

AVERAGE:
Posting "God Doesn't Exist" to all the alt.religion newsgroups

Here you are being too obvious. People recognise this sort of trouble
making and have usually learned not to respond to it. However, if your
troll is well written you can actually entrap a lot of newbies. This,
if executed correctly, can be exploited to cause great offence to those
more experienced troll avoiders on the groups you are attacking. Go for it!

GOOD:

Posting an article that appears relevant to every group but with no
connection between those groups other than the fact that you've just
trolled them.

The best trolls go out to an average of around eight or nine newsgroups.
This will stop them from becoming spam as it's not quite enough to be
a real problem. However, to get by on so few groups you have to include
a couple of popular ones in the list.

When posting to say seven groups you should try to break down your theme
into seven areas - each of which will be of specific interest to just
one of those groups. You then write an eight paragraph troll with a
paragraph for each group and a spare one for yourself with which to lob
in a gratuitous insult to everyone who was dumb enough to read your troll.

It is a matter of choice whether you choose newsgroups before or after
writing the troll. Some experts claim that newsgroup selection is the
key to successful trolling and should be done first, others will write
general trolls and then apply the standard Perl script that trollers
use for Automatic Random Newsgroup Selection. (I think this script is
available on the web but I haven't yet got the URL - sorry)

Section 5 Know Your Audience

Remember that you have two audiences. The people who are going to get
the maximum enjoyment out of your post are other trollers. You need to
keep in contact with them through both your troll itself and the way
you direct its effect. It is trollers that you are trying to entertain
so be creative - trollers don't just want a laugh from you they want
to see good trolls so that they can also learn how to improve their
own in the never ending search for the perfect troll.

The other audience is of course the little people in those newsgroups
that your are attacking. Get to know them. Every newsgroup has its
smartarse who will expose your troll if given half a chance. Research
your targets and learn what their arguments are. Then avoid those
arguments like the plague. Drag them off-topic - the further
off-topic the better. Remember, you are trying to waste their time.
Never take sides - remember that your goal is not to win an argument,
rather it is to provoke a futile one that runs forever.

If, for example you were attacking Fast Food then you should also X-post
to Healthy Eating groups, Environmental Protection Groups, Animal
Rights Groups etc....You want to try to ensure that you have the
broadest possible range of opinions as this is the easiest way to
sow confusion. The more confusion the less the likelihood of your
troll being exposed for what it is.

It can also be shown that the inclusion of just one totally off-topic
newsgroup can have dramatic effects. The list above is taken from a
genuine troll which also included an Artificial Intelligence group,
the result of which was to draw Computer Guru Professor Marvin Minsky
into a flamewar concerning Ronald McDonald's exploitation of the
disabled - an all-time classic piece of trolling - written by a
practising veggie.

Section 6 Following-Up

"Even if this is true......"

That represents the perfect response to any troll. The mark of a gullible
lunatic that will almost certainly believe anything you tell her (women
always make the best trollees as they have a logical reasoning capacity
of zilch). A total group embarrassment. Award yourself a Troll Gold Star
every time you get one!

Other good responses include, but are not limited to....

"Although this is on-topic....."
"I disagree...."
"Yes, but....."
"Can you provide a source for this...."

Try not to follow-up to your own troll. The troll itself quickly becomes
forgotten in the chaos and if you just sit back you can avoid being
blamed for causing it. Remember, if you do follow up you are talking
to an idiot. Treat them with the ill respect they deserve.

You should also learn to recognise followups from your fellow trollers.
Sometimes an average troll can be elevated into majestic proportions
when several trollers spontaneously join forces via the medium of the
follow up troll.

Ignore cries of wasted bandwidth! This is pure drivel that will always
be posted by the anti-troll lobby. These jerks fail to understand that
trolls are the best way to drive people off the internet thus making
available multi megabytes for the rest of us to download our porn.

Section 7 The Successful Troll

A good example of troll success is the famous "Oh How I Envy American
Students" troll. This troll was written by an English bricklayer posing
as an american student. He correctly posted it to all the college
newsgroups and then left american students to do all the work
spreading it.

His troll ran for over a year, it is known to have generated in excess
of 3,500 responses (an average of 1 response every 160 minutes for a
whole year) and the greatest coup of all was when an innocent american
student lost not only her internet account but was also expelled from
high school for abuse of the computer systems. Somehow she had managed
to get the blame for causing the troll.


--
Guy Macon
http://www.guymacon.com/

  #2  
Old October 4th 07, 04:09 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.go
Sanny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,365
Default THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net

On Oct 4, 6:15 pm, Guy Macon http://www.guymacon.com/ wrote:
THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net

INTRODUCTION

The object of this post is to bring together a definitive document to
cover the phenomena of the Usenet Troll. To many a troll is nothing
more than an annoying method of defeating the killfile whereas to the
heavily killfiled, trolling can be a virtual Godsend.
What I want this document to focus on is how to create entertaining
trolls. I have drawn on the expertise of the writer's of some of
Usenet's finest and best remembered trolls. Trolls are for fun. The
object of recreational trolling is to sit back and laugh at all those
gullible idiots that will believe *anything*.

