Hugh at Gapingvoid has written about a phenomena he describes as “The Happy Troll”:
“Basically, the Happy Troll is happiest when he is “shitting in your living room” without you actually noticing. That’s the art of it. He does this by “adding healthy, helpful dissent to the discussion” – at least, that’s what he calls his little turdpiles. And he’s hoping that’s how you and your other readers at first glance see them as- a reasonable yet dissenting voice, good for the debate and democracy itself yak yak yak. Sure, his manners may be somewhat lacking, his attitude is a bit weird, but because the actual merits of his argument are so valid, relevant and well thought out, to delete them surely would be a form of “censorship”? And as a blogger, would you not be letting your readers and the entire blogosphere itself down by being such a petty, egocentric control-freak?”
According to Hugh this is the biggest irritation of blogging after comment spam, and that he takes great delight in deleting their comments and banning their IP addresses. I’m not so sure. How are you to know the difference from a Happy Troll and an honest dissenter? Is he suggesting that all dissent is bad? Or do I just like posting items involving the word “troll” of late? Food for thought.
(via Joi Ito)