Zelophehad’s Daughters

How to Be a Troll: Ten Easy Steps for Losing Friends and Alienating People

Posted by Kiskilili

1. Whatever you do, DO NOT READ THE ORIGINAL POST. At most, skim it and then free associate on the basis of a few words you happened to catch sight of.

2. Blatantly hijack the thread anytime it suits your whim. Blogs are your stage, your soap box, your bull horn, your talent show, and you wouldn’t want to hide your candle under a bushel.

3. Develop a juicy martyr complex—with one of these you can derive enormous enjoyment from blogging. Remember: everyone else is out to get you. You’re being victimized at every turn by sadistic sharp-fanged fiends wielding gross undeniable differences in opinion. Lick your wounds in public with loud slurping noises to emphasize what meanies the other bloggers are.

4. Righteousness entitles you to rudeness. Let other people be tentative and polite; they’re wrong. You’re in the right, so your shrillness serves a justifiable end. The sword of the spirit isn’t for tapping people on the shoulder, but for skewering them.

5. Clamor for attention—insist that if people don’t respond¬†instantaneously to any scintillating comment you cook up, they’re dissing you. A whiny toddler is a good model for this. Nag. Remember: your comments are brilliant and worth immediate attention; other comments are drivel.

6. Impute the worst possible motives to your interlocutors. Blogging is like politics. Truth is obvious. The only reason people disagree is because they’re shameless devil-worshippers who get a secret thrill from shredding society’s moral fiber.

7. Never apologize under any circumstances. Your behavior is unwaveringly justifiable.

8. Fixate on trivialities. If people call you on it, accuse them of having fixated on said trivialities.

9. Monopolize any thread you happen to perch on. In the blogging world, tenacity always trumps cogency. You win arguments not by responding to people, but by shouting them down. Watch a dog with a slipper if you need ideas on how to go about this.

10. Use CAPITALS LIBERALLY! You have a caps-lock key for a reason. Don’t be shy—nobody ever got hoarse from typing.

37 Responses to “How to Be a Troll: Ten Easy Steps for Losing Friends and Alienating People”

  1. 1.

    I can’t BELIEVE you would say that righteous people like stabbing.

  2. 2.

    Oh c’mon, we don’t get links to specific examples?


  3. 3.

    This is really good! I can think of at least one person who fits this description to a T.

  4. 4.

    It goes without saying that those trolls in the picture at the top of this post are dressed VERY IMMODESTLY!!! But who listens to me anyway, I’m JUST A MAN whose opinions OBVIOUSLY are not welcome hereabouts. Why can’t we just listen to the authorities and quit promoting bare shoulders and navel piercings? Why do you INSIST on continuing with these subliminal attacks upon our standards? WHY? HUH?

  5. 5.

    11. When called out about your aggressiveness, rudeness, or apparent contempt for others, whine about how pitiful you are and how mean and hateful people are to you.

    12. If really put on the line, explain how you were testing the other commenters and doing research to see how people would react.

  6. 6.

    Hey….I resemble this!

  7. 7.


  8. 8.

    That pic gives the term “family jewels” a whole new meaning. Is it a true TK smoothie if you sport a navel jewel? Inquiring telestial minds want to know.

  9. 9.

    CZAR OBAMA and his SOCIALIST cronies created an ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL SUPER CONGRESS in the debt ceiling “deal.” Now the Lame-Stream Media DARES to lay this at the feet of the TEA PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s time for us Mormons to rise up and save the constitution because it’s HANGING BY A THREAD! When I say Mormons I of course only mean the righteous ones. Feminists, intellectuals, homosexuals, and liberals are not REAL Mormons, nor are they part of REAL AMERICA!

  10. 10.

    Did I hit all the points?

  11. 11.

    I see that no one has addressed the points I raised in my earlier comment. Apparently the wicked take the truth to be hard. Since you obviously discount everything I have to say just because it doesn’t mesh with your echo chamber then I won’t bother participating anymore.

