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from: The laws of being an animated character

Though never referred to, there are many laws to animated series. The articles of these primarly show why some characters age 5 years in one series every season and some don't age at all.

THE LAWS OF AN ANIMATED CHARACTER

I. A character can't age in a show or comic strip unless it follows real life scenarios (i.e. graduating, death of an animal, etc.). This is also implied if it follows different sagas with new characters. That means you must age the former characters & take them out of the series entirely in two seasons.Anime shows like Digimon follow this law.

II. A character may be stuck in their current age or level of life. That is why Dennis the Menace in the cartoon strips sees Mrs. Wilson every year.

III. Characters can get new jobs only if their personality is euntripinuing, stupid, lazy, or easily laid off. In Dilbert, the main character remains in his job in a cubicle, but he once got a room with a door. Homer Simpson is an example of Law III. He had many occupations, not counting passing bets or pranks for cash, & gigs.

IV. A character can be added or removed from the script other than birth & death. In the beginning of Garfield, Jon had a roommate named Earl. When he decided to leave, he gave Jon his dog, Odie, as a goodbye present. Backing to Dilbert, new characters are added & removed in a week's time (i.e. an ameoba, the Prima Donna, Camping Carl, etc.)

V. If a character dosen't age, he/she might look different every season. For example, in one show from Japan, there's this character named Joseph or Joey Wheeler. In one season, he wears a green jacket & jeans with a white shirt. He also wears his school's uniform. Later, his outfit is blue jeans with a white & blue shirt & a dogtag around his neck. Other changes beside outfits include getting fatter or thinner, growing taller (i.e. Joseph on King of the Hill), & losing hair or getting more.

See also animated series, cartoon strips, anime, unseen characters, generic characters, gag characters, cartoon physics

Przepla 22:05, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)


From: Slashdot trolling phenomena

Slashdot trolling phenomena make up a large subset of the bizarre and complex subculture found on the popular technology website Slashdot. They are a mixture of juvenilia, sarcasm, deliberately bad jokes, tasteless nonsense and highly developed and artistic attempts to provoke outraged responses from other forum users, amuse them, or challenge their thinking. Slashdot trolling is a subset and a microcosm of Internet trolling in general. Some of these behaviours are usually considered to be more offensive or insightful than others. On Slashdot, many of these phenomena have become the object of parody.

Slashdot trolls can generally be divided into four categories: disruptive, offensive, deceptive, and idiosyncratic. Disruptive trolls are those which intend to disrupt the normal flow of things on Slashdot, either by lowering the signal-to-noise ratio or by causing the pages to render incorrectly. Offensive trolls exist for the sole purpose of offending as many people as possible. The purpose of deceptive trolls is to trick people into either following a link or reading a comment which seems legitimate but is actually a troll. Idiosyncratic trolls are those which are specific to Slashdot and have elements of Slashdot culture and history in them creating, in effect, an inside joke.

Disruptive trolls[edit]

The purpose of disruptive trolls are to cause the pages of Slashdot to display in an undesirable way or to otherwise bring attention to themselves. The two major categories of disruptive trolls are crapflooding and page-widening.

Crapflooding[edit]

Crapflooding consists of multiple copies of the same message posted many times with slight variations in order to avoid being stopped by the lameness filter. Scripted crapflooding attacks, in which the process of posting is automated, can be very effective. Usually used in conjunction with a crapflood, some trolls write or copy offtopic stories into their comments. Many involve gratuitous and homoerotic sex scenes with the names of Slashdot's editors or other open source celebrities substituted for the characters in the original story. Other stories generally have no set topic and are usually nonsensical and surreal as well as offensive. Some trolls simply post comments that are completely incoherent on any level. Occasionally, trolls may post Base64 encoded images and comments, which appear nonsensical until decoded, whereupon they appear merely offensive (most of the time).

Page widening/lengthening[edit]

The original page widening posts were simple messages consisting of one long stream of characters with no spaces. This caused browsers to render a very wide page with horizontal scroll bars, making it nearly impossible to read the comments page. Slashdot began inserting spaces into any long run of characters to prevent this and so began the evolutionary battle between Slashcode and the page widening trolls. Newer and more inventive ways of causing page widening were discovered, with the use of blockquote tags and the "." character to cause extreme widening on Internet Explorer. These methods were also eventually closed off by the Slashdot editors. Improvements in browser software have also closed many of the loopholes used to widen pages.