Section 1: What Is A Troll?

The WWW gives this as a definition:

troll v.,n. To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable
responses or flames. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies";
which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling";, a style of fishing in
which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite.

The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and
flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do,
while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in
fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be
in on it.

The following extract is from a broader expansion of the defining
comments given above:

In Usenet usage, a "troll" is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath
a bridge accosting passers-by, but rather a provocative posting to a
newsgroup intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses.

The content of a "troll" posting generally falls into several areas.
It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction of common
knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of a newsgroup,
or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.

There are three reasons why people troll newsgroups:

People post such messages to get attention, to disrupt newsgroups, and
simply to make trouble.

Career trollers tend for the latter two whilst the former is the mark of
the clueless newbie and should be ignored.

Section 2: Design Issues

A troll is no different to any other Usenet posting. That needs to be
stressed. Any article that you decide to write should be written with
a view to it actually being read by large numbers of people. Simply
X-posting to large numbers of irrelevant newsgroups is not creative
trolling - it is just spam and should be avoided.

The experienced troller spends time carefully choosing the right subject
and delivering it to the right newsgroup. With trolls, delivery is just
as important as the subject.

Start the troll in a reasonable and erudite manner. You have to engage
your readers' interest and draw them in. Never give too much away at
the start - although a brief abstract with hints of what's to come can
work wonders.

Construct your troll in a manner to make it readable. Use short
paragraphs and lots of white space. Keep line length below eighty
characters. Use a liberal amount of emphasis and even the occasional
illustration. A good rule of thumb is that as your troll becomes more
and more ludicrous put extra effort into the presentation - this keeps
the mug punter confused. Let confusion and chaos be your goal!

Section 3 Content
Make your subject a relevant one. Posting "Star Trek Sucks" into
hk.forsale is not going to work very well and is liable to utterly
destroy your hard earned reputation as a troller overnight.

You do not have to make the subject clear. Trolls are aimed at two
audiences, the respondees and the lurkers. The best trolls reveal
their true subject only to the lurkers. In every sense those who reply
to your troll are your tools. So choose a theme for your troll and
stick to it.

Outwardly you need to appear sincere, but at the same time you have
to tell your *real* audience that this is blatant flamebait. Your
skill is shown in the easy way that you manipulate large areas of
the Usenet community into making public fools of themselves.

Section 4 Newsgroup Selection

Choice of newsgroup is as important as the subject, tone and structure
of the troll. You want to appeal to each group you X-post into to ensure
responses from each group. A well delivered troll will anticipate what
those responses will be and thus ensure that contradictions will arise
amongst the different groups that you are setting up.

BAD:
Posting "USA Sucks" to alt.nuke.the.USA, alt.usa-sucks, aus.flame.usa

This is totally on-topic and obvious. A truly useless troll.

AVERAGE:
Posting "God Doesn't Exist" to all the alt.religion newsgroups

Here you are being too obvious. People recognise this sort of trouble
making and have usually learned not to respond to it. However, if your
troll is well written you can actually entrap a lot of newbies. This,
if executed correctly, can be exploited to cause great offence to those
more experienced troll avoiders on the groups you are attacking. Go for it!

GOOD:

Posting an article that appears relevant to every group but with no
connection between those groups other than the fact that you've just
trolled them.

The best trolls go out to an average of around eight or nine newsgroups.
This will stop them from becoming spam as it's not quite enough to be
a real problem. However, to get by on so few groups you have to include
a couple of popular ones in the list.

When posting to say seven groups you should try to break down your theme
into seven areas - each of which will be of specific interest to just
one of those groups. You then write an eight paragraph troll with a
paragraph for each group and a spare one for yourself with which to lob
in a gratuitous insult to everyone who was dumb enough to read your troll.

It is a matter of choice whether you choose newsgroups before or after
writing the troll. Some experts claim that newsgroup selection is the
key to successful trolling and should be done first, others will write
general trolls and then apply the standard Perl script that trollers
use for Automatic Random Newsgroup Selection. (I think this script is
available on the web but I haven't yet got the URL - sorry)

Section 5 Know Your Audience

Remember that you have two audiences. The people who are going to get
the maximum enjoyment out of your post are other trollers. You need to
keep in contact with them through both your troll itself and the way
you direct its effect. It is trollers that you are trying to entertain
so be creative - trollers don't just want a laugh from you they want
to see good trolls so that they can also learn how to improve their
own in the never ending search for the perfect troll.

