Welcome to the start of a brand new www.isleyunruh.com series, “The Art of Trolling.” Here, in this semi-regular examination into the sordid world of online trolling, I will attempt to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from years of acting like a dick on the internet.
I will warn you, these dark waters are not for mariners of faint constitutions. Like a physical altercation, if your foray into trolling does not end with you feeling bad for your victim, you haven’t done it correctly. “Trolling” is really just a nice word for “acting like a sociopath,” so I can take no responsibility for what you do with the knowledge you gain from this series.
In this first installment, I will discuss the various ways in which my troll of a bunch of “horrorcore” rappers was both a success and a failure.
“Getting your ass trolled hard” can be triggered in all kinds of different ways, but by far the most common way to end up on the receiving end of a good trolling is to simply “have a public online outburst.” This signals to any potential trolls lurking in the area that you are a candidate who is already ripe for committing that most cardinal of all online sins, the first of all web fuck-ups: ARGUING ON THE INTERNET.
Never do this. I repeat, NEVER argue on the internet. This is rule number 1. By showing that you care enough about something to argue about it, you have instantly entered into a no-win situation. Why no-win? Because arguing with a troll is not a real argument. There is no winner. Trolls don’t care about anything except for your raising blood pressure.
To illustrate this point (and as an example of a few common pitfalls for the troll themselves), I will look at an example that started with a blog post written by Jessica of ABiaT fame back in 2009. Here is the original post:
“Nobody saw what would come next.”
Christ, cnn.com, are you even pretending to be a real news source anymore? “But it must have been totally awesome, I bet, in a really bad way, I mean, of course. God bless us all. Nancy Grace speculates on how much blood was on the walls, tonight at 8!”
I bet Phrozen Body Boy is really fucking pumped about all this free publicity though, you know?
And “Jesus told me to do it.” Man, that stinky rascal’s kind of hilarious. I mean, he obviously doesn’t believe that, and probably isn’t even smart enough to be saying it to lay the groundwork for an insanity plea or anything – he’s just a little 15-year-old horrorcore rapper trying to stick it to Jesus. But now this tiny little Virginia city has brought in an “occult specialist” to reassure everyone that, no, that wasn’t Jesus, must have been Satan, and now suddenly every poor goth in that high school is EFFED. They’re going to be finding “hit lists” in their lockers for months. Poor bastards.
Actually, “Poor House Road” is a really great name for a street, too. Man, whoever writes the true crime novel about this is going to have a field day.
As you can see, Jessica is merely trying to make a point about the sensationalized coverage of a murder by CNN. Of course, not everyone saw it this way, especially not “Phrozen Body Boy,” who quickly commented on her post (after googling himself in connection with the murder apparently) in order to make his displeasure clear about Jessica’s quick joke about his ridiculous name:
How dare you accuse me of being “really fucking pumped about all this free publicity” as you put it!! You don’t know me so don’t start making assumptions over a situation or a person you don’t know shit about! If I wanted publicity I would’ve done every interview that came my way and I haven’t done a single one! This is the closest thing to a response to any of the situation! Emma was a close and dear friend to me and I’m still heartbroken! I was fortunate enough to meet Mel once and she was an amazing girl! I didn’t even release my tribute track emma on myspace. Why? Because I didn’t want anyone to every accuse me of “just wanting free promo”. So how did you come up with the idea I was “fucking pumped” about any of this? I wasn’t ever listed as an act on the bill from any news source until a couple days ago and I was fucking shocked at that! Quit making assumptions on shit over people you don’t know!
Needless to say, my troll sense was immediately tingling–if tingling is a word that could be used to describe giant flashing lights and sirens. Now, first, some might object to me taunting a man who had just claimed to be grieving (and waiting to release his tribute track for a not “too soon” date). But, in addition to being dumb enough to take a throwaway joke at the expense of his very silly name way too seriously, let’s be honest here. The dude sings about stuff like this murder ALL THE TIME, so fucking nut up and own that shit Phrozen. Maybe you are a nice sweet guy in real life, but if you sing about stuff like this, no fair getting pissed when some random person on the internet insinuates that you might be a bit callous about death. With my rationalization for my urge to capitalize on someone’s suffering out of the way, I replied with this comment:
Yo, I don’t no Phr0zen personal, but my boy Strangulator does and he said he heard Phr0zen talkin mad shit this weekend and saying shit like how now that Syco sacked up all us up and comers was gonna get PAID.
