Given recent main stream media interest in internet trolling, the question must be asked, what is an internet troll?
I have searched various dictionary sites on the internet and here are some explanations.
1. Wikipedia explains an internet troll as a person who sows discord by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
2. Oxford online dictionary simply states that an internet troll is a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting.
3. An internet 'troll' is an abusive or obnoxious user who uses shock value to promote arguments and disharmony in online communities.
4. Another site describes internet trolls as people who fish for other people's confidence and, once found, exploit it. They suggest that internet trolls can be divided into four distinct types.
* Playtime Trolls: an individual plays a simple, short game. Such trolls are relatively easy to spot because their attack or provocation is fairly blatant, and the persona is fairly two-dimensional.
*Tactical Trolls: This is where the troller takes the game more seriously, creates a credible persona to gain confidence of others, and provokes strife in a subtle and invidious way.
* Strategic Trolls: A very serious form of game, involving the production of an overall strategy that can take months or years to develop. It can also involve a number of people acting together in order to invade a list.
*Domination Trolls: This is where the trollers' strategy extends to the creation and running of apparently bona-fide mailing lists.
What do you think?