Troll like a pro (or con?)

Homos Sapiens loves drama. To maintain tension, we need two end points, extremes, opposite sides. We can then divide the society into two groups, to build and differentiate our identity.

And that’s where the drama begins. We love to think that we are good and they are bad, we are right and they are wrong, we are smart and they are inept. It’s all fun and games until we blow off the steam through sport rivalry, stand-up comedy or by making sure that the grass is always greener on your side.

The problems come when we want to destroy the other group. This can happen in the form of elections, wars, or just by forcing them to follow our norms by asserting our dominance. But what should those people do, who do not want to choose a side?

An epic fight between different opinions (early 21st century)

This is the right moment to flip the CoIn. After all, coins have two sides, but gambling is not a piece of cake. How to have your cake and eat it too?

Imagine a news site that displays brief pieces of facts in a neutral manner, like a quote from a politician, a law passed by Congress, etc. It focuses on news that divide people. A natural disaster, for example, is not too relevant, but the Prime Minister’s controversial comment on the same disaster is.

You may argue that so far, it sounds like a great tool to make things even worse. But that’s where this site is different from the traditional news outlets. In stead of adding commentary, the editors compile a list of 10 pro and 10 con arguments. Or the list is compiled by the community (just like a wiki page).

A troll compiling a list of pro and con arguments before it gets too dark

In stead of asking the readers to vote on which side they support, they are asked to rank each pro argument and each con argument. For example, if A, B and C are pro and D, E and F are con arguments, some readers’ preferences could be BCA and FDE, meaning that B is the strongest pro and F is the strongest con argument in their opinion. This encourages people to analyze both side’s arguments from multiple perspectives. I call it ProConTroll. ProConTroll compares pros and cons, gives control to the community, and trolls the media. What do you think?

Homework: Bring an example of divisive news, and list some pros and cons. A political party’s main agenda is eternal life and free beer. Select the most important pro and con:

Originally published at on December 30, 2021.




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