Internet trolling is a term applied to an "Internet troll," a "forum troll," a "wiki troll" or a "message board troll." Trolls are a person or persons (trolling can be a group project or process) who posts outrageous messages to bait people. Forum trolls delight in sowing discord on websites, often by expressing what many would consider a "far out" ideological point of view. Trolling is a form of network abuse. Trolling often inspires heated discussion (also known as "flame wars") which usually end with name-calling or other unproductive behavior.
RationalWiki.org, internet trolls, the Kiwi Farms website and individuals going to RationalWiki.org to troll politically left-leaning atheists
According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times in 2007, RationalWiki members "by their own admission" vandalize Conservapedia. At the same time, RationalWiki.org is currently experiencing a significant amount of trolling and vandalism.
As can be seen in the graphic above from SimilarWeb.com, the 5th most similar website audience in terms of RationalWiki.org is Kiwifarms.net.
At the Kiwi Farms website, there is currently 136 pages of discussion pages at the Kiwi Farms website dealing with RationalWiki and much of it is of a disparaging nature. A discussion thread about RationalWiki at the Kiwi Farms website describes RationalWiki as a "Whiny hugbox for spergs and a cluster**** of neverending drama on a rapidly declining website." Atheists have a reputation for having poor social skills (see: Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence). In recent years, the website RationalWiki has seen an enormous loss of web traffic (see: RationalWiki and web traffic). Apparently, the web visitors of Kiwi Farms consider RationalWikians to be gullible "lolcows" who are easily upset (see also: Atheism and gullibility).
Both atheists and Muslims have developed a reputation of being thin-skinned (and for wanting to impose their ideology on others). It has been quipped that "Atheism is the easiest religion to troll". Internet trolls often actively pursue trolling atheists due to their penchant of being so proud and so easily angered.
In 2012, The Guardian published an article entitled Limmy's Show: Confessions of an internet troll which had the subtitle There's a witch-hunt going on against internet trolls right now. But, argues Scots funnyman Limmy, randomly goading atheists, jocks and non-existent techno geeks can be fun. And of course, being thin-skinned is symptomatic of having excessive pride.
Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, a self-described provocateur, indicates "the reason I have a go at atheists is that it's fun. They are so thin-skinned. They are like libertarians, or...they are like liberal Democrats in the UK or..feminists in fact. They are so easy to wind up... They are so touchy."
Atheists have reputation for being arrogant (see: Atheism and arrogance). Most people and cultures take a very dim view of proud people and some cultures are known for actively engaging humbling successful people and/or proud people (Several Anglosphere nations are known for having tall poppy syndrome and Filipinos are known for having a "crab culture". Crabs in a bucket of water will pull down crabs trying to escape from the bucket).
As can be seen by the below screenshots, RationalWiki is currently attracting a lot of trolls and vandals.
RationalWiki and concern trolling
According to Dictionary.com a concerning troll is: "Concern trolling involves someone opposing an idea or viewpoint, yet acting like they’re an advocate for the cause. A concern troll offers undermining criticisms under the guise of concern. Their goal is to sabotage the cause being discussed, and to inspire doubt among group members. This occurs in groups rallied around a particular issue, especially in political parties, and the goal of concern trolling is to cause dissent within a community."
Given the many problems of atheist worldview (see: Rebuttals to atheist arguments), the decline of the secular left, atheist hypocrisy, global desecularization and the many problems Democrats and American leftists are experiencing under the Biden Administration, RationalWikians especially dislike concern trolling. It raises questions that cause cognitive dissonance within RationalWikians and it also undermines group cohesiveness (see also: Atheism and groupthink). It also makes the secular leftists depressed and many secular leftists are prone to depression and depression regarding political events unfavorable to secular leftism (see: Atheism and depression and Secular leftists and psychogenic illness). The website Marketwatch reported concerning the aftermath of the 2016 presidential race: Donald Trump’s win is causing a surge in demand for mental health services.
RationalWiki's Saloon Bar (a general discussion area at RationalWiki ) and article/user talk pages are especially prone to concerning trolling. RationalWikians have become very angry and have displayed such behavior as using profanity and angrily typing in all cap letters when their ideas are questioned by others and/or concern trolls (see: Atheism and intolerance and Atheism and anger and Atheism and dogmatism and Atheism and profanity).
|“|| Some atheists have become rather dogmatic. Terribly certain in their conviction that there is no God and anyone who thinks there is is a deluded and dangerous fool. ...atheists are becoming as intransigent about their own views as the people they so despise.
Atheism is becoming a religion of its own. It already has its gurus and its revered sacred texts... It has its magnificent temples within which lie mysteries and unknowable truths.
RationalWiki has created an entire article devoted to concern trolling.
RationalWiki, its Discord discussion servers and its fear of transparency/trolls
RationalWiki has two Discord discussion servers which are given below:
- RationalWiki Support Chat — Support server, it's focused on wiki-related issues and moderation issues
RationalWiki.org puts requirements on its Discord servers in terms of joining in terms of a certain amount of edits to RationalWiki.org due to its fear of trolls and transparency.
SimilarWeb data for RationalWiki as of January 9, 2021: On January 9, 2022, SimilarWeb indicated that RataionalWiki.org was losing its ranking relative to other websites when it comes to web traffic.
See also: RationalWiki and web traffic
Websites that are under troll and vandal attacks often take a bunker mentality and become preoccupied with fighting trolls and vandals. This bunker mentality is especially prevalent for websites that wish to defend a narrow-minded political/ideological narrative that poorly reflects reality such as RationalWiki. As a result, they often become unwelcoming websites to a large portion of the public.
Furthermore, because the individuals involved in the website are bogged down fighting trolls and vandals instead of creating new content, often this is a contributing factor to the websites losing global marketshare, Google rankings and web traffic in general.
As can be seen below, the website RationalWiki is currently losing global market share. See also: RationalWiki and web traffic
Web marketing is often a relative strength game. Just because a website is gaining content or links does not mean that its competitors are not moving faster.
- Feminist Perspectives on Sex Markets, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, October 6, 2020
- RationalWiki - Feminism
- Simon, Stephanie (June 19, 2007). "A conservative's answer to Wikipedia". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019.
- Kiwi Farms - RationalWiki discussion pages
- Kiwi Farms - RationalWiki discussion pages
- "Martin Wefail" on Twitter
- Atheism is the easiest religion to troll
- Limmy's Show: Confessions of an internet troll, The Guardian, Brian Limond The Guardian, Friday 9 November 2012 10.00 EST
- Milo Yiannopoulos vs Atheism
- Christian Philosopher Explores Causes of Atheism
- Concern troll
- Trump’s win is causing a surge in demand for mental health services, Marketwatch 2016
- RationalWiki Saloon Bar archives
- BBC Documentary The Trouble With Atheism BBC Horizon Documentary
- RationalWiki - Concern Troll