Sunday, September 30, 2012

TROLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL: Trolling and How it Creates Group Cohesion and Hilarity

What can you do that can put you in jail in the United Kingdom, make and destroy your friendships, all while giving you and those who can take a joke a decent laugh? Bothersome rhetorical questions? No. Trolling? Yes.

But what is Trolling? As defined by Know Your Meme, a website made to describe the functions of the internet to those who are new to and/or are now paying attention to the internet, Trolling is, "an Internet slang term used to describe any Internet user behavior that is meant to intentionally anger or frustrate someone else. It is often associated with online discussions where users are subjected to offensive or superfluous posts and messages in order to provoke a response."

Or better known as the internet's past time.

The end result of trolling is similar to listing to a bit from George Carlin, it's racy, offensive, a little funny, and the conservative father figure in your life probably won't understand, and hate it. This is often due to the fact that trolls, as well as most on the internet have anonymity and in the case of certain internet communities see nothing as sacred, which gives trolls a well deserved and revered bad name. 

Trolling on memorial sites, religious ideals, and politics is the bread and butter of the troll.

However the whole scope of trolling's magic isn't limited to making people angry, because trolling can and often create a group cohesion of either trolls coming together to mess with someone, or normal people vehemently trying to discredit and argue against the troll. 

An example of the latter of the two comes from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland-where after a certain Nimrod-7 posted a very offensive message on RIP sites for several victims of violent crimes, the people of the various websites banded together in rage to take that jerk down a notch. So much so that Her Majesty's Government to legal action against the troll in the name of public order and justice- so say Tom de Castella and Virginia Brown of BBC News Magazine. So the trolling of someone’s death allowed the country to come together in a blood-lust rage against a troll, uniting people under the banner of protection and justice against a common evil. This type of cohesion is unreal, especially in an ever polarizing society.

However, the group cohesion of trolling can also be used to collectively mock people. Trolls can and often team up for group "raids" or "flames" on various sites and groups, and essentially come together on the lines of messing with people. One of the most well noted examples of group raiding is known as the "Pool's Closed." In this raid a amorphous internet group called Anonymous went on the social media site/kids game Habbo Hotel. In the game they blocked the virtual pool with their avatars that were black men dressed with afros and business suits, stating the pool was "Closed due to AIDS," they then flooded the site with Internet slang, and formed swastika-like formations. When the raiders were banned, they complained of racism. Saying that they only kicked off their avatars because they were black. So showing group cohesion in the name of messing with people racism and smart assness.

So the power of trolling can bring people together for both good and bad, depending on your perspective and sense of humor. Trolling however will always be on the internet and will never give you up, let you down, or run around and desert you.

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