Thursday, 27 September 2007

"Trollogy" in a Nutshell: Blog Trolls (Guest Writing by L>T)

Of late, I have seen an incredible influx of posts by a couple of Christians on Atheisthaven. Most are either indignant with my nonchalance towards stupid piety and irrational belief, or are somewhat bamboozled by Larro's "take it or fuck off" attitude towards unsolicited proselytizing from some make-shift preachers. While some of these Christians may have captivated the thinking caps of our more intelligent atheist readers, their boundless enthusiasm and condescension usually means that any dialog between both camps usually descends into anarchy and chaos.

Blog trolls: The very term seems harmless enough: Descending from Norse mythology, trolls are mythical creatures of a smaller stature than their counterparts, the Giants.

Like the mythical creature, a blog troll is somewhat cumbersome: It sticks to a blog, makes incessant noises, attracts unwelcome attention, and worst of all, defiles the blog which an administrator has so painstakingly put up in the first place.

A fellow nonbeliever, L>T has kindly contributed her uneventful experience with a blog troll. Below is her account of her tale from the blogspot's crypt:

Written by L>T:

Troll Alert!

I wanted to do this Guest post because I have a personal vendetta against blog trolls & their tactical manipulation. I do whatever I can to diss them off, because of my own experience with blog trolls & a thorough disdain of insincerity & manipulation in any form. I think it's a good idea to be reminded of the troll once in awhile, just in case one is lurking about in a blog close to you.

My own experience with trolls

I had trouble with a women hating blog troll named BBC when I was a new blogger: It took me awhile to figure out what his game was, although my intuition was telling me something was up & I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his raunchy jokes & sexist comments. He did have (& still has)his own blog so when I started getting really annoyed & suspicious, I looked into his archives & saw where he had bragged about some of the women he'd insulted & annoyed. After some internet detective work, I found out from some of the other women that besides insulting them, the troll even e-mailed them unsolicited pictures of his penis (This pathetic guy is 63 years old & toothless,). He finally pushed me into being so disgusted & angry that I decided to put up a post telling him to "Leave me the fuck Alone!" In the midst of my intense frustration, I drew an unflattering cariacature of him. It was pathetically juvenile, but after that I simply deleted everything he posted without a word. He finally went away.

Hoping that no one else falls for his tasteless, thoroughly disgusting blogging behavior, I simply trail him online & warn all his "new" internet victims anonymously about his behavior before he starts his shit with them.

Blog troll trademarks

A blog troll relies on other people's sincerity, sometimes their good nature, but mostly their continuing dialog with him.

The troll will manipulate the comment section to push his victims into compromising themselves. A typical pattern of trolls is to seem to "reasonably disagree" at first, but that is to get their foot in the door so they can rant off with the personal attacks that are always lurking just under the surface.

From my experience, It's not worth it to engage trolls in any discussion. It's not worth it to be polite.... In sum, it is not worth it to try to please any troll in any way because your anger, frustration & continued engagement is their sadistic, ultimate goal.

The plague of the Christian Troll

A lot of atheist blogs are often plagued with the Christian Troll Syndrome. The Christian troll seems to be particularly insidious because he hides his true nature under a cloak of passive piousness. The Christian troll knows he rattles rational people by his uncompromising Bible thumping behavior, & he gets a perverse justification from the vitriol hurled at him, because his sole aim to incite anger amongst the rankled atheists.

Do not Feed the troll

The time-honored solution to getting rid of a troll is "not to feed it": Simply put ignore the troll completely. It's not always easy, because:

#1 they will step up the personal attacks in order to attract your attention

#2 it is a typical human response to fight fire with fire, and trade blow for blow. Fighting back is pointless, though. Like the punching bag, the harder you hit, the harder it swings right back into your face. The only tactic is to delete & ignore them.


The Internet troll only exists when he is given a voice; without that, he is nothing.


Jarred said...

So true!

Though in my experience, an even better approach is to ignore their comments without actually deleting them. That way, they can't even cry censorship (which is a nonsense claim, anyway) and attempt to play the victim that way.

But I grant that it's harder to uphold your commitment to ignore them (and get everyone else to do likewise) while their words are still there to taunt you.

tina said...

Oh boy, I know what it is to have a personal attack against you! Very insightful post, into the mind of a troll. I only get one once in a great while, but who cares.

Why do they insist on trying to degrade your family if they are christians?

