On the Act of Feeding Trolls

“Don’t feed the trolls.”

It might have been good advice twenty-some years ago, when a “troll” was a guy who showed up in your newsgroup to argue that he could prove Fermat’s Last Theorem using the power of his perpetual motion machine. Perhaps such an annoyance would fade away if deprived of attention.

Now, though?

The motivations, the methods and the harms that can be wrought are all different. Let’s leave the facile suggestions back with Joel-versus-Mike, where they belong.