Subject:    Alt.Troll FAQ Ver 0.2
From:       Cappy@aol.com (Cappy Troll)
Newsgroups: alt.troll
Date:       Mon, 01 Feb 1999
Message-ID: <36b8544c.35158813@ruble.net>

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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