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Thursday, July 31, 2008


posted by on July 31 at 16:55 PM

The New York Times Magazine has a long story about trolls. After a cursory history of trolling, there’s a long interview with Jason Fortuny, who did the “Craigslist Experiment,” publishing photos that people sent to his phony ad a few years back.

A flat-screen HDTV dominated Fortuny’s living room, across from a futon prepped with neatly folded blankets. This was where I would sleep for the next few nights. As Fortuny picked up his cat and settled into an Eames-style chair, I asked whether trolling hurt people. “I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Oh, God, please forgive me!’ so someone can feel better,” Fortuny said, his calm voice momentarily rising. The cat lay purring in his lap. “Am I the bad guy? Am I the big horrible person who shattered someone’s life with some information? No! This is life. Welcome to life. Everyone goes through it. I’ve been through horrible stuff, too.”

“Like what?” I asked. Sexual abuse, Fortuny said. When Jason was 5, he said, he was molested by his grandfather and three other relatives. Jason’s mother later told me, too, that he was molested by his grandfather. The last she heard from Jason was a letter telling her to kill herself. “Jason is a young man in a great deal of emotional pain,” she said, crying as she spoke. “Don’t be too harsh. He’s still my son.”

It’s a pretty interesting article. The writer will probably never be able to send an e-mail without swimming through a deluge of shit ever again.

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The perfect metaphor for trolls: an angry boy projecting his shame and hurt on other victims.


What a sad little man.

Posted by Non | July 31, 2008 5:01 PM

he lives in KIRKLAND!!! until i saw the picture, i thought it was mr. poe.

Posted by scary tyler moore | July 31, 2008 5:02 PM

Sadder still, everyone is able to see that but him. (to 1)

Posted by Jack Nasty | July 31, 2008 5:04 PM

Ha, I think this is the same Jason that was b& from the Seattle LJ community for drama/trolling. What a shining star.

Posted by Henry | July 31, 2008 5:38 PM

I hate, hate, hate this use of the word "troll". Troll is not a noun, it is a verb, and it derives from fishing; you troll your baited hook behind you as you slowly cruise the newsgroups, looking for bites.

Posted by Fnarf | July 31, 2008 5:51 PM

I don't even know where to begin, I'm so mad.

Fortuny outed me on his despicable craigslist attack, and I've tried very hard to forget how much damage he's caused. I've had to rebuild from scratch because of that monster.

Now... to see he's at it again, I just want to scream. I can't stand it. I hate that such a lowlife like Fortuny is allowed to continue without punishment, without remorse, and without someone taking a stand.

Well this is it. I'm not going to take Fortuny's crap anymore. I won't stand by and let more people be destroyed by this psychopath.

Fortuny is about to get his. And I'm about to get mine.

Posted by Steve S | July 31, 2008 6:09 PM

@5, but fnarf, what lives under the Aurora Bridge? What am I when I'm on Manhunt? Troll can be a noun, right?

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 31, 2008 6:17 PM

Does it mention how mean Slog commentators are? If not, I'm not interested.

Posted by Gloria | July 31, 2008 6:20 PM

These aren't trolls and this article gives a bad name to trolls everywhere. "Trolls" are simply people who beg to differ with the provaling groupthink on a given forum. For example, many here think marijuana is safe and harmless but the increase in gang activity in Belltown clearly shows otherwise.

Posted by crk on bellevue ave | July 31, 2008 6:21 PM

What's under the Aurora Bridge? Diarrhea with a Volkswagon. Manhunt I don't know from. Yes, a troll can be a noun but in this sense it's always a verb. "X is just a troll" = wrong; "X is trolling you" = right.

Posted by Fnarf | July 31, 2008 6:43 PM

"Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism"

Posted by bobcat | July 31, 2008 7:02 PM

Damn! This thread sure am funky down here. Who Fartfed?

Posted by Ejaculation "The T Stands For Troll" Horndog | July 31, 2008 7:07 PM
“The question we have to answer is: How do we kill four of the world’s six billion people in the most just way possible?" - Weev

Well, I can think of two to start with, and I [the sock puppet, not the soon to be deceased) expect to be reading their obituary's on Monday.

