Amateur trolls will stumble their way clumsily through a trolling campaign aimlessly poking and prodding at every red button they see until they get some sort of reaction, often only by sheer blind luck. They have no clear goals and no real process for achieving their goals.
Professionals Have Sophisticated Strategies
Professionals , like Mike David of REDBAR Radio, draw on their decades of experience combined with their deep knowledge of celebrity psychology to design and execute well-orchestrated trolling campaigns. They choose their targets wisely, set clear goals, and execute with flawless precision to get to the payoff point with the lowest amount of resources consumed.
REDBAR’s latest trolling of Dane Cook is a perfect example of how a master operates with grace and precision to achieve their goals.
A Master Class in Internet Trolling
I know it looks easy, but remember that Mike’s a professional who’s been at this since the birth of the web, and has incrementally refined his techniques over this time.
This video serves as a masterclass in professional-grade internet trolling.
Are you feeling bad about the performance of your own past trolling campaigns? Don’t.
Remember that Mike’s at a point in his profession where he can make a highly sophisticated operation look like a walk in the park. You might get the impression that you’re a failure, but you’re not.
What you need to do is to refine your skills.
Choose your own master and boil down their experience into a set of principles that you can incorporate into your own operations.
I’ve boiled Mike’s strategy down into 6 basic principles to help you you kick things off.
The 6 Timeless Principles of Internet Trolling
PRINCIPLE #1: Choose Your Targets Carefully
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT step in your campaign. If you start the campaign off on the wrong foot you’re already setting yourself up for failure.
Choosing the wrong target can lead to months or years of frustration and confusion with no ultimate payoff. Choosing the right target can elevate you to experience levels of personal satisfaction you thought was only possible through illicit substances.
Follow these guidelines when choosing your target, and you’ve already improved your chances of success:
Make sure your target has a fragile ego
No fish takes the bait on a full stomach. A target with a strong sense of self won’t even bat an eye at your bait. You have to make sure that your target has a strong appetite for the attention and validation of others.
Celebrities are a sure bet. Their entire existence is centered around finding and feasting on the attention and validation of others. No other profession attracts more of these zombies than showbusiness.
Hoards of hollow, self-centered, weak-ego’d maniacs fly into Los Angeles from all around the world every year in search of a mythical land abundant in adoration and validation. It’s pathetic, I know. But it’s also the fertile farmland where you can pick out the perfect targets for your campaign.
Right now, there’s an epidemic of low-grade self-centered celebrities who’ve cloaked themselves under the banner of comedy. They take the stage as pretend standup comedians, not to speak the truth, but in the desperate pursuite of validation. These are the types of targets that Mike tends to choose. This is why I’m in support of Mike’s crusade.
Make sure you actually hate the person you’re choosing
If you choose someone you don’t really hate, you won’t be able to carry your campaign on for more than a day or two. This is a surefire way to fail right away.
On instagram I’ll just say some random stuff to people who I believe are bad people.Mike David, REDBAR Radio @ 0:04 of the masterclass video
Society looks down at the concept of hate, but it is a perfectly legitimate human emotion and bears no less significance in your life than any other emotion you feel. It’s also the ONLY fuel that can keep you going long enough to achieve success using these principles.
Consider their followers
Your target has a crew of followers that you’ll eventually have to deal with. Make sure you’ve given some thought to the types of people that follow and support your target and have a good sense of the types of blowback you’re going to get once you have a snag.
If you have no strategy for handling the followers, then put this target on ice until you’ve done more reconnaissance and devised a strategy for holding strong during the inevitable blowback you’re going to receive.
Going in blind against the followers can crash your whole campaign.
PRINCIPLE #2: Invest Lightly in Your Initial Bait
Preserving resources is a fundamental pillar of Mike’s strategy. He understands that the initial investment into the campaign has to be very low because it gives him many shots at snagging the fool over a longer period of time.
Very simple, delicious, reasonable, easy, takes 10 seconds. Done.Mike David, REDBAR Radio @ 3:04 in the masterclass video
This is an element of the strategy that most beginner level trolls get completely wrong. They barge into their targets’ Instagram profiles with both guns blazing and a “take no prisoners” attitude. This rarely works, if ever.
What’s worse, is that it drains you of the valuable resources that you need to sustain yourself through the rest of the campaign. There are many more difficult steps ahead, and you might be running multiple campaigns in parallel.
You need to preserve as much of your time, attention, and creativity as possible to get yourself through the peak pressures of all your ongoing campaigns.
PRINCIPLE #3: Exercise Continued Patience
Trolling is ALWAYS a long game. Trying too hard to snag the target too quickly is going to have the total opposite effect. If you’re outed as a troll early, you’ve lost your chance to get the payoff.
