Patterns of Behavior

troll a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community

Many of our socialMedia platforms have been hijacked by trolls.

One of the more obvious, and more organized, groups of trolls-with-a-shared-agenda are what I call trumpTrolls. It’s not just name-calling.  They’re an identifiable group – with their own unique behaviors, patterns, and agenda.

Here are some of the attributes of #trumpTrollery.

TOPICS / CONTENT

‘Substance’ abuse

  • re-litigates old news
  • predictable themes
  • obsession with Clinton & Obama
  • simplistic and unproven claims

INFO SOURCES

Consider the source.

  • highly partisan
  • not very credible
  • content not shared by other sources (i.e. it’s imaginary info)

TONE

Listen to the music.

  • fear
  • resentment
  • desperation

PRESENTATION

Stylin’

  • spiced with lots of name-calling (sound familiar?)
  • Abundant use of ALLcaps for emphasis
  •  puctuated by lots of exclamationPoints!!!

FREQUENCY & NOISE

Sheer volume

  • many, many comments, are posted but
  • little substance: 1-5 words (average ~3)
  • overwhelmingly in the form of simplistic affirmation (“Truth!!!”) or name-calling
  • the swarming presence is both confusing and gives the impression of consensus

RHETORIC

The dance of mis-direction

  • fond of false equivalency :  [this] is like [that] … because I say so
  • “what about”-ism (deflection) our guy may be bad, but your guy is worse
  • evasion – refusal to address substantive issues
  • relentless attack mode
  • partisan advocacy rather than reasoned debate

IDENTITY

Self-Branding

  • Label: “US + myName + US
  • Label: “myName + MAGA
  • Likes to describe self in bellicose, jingoistic, pseudo-military terms
  • did we mention partisanship?

 

Caveat

Do some of these qualities apply to people who aren’t trumpTrolls? Yes, of course they can. All of us do some of troll-ish stuff at some time.  But #trumpTrolls are a unique, identifiable, and annoying Group.

The issue here is the consistent pattern and the overwhelming volume of trumpTroll behavior.

Spread the Word

  • I’ve captured some of the relevant info in several postings here on my blog.  I believe that it’s accurate, insightful, helpful, readable, and to-the-point.  If you think so, too, then please point to the articles as you travel the Web:

trumpTrollery : Tactics : What they do

trumpTrollery : Strategy : Why they do it

trumpTrollery : Active Measures : How you can deal with it

This analysis of #trumpTrollery builds on and resonates with what I’ve seen in other socialMedia environments.  Some of the best insights were made during my year-long evaluation of an affinity-oriented socialNet.

 

Trollery is all part of a larger whole:  It is an understandable-but-nasty byproduct of the socialNet environment.

 

 

© The Communication Studio LLC

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