Offensive trolls[edit]

Trolls in this category are those intended to be offensive, or those which take the reader to potentially offensive sites. A popular technique amongst Slashdot trolls is to post links to "shock sites" in order to annoy and offend other readers by tricking them into following the links. This is often accomplished by posting the link under the guise of being another link to the article or a rebuttal to the article.

A variation on this theme is for a troll to accuse a legitimate link or comment as being a link or reference to a shock site. In some cases this can have the desired effect of a genuinely insightful comment being moderated downward. Another technique is to embed a shock site link in a comment that otherwise appears relevant to the discussion, in the hope that unwitting moderators will mod up the post. The Holy Grail of this type of troll may be to slip a story submission containing a "shock site" link past the Slashdot editors. This situation occurred in July 2003 and June 2004 when disgruntled webmasters configured their servers to redirect to a shock site when the HTTP referrer was Slashdot.

One particular "shock site" which is overwhelmingly preferred to others is Goatse.cx. This has spawned a large number of other references such as ASCII art of its signature image (hello.jpg) within a square border, and with a derogatory word written inside the anus of the man in the picture. The 'Penis bird' troll, a crude ASCII representation of a bird perched on an erect penis, is another common variant. Troll postings often contain an ASCII art representation of some offensive image, often related to shock sites, with a nonsensical or provocative subject line.

As a result of these trolling techniques, the Slashdot team introduced a feature which appends the domain name a link points to immediately behind that link in every comment to make disguising links more difficult. (e.g. "See Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]") When this was implemented, people used mirrors and CGI redirection scripts run by Yahoo!, Slashdot or other servers to circumvent this measure.

Homosexuality and racism[edit]

Homosexuality is one of the most versatile and popular trolling devices used. In its simplest form it may be used on its own in the form of a homophobic insult or as a feature of a pornographic troll featuring common Slashdot topics and celebrities. Goatse.cx (see above "shock site" section) also takes advantage of homophobia. Racism is another ploy, sometimes used for effect in conjunction with homosexuality which usually causes offense to individuals unfamiliar with it. At its crudest it simply takes the form of repeated racial insults.

One of the more persistent homosexual- and racism-oriented trolls is the "GAY NIGGER" troll. This troll is perpetrated by a group calling themselves the "Gay Nigger Association of America", which encourages people to join by first watching the 1992 Danish low-budget movie Gayniggers From Outer Space, attaining a first post, and applying on an IRC channel. The group distributes pre-formatted troll postings which users can paste into Slashdot. Although the group claims that membership requirements include, in their own words, that one be a "GAY NIGGER", it is understood that its members are neither homosexual nor of African descent, except perhaps by coincidence.

Anti-semitism[edit]

Anti-semitism, and Nazism in particular, is now considered highly offensive across the modern world, a fact exploited by some Slashdot trolls intent on causing maximum offense to the reader. The most basic anti-semitic trolls usually involve posting pro-Nazi statements such as "Heil Hitler", sometimes accompanied by a crude ASCII-art swastika, and are usually very promptly moderated down as Flamebait.

Less blatent trolls might involve anti-Jewish conspiricy theories, in the spirit of such conspiricy theories rampant during the late 19th and early 20th century. The GNAA (above), for example, is currently waging a campaign accusing the Jews as a whole, and the State of Israel specifically, as being responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks. [1] [2]

In a somewhat related vein, trolls often inhabit science or technology stories concerning Israel, dropping into the discussion completely unrelated posts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Given the nature and sensitivity of this subject, these comments are usually successful in their aim of igniting a flame war.

Nationalistic insults[edit]

One recurrent topic of discussion on Slashdot is the cultural quarrel between the United States and Europe. As an example, some American (or one portraying oneself as such) may run a joke on France, or may accuse Europeans of being "weenies" or not supporting democracy and civil rights. Some Europeans (or those portraying themselves as such) may accuse Americans of lacking culture, or of being warmongers or "cowboys".

