Of Trolls And Sock Puppets

There is a school of thought that says one of my regular readers and commenters is a “troll”.
Trolls are always irritating people.
But irritating people are not always trolls.
The question has been asked a few times. “Is Factual for real?”.
To be honest I have no idea. The only thing that I THINK I know is that Factual is a young woman from affluent Dalkey in County Dublin. She is apparently a student in London.
Of course this is only what I THINK I know. Thats the thing about pseudonyms. A few years ago, I was amazed when a Slugger O’Toole Alliance type called me a “failed SDLP politician from North Belfast”. I assumed he meant Martin Morgan, a former Belfast Mayor an SDLP Euro cadidate.
When he added some time later that he was brought up reading my column in the Irish News, it dawned on me that he thought I was Brian Feeney.
Perhaps I should have said something but it was too much fun. Especially when the crack troops of Alliances “Slugger O’Toole Battalion” believed the nonsense and that well known incisive journo from Slugger chided me for posting under a pseudonym “Come off it Brian”

Maybe I should have said something. Because they had all assumed something, they were less willing to believe me when I said that I wasnt Brian Feeney. But that only added to the fun.
Oddly at least two of these folks are people referred to as “highly regarded”. Poor old Granni Trixie must have been on holiday because she still thought I was Brian Feeney for a long time after that.

There is something almost Wizard of Oz about …Bloggers. The truth when revealed is surprisingly mundane. The Wizard of Oz hid behind a screen. So do I. When the screen was pulled away, the Great Wizard was revealed as an inoffensive old geezer. When the computer screen is taken away….I am an inoffensive old geezer.
It is of course more difficult now to stay under the radar.
Pseudonyms are great.
How else could I have enjoyed polite conversation with a guy at the counter of a sandwich bar in the Hi Park Centre…knowing I had irritated him the night before on Slugger O’Toole?

So is Factual a troll? Or just someone who asks far too supplementary questions…like my five year old grandson?
No idea.
Or a sock puppet operated from the Titanic Quarter?
No idea.
Intriguing as it is…that a person knows so much and so little… I still have no idea.
My current theory is a composite character operated by several different people.
Only She…or is it He knows?

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18 Responses to Of Trolls And Sock Puppets

  1. factual says:

    It is funny that someone thought you were Brian Feeney. You don’t really have the same styles of writing in my opinion, though you are both interesting to read.

    I am not going to comment again on this thread but I want to say that I hope I make a contribution that taken on the whole is worthwhile and I hope that I am not on the whole annoying.

  2. Bill says:

    Must say,I always thought you were Brian Feeney too!

  3. Bill says:

    Is Brian still a member of the SDLP?

    • No.
      Well not as far as I know.
      A lot of people in SDLP are highly critical of stuff that he writes.
      Others take my view that he is exactly the sort of person that SDLP need on their side.
      SDLP spend far too much time trying to convince “middle ground” (I use the term loosely) people to vote for them and really therebare mainstream nationalist voters who can be approached.
      Brian Feeney is a link to those people.
      getting him onside would be big for SDLP.
      But as always SDLP treats its friends badly and its enemies well.

  4. Bill says:

    “But as always SDLP treats its friends badly and its enemies well”
    I await Albans statement on Gerry Kelly riding the PSNI landrover on Friday night with interest,after all,he was there.:-)

  5. Mekonged says:

    You know you’ve made in in the Blogosphere when Factual enters the fray. So FJH and BD take the plaudits.

    • Mekonged says:

      I think its ok to mention P.ie here. Did anyone ever follow ‘Billy the Prod’ from East Belfast? He had a row with the boyfriend and ended up driving in South Down. Apparently first time ever than crossed the border and was amazed at the serenity of the South and cut of the people. So with this damascene reappraisal he returned to E. Belfast hating what the Brits had inflicted on his culture’s psyche for generations and supportive of their removal from Ireland. He used to drive the loyalists, who’d descended on Pie on mass in the wake of their exposé of Iris and the busboy, well drive them pur bananas. There must have been mass suspicion down the Glens club not seen since the naive young lass Annmarie crossed the door. So huge upheaval on the banished Northern Ireland page with accusations of Republican troll ect but then he just vanishes. Can’t help but think he’s XXXXXXXXXX waiting for one of us to convince him is conversion is just.

      • No problem mentioning Pie but I edited out the screen name of an individual as he is completely unknown to me.
        I dont really care much for P.ie.
        It seems dominated by partitionists, north and south…qand a nasty selfish element.
        People refer to the Internet as social media but most of the voices there eem extmely anti-social.

  6. hoboroad says:

    Factual is a troll. He/She/They are obviously trolling this site still it is a form flattery as this site has come to the attention. He/She/They are probably working in a building belonging to MI5 in Holywood.

  7. bangordub says:

    Ah Factual,
    A comment without an opinion of your own or an answer to the question posed?

  8. Political Tourist says:

    Trolls, orcs, hobbits and sockpuppets.

    Whatever next.

  9. Political Tourist says:

    As long as the ‘Wombles’ don’t appear everything should be okay.

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