If you've ever been on the Metal Hammer Facebook page, you'll no doubt be aware that we, like many other mags and businesses that use social media, are prone to attracting rather less-than-savoury comments on the odd topic or two. Unsure what we mean? Here's our guide to troll-spotting...
You devise witheringly satirical, sub-MAD Magazine-style names for bands you don’t like, such as Wimperor, Dummy Burger, Children Of Boredom, Arse Enema, DragonFarce, Manowank, Metallicrap, Cradle Of Shite, Shitewish etc. If you’re truly a Grade A Metal Troll you might even add some of these as entries on urbandictionary.com.
You use imaginary, spurious and derisive generic categories for bands you don’t like (or, more likely, for bands you don’t like the look of, especially their hairstyles) and proceed to use them as default criticisms in lieu of argument in forum threads about bands you haven’t really heard. Particular favourite terms might include ‘mallcore’, ‘brocore’ or ‘hipster metal’ – the latter especially useful for describing any bands that have more than 500 likes on Facebook.
Your minuscule sense of self-worth is fractionally inflated on being the first person to join a tribute thread to a recently deceased metal legend and call them either a ‘fag’ or a ‘poser’.
You moan about how much you hate the trendy patched denim jackets that you were happy to wear a few years ago when you thought they were frightfully kvlt, before James Hetfield and Robb Flynn started wearing theirs, without noticing that you’re simply following fashion from the opposite perspective – same reason you stopped collecting tapes when you read about how hipsters were wearing Walkmans ironically.
You start a Facebook page to proclaim your hatred for fans of a faintly successful band or genre based solely on fictional motivations that you’ve lazily ascribed to people you’ve never actually met. Extra points if you’ve written something sarcastic in Impact font and superimposed it onto a photograph, or drawn a cartoon caricature of someone you didn’t like the look of at a Kreator concert.
You do your most profound elitist posturing while sitting alone at your computer in your pants stained with semen and tears.
Your favourite bands haven’t released an album you like for 20+ years, although you only heard those for the first time a few years ago when you ripped them off a Blogspot.
You campaign to have any bands with neck tattoos removed from metalarchives.com.
You create multiple usernames to back yourself up in forum arguments like ‘A7X is gay’, ‘Dream Theater is gay’ and multiple casually homophobic variations on ‘that band you all like is actually rubbish, not good like you think, aaahh’.
You initially loathed Babymetal with a passion, and spent more time raging against any mention of them on the internet than most of their fans have ever spent listening to their music (being both female and Japanese, they presented a particularly easy target for the sort of people who like to spout racist misogyny to get themselves noticed) you’re beginning to realise that you could annoy more people and appear more interesting by claiming to like them.