In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. In addition to the offending poster, the noun troll can also refer to the provocative message itself, as in "that was an excellent troll you posted". While the term troll and its associated action trolling are primarily associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels highly subjective, with trolling being used to describe intentionally provocative actions outside of an online context. For example, recent media accounts have used the term troll to describe "a person who defaces internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families."
Types Of Trolls
Fanboys, which supposedly "worship" a person, animal, or other object, are the most common type of troll. Fanboys are rarely dangerous to forums, and are simply annoying. Usually, in the Empire, fanboys are either countered with scientific arguements, or ignored.
Spammers advertise websites that they go to. Spammers can be human, although some are automated. These Trolls are usually hired by website owners and/or other trolls to promote certain content. Automated spam comes in two forms: CPU spam accounts, which are programmed by website owners to advertise websites, and spam bots, which are viruses that spam forums with computerized code.
Flamers are the most common trolls across the internet, and the second most common in the Empire. These are usually loners, and simply blast any user they see with insults.
Hackers are the rarest kind of troll, and the most dangerous. While technically not trolls, hackers are skilled with technology, and use computer programs to gain mod or admin rights. They can then damage the forum in any way that they desire. As well as being exceptionally dangerous and hard to deal with, hackers are also almost impossible to detect until it is too late. Luckily, with sufficient speed, they can be dealt with before they do too much damage.
Solution and Punishment
Trolls can be dealt with in various ways. Some Admins and Moderators prefer to give trolls warnings, to give them a chance to change their ways. This sometimes works, but in the majority of cases, it does not:
Trolls who are simply fanboys or spammers are usually ignored by normal users, with some able to be chased away. Some minor flame wars may errupt between the trolls and contributors. Moderators and Administrators may give them warnings. Some will change their ways, while others may be banned after a number of warnings have been issued. Automated Spam Bots are a little more difficult to deal with as no ammount of warnings or regular bans can stop them. They usually require wide ranged IP bans, however they pose no real threat to forums.
Flamers are usually not ignored. Normal forum users will attempt to chase them away, and vicious flame wars may errupt between the trolls and the contributors. They can usually be defeated after a while, and some change their ways. Moderators and Administrators usually give around 3 warnings, before banning Flamers
Extreme Flamers are no longer be ignored by contributors. They are capable of causing moderate to near-severe damage to forums and websites. These trolls rarely change their ways, and those who do usually revert back to it after a while. Some of these trolls are capable of creating temporary "empires" to rule the forum, but these empires are short lived. Flame wars are likely to erupt between these Trolls and Contributors. They are difficult to stop, but it can be done. Moderators and Administrators usually instantly ban these trolls.
Hackers require Moderators, Administrators, or Forum Service Providers to be dealt with. They are treated with extreme caution, and require imediate action to be dealt with.They are the rarest type of troll, and some have advanced hacking skills. They are able to use advanced computer programs to gain admin rights on forums, and are then able to do as they wish with the site, including ban Moderators and Administrators, and destroy the entire site. They are also able to aquire the IP and Email address of other users. Flame Wars are totally ineffective against these trolls. In order to be dealt with, imediate action must be taken against these trolls. Only Administrators can deal with these trolls, and no warnings are ever given to them. They are able to take control of and hack a forum in minuets, and because of this, they must be permanently banned upon detection, to avoid damage to the forum. In the Prehistopia Incident, a Hacker known as Aequitas the Eliberator managed to trick the assistant admin of Prehistopia into giving him admin rights. From there, he used a computer program to gain access to the hidden banning function, and banned all users, and destroyed the site, before Spinosaur King, the main administrator, figured out what was going on. It required Prehistopia's service provider, Xobor, to deal with him
- Santa- A minor troll who arrived in early 2007. He was a Tyrannosaurus fanboy, and posted offensive and sometimes sexual insults. Left the forum after being consistently ignored by the users.
- Spino X000- A major troll who arrived in the summer of 2007. He posted extreme Spinosaurus fanboyism and consistently insulted other users. He was driven from the forum by a group of contributors led by Wilferrel.
- Draco the Dragon- A moderate to major troll; arrived in the spring of 2008. Created off-topic comments and polluted vs. threads with dragon fanboyism. He was exiled after a flame war with Wilferrel.
- Ethan Dino- A major troll who attacked the forum from 2008 to 2011. He created multiple accounts to overwhelm the forum (most notably Mike Anderson), and posted spam comments, insults, racist, and sexually explicit comments. He took part in Topix Wars II and III using his alternate accounts of Mike Anderson and Texasaurus. Ethan also formed alliances with Giganotosaurus Fan and Pincus Shain.
- Crispy Smith- A moderate troll who arrived in the late spring/early summer of 2009. He had a strong grudge against Tyrannosaurus and consistently supported other theropods in vs. threads. Soon after arriving he changed his ways and became a contributor.
