Are you a troll?

Four corners is covering the current trend for some people to troll. Brendan O’Neill calls this free speech

if you’re not free to hate someone you’re not free

O’Neill is right, people have the right to offend, even if it is gratuitous. There is quite a bit of trolling here too. However it isn’t very nice, it is unnecessary and is a lazy way of putting one’s argument. So let’s all drop the trolling and put together a cogent argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks.  Let’s make this space more civilised.

Public shaming is another aspect of the net that is getting out of control. Pious groups who want to police what people say or think jump on someone who is often just expressing an opinion or make a joke (perhaps in bad taste, but so what?). These people cause real harm.

In many ways public shaming is far worse than trolling.

Yes, we do have the right to offend and to be offended. But try not to be gratuitous.

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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46 Responses to Are you a troll?

  1. Leigh Lowe

    If it’s not too much trouble, fuck off … please.

  2. Jo Smyth

    Liberals/Conservatives are never gratuitous. They just speak the truth.

  3. Combine Dave

    Hey Lucy.

    FOAD!

  4. Boambee John

    Speaking of trolling, when are you going to condemn the US D’rats for their failure to accept the election results? You had severe words when Trump refused to commit in advance to accept the result.

    Now, when the D’rats not only refuse to accept the actual result, but collaborate with groups like BLM, while Hillary describes herself as part of the “Resistance”, you are silent on the subject.

  5. Oh come on

    This is a joke, surely.

  6. NewChum

    Turnbull supporter says ‘leave Malcolm alone’

    Yeah, nah…

    All these people new to the internet in the last few years with their iPhones and iPads don’t know what it has always, always been like. Namely, off colour jokes, endless arguments (where do you think Godwin’s law came from?) and porn (see rule 34)

    Instead a bunch of technically illiterate academics think it ought to be some stuffy book club or review journal filled with esoteric impenetrable screeds commencing with ‘Dear Sir’

    Well, invent your own technology. The internet will forever belong to the smartasses who built and spread it. The first rule of the internet : there are no rules, and censorship is seen as damage and routed around.

  7. Zatara

    Observation: it is ‘trolling’ when your opposition does it but ‘political commentary’ when you do it.

    The difference between right and left? Quality vs, quantity.

  8. Ubique

    Catallaxy Files just would not be the same without IT’s peerless ad hominem gems. Whatever rules are set, they’re not to apply to IT.

  9. Howard Hill

    @NewChum
    ++ Eleventy billion.

    Snowflakes can fuck right off, I’m sick to the teeth with them!

  10. Jimf

    Trolling is usually a term of sanctuary that progressives throw around and hide behind when their opinions have been exposed as insincere or just plain wrong!

  11. Fleeced

    So let’s all drop the trolling and put together a cogent argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

    Pfft… Communist! Snowflake! Red Snowflake!

    Public shaming is another aspect of the net that is getting out of control.

    This is true. Tyranny of the flash mob, as I call it. You say you don’t want to make a cake or host a gig, and the next minute you have a flash mob shutting you down.

  12. Fleeced

    Yes, there’s lots of trolls – but when people accuse someone of trolling it is, nine times of of ten, just that they’ve said something they disagree with.

    Of course, there are also a lot of “shit-stirring” posts – but I don’t classify those as trolling, either. Trolling is a whole different level.

  13. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    Speaking of trolling, when are you going to condemn the US D’rats for their failure to accept the election results?

    I have always said that Trump has been legally elected. But I think he is a nutter and unfit for office. He has been five months in office and they have been five months of hell. The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    Shakespeare even wrote about Trump:

    Trump is a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.

    Trump’s wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard.

    Trump is a poisonous bunch-backed toad!

    The tartness of Trump’s face sours ripe grapes

    Oh Trump, you starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!

    Trump your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.

  14. Leo G

    The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    Trolling: Towing, close to the surface or in midwater, one or more lines with hooks with an attractive bait or lure.
    Are you trolling for men who identify as fools, turds, or peabrains?

  15. Arky

    . The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    ..
    Pure projection.

  16. Stimpson J. Cat

    So we go from this:

    O’Neill is right, people have the right to offend, even if it is gratuitous.

    To this:
    Yes, we do have the right to offend and to be offended. But try not to be gratuitous.

    There are no buts.
    If you do not understand this I cannot help you.

  17. Haidee

    I wouldn’t be inclined to always say “Trump has been legally elected”.
    Stating the obvious, right? If you’re always doing it, people get bored and switch off.
    But calling him a nutter will get you attention. It’s insulting all those Americans who voted for him.
    I don’t think his face is tart. And he was fairly good-looking when he was young.

  18. duncanm

    Are you a troll?

    this is like one of those trick questions where the honesty of your answer depends on if you’re a troll or not.

  19. Motelier

    LOL.

    Ever since President Trump has been elected the left hafe been kicking, screaming and behaving like a terrible two year old .

    Lucius should get on a plane and do a road trip around the states. The mid-west is now full of optimism. People are getting jobs, businesses are hiring now.

    But of course those that vote Democrat can keep the mask of prosperity on. LA is dirty in the public areas while the business sector is clean.

    The people did not get it wrong, in fact most people think the US dodged a bullet by not electing Hillary.

  20. Jannie

    What is a Troll anyway?

    People who disagree with you are not trolls, people who call you names are not trolls. People who manage to sabotage a whole thread discussion by provoking outrage from multiple responders might be trolls, but its fair game to many.

    The only certified Trolls I know are the attempts to put google ads in comments.

  21. So let’s all drop the trolling

    You first.

  22. Oh come on

    The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    I suppose Trump’s long record of high-level successes (not least winning the Presidency using a mould-breaking strategy) were just pure luck. One triumph after the other; none achieved because of his ability.

    Your perspective is rather unsophisticated, Lucy. Try engaging your brain once in a while.

  23. JC

    Here’s a way out of this sort of thinking. Dislike the person, but love what he’s doing in terms of policy. I can’t think of one policy change that I disagree with at this stage.

    Trump is God.

  24. Huck

    So let’s all drop the trolling and put together a cogent argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

    Followed by

    The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    Hypocritical fucktard of the highest order.

  25. Nerblnob

    Trolling is laying a bait, which Four Corners does all the time from the pulpit of privilege.

  26. Tom

    So let’s all drop the trolling

    You idiot.

    You can’t appeal to trolls to be nice people.

    The whole ideas of being a troll is to be an arsehole.

    For example, Doomlord’s pet troll Monty is here because he has nothing but visceral hatred for anyone who isn’t a collectivist zombie like he is.

    That is, 100% of the Cat audience.

    Most of the other trolls are worse; the only reason they are here is they enjoy being arseholes. The most recent smitee is so invested in being an anti-social arsehole he’s quite mentally ill.

    At least Monty makes a pretence of actually assembling “arguments” — rakeage, for short — that make him a laughing stock.

    Instead of virtue-signalling about how superior you are to trolls, you might first make an effort to understand the problem. Of course, that would require something more than the laziness that is your currency here.

  27. Huck

    And on the subject of ad-hom’s, I’ve got to say that your previous post seemed like it was written by that girl everyone knew in grade 6. You know the one? The girl that was a little bit smarter than her contemporaries and felt the need to show it by writing in a style that over emoted and had a few big words thrown in repeatedly for good measure.
    It sure impressed her classmates and teachers, but at the end of the day, it was still dross penned by a pre-pubescent, immature little girl. Much like your garbage. Odious much?

  28. Ez

    So let’s all drop the trolling and put together a cogent argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks. Let’s make this space more civilised.

    Doomlord, your excellency, please ban this fool for his clear breach of the site’s rules.

    Dissenters must be punished.

  29. iampeter

    Come on LQC. I agree with you when you say this:

    However it isn’t very nice, it is unnecessary and is a lazy way of putting one’s argument. So let’s all drop the trolling and put together a cogent argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

    But then you go ahead and say say this re Trump:

    The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    There a plenty of things to criticize about Trump without resorting to speculation around his brain size and its resemblance to vegetables.
    We’ve also now seen that after five months the issue is much bigger than Trump anyway as the entire Conservative movement seems to not have any legislative agenda that differentiates them from the Democrats, have failed to repeal Obamacare, have set the stage for nationalization of healthcare and have been played into starting an investigation of their own president for obstruction of justice while crooks like Comey and Lynch and Hillary go free.

    There’s no need for ad hominems, because Trump and the Conservative movement provide almost parody level of ammunition with which to criticize them every day.

  30. min

    Trolls appear to be those who have never met the person, play the man not the ball, that is they make pejorative remarks about the person , not argue the ideas or opinions or behaviours .
    These people usually demonstrate how they rate themselves, therefore expect perfectionism,put themselves down ,self flagellate and have a self esteem that maybe up or down , so lack self worth. Maybe a lot of narcissists these days as the research shows that there has been world wide increase in this personality disorder.
    They put others down In order to feel superior themselves. This is why those who do not have the ability to deal with this behaviour from others feel, bullied , rate themselves as worthless, hopeless , useless. Depressed . How do I know ? This is what actually what comes out of people’s mouths when talking with a competent psychologist and what thousands told me during my working days.

  31. john malpas

    A punch in the nose is the answer.
    In the long run violence works. A punch is more efficacious than a platitude.

  32. Razor

    Typical of the troll that you are LQC.

    He has been five months in office and they have been five months of hell.

  33. min

    Chimps throw dung at their rivals then attack. I suppose if they could speak they would throw pejorative remarks get riled then go for the physical violence. Sounds like humans to me.

  34. Razor

    Just in case you don’t get it LQC

    Trolls appear to be those who have never met the person, play the man not the ball, that is they make pejorative remarks about the person , not argue the ideas or opinions or behaviours .

    from Min 2417474

  35. Stan

    LQC has a distinct lack of self-awareness.

  36. Wilma

    The pernicious Trolls who pick out an individual and pack attack are using the freedom of speech to mask behavior that we all know was used and encouraged in Nazi Germany.

  37. Louis Hissink

    As Trey Gowdy pointed out at some commencement address in the US, there’s no social mileage by insulting people.

    The strange thing is that insulting someone is essentially messenger shooting – and that makes the abuse of free speech a uniquely left-wing trait, along with their opposites at the other end of the political spectrum.

    It is very difficult insulting an idea, so next shot is to insult the messenger.

  38. Robbo

    “Yes, we do have the right to offend and to be offended. But try not to be gratuitous.”

    Go and get stuffed.

  39. Rob MW

    Are you a troll?

    I have always said that Trump has been legally elected. But I think he is a nutter and unfit for office. He has been five months in office and they have been five months of hell. The man is a fool and a turd with the brain the size of a pea.

    Right on captain !!

    So let’s all drop the trolling and put together a cogent argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks. Let’s make this space more civilised.

    Shakespeare even wrote about Trump:

    You are an absolute brilliant thinker captain, pity about the fact that you are as fucked up as any good virtue signaling nobel cause warrior is to a complete fucking idiot.

  40. Bruce in WA

    This is a joke, surely.

    Nope, I think the twat is serious.

    And don’t call me Shirley.

  41. Yes; play the ball, not the man.

    But I do enjoy jokes at M0nty’s expense.

  42. val majkus

    I tripped into one of those ‘Block Adani’ sites yesterday and asked the question ‘what’s wrong with coal’ for which I was berated soundly IN CAPS, then when someone linked to one of those articles on how cheap windpower and solar is I commented ‘but only because they’re subsidised’ which generated a number of angry comments one of which referred to me as a ‘stupid troll.’ I then retreated thinking life’s too short. I concluded whether or not you’re a troll depends on the digital or social environment

  43. Boambee John

    LQC at 2242

    That is a cop out

    You have still not condemned the actions of the D’rats.

    You are as bad as m0nty with his refusal to cendemn the crimes of communism.

    By your silence you condone them.

  44. Andrew

    He has been five months in office and they have been five months of hell

    In the hell that is Trumpsylvania:
    – Unemployment had fallen over half a point
    – the Stockmarket is up 20%
    – the Saudis are fighting Sunni terrorism, and signed up for $400bn of investments
    – the Chinese are brutally sanctioning DPRK
    – St Malcolm has been globally humiliated
    – the budget deficit cut by 20% as an INTERIM measure and heading to zero in a 2018 budget that introduces $4tr of cuts
    – the US hasn’t invaded a country or started a war for months
    – the Philippines are an ally again
    and
    – the Paris agreement has been used as dunny paper.

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