Trolls from six or seven years ago generally displayed at least an average level of proficiency in their chosen avocation. They came armed with a keen understanding of psychology and fielded an arsenal of underhanded tactics to tempt, lure, manipulate, bully, or goad largely unsuspecting bloggers into excruciatingly long comment exchanges.
The discussions they fomented aimed to confuse, subvert, frustrate, incense, infuriate, insult, inflame, or exasperate host authors. Skilled trolls could sink a comments section faster than most older brothers sink their little sisters’ fleets when playing Battleship.
Though good, the trolls of old were not geniuses or masters, but they often were effective and capable provocateurs.
The same does not hold for today’s sorry crop of subversives, the bulk of whom have no game of which to speak, no tactic that isn’t transparent, no manipulation that isn’t glaring, and no insults that succeed at, well, insulting.
When confronted by sincere, well-mannered responses, they wither or become ensnarled in the snares they so skilfully set to seize you.
These trivial would-be tormentors are also untalented tacticians. Nine times out of ten, they end up making fools of themselves and no one else. Most struggle to rise to the low level of mildly annoying.
I take the second and third-rate quality of contemporary trolling as further confirmation of our collapsing civilization.
I mean, how far along are we if even the trolls can’t be bothered to put in an “honest” effort anymore?