Jarred said...

Tina: The short answer is because they are trolls first and Christians second (at best). For them, the impulse towards trollish behavior will always override all other factors.

BEAST said...


It was L>T's idea, not mine, although I must say that the timing is very appropriate.

I wonder if those C-goons will get the message???

tina said...

Geeee thanks L>T! No, really!

Larro said...

Yeah. We should leave the comments so everybody can see what asses they are for future readers to peruse.

concerned citizen said...

To be fair, trollish behavior is pretty common in the blogsphere.
I even got kicked off a blog once myself.
Most bloggers like to argue & debate, but there is a point where the line is crossed, when someone is just trying to push your buttons & not really taking into consideration anything that you say.

vjack said...

The real problem with blog trolls is that there are almost always a handful of readers who do feed them, despite repeated requests not to do so. In these cases, I've had little choice than to ban them. Still, L>T is right that simply ignoring them is the best way to get rid of them.

drd said...

Personal attacks, irrational and belligerent behavior should be ignored.

However, I have seen many on this board just refuse simple intellectual dialog if the direction leads them into areas they are uncomfortable, have no answers, or generally shakes their presuppositionalism.

I see those steadfast and unwilling to be intellectually honest about issues, use the 'troll' monicker to justify running from a discussion/debate.

If, however, personal attacks, and unkind behavior is the norm..the person should be ignored, in all circumstances.

BEAST said...


This post was specifically written for Christians like you.


Shaun said...

If at all there is a troll, it's the atheist, and they're feeding off God. No God, no atheist. Right? You wouldn't claim to be an atheist unless you knew about the idea of God. Guess what, if there were no atheists, God and religion would still continue to exist. Even on this blog, until an believer posts something you'll have 10 or 15 comments, then once a believer says something, it'll become 50 to 100. There you go again, shooting yourselves in the foot.

Modusoperandi said...

Shaun "No God, no atheist. Right?"

That's the smartest thing you've ever said. Give yourself a cookie.

drd said...

Beast, the comment:
You RUN when you don't have the intellectual ability to continue a discussion. You RUN and delete posts that clearly prove you wrong. You RUN when the material presented challenges your world view,and you have NO rational response. You RUN when your lack of reason, rationality, and logic becomes too apparent.

This was specifically for you.

PS, don't claim ad hominem to this beast, you started it, I just gave more concrete examples of who it should really apply to.

Shaun said...

What was that? sarcasm? are you agreeing wit me? do you think atheism would have existed if not for religion. you don't see people blogging about the nonexistence of the 30 foot gopher do you?

BEAST said...


When I start out a stall, it is like setting up shop at Times Square. There is no way I can run. I take constructive criticisms and try to amend my writings, but what I really hate is people like you who really are rude, post questions in a crude way, and when rebutted will go accusing us atheists of lacking morals and such.

I have never shyed away from your questions. In fact, I think most of the time, you cannot adequately supplement your posts with any rational rebuttals.

As for deleting your posts,you were rude, you never apologize, and frankly you deserve it. I will not hesitate to do it again. Try me.


drd said...

Beast, your last post does not even require a response...but then again, the posts which did set my rebuttals up very well, you deleted. So I sent you emails like you asked, with the quotes and studies to prove your wrong. You still were too stubborn to admit it. In fact, you continued to argue a very illogical position, dispite all the evidence against you.

You said you were 'done' with it, simply because you lost and had no responses that were helpful to your cause. You ran. Simple fact my man. Or dug a hole like a troll, and buried your head. You pick the metaphor that fits best.

L>T said...

drd Christianity does not excuse you from being rude, self righteous, or being a troll. I charge that you use Christianity to excuse your bad behavior.

drd said...

What bad behavior is that? I certainly do not use Christianity to excuse bad behavior. I just readily admit I am a sinner.

BEAST said...




drd said...

EXACTLY WHAT BAD BEHAVIOR are you warning me for beast?????

If your going to expect me to understand what your 'warning me about' please be explicit so I have a chance to 'mend my ways'.

And by the way, warn me or WHAT????
You will go against your very principles and curtail free speech??? Will you ban me??? LOL..your laughable beast.
reread my post just above where you give me your 'second warning'...are you nuts? I was being humble as pie in that post.

Again, WOWWWWEEEEE...OUCH, please please please don't ban me mr beast, I would be lost without your stimulating conversation.

BEAST said...

