engaging trolls

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Jeremy Sherman offers 12 strategies for dealing with Right-wing trolls. "We're way better educated, smarter and more articulate than these absolute hypocrites," he notes, "so why do they have us on the run?"

Because we're way more conscientious than they are. We fight with our fighting hands tied behind our backs for out-of-touch moral reasons, reasons that did make sense out of civic loyalty but not anymore. [...]

We try to stay receptive and therefore responsive to their challenges. We empathize with them and then automatically feel charitable toward them. We operate by self-contradictory moral principles - you shouldn't be judgmental (which is a judgment), don't be negative (which is negative) and be intolerant of intolerance (which is intolerant).

"When we cut that out," he continues, "we'll be able to dance circles around them," because "Trolls are one-trick phonies, same as every other cult in world history:"

Though the "doctrines" change from cult to cult, it's just costume anyway. They're know-it-all gloataholics in whatever ideological clothing happens to fit their lifestyle. [...]

Their one trick which excites them as though they invented it rather than rediscovering it, is fake infallibility through unconstrained hypocrisy. It gives them a hard-on to fantasize that without any effort other than learning their simple formula, they can take on and beat all comers. [...] They can't. They just think they can because we keep coming at them in predictable, hands-tied ways.

Sherman's tips include:

Non-stick surface: Parents of brats eventually learn that giving reasons for their decisions invites debate. It's like offering handles for the brats to grab and manipulate. By the same token, don't give trolls reasons why you've decided things. It implies that you are trying to convince them of something and worse, that you think they're interested in reasoning things out. Be unreasonable because that's what they are.

Have low expectations: Never expect to change a troll's mind about anything. Your goal is to flummox them, prove that their formula isn't as foolproof as they think. Their silence or slinking off muttering curses at you on the way out is evidence of your success.

Do not lead by example: When they go low, you have license to go wherever. Do not think you can win them over by moral example. They are enjoying a psychopathic holiday. Do not be generous, respectful or kind with psychopaths. They will not reciprocate.

Never take their bait: Never engage with them on their terms. Ignore their arguments on morality, current events, facts, good authority, hypocrisy, logic, values, history, fairness, principle - anything that they lead with. Their formula is designed to lead you around by the nose.

Don't enable their feigned authority: Right-wing trolls are just a Hannity wannabes. They regard themselves as pundit authorities deserving of everyone's attention rather than the dime-a-dozen dickheads they really are - plenty more where they came from. Don't get hung up any one of them. Walk away anytime. Don't feel obligated to respond to them.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on July 10, 2018 10:26 AM.

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