Racist jabs. Misogynistic and sexist bragging. Bullyish "kill ya' self" comments. Political preachers. These all, according to Zoe Williams at the Guardian UK, qualify as legitimate forms of internet trolling.
What is trolling not? Sending targeted hateful or threatening messages is not trolling, it's hating. They're not the same, though that does not make one a necessarily better behavior than the other. A hater is essentially an online bully. A troll is a bully with a bloated sense of self-importance, interested in turning his (or her) shenanigans into a group project of sorts. More voices! More contrary attitudes!
Hers is a typically British, tidy analysis of the annals of the internet. Ahem, anyway.
The various personae of the the internet commenter—yes, yes, you'll have your chance in just a minute, but stay with me here—make an interesting study. For instance, I've noticed that my comments are different, on different sites. And on some I don't enter the comments at all. Here at Gizmodo, we're jussssst about to roll out Gawker's new powwow commenting system. (You've seen it over at Gawker, already in a few iterations.) Change is good, and we think this one will be great. And because it is happening, no matter how much you troll us wishing it were otherwise, you might as well chime in and let us know what will make your time in the comments the best it can be.
This is also maybe a good opportunity—right now, I mean—to hear what all of you think about commenters and commenting in general. A too-broad prompt, maybe. What i'm saying is. Get your comment comments out. Now is your chance to lay it on thick. [TheGuardian - Image via Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock]