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The whole idea of trolls is wrong... it's just a term used by people on forums and in comments used when someone says something the other person dosn't like or disagrees with.
What I find more annoying is when comparisons are made... and when someone compares a with b unfavourably... people use comparisons all the time... except when someone compares them in away that the other person disagrees with then let lose with the old "that's like comparing apples with oranges" crap... some peoples dictionaries and education are seriously lacking if they think it's not possible to compare an apple to an orange.
It is perfectly possible to express a controvercial viewpoint in a polite enough way that others will be willing to politely disagree and not mod you down.
Consider extremists like fundamentalists. I disagree with them. But I'm only irritated by those who are both insistent on bringing me to their viewpoint and completely unwilling to discuss it rationally. That insistence can turn into coercion, and it gets really bad. People who use politics to push their viewpoint into the educational system, for instance, are trolls. On forums, trolls do this by making everyone who disagrees with them out to be some kind of moron.
It takes some effort to color your words politely, and I don't do it perfectly myself, but those who actually care about being heard will put some work into it. It's not about being right or wrong. It's about being NICE. I just don't see the point of calling people names.
If you haven't actually read all of Howard's article, I suggest you do.
There are intentional trolls who tick people off because its fun for them, and those that just suck at communicating without becoming emotionally involved.
One of the reasons why I visit this site, is because of its low troll count. There are people here I sharply disagree with on many things, but we do learn quite a bit from each other in a constructive dialogue.
Comon mate ... I submitted an article and trolled Lemur2 upto 300 comments.