This why the death penalty for child rape is a good idea. While euthanasia for the victims would be a political non-starter, telling the "perps" that the penalty is the same whether you leave a witness or not... Of course one has to hope they don't realize murders are investigated more thoroughly.

Posted by Weev | July 31, 2008 7:25 PM

what is the Seattle LJ community? and yes, fnarf, trolling is a verb. my grandpappy and i used to go trolling on flathead lake for hours in the beautiful summer evenings when i was a young 'un. even caught a fish once.

Posted by scary tyler moore | July 31, 2008 7:36 PM

Fnarf, if you had your way about things like "troll is a verb not a noun," language wouldn't evolve. Please let it go and try to be irritated only by worthwhile things.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 31, 2008 8:16 PM

Really, though, any usage post 1377 is just too, too, oh! From the OED:

troll, v.
I. 1. intr. To move or walk about or to and fro; to ramble, saunter, stroll, ‘roll’; spec. (slang) of a homosexual: to walk the streets, or ‘cruise’, in search of a sexual encounter; cf. sense 13.

1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B. XVIII. 296 And us hath he trolled [v.r. tollid] forth is two & thretty wynter. [1561: see 15b.] 1691 tr. Emilianne's Frauds Rom. Monks (ed. 3) 107 Another sort of Pilgrims..who spend their time in trouling from one place of Devotion to another. 1942 E. LANGLEY Pea Pickers I. iii. 41 Past rows of hawthorn hedges in leaf, but lacking flowers, we trolled. 1967 A. WILSON No Laughing Matter III. 201 At first..I just got myself picked up... But later I started trolling. 1967 Listener 21 Dec. 814/3 They all come trolling on in form-hugging black and do evocative things with chairs and ladders and planks of wood. 1981 R. BARNARD Sheer Torture xi. 120, I trolled off quite happily and entered the house.

Posted by jebus h. xst | July 31, 2008 8:23 PM

What's nagging about that snippet is that it is exactly the sort of story that I would expect rfjason to tell just to see what sort of shit it stirred up.

But moms don't lie (do they?) so it must be true.

Posted by K | July 31, 2008 8:27 PM

The thing is, I'm trying to head off a bad language change at the pass. People who don't know what "trolling" is or where the internet usage came from think it has something to do with the creature under the bridge. It doesn't.

Posted by Fnarf | July 31, 2008 8:31 PM

Fnarf, I think "troll" / "trolling" is as evocative a word as it is because it also invokes the troll as obnoxious denizen of the underworld.

As "trolling" has become less about baiting people and more about being a jackass, I think it's perfectly acceptable to link it with folkloric jackasses.

Posted by AnonymousCoward | July 31, 2008 8:37 PM

Fnarf, that battle may have been lost the moment someone coined "Don't feed the trolls."

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 31, 2008 8:46 PM

Troll is both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

OED (slight reprise):

troll, n.
Computing slang. A person who posts deliberately erroneous or antagonistic messages to a newsgroup or similar forum with the intention of eliciting a hostile or corrective response. Also: a message of this type.

1992 Re: Why Not? in alt.folklore.urban (Usenet newsgroup) 14 Dec., If I didn't know better I would swear that this post bears the mark of the inevitable Peter van der Linden in troll mode. 1995 Toronto Star (Nexis) 23 Feb. G3 Posts that are designed to encourage angry responses are called ‘trolls’ because the purpose is to fish for flames. 1996 M. TEPPER in D. Porter Internet Culture 41 The hoped-for response to a troll is an indignant correction. 2005 Courier Mail (Queensland) (Nexis) 28 Jan. 4, I have not included a feedback page or forum with this site, because those things just seem to attract trolls.

troll, v.
intr. Computing slang. To post a deliberately erroneous or antagonistic message on a newsgroup or similar forum with the intention of eliciting a hostile or corrective response. Also trans.: to elicit such a response from (a person); to post messages of this type to (a newsgroup, etc.).

