How To Troll a Political Comment Thread

March 23, 2015Category: PoliticsTags:

Step 1:

Create an account that can’t be tied to your actual identity.

Step 2:

Pretend you are on the opposite side of the debate.

Step 3:

Act absurd and insulting. Be as extreme as possible. Be ridiculous. Be so disgusting and moronic that people finally see the “true” colors of the side that you are pretending to be on.



Pause. Let’s go back to the beginning.

So earlier today I see that Ted Cruz has officially announced that he’s running for President. It’s a bit silly given how far right he is on pretty much every single issue, but if he wants to try, more power to him. I finished the article, and then made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section.

People were coming in at about 30% pro-Cruz, and 70% anti-Cruz (which is actually a lot more diverse than typical). Most comments were pretty typical but I did run across one which was so obviously absurd as to evoke a reaction of laughter, followed by a headshake and a thought about how crazy liberals can be. That thought was followed by “…wait”. See, in my experience, liberals tend to be less extremist and insulting than conservatives. When someone is claiming to be a liberal but using phrases like “sociopath”, “pathologically lying”, “colleagues in crime”, and “crackpot” to describe a potential US Presidential candidate, something is wrong.

While it’s possible that the guy is just a complete tool, it’s much more likely that he’s actually a rather extreme conservative, following the above guide. In this case, an extreme conservative pretends to be liberal and proceeds to make silly statements that are as inflammatory as possible, followed by being petty and nasty to anyone who remotely disagrees. Impartial observer sees this and is subconsciously pushed away from liberalism.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen it, and it certainly won’t be the last. What is sad is that so few people can identify these types of trolls. Even worse, is that on very rare occasions, they aren’t actually trolls but just extremely angry people who end up hurting their own cause.

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