Subject: Alt.Troll FAQ Ver 0.2 From: Cappy@aol.com (Cappy Troll) Newsgroups: alt.troll Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Due to the underwhelming response I got about version 0.1, I have decided to add the few suggestions I received and create ver 0.2. It's really kind of funny. You really should read it. Really, you'll like it. I promise. You don't have to tell me so if you do. Don't worry about me and all the hard work I've put into this. The satisfaction of doing it enough for me. Yes, sir. I don't need no support from you all. Nope. CH ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Welcome to Frequently Asked Questions about Alt.Troll --------------------------------------------------------------------- This document is designed to answer the frequently asked questions about Usenet trolls, trolling and the alt.troll newsgroup. This FAQ was created to be for information only, and how you use it entirely up to you. The existence of this document is in no way intended the grant license or permission to violate your news providers Terms of Service (TOS) rules or indicate the acceptability of anything described herein. Be sensible. If you are taking the time to read this FAQ, you: a.) Want to find out more about trolls and trolling b.) You are morbidly curious. Car wrecks also fascinate you. If you cruised into cyberspace today and forgot your sense of humor at home, please turn around and go get it. You'll need it while reading this document, as it is intended as parody. Copyright (c) 1999 by Cappy Hamper -------------------------- The following persons have contributed to this document at some point in its evolution: Dalie the Troll Betty, Joe Blow the Troll, Otis the Troll-in-Denial, and everyone from AFKMN The following persons have had been unwittingly plagiarized: No one that will ever know. This document was written by Cappy Hamper, with contributions from my cat. It is copyrighted. The copyright is to prevent anyone from editing or selling this material. Feel free to redistribute it in any form as long as it is unaltered in content and no credit or money is taken for the contents themselves. Comments, questions, contributions or ideas should be mailed to the email address above or posted to alt.troll. ---------------- CONTENTS ---------------- Part 1: TROLL? I THOUGHT THAT WAS ONLY IN FAIRY TALES. 1a) What is trolling? 1b) What is a troll? 1c) Why do trolls troll? 1d) When is a troll not a troll? 1e) Who are the trolls on real life? 1f) Trolls suck. 1g) Are trolls immortal or do they die like the rest of us? Part 2: WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF TROLLS? I STILL DON'T GET IT. 2a) The STRAIGHT UP ASSHOLE FLAME TROLL 2b) The CLUELESS NEWBIE JOKE TROLL 2c) The HIT, RUN AND WATCH TROLL 2d) The CONFIDENCE or TACTICAL TROLL 2e) The CREATIVE CROSS POST TROLL 2f) The GANG TROLL Part 3: SHOULD I GO OUT AND START POSTING NOW? I'M A BADASS TROLL! 3a) So trolling is OK then? 3b) Is any newsgroup a potential target? 3c) What are the penalties for trolling? 3d) What is a TOS agreement? 3e) What is a netcop? Part 4: HOW DO I HIDE MY IDENTITY? I WANNA BE A COVERT TROLL! 4a) How can I post anonymously? 4b) What newsreader should I use? 4c) What news server should I use? 4e) What if I get TOSed? Part 5: HOW TO DEFEAT TROLLS 5a) What about anti-troll sprays and powders? 5b) Should I compliment a troll? 5c) How do I get trolls out of my kitchen? 5d) Can I get my panties unbunched? --------------- PART ONE --------------- TROLL? I THOUGHT THAT WAS ONLY IN FAERIE TALES. 1a) What is trolling? The use of the word "trolling" comes from the fishing technique where a baited hook is dragged through the water, in an attempt to attract and catch a fish. Usenet trolling is the act of posting an article, or "troll" (baited hook) in a Usenet newsgroup (the water) with the intention of attracting the native inhabitants (groupers) and provoking an emotional response (caught!). The phrase was originally coined as "Trolling for flames", where the posters intention was to incite a "flame war", the Usenet intellectual equivalent of a bar fight. 1b) What is a troll? It is convenient that the word "troll" has multiple meanings. Aside from the fishing example above, "troll" also is the name of a mythical creature, generally thought of as ugly, fat, cantankerous, wart-covered, smelly, and completely unlikable. Since trolling is typically thought of as a detestable and unsavory activity performed by loathsome, contemptible hooligans, the name "troll" fits them quite well. There are two basic troll species. Those with overactive minds (busy brain, ADHD, whatever you want to call it) constantly seek out new sources of mental stimuli. For these, myself included, newsgoup satire acts as a sort of *Mental Floss*. And there are those who are permanently disgruntled, or "physically short changed" in some way and seek out ways to compensate for their shortcomings through vicious personal attacks against others in order to achieve a *Mental Erection*. 