Trolling Free Republic with Rational, Reasoned Responses

19 04 2010

If you haven’t heard of or visited the Republican circle-jerk that is freerepublic.com, you’re missing out on some of the most entertaining American lunacy you’re likely to ever see. They have it all: from threads praising Glenn Beck as a modern American Hero, to threads bashing the media for accurately portraying things that aren’t even on most people’s radar. When I say “hysteria” I mean exactly that.

Not long ago, a question occurred to me: given the deep-seated lunacy there, what sort of tact would a person have to take to effectively troll their forums? I hypothesized that normal trolling wouldn’t work, since the craziest seeds you could plant would blend in perfectly with the native flora. So, with this in mind, I created an account on the site just to test the waters.

I logged in and posted a couple of brief, rational (if obviously non-crazy) comments on a few different threads. Within the hour, I had been shouted down and banned from posting. Test one: successful.

Sadly, I didn’t think to document my endeavors. So, using a proxy, I created a second account, and that is where we are now in the course of my experiment. Thus far I have made one comment, which I will post here for posterity. To give a little background, the thread is about the man who was recently arrested for making threats against his local (Republican) representative. It should be noted that he was angry at the Democrats in general and the health care bill in particular. Within three replies, the thread turned into a rallying cry against bias in the media. The comment I posted was this:

“The call came amid reports that a number of Congressional Democrats have gotten threats or had bricks thrown through their office windows following a contentious vote on health care legislation Sunday. It was not known Monday afternoon what allegedly caused Pidrman to make the call.”

Now, don’t hold me to this or accuse me of siding with the media, but I think this is just the reporter’s subtle way of making fun of the guy who did this. It’s not actually bias in the sense that they’re trying to make us look bad; it’s more like they’re letting everyone know that this guy was angry at the Dems, and for some reason known only to him, made threats against a Republican. In short, this is their way of calling him an idiot without actually saying so.

Thus far, I have not received any direct responses to my post, but the day is yet young. Check back in later for more updates.