  12. 12.

    13. If anyone else’s counter-arguments strikes you as remotely feasible, DO NOT EVER ADMIT IT. Quickly bring up a off the point straw man to support you in your undeniably righteous position.

  13. 13.

    TL, DR

  14. 14.

    I have to say that I am somewhat surprised how easy it is to get into character writing troll-esque comments. And not caring about spelling and grammar, or even making kind of sense at all makes the fun::work ratio really really high. I can see why people get into this.

  15. 15.

    Did a woman write this post? WHY AREN’T YOU AT HOME WITH YOUR CHILDREN?

  16. 16.

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned how ANTI-MORMON this whole conversation is? I am going to write the word ANTI-MORMON a few times in caps to point out how offended I am by this whole website. I hate ANTI-MORMON websites. You ANTI-MORMONS! And since I really, really hate your website, I am going to read it every day and comment all the time.

  17. 17.

    “Monopolize any thread you happen to perch on”

    Were it not for the point in the OP that appears immediately above this phrase, I would repeatedly and without mercy decry the use of a preposition at the end of a sentence!

  18. 18.

    It’s a good thing point 8 restrained you. Grammar fascism is an ideology up with which we will not put.

  19. 19.

    At the risk of being accused of threadjacking, I have to say that in sentences like in point #9 and repeated at comment #17, ending a sentence with the preposition is quite approppriate. The grammar stuff still taught in schools and colleges is bogus. Infinitives can be split, prepositions can end a sentence etc..

  20. 20.

    My feelings exactly. Those who prefer Latin syntax to English should speak in Latin.

  21. 21.

    Vos es totus malum.

  22. 22.

    [...] fact that atheists, like many ex-Mormons, ruin everything¬†and this is why we can’t have nice [...]

  23. 23.

    Ziff, your sentence lacks gender agreement, but given that you were the only boy in a family of Taylor girls, I’ll allow it.

  24. 24.

    Thanks, Kevin. That’s what I get for using a free online translator. I knew I should have paid attention in Latin class! (Well, I guess first I would’ve had to take a Latin class…)

  25. 25.

    Actually, several of your points sound like they could also refer to many bloggers. e.g. that posting about how the Tea Party is anti-American and anti-Mormon.

  26. 26.

    *likes Brian’s comment.

  27. 27.

    Also a personal favourite are trolls who post comments without a linked email or web address or with completely unidentifying monikers.

    There’s a reason Slashdot brands all of them “Anonymous Coward[s]” :D

  28. 28.

    Where is everybody?

  29. 29.

    [...] Commenting "tips" – Ever see these here on W&T? [...]

  30. 30.

    [...] for everybody’s favorite topic: self-referential blogging-about-blogging! Joanna Brooks wrote a Washington Post article tackling five myths about Mormonism. I then analyzed [...]

  31. 31.

    [...] Hagoth: How to Be a Troll: Ten Easy Steps for Losing Friends and Alienating People [...]

  32. 32.

    Fabulous post!

    We’ve had more than our fair share of trolls lately, and while I do like the traffic they drive and the increase in conversation, I can’t help but think they are reading out of a “troll blogging for dummies” textbook.

    Apparently, you have found the same edition and are summarizing for the rest of us.

  33. 33.

    You made the sidebar at Wheat and Tares … I can see that in the link backs above, but thought you would be pleased to be cited with approval.

  34. 34.

    who’s been following me around?

  35. 35.

    Thanks, Stephen!

    Wow, you do seem to have become a troll-magnet lately at Exponent, Jessawhy. It’s Troll Wac-a-Mole over there. Another one pops up before you’re done smacking the first one down.

  36. 36.

    Tell me about it! It’s driving me bonkers the kinds of trollish behavior X2 has drawn recently.

  37. 37.

    I feel better about trollishness at x2 now that I have heard the term, “Troll Wac-a-Mole.” That just sounds like too much fun.

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