Well, Phr0, I hear u talkin a big game, but u ain’t shit and u no u r trying to make some bank off diss just like the rest of us. And it makes more sense when u think bout how Phr0zen is just happening to play at the upcoming Deathfest III…RIGHT WHEN all this shit has just gone down.
Horrorcore 4 lyfe bitchez and let that punk ass Phr0zen talk his stank pussy shit, we all know a real playa like Syco when we c 1 and I bet Phr0zen is such a poser he wouldn’t know a crepitating bowel erosion from a chainsaw gutsfuck that punk ass BITCH!
Ok, so lets talk about what’s going on here. First rule of trolling, do your research! Nothing will sell your attempt to escalate a situation better than actually having some plausible information (like the dates and lineup of Deathfest III) to back up your troll. Second, come up with a good hook! In this case, it is the idea that there is an up and coming horrorcore rapper named Strangulator out there talking mad shit on Phrozen. Third, careful with your use of vernacular, it can either sell your troll, or make your troll very obvious, and I’m pushing it with this post as it is.
So, let’s see if it worked:
Direct hit! For you novice trolls out there, don’t worry about that “I’m not commenting on this shit anymore” stuff, they never mean it. In this case, Phrozen merely forwarded the link to his friends to pick up the commenting for him. Here’s red33:
WHOA! yall back up off of Phrozen! you all do not know him. He is an awesome guy and does not do anything fer publicity. this was a devestating tragedy to all of us. the whole underground jus went numb. we never thought in a million years anyone who do anything like this. but as fer “publicity” we dont want that, hence we are “underground”
And here is T. Gomez:
I am gettng REALLY tired of people such as Necroluva up there posting complete nonsense and false accusations all over the net about this tragedy. You do not even know Phrozen nor do you know his intentions! Phrozen is a close personal friend and I have sat here night after night speaking about how deeply this incident has effected us as well as all of our close friends. He has NEVER once spoke of this as a “money making situation” NOR is he looking for promotion in any way from this. I cannot believe how disrespectful people are being here. WE ARE IN MOURNING over this terrible lose. No one is here to make money! Especially Phrozen… he is a wonderful caring person and is taking this incident very hard along with the rest of us that knew the victims. Necroluva your a complete idiot! YOU are the one here looking to get a rise out of people and draw attention to yourself NOT Phrozen! Get you facts straight! Your lack of respect for all the people involved in this tragedy is disgusting!
As you can see, this comment section was rapidly turning into a Roman-style orgy of troll targets. However, before continuing my troll it was time to establish a new character, one I like to call the “Straight Man.” It is the Straight Man’s job to respond to the allegations of your more ridiculous characters in a reasoned and sensible manner, albeit a manner designed to further provoke your targets. This is important for two reasons. One, you will have a mouthpiece to steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go, and two, you will have a fall-back character in case one of your identities goes too far and gets outed as a troll. So, meet my Straight Man, Cory Mays (named after the worst person to have ever lived at Stephenson Scholarship Hall):
I was not aware of this whole scene even though I dabble in underground hip hop. All I can say is that I will definitely be passing up purchasing any Phrozen Body Boy releases after his deplorable actions in the wake of this tragedy…and I will urge my friends to do the same.
Necroluva has an eyewitness Phrozen, I don’t think you have any room to backpedal no matter what context your “we are all going to get paid” comments were said in.
See? He basically said the same thing as Necroluva, however, by using a sensible voice, and by repeating the initial accusation as fact, the situation has become much more serious for any potential troll targets. And the potential targets continued to grow, including Breed, a “keyboard warrior” (a target type identified by someone who points out that they aren’t hiding behind anonymity):
I find this whole blog and all the comments rather amusing first off no he is not “really fucking pumped about all this free publicity” seeing as how he was inconsoleable for about two weeks after all this shit happened and I should know as I was THE ONLY person around him on a daily basis since all of this has happened seeing as how we live together… Necroluva you are a fucking idiot you know nothing about him or us you are probably some little 15 year old kid who has nothing better to do then to talk shit over the net about someone you don’t even know on a personal level and your boy is trying to get some promo off of Phrozens name that is the only reason you posted on here… This whole siuation is fucked and if we had it our way all of this shit would have not happened, there is no bullshit when it comes to Phrozen what you see is what you get he has not lied to me once since I have had the pleasure of knowing him and I know this has hit him hard… There is no gimmick with any of the people we associate ourselves with what you see is what you get, yes he and I are in fact Satanists and we do talk about some evil and morbid shit but that does not take away from the fact that we are also loving and caring people that believe that the actions alledgedly commited by Sam were completely uncalled for… There was no eyewitness account of him saying this terrible things about this horrible tragedy because he was with myself as well as four other close personal friends this past weekend none of which go by the retarded ass name of “Strangulator.” Everyone needs to get their facts straight before you talk shit about something you know nothing about, hit me up on myspace if you got something to say contray to this because unlike some people posting on this blog I am not a pussy and I will post my actual e-mail address and my myspace address…
And Mandy, an actual “straight man” that will occasionally show up among your targets:
I also know Phrozen personally and while I wasn’t there the last weekend, I was there the day after he found out about what happened. I have never seen him so devistated the entire time that I’ve known him! He is a very loyal and caring guy and for anyone to accuse him of using this to try to make money obviously has never met Phrozen or anyone who knows him. That is my brother! People need to stop posting comments about people that they don’t know just to have something to say and feel important!
