Trolling, as an online (not under a bridge) activity, is simply crude behavior expressed only to exact pain or earn attention. The curtain of separation between identity and such action allows it – unlike, say, if it were to occur on the street, where a 15-year-old chubby kid calls your wife a fat b-word. There, he would get his lights punched out.
The good and bad thing about online trolling: it’s not on the street, and it’s not on the street! The good: nothing physical erupts; the bad: there are no brakes to stop it.
You can’t punch out something you can’t see.
But all this makes me wonder: Can you tell if you are a troll?
I’ve spent the last week designing the GUTFELD TROLL FACTOR, applying it to online trolls on Twitter. And what I’ve found I have now designed as a handy test anyone can take!
[Note: all of these questions are directed at men, because my experience tells me they are, by far, the worst offenders ]
You are a troll…if you:
1. Use any word you do not have the guts to use in the actual presence of someone you’re attacking.
2. Do so under the cloak of anonymity.
3. Claim you’re a conservative, or religious, but negating such descriptions as you degrade others (it’s really amazing how many god-fearing granddads use the C-word to women who could be their daughter’s age).
4. Propel any conspiracy to smear an adversary. And while doing so, include any picture with arrows to body parts, suggesting underlying disease or illnesses, and adding, “just raising questions,” “just sayin” or “just putting it out there.”
5. Attach gruesome pics of horrid tragedy, announcing it a “false flag” or an “insider job.” Bonus: stating parents of victims are just “actors,” in this “staged” tragedy.
[Note on points 4 and 5: Conspiracies are the most fruitful road for trolls. Easier to express than facts, conspiracies always find an ear among the lonely and alone. And really, what's harder? Researching a piece on fracking ,or positing a theory that Hillary has a tape worm in her brain that once killed Vince Foster?]
6. Make comments on a person’s looks, when it’s likely you stopped wearing a belt a decade ago, and eat most meals in bed, surrounded by wrappers.
7. Create multiple accounts, often including misspelled hash-tags, mixed with upper and lower cased rants that demand firings, arrests, petitions for firings or arrests, etc. You might not even be real – rather a fake account created by some poor schlep in a foreign country hired by a sneaky candidate to exaggerate its online, intimidating footprint.
8. Deliver ominous warnings (always under the nameless cloak), as if you might leave your room and DO something physical. Very difficult to do, also, if you are not real.
9. Converse with women as if they’re an alien species – which makes sense, since you may not have touched one that you didn’t have to inflate first.
10. Send pictures of ovens or large noses to Jews, under the pathetic guise of “not being politically correct.” Mistake shock for humor or bravery, when it’s simply cowardice from a bitter loser the world left behind.
If you answered half of them with a “that’s me!” then you sir are a troll. If you answered a third of them with, “I’ve done that,” then you’re on the road to trolldom. If you confess to engaging in one or two of these behaviors maybe once or twice, you can be forgiven. I might be guilty of one or two in my lifetime.
Now, I started this experiment to objectively assess the common themes among Twitter trolls for a reason. My goal: to connect anonymous behavior to the real lives of those who engage in it.
For example: when a man who claims to be a lover of Christ spews the vile -- is it helpful to expose the person to his own contradictions? What if you could change people simply by connecting their real life to their online indiscretions?
We are all better served by objectively diagnosing trolls, so they can change. I would like everyone to use my GUTFELD TROLL FACTOR, when they are on Twitter. Simply retweet the troll, and quote your #gutfeldtrollfactor above it. It’s really that simple. Add up the variables from the tweet in question (using the test above to create your own score!) and judge them all yourself!
Finally, if you pride yourself on being a troll, remember this: there is no evidence in recorded history in which a troll has ever had consensual sex.
There is no hint of evidence (and we’ve looked) of a woman jumping into bed with a man because he sent an awesome gif of a hooked nosed Jew to a writer named Goldberg.
Furthermore, No alt-right acne case ever had the chance to see a grown woman naked because he called a stranger a “cuck.” It’s not correlation, it’s causation. A troll’s life is a no-physical-contact existence. You will die alone, as you die daily, online.
This is the sole reason for relinquishing your trolling. There is no pot of gold at the end of your putrid rainbow.
Greg Gutfeld currently serves as host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays 10-11PM/ET) and co-host of The Five (weekdays 9-10PM/ET). He joined the network in 2007 as a contributor. Click here for more information on Greg Gutfeld.