Well, DRD. Rules are meant to be broken.

If you want to insult me.......then pay the price.

You can't even beat me in a debate, and yet you run around claiming victory? Fuck you.

I have little patience for you petulance. If you do not toe the line, I will simply delete your posts.

It takes five minutes for you to post, and three secs for me to delete one. You wanna bet who wins in the end?


Writer, Splinters of said...

I believe that Beast and L>T would agree that there are also atheist trolls which merely visit Christian blogs also.

Sometimes there can be a good discussion, while other times there is simply a desire to rant.

I mean, you both know I have been called the "troll" at a blog we visit, where I may leave a post or two, and have many more comments directed to me instead of the topic, which are more rude than I have ever written.

No, I'm not crying about it. I am simply saying practice what you preach.

Beast, in all honesty, and you know this to be true, you have been more rude to me at my blog than any Christian has seemingly been to you here at your blog.


BEAST said...


In honesty, you deserve it because of your homophobic comments. Now quit whining and go back to the safe confines of your church, before the hungry beast decides to chew your ass again.


Writer, Splinters of said...


So it is justified for you and others to treat one rude, because they speak out against homosexuality, yet you can speak out against Christianity and give blasphemy against God, while demanding no one treat you rude?

Is this not hypocrisy?

This is your blog, and you are free to define "rude" as you see it, but I find it most amazing with all of the rude speech you have so enjoyably given me, at all the blogs (including mine) that you find me (as L>T can attest) that you find it justifiable to condemn Christian commenters at your blog to being utterly rude and wrong toward you.

How has any commenter been more rude than you have displayed yourself? Why am I and they deserving of you being rude, and you are not?

I am not saying any of us deserve to be rude (for we should be able to discuss/debate agreeing/disagreeing appropriately), I just fail to see how you appear to be standing as if innocent of the same charges you are laying upon others.


BEAST said...

Simple, Tim.

I am the Beast.

Besides, blasphemy is is a good thing. Without blasphemy,life would be boring. Not only does it rankle christians, it makes me happy. Besides, since God doesn't exist, what's wrong with a little "Jesus suck my dicky" joke?

As for Christianity, its just another extension of Hellenistic religions of yesteryears. If people like you want to bring your religion and flaunt it in public schools and force the system to accept them as fact, then it is our prerogative to criticize it. I don't see the need to tolerate that kind of nonsense.


drd said...

Believe me beast, I would not lose, if I so chose. Your site, however, is just not that important to me.

I have no idea why you would ban me, or for what actions, other than clearly winning arguments against you, but if thats a sin in your universe, you do as you see fit.

I have been 'arogant' on occasion, or condescending when I see a blatant lack of logic and reason, but never personally attacking, nor have I ever said I am better than anyone here.

Do as you see fit, I will do as I see fit.

BEAST said...


Like I said, you win nothing. Your latest post of Einstein's quote was a big shot in your own foot.

Get out of my blog. It was my mistake to invite you in the first place. I thought you were different from the dumb assed Christians. I was wrong.

Stop posting. I don't welcome you.


Modusoperandi said...


Mommmy! Daddy! Stop fighting!

You're ruining my birfday!

/me runs in to bedroom, slams door

Larro said...

BEAST; "If people like you want to bring your religion and flaunt it in public schools and force the system to accept them as fact, then it is our prerogative to criticize it. I don't see the need to tolerate that kind of nonsense."

Fuckin' A!!! And most Christians don't even realize how religion permeates (with a stench) almost every aspect of our lives.

It's why I'm a secularist. Fine. Believe in your god, attend your church, pray at your dinner table, but keep that shit out the public arena where it trickles down like shit onto those who DON'T believe it. Send your kids to your Christian madrassas, don't try to force your religious ideologies into the public school system.

This is what my next post will be about.

Shaun said...

But it's alright to force the nonsense that evolution is in public schools? And BTW, there's no religion in Singapore's public schools. And madrassas are for Muslims, not Christians. Got all your facts wrong again. Typical.

Larro said...

Shaun, public schools need to remain secular. If a Christian wants to send their kids to a Christian MADRASSA, I have no problem with that. If Christians have a particular problem with what is taught in public schools then either home school or send them to their local Christian MADRASSA.

Madrassa is the Arabic word for any type of school, secular or religious (of ANY religion). In the Arabic language, the word implies no sense other than that which the word school represents in the English language, such as private, public or parochial school, as well as for any primary or secondary school whether Muslim, non-Muslim or secular.