At this point the potential targets were coming in too hard and fast for me to be able to keep up with the responses. Therefore, I decided to go after my initial annoyance with Phrozen’s first comment, the fact that these are a bunch of supposedly “evil and morbid” satanists, but they also want you to know that they are really kind and caring guys. Therefore I introduced a new character:
Wow you guys sure talk pretty faggy for Satanists. When Dead from Mayhem blew his head off with a shotgun, what did their guitarist Euronymous do? Did he go and get all his friends to whine about what a sweet guy he was? Did he cry like a baby for “two weeks after all this shit happened”?
Fuck no, he ate Dead’s brains, made a necklace out of his skull fragments and then took a fucking picture of it for Mayhem’s next album cover. Now THAT is what I call horrorcore!
You say that you would have “preferred it not to happen” but I say that almighty Sathanas would turn in his grave to hear you guys talk that way. Sounds like Syko Sam is the only truly KULT warrior in your whole scene.
HAIL and KILL!
No matter how silly your persona, it is always important to include small bits of misinformation/trollbait in your replies. Calling their “Satanism” into question, insinuating that Phrozen cried “like a baby for two weeks,” or pointing out they mostly just “preferred” for a horrible double murder not to happen all continue to fertilize the ground for new and more varied outraged responses from your targets. In this case, it was the claim of sub-par Satanism that brought T. Gomez back for more:
In reply to BURZUM_fan_88:
First off, I believe that your priority today should be brushing up on your Satanism. Perhaps a refresher course in Satanism 101? Learn the difference between a Satanist and a Serial Killer before you embarrass yourself further here.
Secondly, in regards to your comment about Euronymous…. please define MEDIA HYPE vs. REALITY for all of us readers.
Last but not least…. PLEASE tell me your 15! I would hate to sit here and think that you are actually a grown man or woman (with the mentality of a toenail clipping) roaming the internet.
What is this world coming to? You, my dear CHILD (I hope) are a disgrace to humanity!
With another target hooked, I continue to reel in the line:
I’m 15? I eat 15 year old virgins for breakfast…not like the poseurs that are commenting on this list who apparently just want to eat a big bowl of emo wankery for breakfast.
Also, don’t tell me I don’t know what Satanism is, I’ve been worshiping teh dark one since you were shitting yellow. Satanism is all about the denial of life (in all forms) and racial purity. If you were a real satanist you would know that!
In addition to working in a few “more Satanist than thou” digs, I also unveil my trolling secret weapon: “align yourself with one side, and then claim that that side is all about racial purity.” This works much better when you have them supporting you before you yank the racial tolerance rug out from under everyone, but it should work well enough in this case too. Or at least I’d hoped it would provoke outrage, instead, the keyboard warrior Breed was back for more as far as proving who the best Satanist:
Okay I was going to refrain from posting anything else but BURZUM_fan_88 is a fucking toolbox… Satanism 101 do not harm those that do not deserve it… You obiviously would be one that did, that is to be raped with something hard and sand-papery… Sam was a fucking idiot and Emma and Mel did NOTHING to deserve it… Learn your shit before you decide to open your stupid fucking mouth… and I would venture a guess that you are probably around 21 live at home with your parents and have absolutely no life experience what so ever under your belt… If you are as hardcore as you claim to be post a fucking e-mail address phone number or myspace so we can take this shit off of this dumb bitches blog and stop giving her more hits… You know nothing of us and of TRUE Satanism you fucking child… Try being enlightened as opposed to making yourself look ridiculous on an inconsequencal blog…
Insulting Jessica really pissed me off, but, I calmly remembered rule 1, NO ARGUING ON THE INTERNET. Annoyed that I was in danger of being reverse trolled, and annoyed that the racial purity bomb I dropped was a dud, I brought back Cory Mays to attempt to reignite it (as well as reignite all the other forgotten trollbait). These jobs are, after all, exactly what the Straight Man persona is there for:
This comment section is getting hijacked (racial purity…wtf??), but I am curious as to what Phr0zen has to say about his comments about how he was going to “get paid” in the aftermath of this tragedy? If his personal feelings are what he says they are and if he really was crying for two weeks like his friends say, I don’t see how he could say something so callous.