The other audience is of course the little people in those newsgroups
that your are attacking. Get to know them. Every newsgroup has its
smartarse who will expose your troll if given half a chance. Research
your targets and learn what their arguments are. Then avoid those
arguments like the plague. Drag them off-topic - the further
off-topic the better. Remember, you are trying to waste their time.
Never take sides - remember that your goal is not to win an argument,
rather it is to provoke a futile one that runs forever.

If, for example you were attacking Fast Food then you should also X-post
to Healthy Eating groups, Environmental Protection Groups, Animal
Rights Groups etc....You want to try to ensure that you have the
broadest possible range of opinions as this is the easiest way to
sow confusion. The more confusion the less the likelihood of your
troll being exposed for what it is.

It can also be shown that the inclusion of just one totally off-topic
newsgroup can have dramatic effects. The list above is taken from a
genuine troll which also included an Artificial Intelligence group,
the result of which was to draw Computer Guru Professor Marvin Minsky
into a flamewar concerning Ronald McDonald's exploitation of the
disabled - an all-time classic piece of trolling - written by a
practising veggie.

Section 6 Following-Up

"Even if this is true......"

That represents the perfect response to any troll. The mark of a gullible
lunatic that will almost certainly believe anything you tell her (women
always make the best trollees as they have a logical reasoning capacity
of zilch). A total group embarrassment. Award yourself a Troll Gold Star
every time you get one!

Other good responses include, but are not limited to....

"Although this is on-topic....."
"I disagree...."
"Yes, but....."
"Can you provide a source for this...."

Try not to follow-up to your own troll. The troll itself quickly becomes
forgotten in the chaos and if you just sit back you can avoid being
blamed for causing it. Remember, if you do follow up you are talking
to an idiot. Treat them with the ill respect they deserve.

You should also learn to recognise followups from your fellow trollers.
Sometimes an average troll can be elevated into majestic proportions
when several trollers spontaneously join forces via the medium of the
follow up troll.

Ignore cries of wasted bandwidth! This is pure drivel that will always
be posted by the anti-troll lobby. These jerks fail to understand that
trolls are the best way to drive people off the internet thus making
available multi megabytes for the rest of us to download our porn.

Section 7 The Successful Troll

A good example of troll success is the famous "Oh How I Envy American
Students" troll. This troll was written by an English bricklayer posing
as an american student. He correctly posted it to all the college
newsgroups and then left american students to do all the work
spreading it.

His troll ran for over a year, it is known to have generated in excess
of 3,500 responses (an average of 1 response every 160 minutes for a
whole year) and the greatest coup of all was when an innocent american
student lost not only her internet account but was also expelled from
high school for abuse of the computer systems. Somehow she had managed
to get the blame for causing the troll.

--
Guy Macon
http://www.guymacon.com/


Great Job....

This you wrote word by word or you copy pasted from somewhere?

Bye
Sanny

Play Chess at: http://www.GetClub.com/Chess.html

  #3  
Old October 4th 07, 04:12 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.go
Sanny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,365
Default THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net

On Oct 4, 6:15 pm, Guy Macon http://www.guymacon.com/ wrote:
THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net

INTRODUCTION

The object of this post is to bring together a definitive document to
cover the phenomena of the Usenet Troll. To many a troll is nothing
more than an annoying method of defeating the killfile whereas to the
heavily killfiled, trolling can be a virtual Godsend.
What I want this document to focus on is how to create entertaining
trolls. I have drawn on the expertise of the writer's of some of
Usenet's finest and best remembered trolls. Trolls are for fun. The
object of recreational trolling is to sit back and laugh at all those
gullible idiots that will believe *anything*.

Section 1: What Is A Troll?

The WWW gives this as a definition:

troll v.,n. To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable
responses or flames. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies";
which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling";, a style of fishing in
which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite.

The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and
flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do,
while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in
fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be
in on it.


Good post,

This you wrote word by word or just copy pasted from somewhere?

Bye
Sanny

Play Chess at: http://www.GetClub.com/Chess.html

  #4  
Old October 4th 07, 04:54 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.go
raylopez99
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 346
Default THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net

On Oct 4, 7:12 am, Sanny wrote:
Good post,

This you wrote word by word or just copy pasted from somewhere?

Bye
Sanny

Play Chess at:http://www.GetClub.com/Chess.html



Hahaha--good one Sanny. Macon Bacon is in fact a cut-and-paste troll!

RL


  #5  
Old October 5th 07, 07:26 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.go
Guy Macon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 834
Default THE ART OF TROLLING: Winding up the net




Sanny wrote:

This you wrote word by word or you copy pasted from somewhere?


It has been around for years. Nobody knows who wrote it.
The oldest usage I could find is 2000, but I remember seeing
it in the mid-1990s.

http://groups.google.com/group/us.mi...e?dmode=source

 




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