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In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who posts rude or offensive messages on the Internet, such as on online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants. "Troll" can also mean the message itself or be a verb meaning to post such messages. "Trolling" is also commonly used to describe the activity. For more discussion on definitions, see below.
Gaia Online Use Edit
Trolling is against the TOS and Gaia Online Rules. Trolling on Gaia Online is included but not limited to:
- Spam trolls: Those who post large amounts of spam in non-spam forums. This type of troll tends to have a fanbase, as their posts are often creative, or at the least contain humor. While some spam trolls create their own topics, others prefer to mass post meaningless replies to countless existing threads, whether with random statements such as "I like my cat" or a simple word such as "DAMN".
- Jesusbots: A type of troll known for posting Christian promotional messages in both their own threads and random threads of others. Many of these are seemingly run by automated programs.
- Porn trolls: Trolls who post pornographic images, either in their own threads or in the threads of others. There are many subcategories of these trolls, including guro trolls, Goatse trolls, and others. Most of this type are not serial trolls. These users and their images are generally not celebrated, as most other users do not want to see such images.
- Image trolls: These sort of trolls post threads with images that, while not shocking in themselves, have little or no relevance to anything or are occasionally unpleasant without being pornographic in nature.
- Gimmick posters: Unlike the other types, gimmick posters are rarely given bans. This type generally creates a wild, fictional persona and posts discussable yet strange threads about their alleged personal experiences. Often, these themes involve caricatures of people from various cultures, cavemen, robots, or small children.
- Sophisticated trolls: These types of trolls are reasonably common in lesser forms. They commonly post up offensive messages dealing with racism or attacking another "group" in society. There are extremely rare trolls who are pretty much the same as the lesser sophisticated variety. However, what sets them apart from the rest is they would go so far as to craft near essays on the matter, using proper grammar and even intelligent language. Sometimes the troll will go so far as to give several reasons for the inferiority of the group, as well as proposing ways of "purging" them from Gaia and in some cases society. The greater form of sophisticated troll is usually welcomed in the Extended Discussion as they are intelligently stupid.
- Crapfloods: On occasion, it has been known for members of other forums which may dislike Gaia, or even chaotic users who generally do enjoy the site, to organize Gaia floods. When these are performed as attacks, they are typically brushed off by the Gaia community.
- Page-Stretching Image Trolls Entirely separate from standard image trolls, trolls of this type pick a set of images, usually tied together with some form of theme (some previously used themes included monorails, troll dolls, top hats, hair clippings, and paper towels), and copy and paste the set several times per reply so as to severely elongate the thread - before moving on to as many other threads as they can to post the same set of images.
- Serial trolls Frequent trolls who typically get banned only to create a new username similar to their previous username(s), often with a "score" number at the end. Some past serial trolls have created over 400 accounts.
Not all trolls fit strictly into one category. For example, some page-stretching image trolls use pornographic imagery, and some degree of gimmick is commonly spotted alongside any type of troll. Troll culture is most visible in the General Discussion forum.
If you troll, you might get banned or recieve a warning. In most cases, if you troll, you will get banned permanently.
"Please do not feed the troll" images are meant to tell others not to encourage trolls by reacting to them.
The term troll is highly subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. The term is often used to discredit an opposing position, or its proponent, by argument ad hominem. Likewise, calling someone a troll makes assumptions about a writer's motives that may be incorrect. Regardless of the writer's motives, controversial posts are likely to attract a corrective or patronizing or outraged response by those who do not distinguish between real physical community (where people are actually exposed to some shared risk of bodily harm by their actions), and epistemic community (based on a mere exchange of words and ideas). Customs of discourse, or "netiquette", originating in physical communities are often applied naively to online discourse by newcomers who are not used to the range of views expressed online, often anonymously. Hence, both users and posts are commonly, and sometimes inaccurately, labelled as trolls when their content upsets people — ironically, the accusatory labeling of a troll may be more disruptive than the original alleged offense itself. Also, people may be more inclined to use epithets like troll in online public discussion than they would be in person, because online forums may seem more impersonal. PDNFTT is a common initialism for Please Do Not Feed The Troll. There is a quote on IMDb that the common troll does not understand the words 'opinion' and 'leave', meaning that it feels it has superior opinions and will not quit until reaching its own trolling satisfaction.
When appropriately applied to purposefully disruptive online behavior, the word troll economically converts an abstract code of online manners into a concrete image. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore him or her, because responding encourages a true troll to continue disruptive posts to that forum — hence the often-seen warning, "Please do not feed the Troll". Posting this warning publicly, in reply to a troll's behavior to discourage further replies, may discourage the troll. However, it can also have the reverse effect, becoming itself food for the troll. Therefore, when a forum participant sees an apparently innocent answer to a troll as potential troll food, it may be more prudent to deliver the "please do not feed the troll" warning in a private message to the answerer (e.g., by email, or to the answerer's Wiki talk page).