A trollherd is the visible party with a real name (fake or not) who is followed around, quoted, and has their general credibility exploited by unruly trolls. He may or may not be considered a troll himself, or in any control of any other's actions. He may or may not be their political ally. He may or may not have anything to gain from the trolling. He may or may not approve of it.
Maybe what makes him or her a trollherd is refusing to apologize for it, and defending general principles, e.g. a right to vanish, opposition to outing. The archetype trollherd is Bill Palmer, see: http://xahlee.org/Netiquette_dir/_/to_catch_a_troll.txt
- "The notorious Palmer's Parasites are very big on this. They claim a rather peculiar license for following up any ON-topic article of mine with slimy, OFF-topic attacks having nothing at all to do with a newsgroup subject OR an ongoing thread discussion."
To those who demand apologies, Palmer's response is blunt:
- "I make no apology for Palmer's Parasites, anymore than I would "apologize" for a gang of muggers who assaulted me at an ATM. People are responsible for THEIR OWN postings. The Palmer's Parasites should therefore be immediately run out of any non-flaming group where they post off-topic rubbish, in my view."
- "Of course, Palmer's Parasites are naturally trolls, too, which is why I mention them, but when the trolling becomes so personal that you get a half-dozen or so human parasites netstalking a net writer through Dejanews and flooding serious newsgroups with off-topic personal attacks, you have trolling in its ugliest and most vicious form."
One could imagine Palmer being paid not to post, which would open up questions of whether these are in fact funded trolls. Such trolling tactics can be expected to be perfected in order to shut down Consumerium Services, as the people who oppose a service of this sort are by no means naive about this.
Rebecca Ore is an infamous troll apologist on Usenet.
English Wikipedia User Plato, on the other hand, appears to revel in the role and has created a page to honour the (pre-existing) Wikipedia Red Faction. See faction for how this can lead to civilized regime change.