Tag Archives: George W. Bush

Trolling Methods

Admiralbill (my nemesis on the Sistertrek message board) had many, easy buttons I knew how to push that would easily bait him into an argument.  All of his buttons revolved around the fact that he was a rabid, George W. Bush defending, Fox News watching, Rush Limbaugh listening, conservative Republican.  The following is a list of those buttons:

1.         I would post a news article that tended to put the Republican / Conservatives in a bad light.  I would add no comments but simply sit back and watch the debate unfold.  This was obviously intended to push Admiralbill’s buttons but I could always argue that I thought the article was interesting and might stimulate a healthy political discussion.  It had the effect of putting him on the defense because he felt compelled to respond to it.

2.         I would then keep him tired and on the defensive.  I did this by responding quickly and concisely.  In general (not just with Admiralbill) when I did post commentary I would keep it short and only address one particular point.  I always found it funny when other posters got so worked up over something and took the time to write a long drawn out diatribe responding to every single point in a previous post.  I would just choose one point to refute or agree with.  This had the effect negating all the work the diatribe attempted to make.  I conserved my energy with small posts that took me ten minutes to craft they exhausted themselves with long ones that took an hour.  The longer they take to respond, the more rest I have and the more agitation they felt to get a response out.

3.         I usually asked questions in my responses.  This also put Admiralbill on the defensive because he felt compelled to respond to a direct question and the question framed his response.  Thus he never set the tone because he was always responding to the tone I set.  These questions also had the effect of pissing him off.  I naturally asked questions to begin with not thinking this was strategy but once I realized he did not like it I did it more.

4.         If Admiralbill accused me of baiting or trolling I would always deny, deny, deny.  This is probably the most important tip for any would be troll out there.  Nothing angers other posters more than when someone refuses to recognize the obvious.  Instead, I would argue that I had no intent to bait but rather to stimulate interesting and civil debate which he was ruining by resorting to personal attacks rather than addressing the issues.  I also specifically stated at times that I did not want Admiralbill to respond in specific threads to avoid conflict.  Of course this had the intended opposite effect.

5.         I definitely had my share of enemies who sided with Admiralbill or saw me as a trouble-maker but I also cultivated allies on the board who could take some heat off me if I was boxed into a corner.  Then when Admiralbill focused on the other guy I could attack back and undermine him.  Even if a person has the moral high ground, it is difficult to get frustrated if two or more people are against that person on a message board.

 

Read my ebook Shame and Internet Trolling. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBooks.

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The Genesis of a Troll

My first experience as a troll was on a Star Trek message board called www.sistertrek.net.  Trolls rarely admit they are wrong and I was no exception.  I started out as a member in good standing but was then converted into a troll by a board bully named Admiralbill.  Before Sistertrek I had been a regular poster on the www.startrek.com message board with the handle Gvok but there were a lot of trolls and spammers there.  Like everyone else I found them to be annoying and could not understand their motivation.  Eventually the spamming and trolling became so bad that a female named Buckeyerose created the Sistertrek message board as an alternative and many posters from startrek.com migrated there.  I followed the crowd there too.

Overtime Sistertrek developed a lively politics forum and at the time I joined I sided with the conservatives politically but was not a diehard.  This was all pre 9/11 so the stakes were not as high as they would later become.  I had voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election because I was disgusted with Bill Clinton about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  By the time the Iraq war began I sort of soured on the whole Republican party.  I spent a long time defending the war but eventually I found it more and more difficult to swim against the current.  I did not really consider myself a Democrat but the Republicans of the Bush administration were a bit too extreme for me.

Now Admiralbill was a staunch Republican, a real ditto head, ex-navy guy from Texas.  He vehemently attacked anyone who remotely espoused a liberal viewpoint.  After it was determined that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the whole basis on the invasion was based upon a false premise I began to have my doubts about conservatism.  Voicing this opinion brought me into the cross hairs of Admiralbill.  After a few times being attacked by him and observing him attack others I decided to attack back.  I mention all this is to show that, I at the time, I thought my motives were pure.  I saw myself as a protector of those liberals on the board who were too timid or inarticulate to make their points against Admiralbill.

As I look back on it I can see that Admiralbill was a shame-based personality like me.  He was so critical of anyone who espoused a remotely “liberal” point of view and attacked them with viciousness.  I imagine he had that sort of criticism focused on him at some point in his life, most likely from one of his primary care givers.  I am sure he passed it on to his son whom he often referred to on the message board as “the demon seed”.  I am also pretty sure he focuses that same criticism on himself.  Neither his criticism nor my criticism of him had anything to do with conservative or liberal politics.  It had everything to do with shame and the need to pass the shame along to provide a short-term feeling of relief.

 

Read my ebook Shame and Internet Trolling. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBooks.

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Conservatives are Shame-Based

I voted for George W. Bush in 2000 because I was turned off by the Clinton administration after the Monica Lewinski Scandal.  I became politically conservative after graduating college in 1993.  At the time I felt very ashamed because I was unable to find the type of job I thought I should have as a college graduate.  I finally settled for a job driving a truck.  Because of my shame, I was easily indoctrinated by Rush Limbaugh who I listened to every day on the road.  What he said made sense to me.  This country is in decline and it is the fault of the over sensitive, politically correct, socialist liberals.  Now I can see how shame-based people are naturally attracted to this type of conservative philosophy.  Shame-based people feel ashamed about their situation.  Because shame feels bad it must be dealt with in some way.  Most shame-based people choose to deal with shame by shaming other people.

This is why the conservatives are so venomous in the way they criticize so-called liberals.  It has nothing to do with the love of freedom although they cloak it in that language.  This, by the way, is another marker of a shame-based person; the need to hide their real motives.  Shame-based people do this because they think if their real motives were viewed by the world they would be judged harshly for them.

On September 11th 2001 I remember waiting for the bus I took to work and hearing someone say that a plane had hit the world trade center.  I did not think it was anything serious.  When I got to work on the 54th floor of the Bell Atlantic Tower a lot of people were watching a TV set up in the conference room. I saw the smoke pouring out of one of the towers.  I remember sitting in my cubicle listening to the Howard Stern Show describe the events unfolding from Manhattan.  By midday people in my office started going home.

I remember the days after 9/11 I felt nervous for George W. Bush when he gave speeches.  It never seemed like he was fully in command of the language.  I felt nervous that he would make a mistake and say the wrong thing.  At the same time I rooted for him.  He was the president I voted for and I identified with him.  He had a successful father who’s name he share and in who’s shadow he stood all his life.  He did not seem as smart, capable or confident as his father but here he was finally put in the spotlight and given an opportunity to prove himself and I wanted him to succeed.  I wanted him to succeed because in him I saw myself.  I had not yet been put in the spotlight but someday I might find myself there.

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