Good investors enter into new investment positions using something called Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). This same principle applies here.
You have to remain relentlessly passive throughout the weeks and months that it can take you to get a snag. You have to lightly pepper your target with your bait every so often, and slowly build things up until you get noticed. A little nagging comment here, a little snide remark there. Nothing too blatant or abusive until you get a bite.
This principle is complementary to Principle #2. If you invest little in your initial bait, you’ll automatically be exercising a high degree of patience by default. The key is to maintain that disposition over the long waiting period until you get the snag.
PRINCIPLE #4: Be Fair
Once you get your snag, you’re going to be tempted to go straight for the jugular and begin feasting on your catch. But you’re not an animal like your target. You’re a civilized human being with a strong moral compass, and you have to behave as such.
As soon as your target bites down on the bait, the balance of power shifts completely into your hands. If you’re a newbie with little past experience, you’re at risk here. You’re unlikely to understand that power has to be wielded carefully and responsibly.
Don’t make the rookie mistake at this point.
The seasoned professionals know the overwhelming corrupting influence that having power will bring. They know that using their power in a belligerent way will lose them the respect of their peers and their supporters.
Giving the weak a chance at survival is not only a show of mercy that wins you respect, but it is also the ultimate display of the power that you hold.
This is what’s different about what I do and just straight-up lying. You’re giving them opportunities to go ‘oh this guy’s kidding, lets not freak the f*ck out’.Mike David, REDBAR Radio @ 7:12 in the masterclass video
You have to tame your inner demon and give your target a fair chance to see the error of their ways so they have the opportunity to repent.
If that’s too far of a stretch, you should at least give them the chance to understand that they are being trolled, so they can re-compose themselves and walk away with minimal damage done.
This escape hatch should only stay open for a brief period of time. After that, it’s all on them.
PRINCIPLE #5: Enjoy the Payoff
This is what you came here for, so take your time and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work and patience.
The goal here is to keep them coming back for more for as long as you can and savoring every little bite that you take out of their fragile egos every time they come at you.
If you’ve chosen your target right, then you know exactly what buttons you have to push to get puncture through their soft exterior shell to poke their sensitive little insecurities. Keep poking and prodding until they get smart about what’s going on. Principles #2 and #3 still apply here. The more subtle your jabs, the longer you’re going to have them with you.
Here are a few tactics that Mike employes with Dane and his followers.
Always double down
When you’re called out on your bullsh*t, you have to immediately double down on your initial claim.
Not only do you sternly repeat the same accusation, but you appeal to authority by bringing in fictitious 3rd parties to corroborate your story.
I like including a make-belief character into my post to enrage the audience.Mike David, REDBAR Radio @ 5:53 in the masterclass video
Always roll with a (made-up) crew of experts
It can be a crew of judges, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, architects, photoshop specialists; whatever suits the situation. Make sure you always roll deep with a fictitious crew of about 5 to 10 experts in your back pocket at all times. Not only does this fake crew give you more legitimacy, but they also absorb much of the blowback that comes from the followers, leaving you with even more time and energy to keep poking your target.
In this example, Dane’s followers start attacking the fictitious specialist while Mike steps to the side to regroup, re-load, and re-engage.
Pretend like you’re hurt
Another good strategy for deflating the blowback is to pretend like you’ve been hurt much more than you actually have been.
How the FU*K is this photoshopped????? Are you a moron! This is 100% real. Get a life!Mike responding to one of Dane’s followers with fake outrage after receiving blowback @ 30:03 of the masterclass video
Followers are followers for a reason. They’re not that smart. Otherwise, they would be leaders.
Followers can be easily fooled into thinking they’ve done damage. This satisfies their urge for revenge and neutralizes their vitriol, all the while you sit and chuckle at the fact that you’ve fooled them again.
PRINCIPLE #6: Exit Gracefully
The target decides when it’s done. Not you.
As soon as they’ve caught on, they’re going to do everything they can to recover from the embarrassment of falling into your trap. You can’t stop this, nor should you try.
You’ve enjoyed your payoff, and now that they’ve re-composed themselves, it’s time for you to let things go. Any further investment in keeping them engaged is a waste of your time and effort.
Exit as gracefully as you entered. Move onto the next campaign.
Like I said earlier, REDBAR’s a seasoned expert, and you’ll have to work your way up to his level of effectiveness. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get the same results as he does just yet.
Understand your strengths, know your weaknesses and build up your strategy & skills accordingly. Keep working on your craft and you’ll be snagging up the big fish before you know it.
I should get some sort of award for this.Mike, REDBAR Radio @ 0:49 of the masterclass video
As for Mike,
I agree, Mike definitely deserves some sort of award for this.