Why are there so many willing troll feeders on the main page right now? I know how satisfying it can be to reply and reply and watch the pile on, but they love every minute of that.
Awhile ago (maybe years at this point), there was an article about trolling on the mainpage. I forget what exactly it was about, but I had one of the first comments on there, and it was something along the lines of, "Can trolls just explain the appeal to me? Like seriously, just tell me the truth, comment freely, no judgment, because I just don't get it."
I got a shocking number of really honest responses from people who were admitted trolls (usually on other sites, not Jez), and most of them said the same thing: because it's funny to watch people get incredibly riled up on a subject.
That's it. It's just funny to watch. Most of them admitted they usually don't care a lot about the subject on which they troll. They just post something with the opposite viewpoint of most of the commenters, and enjoy watching the fray.
So I guess if it pleases you, keep replying, but I think sometimes when we reply to trolls, we think we're trolling them back. But I don't really see it like that (although I suppose the bunny bomb thing might be an exception to that). When you are vehemently disagreeing, proving how right you are, just oozing with correctness and self righteousness, you're pretty much doing exactly what they want you to do.
I'd prefer not to give in to the trolls. I'd prefer to dismiss the shit out of them, so they languish, unheard and without a voice, in troll purgatory. If an asshole says something and no one is able to read it, did their bullshit even really get spewed?