The real point about this new Hate-word is that it is a multi-purpose slur so vague and now endemic that there is no response. Get your retaliation in first and you win. So when you lose an argument, call someone a ‘troll’, and you’re home free. It is a word for losers, and those unable or too lazy to actually describe and define the world in real language.
It is used to describe everything from determined well-informed arguments which won’t be bullied away, to raving lunatics who shouldn’t be allowed out alone. In between it covers, Pests, Nuisances, Bores, Spammers, Hackers, Stalkers, and anyone who is cleverer than the user.
It’s almost an internet law that if you post the same rebuttall of a complete lunacy more than three times you will be called a troll, no matter how many different ways you word your case, or how many corroborating links you provide.
When you win, you are a ‘troll’ to someone. A monster. And nobody likes monsters. And since the other readers of any forum only see the latest posts, and are hardly likely to research the entire exchange, you are labelled for not conceding to lunacy/idiocy/obscenity or whatever it was you were trying to counter.
It should be included on the list of abusive terms which merit deletion. It is an abuse to dialogue.
Real words with meanings are all there for those able to discriminate. A ‘Troll’ is a fairytale creature invented by grown-ups to keep children away from bridges. Its transformation into an internet Hateword prevents communication in exactly the same way. Like ‘chav’, another corporate bastardisation of a once lovely word.