Last week, I crowd-sourced questions from my coworkers and friends and wrote a silly post called “18 Sincere Questions I Would Like To Ask Internet Trolls.” I’ve dealt with trolls and other unsavory types just about everywhere that I have an Internet presence and I thought I’d muse out loud about some of the stuff I’ve always wondered about them. Questions like “Do you own a fedora?” were intended to be tongue-in-cheek. And yet over the weekend, emails began filling my inbox from self-described trolls answering all 18 questions. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.
One of these self-described trolls wrote a fairly in-depth response that was disturbing, fascinating and (seemingly) candid. He wrote about bullying he faced at school, his favorite target for trolling (Bible thumpers) and his thoughts on whether he is a narcissist and sociopath. He has agreed to let us publish under the condition of anonymity.
Of course I cannot — as they say at actual news outlets — “independently confirm” that this person is actually a troll. Instead of honest reflections from the trolling underbelly, he could be spewing total horsehit and may well be trolling us with these responses. There’s no way to really fact-check trolldom, so take these answers with a grain of salt. (But personally, given the mostly untroll-like answers to these questions, I’m inclined to believe this troll is more real than fake.)
After the jump, his responses, republished with permission and wholly unedited:
1. How do you have so much time to troll on the Internet? Like, you literally spend more time writing comments online than I spend doing anything.
I’m always trolling. Its a lifestyle for me and its meant to open peoples eyes to inequalities, stupidity, and other things most everyday people dont want to see.
2. Do you have a job?
Yes and No. I own a company thats seasonal in nature and I just applied for an Assistant Vice President position with a large bank. I have the qualifications for the job and I also have an extremely diverse set of talents that make most people go “Wow.”
3. If you don’t have a job, how do you afford the Internet connection? Or do you just do your nonstop trolling all the time from the free computer access at the library?
4. Can you give us a general idea of how much time each day you spend in the sunlight?
I am an introvert and generally like to stay inside and avoid people. Before I left my corporate job I would go to work, come home, play video games or surf the net, then sleep. No socializing.
5. Do you own a fedora? Not trying to profile, just asking.
No, but I wouldnt mind seeing what I looked like in one or maybe a Fez. (New Doctor Who fan)
6. What was your childhood like? I don’t mean to be unkind but … is that why you do this?
Ah, the root of the problem. My home life was good and I had great parents. School on the other hand almost turned me into a psychopath that wanted to blow up my school while I laughed at the destruction and horror I caused. While I don’t condone Columbine, I certainly understand it.
I was constantly picked on and my experiences made me genuinely distrust and dislike people. To this day, I still wont approach people for fear of being made fun of or the butt of a joke. Even when I am in a bar and I over hear a woman telling her friends that I am cute, I still wont approach them for fear its a setup.
7. Are you really as upset, angry and worked up as you seem in comments?
Yes and no. Depends on if it violates my sacred beliefs. Most of the time, I do it to begin a conversation that allows me see inside other peoples heads and understand them. I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and understanding others is of great interest to me.
8. Or do you just think it’s funny to fake your rage?
I don’t fake rage and most of my comments are not meant to anger others, even though it might.
9. What kind of gratification does trolling on the Internet provide for you?
No gratification really. Maybe some sense of accomplishment in letting others know people have different opinions and views.
10. What activities did you enjoy before you were an Internet troll?
Activities…driving at insane speeds on the freeway, video games, camping, and lots of weed.
11. Have you ever made a nice comment on the Internet?
Of course, its just not very frequent. As a rule, I will not compliment anyone in person, especially women, for fear of sexual harassment claims. I have been falsely accused of it twice and wasn’t even in the building one of the times.
12. Have you ever wanted to make a nice comment on the Internet but felt too embarrassed?
Nope, its almost impossible to embarass me.
13. Do other trolls troll you?
Not really. I am the King Troll of all my friends.
14. Who is your favorite writer to troll and why?
My recent trolling targets have been religion related. The recent Arizona law and people who believe the Bible is the literal word of God, yet they pick and choose what they want to follow. Easily, the largest base of hippocrites in the world to troll.
15. What renowned troll most inspires you?
No idea, in my world I am the King of Trolls.
16. What makes your trolling style unique in a crowded field of trolls?
I am absolutely devastating in an arguement. I don’t even lose to girlfriends and could easily be a lawyer. Doesn’t matter if I have to hurt people verbally to get my point across. I also only step into a conversation when others are wrong or just plain stupid though I sometimes argue points I dont believe in or care about just to start a conversation. Mental stimulation, I guess.
17. What advice would you give to aspiring trolls?
Know your arguement and be right. For instance, the Bible has enough inconsistencies in it that any arguement can be rebuked with another passage from the Bible.
18. Do you feel unfairly stereotyped as an sexist and/or racist and/or homophobic and/or transphobic jerk with a hair-trigger rage problem who is so ugly and unhappy that he/she projects all his/her issues onto other people as a way to cope?
Absolutely not, I am the one calling out those people. I’m the one trying to make those people realize their horrible.
Now, just to go a step further. I might be crazy, i’ve done many things people would call crazy and have been described as having a death wish. I’ve taken internet tests and the best one characterized me as a Narcissistic Alienated Sociopath. I’m good with that description and other tests say I suffer from Schizoid, Histroid, and maybe Bi-Polar, among other things.
Heres what you need to know about that though. I agree that I am a true narcissist and only care about myself. Big deal though, I am single and its not my job to feed starving children in Africa or help others. Alienated, yes because society has shown me they are horrible people who only set out to judge or harm others. Youtube will provide a plethora of videos showing “friends” harming each other for laughs…truly dispicable behavior. Sociopath, I have mixed feelings about that one because I do feel guilt, every now and then. I generally dont do anything that would cause me to feel guilty though but its also a description for anyone who thinks or has beliefs that are different than most of society, which I do have.
Lastly, I have tested around the genius level and my Myers-Briggs personality type is INTP. It’s 1-2% of the World population, so calling me a Sociopath doesn’t really count when so few people in society think like me. Many of the worlds greatest minds have been INTP’s and I am glad to be part of the club that think like Einstein, Lincoln, Aristotle, and so many world changing people. I may not have their impact on the world (yet) but hopefully some of the “Troll” things I have said or written make a positive difference in someones life.
I hope you enjoy the writeup and that it provides you with the information and insights you were seeking.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.
[Image of cartoon troll via Shutterstock]