Friday, November 25, 2011

A companion field guide to trolls

Chapter four:
Genus: Troll
Species: crudelis
Common name: The cruel troll or old snarky pants

This troll prefers groups with a high quota of new and occasionally, one must concede, stupid people. Perhaps a better term for them would be newpid... Either way the cruel troll will not usually be found in quiet little groups minding its own business... well not for long.

Life cycle:
Stage 1:
The cruel troll arrives and usually exhibits highly insightful observational skills. They often have the capacity to cut to the chase in few words because they are witty, bright, articulate and often well educated. In fact these talents often gain this troll a large following... well you have to admire skill whatever its form. The cruel troll is one of the few that actually has not only groupies, but groupies that form a posse... one that will willingly follow it into the fray.

Unlike many of the other trolls the cruel troll is very good at perception management. It will form relationships with people via memos to further its aims, and it will actively court those who might be useful to it in the future. Like many bright charismatic people, the cruel troll has excellent people skills. And it isn't afraid to use them.

Stage 2:
Adult developmental stage:
As time goes on though, those keen scrutinising skills are usually turned more frequently on other group members. The cruel troll exhibits less patience with those it considers inferior in some way as time goes on. Unfortunately it has no qualms about hurting the afflicted or about scoring points on those who are woefully unmatched. In some ways this troll is the biggest show pony of them all, as it plays to the audience and is never happier than in a large group for this reason.

Stage 3:
The metamorphosis:
The cruel troll is an unusual one in that the behaviour usually keeps escalating. In fact it is one of the troll clan that is most likely to be kicked out of groups and given time outs from sites generally. Mainly this occurs because they tend to cross the line from just vicious to slightly rabid behaviour. In some ways it is like they have no idea where the line is and just keep moving over it, until someone puts a halt to its behaviour.

When the inevitable removal happens, the fan base comes into play. They start lobbying the group and site owners to bring it back. Often the fans are quite unaware that not only have they been manipulated, but that they are giving the troll more pleasure than anyone should receive... no one needs that much validation.

Spotting the cruel troll:
Of all the trolls the cruel troll is the easiest to spot. They are always the mean fish in the big pond. In the beginning they may seem very bright... and say the things you wish you had the guts to say. The difference is that somewhere along the path they cross that line and just make you cringe... repeatedly. After a while it becomes apparent that they enjoy inflicting pain for the pleasure of it... theirs might one add.

Control and eradication:
If you have one of these in your midst the best thing to do is nip it in the bud. They are only going to escalate. Should you find yourself in a group with one do not encourage it... even a little... because once it knows it has a following it will only get worse. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...


are you trying to tell me something?