The effect of such trolls is compounded by the immaturity and lack of political culture of many participants on both sides, who comment on foreign events they scarcely know about according to clichés seen in the mass media.

Deceptive trolls[edit]

Often, trolls are created with the purpose of tricking the reader into viewing offensive or misleading information, or to deceive them in some way.

Article text alteration trolls[edit]

Considered by many to be an effective satirisation of those who post comments consisting of a linked article's text (most often in case of the Slashdot effect) for positive moderation (see karma whores), these are arguably some of the most creative and entertaining found on Slashdot. These trolls consist of the linked article's text, copied into a comment, usually accompanied by a subject line indicating that the site has been slashdotted. One or more words, phrases, or paragraphs are covertly inserted or modified to form a subversive or offensive message not present in the original article. These can be in the form of film or book spoilers, or words changed to produce sexual innuendoes, amongst other things. Often moderators will 'mod-up' the comment based solely on its title and the overall appearance of the text, assuming that the comment is helpfully providing the verbatim text of the unavailable site. Comments that have been repeatedly modded-up become more visible and carry an air of validity. Troll comments that fool more moderators therefore trick more readers.

When other users spot the troll, many of them respond with comments warning other users of the deception and asking moderators to decrease the troll's visibility. The most concise posts are empty with the emphatic subject line: "TROLL - MOD PARENT DOWN". Other users go further by pointing out each instance where the troll post differs from the original article. This phenomenon has trolls of its own, wherein a response will describe extra changes that are not present in the original troll post. This "troll-on-troll" phenomenon further increases confusion. Still more confusion is introduced when trolls respond to "Mod Parent Down" comments with rebuttals claiming that the original troll was a legitimate copy of the article, and that it is instead the accusers who are the trolls. Depending on the subtlety and believability of the changes, readers may remain confused until the site with the original article becomes available again. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the Slashdot effect, the original article may not become available again until most readers have lost interest and moved on.

"Mod Parent Down" posts are sometimes seen as comments on legitimate posts, presumably as an attempt to disrupt the thread.

Web vendor referral trolls[edit]

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some other WWW vendors have a system whereby a user can post links on their (or others) websites, and gain a small commission per person following the link. These trolls post what appear to be discussion, with links to source material, but are really elaborate advertisements.

Signature trolls[edit]

Signature trolls are an advanced and effective method of trolling, commonly used in reviews of software. The troll posts an insightful comment, which is moderated up based on its merit. The troll then changes his post signature to include an extra link, usually to a shock site. Comments on Slashdot cannot be edited after posting, but the user's signature text is updated within the comment whenever the user changes it. When the troll changes his signature, the malicious link becomes part of the highly-moderated comment. With careful wording, the signature can seamlessly blend in with the post and trick many readers.

The dynamic signature can cause even more confusion when the troll, after being found out, changes his signature back to make his accusers appear false. As the accusatory comments receive negative moderation for appearing false, the accusers lose points from their karma score, resulting in another victory for the troll.

Movie spoiler[edit]

This is a more subtle troll than most. It consists, for the most part, of a genuinely insightful comment split into several paragraphs, with the middle or penultimate paragraph containing one or more movie spoilers.

Idiosyncratic trolls[edit]

Trolls that don't fall into the other three categories are idiosyncratic, and their existence is a result of an inside joke related to the workings of Slashdot culture or history or of geek culture itself.

First post[edit]

Whenever a new story is posted on Slashdot, comments may be added discussing it and there is often competition between Slashdotters to be the first to post such a comment. Some first posters try to make a short insightful comment to avoid being moderated down. The more immature first posts often consist of a subject saying "first post!" or merely "FP" and have no body. Trolls may also post "first post" messages a ridiculously long time after the original story has been submitted as a parody of the first post. There are many other variants of the first post, usually misspellings to avoid the lameness filter: "Frist psot!". Some troll organizations require prospective members to post a 'First Post' on Slashdot using some pre-specified text, which may explain the persistence of the 'First Post' troll.