1c) Why do trolls troll? There are as many reasons as there are trolls. Many trolls are just practical jokers attempting to amuse themselves and their audience. Some have genuine animosity toward a particular group or individual that they believe has done them wrong. Some are just loathsome, contemptible hooligans bent on disrupting the ordinarily peaceful exchange of useful information for their own perverted pleasure. Usenet provides a medium to create and express oneself, and gives the added dimension of anonymity, allowing the troll to create and express emotions, thoughts and ideas that he/she might not ordinarily express. For many, Usenet is the first and only place their creative works will ever be "published". Trolling, for many, is a creative endeavor, and art form if you will, misunderstood by many, appreciated by a few, but valid to the writer none-the-less. 1d) When is a troll not a troll? If trolling is performed for any reason other than for an artful form of expression or harmless amusement, it is a crime and the criminal should be punished accordingly. Trolling is not about tricking senior citizens or lonely spinsters out of their nest eggs, making dates with teenage girls, verbally abusing or otherwise hurting anyone, or bringing about the end of Usenet. If you are an asshole, sociopath, disgruntled postal worker, on a power trip, or are unusually cruel, get some therapy or a house pet. Trolling is not for you. 1e) Who are the trolls in real life? Doctors, lawyers, clergymen, truck drivers, real estate agents, college students, university, professors, mechanics, politicians, circus clowns, professional mercenaries, cowboys, eccentric billionaire software tycoons, warehousemen, movie stars, hit men, landscapers, authors, policemen, tax collectors, TV news anchors, sports figures, farmers...er, well, some of them have jobs doing something. 1f) Trolls suck! Get a life you loser. Stop posting your smelly crap all over my Usenet! I'm sorry, this is a FAQ. You'll have to rephrase that in the form of a question. 1g) Are trolls immortal or do they die like the rest of us? Because trolls are generally intellectually superior to their targets, they will eventually become bored and move on to more challenging activities. But don't worry, as long as there are affordable computer systems available to the masses, there will always be new creative users with a twisted minds willing and able to entertain you. ---------------- PART TWO ---------------- WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF TROLLS? I STILL DON'T GET IT. The following is a list of common troll styles. This list should not be considered exhaustive, as there is not way to predict what those pesky little trolls will come up with next. However, here are some typical and widely used forms, the names of which have been coined by the author: 2a) The STRAIGHT UP ASSHOLE FLAME TROLL- Easy. The troll will post a message with a very inflammatory header that will guarantee furious replies. An example would be a post in ALT.SKINHEADS with the header, "YOU BUNCHA RACIST ASSWIPERS EAT DOG CRAP BISQUITS!" The body might be a single sentence like "There's a revolution coming and we're gonna gang-rape all your zit-covered skinhead women, you cowardly redneck assholes!" Bubba and all his friends down at the gun shop will be more than happy to attempt to out-vulgarize the troll, and the troll will gleefully reply until the thread takes on a life of it's own. 2b) The CLUELESS NEWBIE JOKE TROLL- The troll will either post a new message or follow up on a previous thread with a funny, usually blatantly incorrect or ironic header, and a witty or outrageously stupid body. An example would be a post in ALT.SATAN with the header "CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME HOW MANY OUNCES ARE IN A PENTAGRAM?" This may not get any replies, but the joke has been made. The troll can chuckle to him/herself for hours. 2c) The HIT, RUN AND WATCH TROLL- The troll will drop a single post with a disagreeable header and creative content, then sit back and watch the thread run it's course. An example would be a message in REC.PETS.CATS with the header, "CATS SUCK DOGS BUTTS AND SO DO THEIR OWNERS", filled in with a few lines about why dogs are better than cats. The thread will erupt with indignant cries of "bigot" and "not my kitty!" followed by follow-ups of the wiser groupers telling everyone not to respond to trolls, then disagreements between the members...etc. A variation is to add a little creativity to the same idea, such as the header, "HOW DO I KEEP MY DOG FROM CHASING CATS?" Then fill in the body with a few lines graphically describing how your dog often comes home with lifeless kitties in his mouth. Or better yet, post a "RECIPE FOR CHINESE FELINE FOO YUNG." This can die immediately or go on forever. 