Unfortunately, there were issues of Satanic credibility at stake, and no one, least of all T. Gomez, was ready to deal with the racial purity issue yet:
Since I was “shitting yellow”? That would of been back in 1962 considering tha fact that I am a 46 year old woman. Do we really need to go into who has been studying the Occult / Satanism here for YEARS on end or who may or may not be a “true” Satanist?
But, obviously this is not the point of this forum. What we are trying to determine here is IF Phrozen is trying to use this incident to gain media attention & promotion. The answer to that is NO! Once again, I will say that I speak with him on a daily basis as well as work in the same genre as he does so it makes sense that I might know what I am talking about here.
You are a annoying little sheep my dear! Stating that you have been “worshiping” the dark one… tsk tsk. Who is this dark one you speak of? Yet another example of you claiming something that you know nothing about. If you are worshipping ANYTHING or ANYONE other than YOURSELF you are nothing more than a worthless follower/sheep!
And then, Phrozen showed back up, just as I always knew he would:
I’ve done my best not to respond back to this shit…Cory at least you have some sense of it all. Never once have I said anything about “getting paid” hell I’m not even releasing my tribute track on myspace because I didn’t want anyone trying to accuse me for getting free promo. I wasn’t even mentioned in the news until almost a month after this tragedy and then people make assumptions that I’m happy about the promo once CNN listed me as an artist from the show, FUCK THAT!! Emma was a really close and dear friend to me and NEVER would I ever want promo off of something like this! I’ve spent the past couple days bitching about my stats on myspace going up because I DONT WANT ANY FUCKIN PROMO from this shit! I didn’t respond to a single interview, NOTHING! I was fuckin heartbroken over this and still am..I’ve done my best to stay busy and occupied with other shit so I don’t keep dwelling on the fact I’m never going to get to hear from my friend again, the shit fuckin kills me inside..if anyone wants to believe otherwise you can eat a fucking dick for all I care! Everyone close to me knows I have been mourning over this inncident. Maybe it was a mistake to even post on here defending myself about the comment Jessica made about me, but it sent me over the fucking edge! Anyone that knows me knows the fucking truth..everyone else that feels the need to make up shit, or people that say they know me when I don’t have a fucking clue who they are, fuck them!! Cory, thank you for at least having a brain!
And this, right here, is why you need a straight man persona. Even an internet arguer with blinders on will eventually realize that there is just no reasoning with Burzum_fan_88. But a nice young man like Cory who just seems to have gotten confused? Him they will continue to respond to. Of course, at this point, with your original target actually seeming kind of reasonable, the twinges of guilt begin to creep through my sociopathic troll shell. Also, Jessica was beginning to have her doubts and began iming me with messages like: “Um…maybe you should stop provoking them?”
Unfortunately, them being mean to Jessica was still pissing me off, so I went ahead and committed troll seppuku and broke rule #1:
Well I’m pretty sure the “dumb bitch” (as you so elegantly put it) that wrote the original post was slamming CNN for their shitty job of covering this story, and she just picked “phr0zen body boy” to include in her post because it was such a stupid sounding name not because she was trying to slam you personally.
Why you felt the need to fuel the racist rantings of people like BURZUM_fan_88 and T. Gomez who equate Satanism with racial purity with your repeated replies is beyond me.
I did at least get one last dig in by linking T. Gomez to the racial purity line. No luck though, instead Phrozen just responded with a semi-reasonable:
T. Gomez never said anything about racial purity, that was only BURZUM_fan_88…
Either way Jessica slammed me and made an assumption that was incorrect..
It was here that I realized a few things:
- All other troll targets had left the conversation.
- Phrozen had become less agitated rather than more agitate.
- My racial purity line was not the atom bomb I’d thought it was.
- I had become emotionally compromised and increasingly in danger of being reverse trolled.
Because of these new developments, I let the whole thing fizzle out.
Also, Jessica was getting pretty adamant about me letting the whole thing fizzle out considering I was continuing to antagonize a bunch of emotionally distraught “horrorcore” rappers on her own website.