The first rule of forums, chat rooms and bulletin boards is: DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. If you feed them, they grow. If you starve them, they wither up and die.
However, sometimes it’s hard to tell you’ve been trolled until you’re in a keyboard lather. Protect your sanity and reputation with this useful guide to 18 kinds of internet trolls.
1. The Rabid Flamer
This guy likes to make trouble for his own amusement. If nothing particularly nasty is going on, he’ll whip out his flamethrower and burn everyone in his path, especially denizens of parenting or pets chat rooms.
2. The Priggish Grammar Troll
No matter what the discussion is about, the Priggish Grammar Troll will ignore the argument and pick on the one word you used incorrectly, like “alot” or misuses of “they’re,” “their” and “there.”
3. The Crybaby
If someone says something mean to the Crybaby, she’ll become hysterical and swear she’s never coming back to the board. Of course, you’ll see her three days later when she slinks back for more abuse. The Crybaby often tells on you to the mods and swears she’s going to get you banned.
4. The Never-Give-Up, Never-Surrender Troll
This troll is ALWAYS right and will battle to the death to prove it. There’s no point in trying to fight her. If she can’t back something up with reality, she’ll make something up, just to show you how wrong you are.
5. The Retroactive Stalker
The Retroactive Stalker will go back in time to find every cragislist post you ever made until he finds something embarrassing you said, even if you posted it three years ago. After that, whenever you post anything new, the Retroactive Stalker will link to the old post(s) in an effort to discredit you.
6. The Lame Teenager
The Lame Teenager responds with clever sayings like, “I know you are, but what am I?” and “I’m rubber and you’re glue…” Warning: Sometimes the Lame Teenager is really a 40-year-old guy who can’t think of anything better to say.
7. The Self-Feeding Troll
This guy likes to argue, even when everyone else in the fo tells him he’s wrong. Without support from his nonexistent friends, he changes handles—or makes up new ones—to show the fo how loved he is.
8. The Bored Hater
This guy loves to make problems, usually out of sheer boredom. His posts are vile and hideous for no other reason than riling up total strangers. His arsenal includes racism, sexism, homophobia and religious intolerance.
9. Nellie McNeggerson
Nellie likes to show her displeasure by negging every craigslist post you make, regardless of its content. If you say, “cool!” she’ll neg you. If you say “thanks!” she’ll neg you. She might even create multiple accounts so she can neg you four or five times.
10. The Sharing Troll
Also known as the TOU Violator, this psycho will find out your personal information and post it on message boards when you anger him. For example, when he’s being an ars to someone and you step in to tell him to knock it off, he’ll use your real name or post your address.
11. The Profane Screamer
If someone says something even remotely critical of the Profane Screamer, he’ll TYPE IN ALL CAPS, telling you what a @#$# you are and insulting your mom. The Profane Screamer is often a noob and often turns into The Crybaby.
12. The White Knight
If the White Knight thinks someone hurts someone’s feelings, he’ll put on his shiny armor and joust for honor and goodness … even if the “attacked” person tells him to shut up.
13. The Expert
The Expert knows everything about everything and loves to share his knowledge. He’s a lawyer, a doctor, a senator, a pro-ball player, a historian, an engineer … in reality, of course, he’s an unemployed temp living with his mom.
14. The Spoiler
The Spoiler likes to ruin people’s days. On the film fo, he gives away endings (“He was dead the whole time!”). On sports sites, he posts the final scores.
15. The Fraud
Also known as the Romance Scammer or the Deposed Nigerian Prince, the fraud takes pleasure in robbing people of their cash or self respect. If your friends warn you that something seems hinky, PAY ATTENTION!
16. The Flooder
The Flooder tries to break forums by posting the same lame thing (LOL! ROTFL!) over and over and over and over and over and over…
17. The Liar
The Liar is the most common troll. He loves to lure in brainless high-school girls by pretending he’s a romantic 20-year-old sensitive poet. The Liar is fairly harmless—as long as you don’t set up an IRL meet-up.
18. The Stalker
The Stalker is the only truly dangerous troll. He’ll hack your computer, post your SSN on the Internet and find you IRL. 4Chan is filled with Stalkers, but fortunately they usually only amass when someone hurts a kitten or yells at a little kid.
Now that you know all about Internet trolls, remember:
Do you have a “favorite” Internet troll? Tell us about him in the comments!