1992 Re: Post the FAQ in alt.folklore.urban (Usenet newsgroup) 8 Oct., Maybe after I post it, we could go trolling some more and see what happens. 1993 Re: Bread and Napolean's Lemur[D[D[D[D[DHorse in alt.folklore.urban (Usenet newsgroup) 17 Feb., This looks like perfectly good AFU material... Or have I just been trolled? 2001 D. CRYSTAL Lang. and Internet ii. 53 Not all chatgroups troll; some insert clues to the existence of a troll into a message that only the cognoscenti recognize; some are very much against the whole process, conscious of the communicative disruption that can result. 2005 B. MCWILLIAMS Spam Kings iii. 69 Once, after a spammer trolled Nanae, accusing antis of having no life, Mad Pierre sarcastically responded that the spammer was correct.

Posted by jebus h. xst | July 31, 2008 8:48 PM

Sort of disingenuous since every newspaper headline every created is a "troll".

Posted by John Bailo | July 31, 2008 9:24 PM

Wow, a whole thread about trolls and no one mentioned my name even once.

You people are finally realizing who insulated and incestuous your little sorority here is.

The comment about being called a troll for simply not agreeing with the prevailing groupthink describes the infection that festers in the heart of 99% of SLOG commenters and about 75% of SLOG contributers and Stranger staffers.

Lets see how long it takes for whoever replaves AKH to start deleting comments he/she finds a little offensive and whose composer is not an endeared member of the community - ala the little shitbag Poe.

Posted by ecce homo | July 31, 2008 9:28 PM

Livejournal name = RFJason

Posted by Dramatica | July 31, 2008 9:34 PM

Oh, Ecce. You're so jealous. It's really cute. But kind of pathetic, ya know?

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 31, 2008 10:15 PM

ouch, schooled!

Posted by jean enersen's old sockpuppet | August 1, 2008 1:23 AM

@ Mr. Poe...

Actually, Ecce has been more entertaining than you, recently.

You saving your good shit for Gawker?

Posted by michael strangeways is an elitist prick | August 1, 2008 2:06 AM

What a douche.

Posted by Greg | August 1, 2008 7:35 AM

@27, he got booted from Gawker. La Poe has returned to his home base to regroup for the next assault on some unknowing website.

Posted by michael strangeway's prick shops at target | August 1, 2008 7:38 AM


Uh, I'm back on Gawker. Well, mostly Defamer. And I never left Slog. That's something you guys came up with to deal with my lack of excessive posting.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 1, 2008 8:17 AM

Stranger babes give novel Rize, novel drink Rize, NOVEL BECOME HAIKU!

No, I don't.

Posted by The Incredible Haiku | August 1, 2008 8:22 AM

ooh! what is your name on defamer/gawker, mr. poe? i wanna read your comments, honeybuns!

Posted by scary tyler moore | August 1, 2008 9:02 AM

E-mail me and I'll tell you. (Tired of stalkers.)


Posted by Mr. Poe | August 1, 2008 9:13 AM

From the piece, Jason Fortuny comes across as a pit viper: cold, remorseless, and dangerous to confront. In a just world such people would be shot in the streets.

Posted by Greg | August 1, 2008 9:30 AM


He's a sociopath. And as he's proven, he's dangerous. He can come up with any excuse he wants, but in the end of the day he's using his life's tragic events to excuse his disgusting behavior. I put him on the same line as his molesting grandpa.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 1, 2008 9:38 AM
cold, remorseless, and dangerous to confront
Really? Like any of these guys, they put up a front and are surely "dangerous" online, but in a real world confrontation (i.e. someone steps up to them and calls them on their bullshit) they'd immediately pee their pants and flee.

Let's remember that these "uber-trolls" (including Weev) are flat-out lying about their money, accomplishments, ability to live "off the grid", etc. I've been online long enough to know delusions of grandeur when I see them.

I think it's also safe to conclude that the only use Fortuny's gun (if it exists) will ever see is his own inevitable suicide once he realizes he's 40+, marginally employed and still trolling message boards "for the lulz".

Posted by snooze | August 1, 2008 9:50 AM


Everybody thought that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were harmless. Eric even had a blog where he mocked people he knew. Look what happened. Yeah, real harmless.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 1, 2008 9:54 AM

Nice V for Vendetta mask.

