Opinions on Trolling

pointsandcorsi - [original thread]

Continuing with my recent theme (previously: speeding), how does tribal affiliation intersect with one's opinion on trolling? The trolling under consideration is non-partisian, as pretty much everyone gets a kick out of their side trolling the other.

The Internet Historian is an awesome YouTube channel. He documents infamous events in internet culture from a perspective sympathetic to trolls. In this video, he documents the long history of internet polls being rigged to intentionally troll the pollster (e.g. voting to send Bieber to North Korea). In a more recent video, he talks about the time a random conference displayed a live Twitter feed of their hashtag, only for it to be posted to 4chan, who proceeded to fill the displays with the most offensive things they could think of.

For this analysis, exclude the people who actually participate in the trolling. If you selected 100 random people who thought these trolling events were reprehensible, and 100 who thought they were hilarious, what would be the differences between them?

First thoughts: the trolling has a very pronounced anti-corporate theme. This is not the same as anti-capitalism. The trolls are very much against prudishness and taking things too seriously. They're also very much against brands attempting to participate in internet culture, whether that's through polls or "viral" campaigns and things like that. This is difficult to pin on any particular ideology, because rightists are generally coded as people who take things seriously, but leftists tend to dislike capitalism more than they dislike sterile corporatism.

Second thoughts: 4chan and the like are associated with alt-rightists and general anti-SJ sentiment, but that doesn't fit with the anti-authority nature of trolling and doesn't explain the non-partisan incidents. As much as trolls are anti-SJ, they seem to be more anti-"taking yourself too seriously" and SJ just happens to do that while having cultural power. If I'm not mistaken, the same people would have mostly antagonized stodgy conservatives in the earlier days of the internet.

Third: age definitely plays a factor in who participates, but not necessarily in who finds it funny. Trolling is an ancient art. People might stop engaging in silly games like this as they get older, but they certainly don't lose an appreciation for it.

As much as affinity for trolling is just inversely proportional to affinity for prudishness, what does affinity for prudishness say about a person? It's tempting to just invoke the libertarian/authoritarian axis, but the type of people I'm picturing as being scandalized by trolling don't strike me as overly authoritarian.

It may also be somehow correlated to status. Random internet people throwing a wrench into a conference just for fun seems somehow not respectful of status. If you picked a large organization and polled everyone about their opinion on trolling, would there be a decreasing proportion of supporters at higher pay grades?