Skip to comments.The Definition of a "Concern Troll" - The Most Important Thread of the Day (Vanity, but true)
Posted on 09/23/2010 10:11:25 AM PDT by Scythian
Concern trolling is a form of Internet trolling in which someone enters a discussion with claims that he or she supports the view of the discussion, but has concerns. In fact, the concern troll is opposed to the view of the discussion, and he or she uses concern trolling to sow doubt and dissent in the community of commenters or posters. Although this practice originated on the Internet, it has since spread to the real world as well, with concern trolls popping up in a variety of places from network television to op-ed columns.
Artful concern trolling involves developing a believable persona as a supporter of a cause who has legitimate concerns. In an example of concern trolling, a group of people might be having a political discussion on a website about a candidate they support. The concern troll would log on and say I'm concerned that this candidate might not be strong enough to beat the opposition, or I'm worried that the candidate's history in the legislature might be a problem in the election.
Once a concern troll has sowed dissent or discord, often he or she can sit back and let the other commenters do the rest of the work. When a concern troll has done the job correctly, the discussion will split, factions will emerge, and support for the cause will have eroded. Concern trolling can also be highly distracting, as people band together to oppose the concern troll, rather than discussing serious issues, including valid concerns which should be addressed.
Depending on the context, a concern troll may use a sockpuppet, a false account which conceals his or her real identity. In some particularly infamous cases, members of political campaigns have trolled the opposition using sockpuppet accounts with the goal of undermining grassroots support. When these cases are exposed, it can be quite embarrassing, as trolling is generally viewed as an underhanded and often questionable tactic.
In the 2006 election, an aide to Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) was caught concern trolling the opposition on local blogs. While pretending to support Bass's opponent, Paul Hodes, the aide argued that Hodes couldn't win because Bass was an unbeatable candidate. Hodes won the election.
While I agree with your topic, I am somewhat concerned.....
“I’m worried that Sarah Palin has been too badly damaged by the media.”
Good to have a name for this!
What about the people that really are on your side but have real concerns.
Should they reword their posts?
That’s the “deeply saddened” troll.
Yeah well the problem with this is that people may have valid reservations and disagreements with an idea. Calling everyone who disagrees a “concern troll” sounds like a liberal idea.
One could hardly go to any conservative web site in the run-up to the 2008 election without tripping over veritable mobs of concern trolls.
One of my favorite tactics was to ask them what (as concerned conservatives) they disliked the most about Obama, and then (if they actually answered) try to expand on that point until they got frustrated.
Expect the woodwork to be crawling with them over the next month or so.
deeply saddened AND concerned troll..............
LOL. I remember he was always concerned about something.
I agree with this article, but I’m concerned that it could take the attention away from regular trolls.
They are Concernvatives.
I agree, but I’m concerned about your concern.
Look for the keyword “unelectable”. It’s a sure sign.
Good to go, I am!
It is a great way to shut down people who don’t agree 100% with you.
Wow, there’s a name for that? I’ve been doing it on DU for years. lol
When Christine O’Donnell won, a lot of concern trolls that were here on the FR bolted, things were too hot, there was no way they were going to be able sit around here and claim we needed to back the GOP, but there are many still here,
Perhaps it might be helpful to name these concern trolls?
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