This is a 2 course curriculum. In the prerequisite class Trolling the Trolls 101 we summarized troll motives and defenses. I suggest you read it first.
TROLLING TROLLS involves taking them away from the comfort of the expected response and focusing on removing their sense of control or influence using a means other than ignoring. It doesn’t even matter if they read this and know what to expect – without their objective met they gain nothing.
WHAT YOU DON’T DO is more important than what you do.
NEVER discuss content of troll post, sports, stats, records, teams, etc. unless it is to make fun of them as a person (not their team) or draw them into the discussion. They aren’t on the site for discussion. They made the comment – they are prepared to address responses. Take them away from their topic to yours.
NEVER believe a troll’s profile because it is usually fake, listing their least favorite team or city – they want you to attack their “Favorite” team.
NEVER insult another team, conference, coach, player, etc. in your response because this opens possibility of fights with others - a goal of trolls.
NEVER engage after your team faced a tough loss. You are in no shape to match his apathy.
NEVER care about his insults or display negative emotions, use obscenities, etc. He is a troll on the internet looking to get a rise – why would you care?
NEVER lock in – take part in other discussions while engaging the troll.
OBSERVE someone doing the above and send a brief private mail politely asking them not to insult a team, etc. listing the reason above. Many don’t realize trolls list fake favorite teams, etc.
ENGAGE with quick comments. Don’t bother to look up any info other than previous comments by the troll. Don’t go back 5 pages in a thread (evidence you are paying him attention).
Make fun of the troll, sarcasm and mocking works best. Remember you are making fun of the troll himself - not his favorite team, etc. If he tries to broaden it reply you are referencing him only (occasionally note your comments are only against the troll).
Annoy and insult continuously. Don’t worry about style points.
If he references forms of self affirmation such as cowardice, manhood, etc. go for the kill and laugh at him for using an open forum to make up for what he is lacking in the real world.
CONTENT of the response should draw the troll off of familiar ground and establish your control – he is prepared for an emotional response, an attack on his fake favorite team, and comments towards his posted topic so avoid this.
Question everything you doubt except his chosen topic - his profile, his listed favorite team, having multiple accounts, claims about other fan bases, anything he denies (like being a hater), questionable stats, etc. Ask for references and proof on any of these. Take away his control by having him chasing down side issues.
Control the conversation. Ignore his topic and make his attributes you are making fun of the topic thru your posts. Control the flow by responding at random, the tone with humor and directed insults. Get them to respond to you to protect their false sense of self worth, and in the process remove their sense of control. They can’t escape their impulses – gaining self esteem is why they are here.
If he complains you ignore his topic note you are discussing your topic of choice.
Note any contradictions or mistakes (except spelling errors) he makes during the exchanges, such as claiming not to be a hater but posting comments against a team, incorrect use of a word, the wrong stat, etc.
If he uses twitter speak or really bad grammar refuse to answer until he changes to common English.
Consider not addressing him directly if several are in the thread – send them a PM asking if they are interested in letting him make comments while you mock him and discuss another topic as if he isn’t there, only occasionally quoting him with the response similar to “Nobody cares about the opinions of a troll.”
Blow off his insults with apathy. Never defend anything you said with more than a quick line as this is handing control back to the troll.
If he complains reply “Nobody cares about the hurt feelings of a troll/hater/homer/etc.” coupled with the insult of choice.
If they are trying to disguise their efforts note they are failing in their obvious goal.
Don’t overuse the word troll. Change it up with other terms he is not accustomed to routinely defending.
EXIT stressing your control if he doesn’t exit 1st. Don’t leave your exit open for a response. He will desperately try to draw you back in, so when you exit, exit for good.
Trolls who view the exchange as a test of courage, manhood, etc. will comment forever. If you will be around, keep it up. Laugh at them when you exit, noting how they research stats when nobody cared, followed your topic, self contradicted themselves, etc, as it applies, but don’t phrase it as an achievement – nobody cares – it is just a troll.
Trolls who just need some form of attention will drop a comment or start a thread and scurry to the next thread. These trolls view success in terms of the number of responses. It might be best to ignore them. If you do respond, draw them into a discussion by repeatedly noting they don’t have the skill/intelligence/facts/etc. to support any of their comments, question their favorite team, etc. over and over while mocking their lack of response.
TROLL THREADS headers should be ignored in your comments, instead send the discussion in a different direction of your choice.
The troll may use multiple accounts to try to get the thread back to his topic, or other trolls might join in. If someone posts in support, lump them together in the same quotes and responses without showing you do or do not think they are the same person.
MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS by the same troll are common. Most are easy to spot by looking at their comments in their profile – you will see almost no comments for extended periods of time, comments only made in support of a small set of accounts, or a long absence followed by a profile change (changing tag name and favorite team).
They could really be another troll, so accuse them of using multiple accounts without listing the other accounts – if they deny, just reply along the lines “Nobody believes the claims of a troll.”
SELF POLICE trolls posting as a fan of your team, conference, etc. – they are not prepared to be questioned or attacked by fans of the same team. The fan base of your team is elevated in stature while preventing a fight among other members (a troll objective). Question if they are really a fan of your team.
CONSIDER PLAYING WING MAN if you don’t have the knack. Add support to someone else, splitting the troll’s attention.
KEEP IT A HOBBY and a game not a source of self gratification. If you find you are getting more enjoyment from trolling trolls than the rest of the site’s offerings, step away before you begin using the forum for self esteem just like trolls do.
If you haven’t noticed, all you are doing is trolling the trolls, taking their game 1 level higher and establishing personal boundaries. Don’t kid yourself into believing you are taking the high road – you are right down there with them. If you aren’t comfortable with this or feel sympathy for the troll, then don’t try it.
REVIEW the “NEVER” “ENGAGE” and “CONTENT” Don’t worry if you fail at 1st (no shame in not being good at troll tactics) – your instinct in a forum is to look up information and talk sports, not ignore it in responding to a comment.