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The Many Flavors of Liberal Trolls
freedm_fighter

In case you haven't experienced the joy of running into a liberal troll on your favorite blog, let me describe some basic varieties of the species:

  • Regular Troll -- This guy is openly 180-degrees opposed to the purpose and/or ideological orientation of the blog. Whatever you're for, he's against, and vice-versa. If you're doing a free-market blog about tax policy, he's yelling that tax cuts are evil, "globalization" is wicked, and throwing in snarky anti-Republican messages, even though the blog is expressly about policy, not politics.
  • False-Flag Troll -- This guy pretends to be on your side, but he's really not. Claiming to be a conservative, he inevitably advances messages that are anti-conservative. His purpose is to sow confusion, discord and demoralization.
  • Concern Troll -- A subspecies of false-flag troll. The Obama campaign deployed a swarm of concern trolls in fall 2008. They were recognizable by the 3-point argument that went something like this: (1) I'm a committed conservative/lifelong Republican, but (2) I'm concerned about [something the Republicans had said or done], and therefore (3) I'm thinking I might vote for Obama on Election Day. The Concern Troll often specializes his message to his audience. On a site for pro-life Catholics, he begins by vowing that he is a pro-life Catholic; on a Second Amendment site, he begins by saying that he's an avid hunter and NRA member.
  • Agent Provocateur Troll -- Another false-flag subspecies, who aims to elicit unsavory or disreputable comments from other commenters, which can then be quoted to discredit the blog. 
Hat Tip The Other McCain.

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