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A 'troll' in the sense of online communications is a term derived from usenet.

Summarised, a troll is a post or comment which is deliberately inflammatory, for the purpose of starting an argument. Another use of the term is for a person who consistently displays this behaviour.

Unfortunately, on Metafilter as on any other community, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a troll from someone who simply thinks differently.

Nobody is a troll. Everybody is a troll.

Users widely regarded as Trolls on MeFi

Bevets [account disabled]

ParisParamus [account disabled]

Gnostic Novelist [brain disabled]

troll [not actually a troll, in internet terms]