If someone had asked me that question a couple of weeks ago I
would have said:
"A person who, for unknown reasons, causes trouble on a mailing list
some nut/idiot looking for attention !"
I would have said that I had noticed a couple on the YORKSGEN mailing list
They had annoyed me at the time and I had put a block/filter
That means that I told my email program
"If person AAA sends an email to the list or to me privately, I don't want to see it ...
move it straight away to the rubbish bin"
Which is a great way of having a quiet list !!
advice for handling trolls:
Ignore them, use a filter.
Deny them what they seek: provoking others.
If they can't find the attention they seek, they'll usually leave to seek better fishing elsewhere."
More info. here here and here
The kids playing around on their parents computer ..
normally just silly one off emails .. not a big problem.
The Primitive: often uses method 2 to introduce themselves to the list.
Quite easy to spot but still a nuisance.
The knowledgeable: tells you off for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Annoying .. especially in combination with the Primitive.
Often causes flame wars .. innocent and not so innocent subscribers protecting the Primitive.
"Shame ! just because the poor man can't spell !"
The worst are the multiple personality trolls .. very
because you've "known" them for ages ..
you think they are your friend, they've been on the list for years !
They email you and tell you that John Doe is not what he seems
at the same time they email John Doe saying you are not what you seem !
If you answer a Newbie's first mail they write to the Newbie
that you are only pretending to be helpful !!
I recently went on a crusade against a couple of these trolls ...
a horrible experience !!
Please DO NOT FEED the trolls