A 4 point model for political trolling

… and why no one tends to win.


Role 1: The Troll turned Fish



  1. BAIT – find or happen upon a topic which is emotionally loaded and complex, then turn it into a binary issue.
  2. REEL – when someone tries to acknowledge complexity of the topic, reify the binary and raise the stakes.
  3. CATCH – push someone with repeated REELING until they fall into BAITING you.
  4. Now perform role 2.


Role 2: The Fish turned Troll


  1. BITE – find or happen upon someone presenting an emotionally loaded and complex topic that you care about as a simple binary issue.
  2. HOOKED – appeal to rationality, argument and evidence, and when that fails, resort to exaggeration, exasperation and then insult.
  3. CAUGHT – get so frustrated you want to punish the troll and fall into BAITING them.
  4. Now perform role 1.

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