Netcraft confirms it[edit]

Quite frequently (especially for BSD-related stories) a comment will be posted providing dubious statistics from Netcraft (a network services vendor and internet research firm) and many links detailing the forthcoming death of the BSD operating systems. With its bogus statistics and inflammatory language the original "*BSD is dying" troll was enormously successful, and was still guaranteed to generate responses years after it first appeared. The troll typically starts with the phrase, "Netcraft confirms <victim> is dying", modelled after similar but authentic confirmations revealed by Netcraft in their research. Not surprisingly, many variants of this troll were created: Slashdot/VA Linux/Linux/BeOS/Apple (see examples below) is dying, variants on the original link-laden *BSD troll, and even elaborate poetry and song. None were as successful as the original.

Stephen King is dead[edit]

Used simply as an off-topic troll or even a red herring, the American writer, Stephen King, has his very own subculture repeating the myth of his death:

The canonical text of the troll is as follows:

Subject: Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 54
I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

This joke has also been used to recognize actual celebrity deaths. The format has also been used outside of Slashdot, usually on other message boards, to announce or memorialize actual deaths.

Hot grits/Natalie Portman[edit]

Back in the day, an anonymous troller (aka the "hot grits guy") would post a reply to every story with a simple "I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you." While he mostly got modded down as a troll, the hot grits guy is really the first recurring troll on Slashdot.

Natalie Portman is a popular target for this troll. When referring to her, they frequently profess their endless love for a statue of the naked and petrified actress, preferably covered in hot grits. Naked and Petrified is now such an infamous troll that it virtually epitomizes Slashdot trolling, and is often referred to and parodied in Slashdot comments. Other incarnations of the troll suggest that Natalie Portman pour hot grits into their (the trolls') underwear.

Reigniting flamewars[edit]

Popular on software and development articles, this troll tries to explain why a particular operating system, programming language or other concept is inferior to others, in a way intended to annoy, intending to start a flamewar. This type of troll will either make an outlandish and obvious claim or subtly use a valid criticism of something in an aggravating fashion.

For example:

These types of post, usually moderated down as flamebait, sometimes cause a flamewar to begin amongst those who reply and thus the troll gets his 'bite' (See You Have Been Trolled et al.).

Minor trolls[edit]

  • The Get Some PRIORITIES! troll began to appear after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. A classic offtopic troll, it employs highly hyperbolic language to criticize the other posters and Slashdot in general for discussing trivialities like new gadgets or changes in U.S. copyright law in the wake of such a horrific event. ( see this post for an example).
  • The Think about your breathing troll causes the user to think about their breathing, and it claims to be the most effective troll ever.
  • The Think about your parents having hot sweaty sex next time you masturbate troll intends to implant offensive images in the mind of the reader the next time he or she masturbates.
  • The Is it good or is it whack? troll: This troll responds to a comment by asking of the comment's subject, "What's [subject] all about? Is it good or is it whack?". In general, this troll aims to suggest wide-eyed naïveté about a well-understood subject. This phrase comes from the popular comic character in the UK and the US, Ali G.
  • The I Fail It! / I succeed it! trolls originally came from the computer game Blazing Star in which the game over message read: "You fail it! Your skill is not enough, see you next time, bye-bye".
  • The My freelance gig in front of a Mac trolls appear in virtually every discussion about Apple Computer. The troll claims to have witnessed <the latest Apple hardware> taking 20 minutes to copy a 17 MB file from one folder to another and proceeds to question all Apple users as to their platform choice. It is a straight forward copy-and-paste from a weblog entry by Jason Kottke.
  • The I find your ideas intriguing / interesting and wish to subscribe to your newsletter / journal troll is a common sycophantic reply to a post that may or may not have merit. ( see this post for an example). (This is a quote from an episode of the Simpsons.)
  • The Stalkers are trolls who fixate on a user and reply to all their posts anoymously usually repeating some sort of an insult. Most stalkers are probably members of the "Gay Nigger Association of America"
  • The in space! trolls appeared after the slashdot article, "IP6 tested in space", and reiterate the story headline with "in space!!" attached to the end, for example "New Apple Desktops Released in space!!"

See also[edit]

Przepla 00:11, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)