Hence, Christian MADRASSA. Called me on that one wrong, BIATCH!

I suppose you would like to have your particular brand of Christianity adopted within the public school system, huh? Well, what if...what if Mitt Romney (that is if you're not Mormon) became president and for some freak of politics the federal government adopted Mormonism as the official state religion? How would you feel about that? This is why we need separation of church and state and essentially everything associated with our tax dollars. Including our currency.

It's my fucking tax dollars too! Public schools should never teach about HOW to be religious. And FUCK YOU when you say evolution is a religion. Like you say atheism is a religion. Get YOUR fucking facts straight.

Shaun said...

yeah, madrassa just means school, but no Christian uses it to refer to school, it's been hijacked to mean a Muslim school, it does actually imply Islamic teachings, like how homosexuals have hijacked the term gay. So actually you're wrong. I'll refrain from calling you names.

I'll say it again, evolution's a religion. You believe you came from a rock. That there requires a whole lotta faith(there's no proof, if your wondering)

And tax dollars aren't really a concern for atheists, a whole lot of Christians would like to complain that their tax dollars are spent teaching evolution too. In which case your cries would be completely inaudible. If they did actually stop using tax dollars for education, you'll just find something else to complain about anyway.

if Mormonism or Islam or whatever becomes a state religion, I'll deal with it, but face it, that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Oh, did I forget to mention that evolution's a religion? Evolution's a religion. Get YOUR facts straight, oh wait, evolution has no facts in the first place.

angelsdepart said...

Yea, I hear you on this one. Check out my post where a troll leaves over 70 comments from various accounts. It is neverending!

Larro said...

Shaun. You don't fucking get it. Those are MY tax dollars too. You want teachers and students to praise Jesus in the classroom? Where; in that same classroom there are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist AND atheist kids to boot? I guess they deserve equal indoctrination as well? Would you like your kid to be told in his or her public classroom that Joseph Smith is a prophet of god? And that they should follow his teachings according to the book of Mormon?

You would just "deal with" Mormonism as the official state religion? Just like atheists have had to deal with the shit Christians spew forth with silky rankle their obfuscated dislike of those who don't believe the same.

You have no clue...bigot.

drd said...

Dawkins is debating Professor Lennox from Oxford..both of them are profs there, they are debating the 'God Delusion' at Univ of Alabama....on as I type...

Lennox is very very persuasive, I hope you all can tune in.

Larro said...


Madrassa means "school". So Christian school....Christian madrassa...
Same difference.

Shaun said...

Bigot? what does that have to do with any of this?
Why an Arabic word in the middle of an all English post all off a sudden? Face it larro, you were just trying to be wrong, hoping to piss some Christians off. you nailed the "trying to be wrong" part though, by being atheist. Whether or not you managed to piss some Christians off, I don't know.

Do I want teachers and students to praise Jesus in the class? I do actually. Although that would be unfair to Muslims and Hindus and all, but I don't see how it affects an atheist. Enlighten me, and keep the cuss to a minimal, unless that's all you got.

Larro said...

What's wrong is being a bigot.

Shaun said...

I'd rather be a bigot than an atheist. Not that I'm accepting I'm a bigot.

Modusoperandi said...

shaun "...Although that would be unfair to Muslims and Hindus and all, but I don't see how it affects an atheist."

It is unfair to everyone, because it is wasting time that should be used for education. School is for learning. Teachers (and students) can praise Jesus all they like on their own time, like on their lunchbreak. The only time that Jesus (or Moses or Mohammad or...) should come up in class is if it is a class like Comparative Religion or history. The only time Jesus Christ belongs in science class is when you burn yourself. Also, in ''woodworking'', and then only when you cut off a finger. Twice if it's yours.

shaun "Enlighten me, and keep the cuss to a minimal, unless that's all you got."

We, with varying degrees of patience, have been trying. You are simply not listening.

Shaun said...

But it's not wasting time when evolution is taught. Don't you get it yet? all the atheist complaints are just modified(opposite) versions of the Christian complaints. We say one thing, you evolutionize it and say it back. The bible said atheists are bad, Dawkins turned around and said religion is bad(unless he wrote his book before the bible), We said evolution's the lie of Satan, you say religion's the lie of business men. Are you not seeing a trend yet?

I've been listening, believe me, I just haven't heard much.