Thursday, January 26, 2006

Pogue on Trolls

Last week, in his New York Times Circuits column, David Pogue took on trolls -- the people who send email rants and post nasty comments. (He took the approach of writing a tongue-in-cheek how-to for aspiring trolls.) Today's column, featuring the best of the comments on the troll column, is even more fun than the original.

One reader sent in his own term for online flamethrowers: e-holes. Others sent Pogue pithy comebacks to hate mail (attributed to Garrison Keillor and Winston Churchill).

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:10 PM

    That's not what "troll" means.

    A person who posts deliberately mean, angry, or offensive stuff is a flamer. A troll SOLICITS these posts, as entertainment.

    The word "troll" doesn't come from the grumpy fellow under the bridge; it comes from fishing; trolling one's bait along, waiting for the fishies to bite.

    My favorite troll of all time is when Snopes posted a message in some science or sci-fi newsgroup about how "everyone knows that light doesn't travel in a vacuum". It was immediately followed up by a million irate science geeks saying "it's SOUND that doesn't travel in a vacuum, you nincompoop!" Mission accomplished, hook, line and sinker.

    You can also troll offline. The very same Snopes used to do things like send letters to Snapple complaining that their shampoo didn't lather properly, and that putting it in a glass bottle was a safety hazard in the shower.