A troll who posts to the comment pages on slashdot. Slashdot trolls have a long and distinguished history, occasionally insightful, often annoying, never boring, the slashdot troll is often more entertaining than the thread (s)he posts to.
A brief history of trolling on slashdot:

1: First Post!!! - As soon as slashdot started the comments system, getting the first comment in became an obsession for many posters.

2: The Golden Age - since before slashdot had a user/login system, The Glorious Meept ruled the trolls, all his posts were easily identified, because they ended with the word "MEEPT!". He was usually coherent, and sometimes even made a good point.

3: Anonymous Coward - After the user/login system, those wishing to troll posted anonymously. The Glorious Meept was still a prolific poster.

4: Voting - In response to the falling signal/noise ratio Hemos and Cmdr Taco implemented the moderation system. 400 of the eldest and wisest slashdotters were given the power to raise and lower a comment's score. Posts by logged-in users started at a score of 1, and Anonymous Coward posts started at 0

5: Karma Whore! - Trolls and regular users alike felt oppressed by the moderating elite, thus Cmdr Taco instituted Karma and meta-moderation and started selecting moderators randomly from a pool of regular users. Meept stopped posting somewhere in this period.

6: Natalie Portman, Grits, and Beowulf: Segfault closed its comments section after much abuse from trolls. The displaced trolls moved to slashdot, raving about hot grits, Natalie Portman, naked and petrified, and stirring up dissent against the moderation system, which they claimed was censorship.

7: sellouts: The current trolling is mostly about Cmdr Taco et al selling out, when VA Research bought Andover.net. They alternate between mocking Hemos for making money off of slashdot and slamming Cmdr Taco for losing money on the Linux IPO hype, depending on how VA stock is doing that day.

Hemos, or any old-school slashdot users, feel free to correct me if I mixed up any chronology here.
update 4/17/01
Millennium: Yes, I left some out, the hiding of nasty porn links in innocoupus looking titles hadn't really gotten started when I noded this. There are also crapflooders now, who just post random garbage, or worse, ASCII art pictures of the goatse.cx guy. You're old-schooler than me, BTW, my slashdot ID is about 9000.

You forgot a few types. First, there are the pr0n trolls.

These were the sort of trolls who would drag up bad porn stories from God knows where and post them to Slashdot. Sometimes they'd change names to involve the Slashdot crew in all kinds of orgies. Other times they'd simply put CmdrTaco into sexual situations involving his sister, his mother, JonKatz, VA Linux, or just about anyone else.

These trolls seem to be extinct, however. They seem to have evolved just after the "Karma Whore!" stage, but died out several months back.

Then there are the goatsex trolls. These trolls live for goatse.cx and exist for one purpose alone: to trick people into going there. The problem with these trolls is that they're getting much better at what they do. Many have figured out tricks to make their fake links look like actual parts of the Slashdot layout, just to keep people from suspecting a thing.

There is the variant on this kind of troll that doesn't even try to hide the link. Usually these trolls will consist of only a few words (often just "GOAT SEX" with the appropriate link). While annoying, at least these are easy to spot.

I'm pretty old-school on Slashdot (my ID# is sub-2500) but I don't remember exactly when the goatsex trolls evolved. My guess is around the same time as the KARMA WHORE stage.

For some of the more infamous trolls, see also: OOG_THE_CAVEMAN, Bob Abooey, and The WIPO Troll.

A "Slashdot Troll" is entirely different from a just plain "troll." Whereas a troll can be described as someone who carefully crafts messages to entrap the less experienced in an embarrassing (and humorous) display of their state as a newbie. Those reading the thread who aren't newbies can laugh along with the troll. It's a mild form of hazing that gives old timers on the 'net a common bond.

A "Slashdot Troll," on the other hand, pretty much refers to anyone who doesn't post relevant, easily digestible, and somewhat moderate posts. I've been reading slashdot since the beginning, and I still can't figure out how these people came to be known as trolls. As noted above, it started with the "First Post" phenomenon which, I might add, did indeed start out as a simple joke but became burdensome before too long.

One of the definitions that is missed in the above writeups is that of the "surreal" post. Any post that is somewhat irrelevant, bizarre, and obscure is sure to be marked a troll. For example, in a story about how "Motif Is Not Dead," I posted this short note, which was moderated as a troll:

Oh yes it is...and I killed it...with my little Motif-stained hatchet right here. Shhh, don't tell anyone.
Now, this was intended to be a completely offtopic and scary piece of humor in the tradition of superbad. However, it occurs to me that the pure weird nature of this post (and I admit that it was weird) is something that has become part of the definition of a "Slashdot Troll."

So in conclusion, a "Slashdot Troll" is a poster who does not make a reasonable contribution to the signal to noise ratio of Slashdot.

A new type of troll has emerged on slashdot after the September 11, 2001 WTC / Pentagon bombings : the "GET SOME PRIORITIES" troll

The poster, generally an Anonymous coward, will pick a typical News for Nerds topic, and discuss the point of talking of any subject, when 10,000 people have died.

Here are some examples of the troll (did a google search for it, as /.'s search script sucks):
  • The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred less than three weeks ago, and you people are discussing the the best damn guide to setting up a LAN party you have ever seen. They cover all the details from equipment to food to network protocols???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!
    The bodies of nearly 10,000 dead people could give a good god damn about the advent of LAN parties, your childish Lego models, your nerf toys and lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D addiction, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life".
  • As if recent events (attacks on the World Trade Centres, Anthrax Attacks) raising our collective conciousness into a state of terror wasn't bad enough, Hallowe'en is just around the corner. Soon, a new terror, a spooky terror, will unfold as the souls of thousands of innocent civilians who died raise from the dead on All Hallow's Eve to terrorise yawl's neighborhood. And you people have the gall to be discussing HDTV???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!
  • The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred just over three weeks ago, and you people are discussing the fact that FIC is releasing a webpad called the AquaPAD that runs Midori Linux and has a Tranmeta 500MHZ Crusoe cpu and that it's an 802.11b wireless LAN card is supported in the PCMCIA slot, as are modules for GSM, GPRS, and Bluetooth???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!
    The bodies of 20,000+ dead people could give a good god damn about your network interface cards, your childish Lego models, your nerf toys and lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D addiction, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life".
  • The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred just over two weeks ago, and you people are discussing how but a few days ago the Open Watcom Project made it's first public release. It's only a binary patch targeted at 11.0a/b owners, but it's still an important roadmark on the way to the planned full open source release of both the Watcom C/C++ and Fortran compilers. My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!!!

By the way : The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred less than two months ago, and you people are noding about October 29, 2001 (thing), MDCT (thing),Catholic wedding (thing), bisexual (idea) and Wonder Woman (idea). My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!!!
Some commentary from someone who spends WAY too much time with the trolls of Slashdot.

There's really two different types, at this point, as least split based on technology.

The former group are more "old-school" and eschew the use of scripts. The uses of scripting languages from Perl to PHP to simple shell scripts is something that this troll looks down on, and within the troll groups, you can see flame wars erupt between those who do, and those who don't use scripting.

By and large, those who don't use technology tend to be lower in quantity, and those are somewhat easier to find, and if so desire, neutralize their noise addition to the signal to noise ratio.

The other group, the script users are a pestilence. I cannot begin to count the number of hours of my life that have been consumed by those rodents. Essentially, seemingly, the reason that these people exist is to spend their entire lives trying to break the system. Obviously, of the two, I prefer the former.

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