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This here.

Last posted Jul 30, 2009 at 03:11AM EDT. Added Jul 25, 2009 at 06:14PM EDT
14 posts from 7 users

I think it’s a meme, just not in the form we’re use to labelling meme. It follows the basic structure of other memes though, in that it has a clear themes that requires cultural exposure to appreciate, understand, and transmit. It’s also a good example of an internet based meme, because you wouldn’t expect to see this happen in normal conversation – the beauty of it is though that those exposed to the internet meme can readily transfer it regular-space, and further spread it to others who will continue its ideas.

It’s mostly in some kinda ‘’Post a hot girl’’ when someone posts a chick with huge fake boobs sitting on a car, and everyone starts to talk ‘’OMG DO YOU SEE THOSE HUGE HEADLIGHTS’‘. It’s not only in 4chan, but in many other forums with internet-sense-of-humor people.

Trolling is definitely too broad to be considered a meme but I would still like to put together an entry on the various types of trolling and decide what sort of factors come into play for each category.

I like Richie’s Idea of pinpointing the purpose of a troll, but I think the word “purpose” implies that there is some productive utility of the troll, so instead I would suggest categorizing trolls based on both function and possible motives.

So let’s dissect what’s going on in the thread.

The OP posts a picture of Jessica Alba and simply aks if /b/ agrees that she’s hot.

The first Anon who responds ignores the obviously attractive woman in the foreground, and then hijacks the topic of conversation to ask what type of clouds those are in the background.

What the troll is doing is pulling the focus away from the predicatible reactions and instead focusing on the unrelated; then encouraging particpation of the group to join in focusing on the unrelated.

This is taken a step further with the train-troll.

In the train-troll example above, the user appears to be attempting to gain attention for shock value. He gives a detailed rant about diarrhea, and pairs it with an unrelated picture of a train. Diarrhea is a typical topic that /b/tards might enjoy at face value.

But another clever Anon quickly draws the focus to the train, and keeps it on the train. Anyone who tries to detract from the train is ignored. From here, the game functions like the children’s game “Keep-Away” or “Monkey in the Middle” or whatever you call it where you’re from.

What isn’t apparent is whether or not the Anon who posted the train pic and diarrhea story did so as a clever setup, knowing fully well that the rest of the Anon’s would share in the joke, or if he was only hoping for a shock-value reaction to the mention of diarrhea and only posted the train for no related reason. In the latter case, the post directly following the train was the troll, (just like with the post directly following Jessica Alba).

The logic used in the setup is “ignore-the-obvious, enthuse-about-the-mundane.”

It feels like a form of irony, but that’s too broad of a term. People get all bent out of shape about using the term irony when not referring to an irony of fate. But this troll exhibits something like sarcasm.
I’m looking for a word more precise than sarcasm. Sarcasm implies that this is done for the motivation of insult. This isn’t the same thing as sarcasm.

Everyone who is in on the joke and participates with their own “I LOVE TRAINS” is feigning banality for the sake of humor. They’re being facetious.

Humor derived from a game of Keep-Away in which the “ball” is the attention that the OP hoped to gain.

So what do you refer to this as?


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