Concern trolling

"But I come to you... only out of... CONCERN!"

Concern trolling is a form of silencing where the troll "supports" the theory of a group, but has issues with its praxis.[1] This is intended to sow discord and dissent within a community. This type of derailing either makes the discussion about praxis or reverts it to discussing the minutiae of the basis of theory. Concern trolls are not always aware they are concern trolls. They may view themselves as allies, but have not (yet) found a particular aspect of theory they like.

Alternatively, they can claim they largely agree with the theory of a group, but argue that activities of the group may be harming the wider movement.

Tactics

  • Tone policing
  • Condesplaining basic theory
  • "You'll get more flies with honey."
  • "You're too emotional"
  • "You're harming the community"
  • [Privileged experience] trump card
  • Oppression Olympics
  • "X issue is worse than Y"
  • "Both sides do it"
  • Fallacy of the middle ground
  • Excessive hedging and caveats

History

The term "concern trolling" appears to originate from DailyKos.[2]

Concern trolling versus actual concerns

Sometimes there are valid criticisms to be made of movements, but if the person is using the listed tactics, it is likely they are acting in bad faith. Sometimes a person can be genuine, but still come off as a concern troll due to the above tactics, especially derailing.

Valid criticism can be made without falling into the pit of the above tactics. However, it must be done carefully.

See also

External Links

References