How to Identify a Troll

They’re everywhere. Here are some tips you might find helpful in identifying these cretins.


Quite basic..

Trolls are there for one and one purpose only: to seek attention. They never have anything valuable to contribute to the discussion, nothing useful to say, but seek attention they must. And what better way to do that than to write fully in caps. THE LARGE LETTERS ARE HARD TO IGNORE, BUT BE ADVISED THAT THIS IS THE ONLINE EQUIVALENT OF SCREAMING – and it’s terribly, terribly annoying.

Allergy to punctuation marks

Writing unthinkably long sentences without the use of punctuation marks is the sure sign of a garden variety troll they do not bother dividing their long posts into paragraphs that may help make the reading process a bit bearable for the unfortunate reader but instead post the entire message in what can only be described as a super massive word vomit with abundant typos and and spelling erors

Warning: Do not attempt to read these posts out loud, for you could easily expire due to lack of oxygen before reaching the end of the passage.


For some unknowable reason, trolls display a remarkable infatuation for question marks. Their questions often end with a long streak of no less than eleven question marks.

Example: “HOW ARE YOU MY FRIENDZZ???????????”

What are they attempting to depict here, I wonder? Are they so utterly, hopelessly discombobulated that a single question mark is not nearly enough to express the profound confusion? There are few circumstances where use of multiple question marks at the end of one sentence can be considered acceptable…

…for example: “Why is that one-legged singing gorilla having belly-button intercourse with the swimming gazelle on the rooftop of the inverted space-castle???”

Three question marks here, because just one might not suffice. A fourth one may optionally be added should the reader experience an orgasm during the process of typing such a sentence. That aside, gluing one’s finger to the question-mark key is something to be expected from a troll.


Certain abbreviations are allowed. “lol” or “laugh out loud”, for example, is an acceptable way of expressing one’s amusement. However, excessive use of such abbreviations, as well as abbreviating words that do not require shortening, is the mark of a troll.

Say what you may, but “what” is not significantly harder to type than “wut”. And replacement of the word “come” with “cum” is just plain unwholesome.

Spitting red herrings

Trolls are adept at interrupting the normal flow of the discussion by tossing in red herrings. A red herring is an idiomatic expression referring to the tactic of diverting attention away from the main object of discussion. For example, a troll popping into a discussion about Salman Taseer’s assassination saying, “Y r u ppl crying over Taseer? Wut about the billionz of ppl being killed in Iraq by the Americans?”

In such an example, the discussion may divert to the Iraq war while Taseer’s assassination, which is the main topic of discussion, may end up being ignored.

All of the above

In any case, a sentence such as…

“u ppl shud not make fun of this gr8 person bcoz he is somuch bettr than the fakie bush that u ppl like so much!! Y is all of u acting like idiotzz???????”

is a declaration of war. Act accordingly.

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