Originally Posted By: Carl
.... The first I became aware of troll behavior was on a romance thread, where a person asked for advice about dating someone 3 or 4 years younger (19 and 15, I think). During the course of the initial post, the person admitted to being a homophobe.

From the tone of the post, I suspected (as I have many times in this romance section) that the topic/post was "invented" in order to start controversy. Behavior which has been termed troll behavior is of this type - where controversy is introduced and then harsh comments are made and then lines are formed and sides taken and usually people leave....

It never entered my head that the lad in question was a troll, or that the topic was invented.
I admit that I sometimes do suspect that topics are invented!
But what do I do if the topic seems untrue?
Is it right to simply accuse someone of being a liar, and ban them as a troll, when they have broken no rules?
In the past I have tactfully questioned a poster, whose submissions seemed a bit suspicious, to try to get to the truth.
I then received messages, telling me to be careful about this, because the young man in question might have an illness.

Some members may tell me that there is a troll on the forum, while others may tell me that a pleasant new member is being bullied.
And it can happen between long-term members too, I'm afraid.

Maybe the lad you mention was simply stating the truth, as he saw it.
Maybe he will learn something from the forum.
Maybe he ~ or, rather, his opinions ~ annoyed some people. But does that make him a 'troll'?

"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.