It must be tough being an internet troll; the subsection of bridge dwellers who seem to actively wish misery, death and heterosexuality on large sections of the online community. It’s probably not a job most people dream of. However, if you are one of those willing to both endure and encourage anonymous online hatred and really want to be a great internet troll, here’s how.
Be creative with your bile
Wishing death and suffering on people is pretty easy. The English language is full of words which, if placed in the correct order, can insult and annoy in equal measure. However, if you want to be a terrific troll it is not enough just to excoriate anyone, or even everyone; you have get creative with your insults.
At this point in human existence there probably isn’t a person alive who hasn’t been told to “fuck off and die” at least once. And I’ve often wondered what I would buy if I had a penny for every time someone wished cancer or aids on me in an internet forum.
So if you are going to troll, you best be inventive about it. Instead of hoping people perish or get cancer how about wishing some less publicised and more ridiculous disease on them.
Koro Disease: sufferer believes his penis is shrinking and will eventually disappear
Aquagenic Urticaria: terrible allergy (sort of) of non-distilled water
Witzelsucht – causes people to make bad puns and jokes at inopportune moments
Basophobia – extreme fear of falling down, leading to people never standing up
Recognise the difference between a pedant and an internet troll
Pedants don’t like people making mistakes. Gentle reminders that Azerbaijan is a country and not a vegetable and Phil Collins is not the missing link between man and rhinoceros are all in a day’s work for the pedant. As is reacting to an error with all the restraint of John McClain after someone’s just insulted his mother.
This doesn’t make a pedant a troll though. Even if the particular mistake they are correcting has been pointed out numerous times before and wasn’t an actual error in the first place. And if the pedant’s response is peppered with swear words and insults, that’s not the punctilious poster swiftly crossing the borderline between pedant and troll but using the necessary language to get their point across.
Trolls, of course, also point out mistakes, insult people and occasionally employ swear words in a belligerently bellicose fashion, but there is a clear difference between them and pedants. Very clear.
Remember trolling isn’t always trolling
Internet trolls are generally defined as people who intentionally divert online forums down some flame throwing cul-de-sac. This definition holds true in pretty much every case, except when it comes to people commenting on “real” music videos. These music videos are ones that both exist and don’t feature Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers.
This trolling paradox is all down to the Bieber theory.
You see, when non-Beilebers comment on Bieberless material and mention Bieber, they get a trolling pass. This is because everyone knows that attacking a Bieber-lovers’ music taste, on videos that don’t feature the singer, aren’t aimed at a similar fan demographic and are as musically disparate as cheese and hamsters, doesn’t make you a troll. This is because Justin Bieber and his fans don’t count, and he isn’t even human.
Find inspiration wherever you can
Just imagine dear reader, what the world of online scrolling would be like without trolls. People getting along, having honest debate and even, good God, agreeing to disagree.
Of course trolling is hard work and not everyone is able to do their trolling duty all the time. So if you do fear you are running out of steam just switch on a 24-hour news channel or read a newspaper and be instantly inspired by the partisan bickering, reactionary nonsense and intolerance of others’ opinions.
OK, so there might not be the amount of creative swearing necessary for a top class troll on most media outlets but just combine a couple of your favourites in a lovely portmanteau like: “fucktard” “shitprick” “cocknut” and “Donrump”.
With a bit of luck and plenty of disproportionate bilious outrage at a real or imagined slight, you too could wind up where all truly great trolls go: cable news channels.
For more internet themed tomfoolery check out these word-filled articles of mirth: