Before the internet, there are epithets of weirdo, geek, oddball, screwball, crank, kook, crackpot, jester, queer, fruitcake, firebrand, gadfly, hell-raiser, rabble-rouser, outsider, loner, desperado, witch. Their owners exists everywhere, from your highschool to your workplace. As you can see, trolls were not born with the internet. It was with us from the dawn of time. It is of course oblivious to the mainstream. After all, who like witches? ...
- At first i balked at being branded a troll. Now i revel it. I as a troll is
- rather recent, beginning and getting worse about in 1998. I have been
- using online discussion medium since 1990. Perhaps one day i'll write
- "how i became a troll". It is bound to be a tragedy. - Xah Lee
Here is the original troll definition recently censored at Meta-Wikipedia by enemy sysops, who are obviously terrified of the plain truth:
The m:Legion of Trolls recognizes the following ranks for troll behavior, from lowest to highest:
- m:sysop is the lowest of the low, incapable of holding his own in debate, the sysop resorts to IP bans and other technological tactics, based on the trust that the Dictator has in him. They make truly wrong decisions, and have no clear basis for what they do - which is more or less random damage to the fabric of the Wikipedia.
- m:cretins are better than sysops, since they actually raise issues that matter, and show what's wrong with training and orientation material or the pseudo-socialization process that passes for "community" on this system. Their articles are generally stubs, since they know very little about the actual topics; however, regardless of their shortcomings, cretins fancy themselves to be "editors". Their agendas are transparent, and in general uninteresting, and they plod along with 'good intentions' trying to 'fix things' which they just make worse; such users must be continually reverted.
- m:vandals are almost as low, for they justify the existence of sysops, but at least they do not cripple the entire project with the behavior, just a page or so at a time, and usually they give up. The main virtue that puts them higher on the scale than cretins, is that they distract and drive off sysops, which is a contribution that stands the test of time, whereas cretins don't do that nearly as well.
- m:authors write pedestrian articles that stand until something better comes along - they are best employed compiling lists, checking facts and asking dumb questions in Talk files, and usually log in by the same name as their body answers to on the street. They are not contemptible but they have no idea how their information is used, and they don't care, as long as they get to claim that their articles are "published".
- m:editors train authors to be better authors, and typically fix up things that authors don't really understand, without ever insulting them (if they do, they drop to cretins immediately, and if they drive away good authors, they are basically vandals, if they IP ban them, they drop to sysops, lowest of the low). Editors have specialties and should stick to them; they are likely to make big mistakes if they go beyond their limited understanding. They should be learning from authors all the time, and must trust other editors' judgement on topics that they simply don't care about. They are not creative but they are smart - typically they use pseudonyms but do not hide their body identities.
- ontologists solve the difficult name-space problems, noticing potential namespace conflicts far in advance, often proposing and advancing w:Wikipedia:WikiProjects when an area is well-defined and important. They actually understand how Wikipedia is used! They argue fiercely but sparsely on Talk pages and etc., and in particular are responsible for arbitrating between editors and ending w:edit wars creatively. The best of them are very smart, but all of them are thorough, and this thoroughness is what marks them clearly. To ontologists the most important file in the Wikipedia is w:Wikipedia:Self-references, since it marks what the Wiki itself thinks it is - its reflexive identity, its actual own self-image. An ontologist usually uses a pseudonym and does not reveal his body name. Or, alternatively, a constantly shifting IP with no name whatsoever, if s/he is engaged in cleaning up problems left by poor editors and previous ontologists.
- trolls solve the most difficult problems - they discourage and drive off the worst sysops, cretins, vandals, authors and editors - they challenge the ontologists. And, most heroically, they alter the project's conception of itself (while ontologists only track that). They actually understand how Wikipedia evolves! They are always anonymous, and associate themselves either with an IP number or randomly changing usernames - most heroically, they use a static IP which exposes them to all of the problems, but none of the advantages, of attacks by sysops and etc... In addition. trolls have a very healthy sense of humor.
The troll solves the worst problems, which is inappropriate 'contributions' by the worst sysops, and ideally can drive a bad ontologist entirely out of the project.
All hail the troll!
"Troll: In Icelandic mythology, Trolls were a race of giants. They appear in various Northern mythologies. In Norse mythology Trolls are represented as a type of goblin." - Norse mythology guide See also Ragnarok
- noun: angling by drawing a baited line through the water
- noun: a fisherman's lure that is used in trolling (Example: "He used a spinner as his troll")
- noun: (Scandanavian folklore) a supernatural creature (either a dwarf or a giant) that is supposed to live in caves or in the mountains or under the world tree
- noun: a partsong in which voices follow each other; one voice starts and others join in one after another until all are singing different parts of the song at the same time
- verb: circulate, move around, e.g. "he trolled all the large public wikis"
- verb: speak or recite rapidly or in a rolling voice
- verb: praise or celebrate in song (Example: "All tongues shall troll you")
- verb: sing loudly and without inhibition, especially the USENET troll song
- verb: angle with a hook and line drawn through the water
- verb: sing the parts of (a round) in succession, especially heroic songs about trolls
- verb: cause to move round and round (Example: "The child trolled her hoop", "the Lowest Troll trolled the sysop-vandal off to other large public wikis, but it always came back")
A MUST READ! A formula for determining who to ban! This might actually be progress over Wikimedia corruption as it makes the bias in the system more obvious and creates a despised class who can unite into a faction to achieve regime change.