I’ve been asked by my editor to write about trolls, trolling and troll tactics, and, since I have writer’s block pretty fierce, that’s exactly what you’re getting! Also, as a new feature on #FRN I have made an accompanying videoHERE.
For this first installment of TSB, I want to talk about one of the most useful (and useless) tools in a troll’s toolbox:Copypasta.
Have you ever been in an argument on Facebook where you feel like you’ve got your opponent on the ropes? You’re replying to every one of his posts, mocking his simple arguments and generally kicking ass, until he drops one of these on you:
You’re wrong loser, read this!
Mitt Romney will say anything to win, even if it’s not true. After months of championing an extreme platform that drastically rolls back women’s rights, Romney is now dishonestly trying to hide his actual positions that will jeopardize women’s health. Here are the 10 things you need to know about where the real Romney stands on women’s health and women’s rights.
Romney has said he’d be “delighted” to sign a federal bill banning all abortions.
Romney backed a state-level bill to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.
Romney is head of the Republican Party, whose platform seeks to ban abortion and did not include exceptions for rape or incest. The platform “was written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.”
Romney has said he would have “absolutely” supported an amendment in Massachusetts, similar to extreme Personhood bills proposed in other states, that could have banned abortions and some forms of birth control.
Romney promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would “hopefully reverse Roe v. Wade,” viewing the ruling as “bad law and bad medicine” and “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.”
Romney pledged he’d be an anti-choice president, and will “of course” champion anti-choice legislation if elected.
Romney claimed to be pro-choice in 1993 because poll data showed he had to be pro-choice to win his 1994 race for the Senate. As governor in 2005, he decided he was anti-choice.
Romney pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and Title X family planning funding.
Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill that narrowed the definition of rape to “forcible rape.”
Romney said “of course” he supports a bill that would allow any employer to deny women coverage for birth control.
Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about their health care, but Romney believes that politicians should be involved. This is Romney’s record, and he can’t run from it no matter how hard he tries. As his top surrogate Governor Chris Christie declared, Romney “is deeply committed” to his anti-choice agenda.
Mmm-mmm smell that delicious copypasta! Delivered fresh to you by your argument buddy via the lovely Trattoria Di Attack Watch.
Definition: If you hadn’t guessed already, “Copypasta” is an internetized conflation of “copy paste”, used to mean a pre-written block of text used by trolls to distract, buy time or end a discussion. If you get the upper hand on a troll, expect to see this mainstay of the troll toolbox get pulled out.
Classic Stumbling Block: Not ignoring it!
Trying to go line by line through a troll’s copypasta is a bad idea for several reasons, the most compelling of which is that it will take a looong time to do. Interacting with their copypasta means that they got you to use your valuable resources on something that only took the troll five seconds to post. That is the essence of a Successful Troll! Don’t fall for it!
How To Combat: Mock it, then ignore it.
Yep, it’s as simple as that. Copypasta, if properly marginalized, is completely inert! If the troll can’t type out their points line by line like a regular person, make fun of their inability to think for themselves (really lay it on thick), ignore their wall of text and continue your assault!
Well, I hope that this first (well, second) quick jaunt into Troll territory has left you a bit more prepared in the likely event of a troll attack!
If this didn’t cover your particular troll problem, leave a comment or contact me on twitter @NJ_libertarian and I’ll see if I can help!
More TSBs are on their way; until then, happy hunting!