- Evan- A moderate troll; arrived in the summer of 2009 and returned in early 2010. He was known for his extremely immature posts and terrible spelling and grammar. Like Ethan Dino, he created multiple accounts, namely Chase King, Satan's Troll 100, and possibly Zero Persent Rong. He was chased off by the contributors, only to return and attack Topix again, and eventually Prehistopia. He vanished from Topix soon after being banned from Prehistopia.
- Giganotosaurus Fan- A major troll who attacked Topix in 2009 and potentially Paleo Insanity in 2010. He was a Giganotosaurus fanboy, and posted highly offensive insults and spam comments. Giganotosaurus Fan polluted the majority of the forum, and quickly reduced it to chaos. Giganotosaurus Fan was responsible for the first and second Topix Wars. As a result of many posts from Giganotosaurus Fan that were written in the format of the user Spinosaur King, many believe that Giganotosaurus Fan was Spinosaur King's alternative troll account. However, it remains a possibility that Giganotosaurus Fan was simply impersonating Spinosaur King in an attempt to isolate him from the rest of the community.
- Pincus Shain- Pincus Shain was the most powerful troll to have attacked Topix. He arrived in late 2009 and was initially ignored by the community. Later, he would return in an attempt to frame Spinosaur King for being Giganotosaurus Fan. His trolling polluted the forum to the point that many contributors evacuated to Stygimoloch's forum, Paleo Insanity. Pincus Shain would later troll Paleo Insanity, only to have his posts deleted and the forum locked to unregistered members. In January of 2010, Pincus Shain mysteriously disbanded his troll army and vanished from the forum. Later, he would be sentenced to an 18-month prison sentence for cyber crimes; supposedly, his trolling on an unknown forum caused a child to take their own life.
- PaudieN1- For most of his time on Topix, PaudieN1 was a contributor; however, in early 2010, he temporarily became a Tyrannosaurus fanboy and dismissed users such as Spinodontosaurus as "retards". He would soon stop insulting, and apologize to the contributors for doing so.
- Zero Persent Rong- Zero Persent Rong was a moderate troll who attacked the forum in the spring of 2010. He seemed to have little understanding of prehistoric animals (believing plesiosaurs to be dinosaurs, for instance) which caused some contributors, including Roachasaurus, to insult him. In response he immediately began posting sexually offensive comments and threats in every thread that he could find. He was banned by the Topix Moderators after Lord of the Allosaurs reported him.
- Mattking- A minor troll who arrived in the spring 2010. Initially, he was a Tyrannosaurus fanboy and would occasionally insult contributors who supported other theropods. After a heated debate with Spinosaur King, Spinodontosaurus, Lord of the Allosaurs, and several other contributors, he would cease insulting, although he retained a preference for Tyrannosaurus over other dinosaurs.
- Aequitas the Eliberator- A major troll who arrived in the summer of 2010. He registered on Prehistopia, and tricked Lord of the Allosaurs into believing that he was Spinosaur King, and that his "Spinosaur King" account had been hacked. Believing that the Spinosaur King account was being used by a hacker and that the board was in imminent danger, Lord of the Allosaurs granted Aequitas admin rights. Aequitas hastily deleted every account on Prehistopia, along with all of the content, and reorganized it into a forum that he declared would be used for flaming and trolling. Xobor, Prehistopia's forum provider, took the board back and granted Spinosaur King admin rights, but the content had already been lost. As a result, Spinosaur King reopened his backup board, Imperial Palace. Aequitas was likely the most dangerous troll to have attacked the community.
- Tyranna2- Ever since his arrival under the name Isaacasaurus, he was a highly respected contributor. Following the contributors defeat in the Topix Cold War, Tyranna2 was one of few contributors who decided to remain and continue to fight the trolls, under the name Coprolite1. Despite claiming to do it in an attempt to force out the trolls, he constantly blurred a line between contributor and troll as he often flamed new users, simply believing them to be trolls. Eventually, most contributors simply labeled his activities as "Coprolite1" as trolling.
- Fegelein- While he did appear on Topix in 2009, he only began commonly posting in early 2012. Arriving under the name Bunny Rabbit, he was a contributor, albeit a minor Saurophaganax fanboy, but nonetheless still a contributor. However, when trolls such as Crazy Fish began insulting him, he began feeding and replying to them, causing many contributors to criticize him. When the Topix Cold War broke out he began outright trolling, eventually resulting in the abandonment of Topix. After the war, he engaged in a long and drawn out attrition war with Tyranna2, under the alias of Coprolite1. Eventually, by early 2013, Fegelein ceased trolling and would even later go on to become a contributor on Imperial Palace.
- Oasegenggam- A moderate troll who arrived in the spring of 2013. Initially he posted fanboyism of dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus, before severely overrating the modern-day Komodo dragon. A number of contributors, along with Tyranna2 under his troll alias of Coprolite, attempted to drive Oasegenggam back in an attrition war, and in response to this, he began flaming. Despite resisting stubbornly, eventually he left the forum.