Posted by Eric Grandy | August 1, 2008 10:03 AM

hmmmmm...I don't recall authorizing the use of my copywrited pseudonym to any douchebags lately, and if I have, in a drunken stupor, I certainly know I have NOT been compensated for the misuse of my moniker...

You'll be hearing from my attorney, Mike Gallagher.

what the fuck is wrong with Target? It has affordably priced seperates for those on a limited budget. Also; how can I be elitist and shop at Target? That doesn't make much sense, does it?

If you're going to be an asshole, at least be a consistent asshole.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 1, 2008 10:18 AM

Mr Poe, I'm're tired of stalkers so you won't give out your Gawker name, yet you just posted your email address...does not compute.

also, I was not on the 550. I don't know what that means.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 1, 2008 10:22 AM

Michael, that's not the e-mail address I use to validate my Slog handle. It's my general everything e-mail. Packed with spam and all the jam.

The 550 is a bus. It must be your doppleganger.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 1, 2008 10:26 AM

Classic victim of abuse behavior: victimizing and hurting innocent others in desperate attempts to regain self power.

Posted by Peter P. | August 1, 2008 10:44 AM

Yes, I'm afraid my Evil Twin/Arch Nemesis, "Michael Strangeways is an Elitist Prick" must either live or work on the Eastside.

Be afraid.

Be very, very afraid.

And aroused.

Very, very aroused.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 1, 2008 11:00 AM

Since troll is both a noun and a verb it perfectly illustrates the beauty of English.
Words evolve to include nuances that grow through usage. What started as a verb describing the act of planting a canard to elicit strong reactions has become the name of people who do so. I call that lovely.

Posted by inkweary | August 1, 2008 12:03 PM

I am not the elitist prick dude - I posted my name in protest to him calling you elitist, IOW "He's not elitist, he shops at Target." I shop at Target. I love Target. I want a Michael Graves enema bulb.

Posted by michael strangeway's prick shops at target | August 1, 2008 12:53 PM

awwww....that means a lot to me.

but Michael Graves stuff sucks; over-priced and falls apart.

I'm waiting for the Isaac Mizrahi enema kit.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 1, 2008 1:16 PM
#34: Jason Fortuny comes across as a pit viper: cold, remorseless, and dangerous to confront. In a just world such people would be shot in the streets.

Well, don't let us stop you.

Posted by JA | August 1, 2008 3:04 PM

The interesting line is that Fortuny's trolling is directed in principle towards the very sort of high horse attitudes that are all over the comments section of Slog (and, to some extent, the writing proper).

Now, I'm no fan of Fortuny's endeavors. He is what he is. His actions reveal a lot about everyone involved. But before you fire away with more venom, keep in mind that you're validating his worldview each time you spew shit.

You look for someone who is full of it, a real blowhard. Then you exploit their insecurities....

Posted by Gomez | August 1, 2008 10:46 PM

Meh...Fortuny's gun is a pellet gun. But he also has a baseball bat and an escape exit! (Out his bedroom window). The view outside his bedroom window, which was in the NYT article, is interesting. All dark and creepy and deserted. How does he sleep at night! Won't someone's molesting Grampa go and comfort Mr. Fortuny?

Posted by John | August 4, 2008 2:47 PM

Jason Fortuny Fun Facts!
He weighs 130 lbs
He's about 5'5"(5'7" if he's telling it).
Has posted a photo of himself naked in fron of a fire. (Not for the faint-hearted!)
Has had treatment for low testosterone levels and lack of sexual function.
Is searching for his biological Daddy. How? How? DNA tests? No, he interviews potential Pops. Great method.
Cries alot, frequently depressed.
Is broke and begged people for money for a lawyer to assist with the invasion of privacy case in Illinois. Didn't get any donations so wrote a pleading letter to the judge himself.
Is about 20 years older than his internet "friends".
Has admitted to wearing women's "essentials".
Has had to sell his transformer and Star Wars figures on Ebay as he's BROKE. (Action figures. Whoda guessed?)
Has been living in terror since 2006

Posted by Greg | August 4, 2008 4:22 PM

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