Posted at 5:00 AM Jan 12, 2010
By Andrea Grimes
It's easy enough to avoid real-life trolls. Keep your billy goats in check and avoid sketchy bridges. But online (you know, in the world where you aren't in charge of Capra aegagrus hircus and the safe maritime transportation thereof), anyone with a blog is bound to run into an internet troll. They've been around since the days of newsgroups and BBSes, even before Livejournal was in diapers, and they'll probably still be around when the aliens come to get us in 2012. In fact, they may be the aliens.
Bloggers, beware: here are 10 troll types you will encounter on the internetz, flamin' ur thredz.
10. The anti-choice troll
It can smell your desire to murder the babies of the world with your liberal atheist devil-worshipping hate, and it will find you and your blog and tell you, in no uncertain terms, the hellfire you can expect. Feminist bloggers are especially familiar with this troll, and know all too well that there is no arguing with the crazy. Let the crazy talk. Let the crazy express itself. Because the crazy thinks it has Jesus on its side, and if you think it's hard to argue with a religious nut on an internet forum, try arguing with a potentially non-existent dude who's been dead for 2,000 years and has millions of people thinking they can speak for him.
9. The grammar nazi troll
Let's talk hypothetically: in your blog post, you found the cure for cancer. Not only that, you ended genocide and made reality television programming illegal. But, in your fervor, you used a serial comma or were careless with your use of its/it's. The grammar nazi troll will be here in a flash to tell you what a worthless piece of shit you are for your abominable command of the English language. The grammar nazi troll likely has no publications of note but carefully copy edits all its rejection letters. Also, the grammar nazi troll reading this post is really upset that I didn't capitalize "nazi."
8. El Creepo
This troll was, initially, a fan of your blog. It read your work regularly, sent you tips via e-mail and tried repeatedly to friend your personal account on Facebook. When you didn't respond with equal enthusiasm, El Creepo started feeling angry and rejected because you didn't want to be friends with a stranger from the internet who e-mails you upwards of six times a day. If El Creepo is lucky, it lives within driving distance of your town and will use your Twitter or FourSquare account to track you down at your local and stare menacingly at you from across the room. Please leave me alone, El Creepo. Really.
7. The political dissenter/martyr troll
If your blog is interesting, chances are it's because you take a stand on things. You have political views you feel passionate about. You build a community of people who are interested in these things and who interact thoughtfully and productively about said things. Heck, some people even manage to disagree civilly. Until political dissenter/martyr troll comes around, starting fights with everyone in a comment thread, spewing its passionate anti-whatever-you're-into views all over the productive discussion. This troll will likely get mouthy about how pathetic a blogger is for not entertaining dissenting opinions, all the while only being interested in hearing itself talk (or type, as it were). Political dissenter/martyr troll, what good do you think you are doing? Whose mind do you think you are changing? Troll, you are an asshole.
6. The troll who can't let it go
It may have been 2 days or 2 months ago, but you once said something that this troll didn't agree with. And while you have moved on, this troll has not. One day, you'll be posting about, say, Skittles. The troll who can't let it go will pop up and remind you about that time you said you hated glitter, didn't believe in the public option or thought we should legalize the possession of small amounts of narcotics. Chances are even you forgot you hated glitter, but this troll never forgets.