Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Troll's Approach to 'Discussion'

In a recent defense of free speech - "Yes, we have the right to insult!" - I made the following remarks urging solidarity with Charlie Hebdo against the Islamists who would limit our freedom to express ourselves:
That's why today I say, "Je suis Charlie," and I call upon everyone, especially all Westerners, to stand up in solidarity and express these words of identification: "I am Charlie."

Be brave. Speak out. Stand firm. The terrorists cannot kill us all.
In response came these words from an anonymous commenter:
disingenous rhetoric is no less disingenuous accompanied by a veneer of (in no way unjustified) indignation
Was this individual addressing me and my choice of wording? Was my 'rhetoric' dishonest? Was my 'indignation', though not 'unjustified,' diminished to mere 'veneer' on my 'disengenuous' 'rhetoric'? This ill-mannered manner of initial confrontation is what my friend Kevin Kim identifies as the first indication that one is dealing with a troll:
Trolls begin conversations in a posture of attack, which is one way to know they are trolls.
My anonymous troll thus began with an attack on my honesty, and I called the troll on it:
If anonymous meant that I am the disingenuous one, then that's hardly the way to initiate a discussion - starting off with an ad hominem attack calling me a liar.
The troll attempted a fine distinction:
what was called disingenuous was the rhetoric,, one's style of composition is hardly identical with one's own intentions
Unfortunately for the troll, that distinction doesn't work in this case, for I meant what I said, and the troll - being no one's fool - knew this fact quite well. The troll certainly knew that calling my "indignation" merely a "veneer" was insulting and that calling my "rhetoric" simply "disingenuous" was equally - if not more - insulting.

Thus the method of a troll: attack, deny; attack, deny; attack, deny . . .



At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're being genuine. However, both Charlie Hebdo and the French establishment are being disingenuous in posing as champions of free speech over the recent terrorist attack and aftermath. Charlie Hebdo has fired a cartoonist in the past for his content, and the French establishment supports limits on certain kinds of speech.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yes, I agree that European governments regulate permissible speech in ways I would not.

Even in the US, there are some limits, and I'm no free-speech absolutist, myself.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Sperwer said...

Your original comment wasn't in the least bit "disingenuous". Rather than being deceptively dishonest, it was frankly straightforward; it didn't attempt to disguise your position, nor did it misrepresent it. That seems precisely to be the modus operandi of your troll, though.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Sperwer.

The troll's initial comment really puzzled me, and I truly wondered if it was directed at me or at the writer linked to.

Turned out to have been an attack on me, among others.

Jeffery Hodges

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