By Rich Kozlovich
There was a time I used to enjoy engaging internet trolls because they're always wrong. Some probably are truly stupid, but I'm convinced most of them intelligent, most are farm trolls, but all have serious psychological issues.
What's a "farm troll"? These are people who've been specifically trained, and paid, to spend an inordinate amount of time spewing out logical fallacies, misdirection, out right lies, and projection on news sites all over the world. Then there are some who I think are simply self funding trolls, but the patterns are always the same.
Should we engage trolls? I've gotten tired of that because they're enormous time wasters. Their offerings are always full of red herring fallacies and cherry picked information, and make no mistake, you cannot win with these people because they have no solid moral foundation, so they merely alter their "arguments" just enough so you don't realize they're not staying on point in order to throw you off and have you going around in circles, and they truly take a sadistic delight in that. They're not honorable people who simply have different views. They're viperous.
The Pew Research Center claims 60% of people ignore trolls, and Popular Science removed
their comments section several years ago, finding that “a fractious
minority wields enough power to skew a reader’s perception of a story, and that's their goal, at least one of them. They desire to attract attention, and disrupt conversations. The more people say to
them or engage with them, the more clabber they will spew out, like cobras spitting venom. Shaming, hate, ridicule, harassment, arrogance, they represent a unending drain on readers emotional energy and time. They frame the discussion to suit themselves, slightly altering the issue. If you choose to engage them, never fail to force them to stay on point. I recommend taking some time and reading about red herring fallacies, and projection.
What kind of people engage in trolling? We can start by asking why don't they use their real names, and it's clear they keep changing the name they're using? Why? What are they hiding? A 2014 study
claimed they're characterized by traits that are called the Dark Tetrad, or Dark Triad, willing to manipulate and deceive others. Narcissism, egotism, self obsession, psychopathy, a lack of empathy for others or remorse for their vile practices. And finely, sadists that feed on the impotent rage of those who engage them. All very Machiavellian.