Seriousness and sincerity: how to tell jesters from trolls


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even dumber than the Mills Boon personality test or whatever it’s called

I had a hard time with the Voight-Kampff personality test.


I wrote this some time ago, for a different site but I think a lot of it still applies:

  • If you spend more time arguing with strangers on the internet about superficial things (which don’t really affect you) than you do talking to people about things that matter in real life,

  • If you post offensive and incendiary commentary in order to intentionally provoke arguments,

  • If you start multiple accounts under different pseudonyms to make it seem like more than one person shares the same opinion as you,

  • If you start threads listing the name of a member that you don’t like so that you can “call them out”,

  • If you take the time and energy to track down the personal info of a person with whom you don’t agree for the purpose of harassing them, impersonating them or any other nefarious intent,

  • If you can’t stand it when someone has the audacity to disagree with your point of view to the point that you get mad and start throwing insults,

  • If you are absolutely certain that you’re right, and everyone else is wrong…

  • Then not only are you probably socially inept, emotionally immature and small minded, but you just might be a troll.

Again, this was written long before I became a member of this site, so it’s not intended to be a reflection on anyone on BBS.


Melz is a poopyhead who makes stoopid pictures and posts inaccurate lists about me on the internet!


This needs to be a Boing Boing Store offer: ‘Save 97% on a Complete Courseware on How to Tell Jesters From Trolls’, a limited time offer.

/only for residents of the USA, of course.


I just know that when there are clowns to the left and jokers to the right, I’m stuck.


…in the middle with me, though, so that should be some consolation!




Why do you look at me like that when you say that?


I’m off the fucking chart.


How can you tell in which direction I’m looking?



Nice analysis, Rob.

It seems a favourite tactic of the troll is to float a trial balloon to find out where “the line” is, and, when confronted with their transgression, quickly exclaim “I was just joking!”

Of course, sincerity and authenticity are in the eyes of the beholder, so it’s perfectly possible to have a troll believe that it’s everyone else that is being insincere.



insert pear


But let us keep in mind that there’s more than just one kind of troll.

(At least 18 of them, according to this link…)

And then there’s also a distinct difference between cyber trolls and cyber bullies:


Schrodinger’s douchbag: A guy who says offensive things and then decides whether he was joking based upon the reaction of people around him.


Surely you jest.


It was a web-based test with little support for mobile browsers. It didn’t play well with my Nexus 6.


i have no energy to learn the distinction. can’t i just blanket-rage against them all?


Ignoring them is far less detrimental to one’s mental and emotional health, methinks.


good point. blanket-ignoring them is even better!