2d) The CONFIDENCE or TACTICAL TROLL- The troll will begin by posting a few messages in a given NG that are on-topic, if not slightly over-the-top. Methodically, the troll will begin writing the messages to be a little more sarcastic, silly, or even more over-the-top than the last one, until the group finally catches on that the poster is a troll. By that time the troll has had plenty of fun, and can go on his/her way to the next group. An example would be a message in the alt.alien.visitors NG with an initial post, "HOW DO I KNOW IF I'VE BEEN ABDUCTED?" The troll would ask believable questions and seem legit at first. As groupers began to reply, the troll would add to the story line and let it develop into a full scale story of an abduction, sexual probing, missing time, mutilated farm animals, aluminum foil hats, and ongoing communications where the aliens have announced that they are coming to land the mother ship in Las Vegas and turn it into a casino/theme park. Here is where the frustrated writer/troll does his work, and is often the most entertaining thread to follow if you are a troll fan. 2e) The CREATIVE CROSS POST TROLL- The troll will select two or more NG's where the groupers are already against each other, and start a fight between them. An actual example was the message cross-posted in alt.fan.howard-stern and alt.fan.rush-limbaugh, "HOWARD STERN KICKS RUSH LIMBAUGHS ASS!" The body explained in some detail why Howard is better than Rush. This is not a troll to the Howard groupers, but definitely is to the Ditto Heads. The Rush groupers took offense, blasted out several replies, the Howard fans replied, and a war broke out between the two groups that continues to the day of this writing. Of course, a few trolls jumped in and fanned the flames occasionally. The two groups didn't realize (or didn't care) that every message was cross-posted to both groups, so in effect they were tolling themselves. Brilliant. 2f) The GANG TROLL- A single troll will invite others to join a successful thread, or a group of trolls will agree to launch a simultaneous attack on a pre-determined target NG. Coordination is done by e-mail, on the home newsgroup (alt.troll), ICQ, or some other method of communication. The trolls may choose to argue opposite sides of the issue, half pretending to be groupers who are over-the-top and fight back against the evil trolls, or all just blast away at the regulars. An individual may also be the target, in which case the trolling may cross NG borders. The gang troll can be performed in tandem with any of the other trolling types to completely befuddle the NG. This can be done for a few days, stopping as suddenly as it started, or go on until the group (or individual) self-destructs. ------------------- PART THREE ------------------- SHOULD I GO OUT AND START POSTING NOW? I'M A BADASS TROLL! 3a) So trolling is OK then? No! Trolling is offensive and rude. It upsets and even infuriates people and makes them yell and spit and stomp around in their offices and computer rooms. You may be responsible for giving someone a stroke or a brain hemorrhage. Trolling is definitely frowned upon by your ISP and/or news provider. The only ones who think trolling is funny are the trolls. So unless you're a troll, trolling is not funny. Remember that. Do not laugh at trolls. They suck. 3a) Is any NG a troll target? Technically, yes. However, the wise troll knows how to choose his/her battles. Most trolls prefer to stick with the more arcane and/or socially stunted groups. Likely targets may be groups dedicated to any rock star, movie star, TV star, make of car, house pet or other animal, obscure religions, radicals, hate groups of any kind, nuke (anything), cartoons, drugs, alcohol, stupid collecting activities and the like. Some of the more genteel trolls may advocate avoiding groups engaged in genuinely academic, mainstream religious, warez related, or otherwise non-frivolous discussions. There are plenty of the former to keep even the most industrious troll busy for a thousand years. 3c) What are the penalties for trolling? You cannot be fined, jailed, or permanently separated from your computer. You will not get your fingers broken by Bill Gates. You will not be killed and eaten by netcops. What will happen is that the groupers will yell and scream. They may follow you around and troll you back. They may threaten to get you TOS'ed (have your account suspended), and can successfully do so if you have not hidden your identity. However, there are approximately 4.7 trillion ISPs in every metropolitan area. You can simply open a new account. In addition, getting caught trolling from your company's computer network will likely result in your immediate dismissal. (More time for trolling! Yeee Haw!) 3d) What is a TOS agreement? The Terms of Service, or TOS agreement is the list of rules that ISP's and news servers provide to users. Generally, the agreement will directly or indirectly warn against trolling, referred to as intentionally disrupting, threatening, flooding, or spamming on Usenet. If a user is caught trolling, his/her account may be suspended. This is referred to as getting "TOSed". 3e) What is a Netcop? A "Netcop" is a Usenet vigilante. A newsgroup hall monitor. They cruise the streets and alleys of Usenet in search of bad guys. Their goal is to stop to trolling and other types of free expression, and to send Usenet into a fit of blandness. (In reality, they are figments of their own imaginations. A properly educated troll in the correct state of mind does not fear these rabid guard dogs. Their bark smells of cat crap and the only bite they have is that of the fleas on their hairy butts. CH) ----------------- PART FOUR ----------------- HOW DO I HIDE MY IDENTITY? I WANNA BE A COVERT TROLL! 