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Rise of the Twitter Troll: Who They Are: Why They Do It; and How to Stop them Dead in Their Tracks

These bullshit merchants are everywhere. Here's how to spot them, stop them, and 'take their souls'.


Social media is said to be the great leveller,  a place where Bill Blogs has as much say as a well-known personality.  It's a place where a two line tweet carries more weight than a thoroughly researched article.  Where a two minute google search trumps any fact. 


This is the reality of twitter's 'public square'. But that 'public square' has no adequate drainage and the shit is now overflowing. Twitter seems to be swamped in raw sewage, as an army of trolls shit on every post.


When Elon Musk took over Twitter, many of the Trolls complained, saying that they'd quit the app in protest.  of course they didn't, they merely decided to take a new approach to satisfy their narcissistic tendencies, hiding behind a false profile to carry on their dopamine-ladened ego trip.


Anonymity.

What the Troll did was make their account anonymous.  Their twitter handle became a stupid name, a comedy character, or a play on words.   Their profile picture became blank or a random cartoon.


Once upon a time identifying yourself as a clown would have automatically excluded you from any debate anywhere in the world, but not so in the upside down world of Twitter ('X'). Admitting you're a clown and your comments are so idiotic that you have to hide behind a fake profile doesn't seem to adversely affect the Twitter Troll.


That anonymity leads to disinhibition: The anonymity provided by the internet allows the Troll to shed their real-world identities and adopt alternate personas. This anonymity often leads to disinhibition, where individuals feel less accountable for their actions, increasing aggression and hostility. Often the fake-persona will suggest that the Troll thinks he/she is on some moralistic crusade, when, in reality, it's just an excuse for some petty little nobody to spew bile at their betters.


Fishing.

The Troll is ‘fishing’ for responses. They’re searching for engagement because that gives them satisfaction and that all important dopamine hit they're addicted to (increasingly, trolling is also part of campaigns to achieve certain political agendas, such as Trans and Cycling. In short, trolls show up to generate arguments. In many cases, they don’t really give a damn about the actual topic being discussed. 


They're always a Beta male seeking attention.

The typical twitter Troll is a man who is seeking attention and validation by deliberately posting provocative comments designed to elicit a reaction from the target. These people thrive on the attention they get, good or bad, The technique they use is almost always the same. They will visit the page of a high-profile person but rather than post abuse directly to them, will select a supporter of the original tweet to attack. They know that those people are more likely to bite.


They're trying to exert power and control, two things they'll lack in real life.

Trolls derive a sense of power and authority from manipulating others' emotions and disrupting online communities. By provoking reactions and causing chaos, they feel a sense of empowerment and control that they're invariably lacking in their real lives.


The Troll will often insert himself into an already mature conversation, and begin becoming more and more abusive and confrontational as they make themselves the centre of the argument. remember, it's never about the topic, it's all about them; their ego, their virtue, their dominance.


Jordan B Peterson, a master of debate has been relentlessly attacked online by Trolls prompting him to tweet:

Famously in an interview with the world's strongest man Peterson quipped:

"People will say things in the comments section on Youtube that would absolutely, 100% get them punched instantly if they ever said that to your face." watch

The Troll will invariably use the same techniques to attack you:


Ad Hominem Attacks

Short for argumentum ad hominem, ad hominem is a Latin phrase that translates as ‘to the person’. It describes a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks something personal about their opponent, such as character, motive, or some other attribute, instead of attacking the substance of the argument itself. Online trolling often relies on ad hominem attacks to derail a discussion. Basically, it's the online equivalent of calling someone names, attacking someone's looks, intelligence, or personality. It's an unsophisticated technique to say the least but more often than not get's a rise, hence why they do it.


Whataboutery.

Also known as whataboutism, whataboutery is the favoured tactic of responding to a statement or argument by accusing the opponent (or something the opponent supports) as being even worse. It's a particular favourite with socialists who think that this actually wins a political argument. In reality the ‘even worse’ examples they provide are irrelevant and unrelated to the original point.


Sealioning.

Another favourite tactic of the Troll, named after an online comic, involves the them bombarding you with questions about the topic of discussion, even after the opponent has explained it in detail numerous times. When called out, the troll will insist that they’re being civil, and just wanting to learn. But in reality, their game is to keep the opponent online as long as possible, derailing the original discussion and making the opponent frustrated and angry. The questions are often slightly off-topic, loaded, or entirely irrelevant, they're designed to frustrate, or derail the discussion and failure, or refusal to answer these irrelevant questions will be seized on by the Troll as winning the argument.


Debate Obsessives

Some trolls will hold forth on the great value of debate, claiming that it’s all that they seek. They make debating seem like a wholesome and healthy pastime, luring unsuspecting opponents into never-ending and fruitless interactions. When challenged, trolls will often bring up their ‘freedom of speech’, and how they’re supposedly being deprived of it. Don’t fall for this tactic; it’s not proper debate. They just want to waste your time.


David Goggins, the American hyper-athlete and author predictably receives a massive amount of hate from trolls simply summing up the phenomenon in one perfect sentence

"You'll never meet a hater doing better than you"

Goggins however, saves the worst abuse in a special file and uses it as motivation. his way of dealing with them is to be better than them in every way, he calls it 'taking their soul'.


But Goggins is an extreme human being, the best way to deal with the online Troll is to ignore them completely. Don't engage, don't validate their behaviour. don't even acknowledge they exist. Starved them of oxygen by denying them the attention they despirately crave.

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