Hari's Articles

My general articles repository and workshop

Trolls vs Internet bullies

Online Communities | Last modified on: 09 Jul 2015 @ 08:10:24 | printer friendly

I actually find that there are two classes of people who cause maximum trouble on forums. One is of course, the traditional "troll" who wreaks havoc by anti-social behaviour and by deliberately riling up forum members to get kicks out of it, causing havoc and bad blood in the process.

I think as admins, we need to realize that there is another group which I would term as "online bullies" or "internet bullies" who can become equally destructive in undermining communities.

These gentlemen/ladies differ from trolls in the sense that they are not anti-social, but they are an accepted and sometimes well-respected members who assume a sort of informal and unofficial leadership role. They use this position to intimidate and assert their views on newer and less established members and often push their weight around to mark territorial rights. They will generally try and behave properly, but subtly try and behave like moderators and preach about forum behaviour. They will also turn and insult people as they wish and surprisingly other forum members will turn a blind eye to them. They will usually "adopt" ownership of a single forum or a subforum of a board and hang out there frequently with their clan. (this feature is usually more common in larger forums)

These people are often the starting point of cliques because they can gather a group of yes-people around them in no time.

Beware of these people and watch out for them because they can be a lot more trouble in the long run than isolated trolls running loose.

Sometimes you just need an excellent troll to combat an established forum bully