Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Internet Trolls -

- I thought I knew what that was. Obviously I didn't. I've been called one, as it turns out by someone that A) didn't know what it meant either. B) is troll-ish herself.

I wondered onto a fan forum today and started reading. The admin of this forum had suspended adding new members because of trolls. I thought, hey, wait a minute, there are over 250 guests on this forum. You see, I thought a much hated troll was someone who visited a forum or discussion group and didn't participate. If that was the case, why would this forum allow people to read posts who couldn't in turn post?

Obviously I was wrong, so I looked the term up. Turns out an internet troll is someone who joins a group for the express purpose of causing trouble. They either target the topic specific group as a whole, or single out one member they feel they can rile up, and basically harass them. Often these people are networking with other trolls, comparing how much damage they are doing, and generally having a laugh at said destruction.

It turns out I'm NOT a troll. I do visit a number of forums, and many of them I've never posted to. Partly because these groups don't seem to me to be particularly welcoming to newcomers and partly because I don't really have anything to say. These forums are almost all geared to cross stitching and I'm just interested in new techniques and ideas since I've never had anyone in my real life to talk to about cross stitch, except for one, and I taught her to stitch, so there's really little she can add to my knowledge.

I've been feeling bad about myself since I was called a troll. I've even been working to the conclusion that I should stop visiting all forums rather than be something loathed by others. Now, I'm angry at the person who called me that. I'm angry at myself for letter her get by with it and not making sure I knew what the term meant. I'm also feeling a lot better about myself in general now.

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