4a) How can I post anonymously? It is common for groupers to use false identities, or "Nyms", when posting messages. This is especially important if the nature of the message implicates the author to any wrongdoing. But even if you use a nickname, your newsreader and ISP post enough information in the headers of every post to easily send an abuse complaint to your ISP. However, it is possible to post messages in such a way that it is practically impossible to trace the message back to you or your news service. Trolls do this to avoid getting TOS'ed. This section will cover a few possible methods. Remember that none of these are foolproof and under no circumstances should you try any of this, as it may b a violation of your TOS agreement. Hacking the headers in Forte' Agent: This is the best method since you can change your name (nym-shift) and other fields at will. Properly hacked headers will not only protect your identity, but if appropriately worded, can add fun to the troll. The header hacking programs will add space and change headers in full versions of Agent. Go to http://www.skuz.net/madhat/agent/patch.html for downloads and instructions. You can change the domain name, your posting name, your email address, and the Path and the NNTP Posting Host entries. It will also add a few extra "vanity" X-headers so you can customize and add amusing text. THIS DOES NOT WORK WITH ALL ISP'S! Some providers override the attempt to cover your tracks. Always post a message to alt.test and look at all the headers (type "H") to see what is still showing. There should not be any reference to your ISP's domain name or IP address anywhere other than the inbound section of the path. Always save a backup of your agent.exe file before hacking! Dejanews: http://www.dejanews.com Dejanews is an Internet based news provider. You can read and post to all non-binary newsgroups through your web browser. Dejanews requires a mail-back verification before you can post. Go to http://www.hotmail.com and set up a mailbox. When you set up your account with Dejanews, use the hotmail account to register with. Then post away! It is possible to have several accounts active at once. If you get TOSed on one, set up two more. This method is not completely anonymous. Since the IP address of origin is posted in the headers, you could be traced back to you ISP. However, unless you're dangerous or really make someone mad, no one will go to the trouble. Anonymous Remailers: There are several free anonymous mail2news programs and services as of this writing. They're great if you want to post the all the secret launch codes for the American nuclear arsenal to alt.nuke.usa without any fear of being caught. Mostly they are a hassle. These links will take you to sites with excellent information: http://users.rcn.com/wussery/news3nym.html http://www.skuz.net/Thanatop/intro.htm 4b) What newsreader should I use? Forte' Agent is preferred by most everyone as the best all-around newsreader. The freeware version can be downloaded at http://www.forteinc.com. Upgrade to the full version right away. You should pay for it, because the good folks at Forte' worked hard to produce an excellent product. Do not find one of the key generators on the Internet and crack it for free. 4c) What news server should I use? If you use a premium news server, like Newscene http://www.newscene.com or Airnews http://www.airnews.net, you will have full access to all newsgroups, near perfect propagation when you post, and complete posts for all your binary file downloading needs. In addition, most premium news providers do not add or override to your headers, making the header hacking procedure above work perfectly. They do cost around $10.00/month, but worth it. 4e) What if I get TOSed? Don't. But if you do, get another account. ---------------- PART FIVE ---------------- HOW TO DEFEAT TROLLS Part 5: HOW TO DEFEAT TROLLS 5a) What about anti-troll sprays and powders? Try this: Spray a little Cruex around your CPU, monitor, and keyboard. Make sure you lift up your mouse and give his undercarriage a good dose. Sprinkle baking powder on your sheets and in your shoes. Gargle with four ounces of Isopropyl alcohol, DO NOT SWALLOW IT! Then collect and incinerate all of your undergarments and "personal appliances". 5b) Should I compliment a troll? Yes. Say, "My you look pretty today! Have you lost weight?" It drives them crazy. 5c) How do I get trolls out of my kitchen? You can't. Buy extra food and throw an old towel in the corner for bedding. If you try to make them leave, they'll just get mad. 5d) Can I get my panties unbunched? Not likely. Try some WD-40 -------------- PART SIX -------------- ABOUT THE ALT.TROLL FAQ This section is for people who want to know more about the FAQ itself, and for those who want to be a part of maintaining and distributing this document. First we will start with a Version History of the alt.troll FAQ: -------------------------------- Version 0.1: This version. Revisions will be 0.2, 0.3, etc. Version 1.0: This will be the first full version when completed Version 1.x: This will be the mini FAQ for periodic posting to the alt.troll NG. Future Versions: TBA
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