Baiting (trolling)

This page is about an internet trolling technique, for the fraud method see bait and switch.
Baiting is similar to trolling, baiters try to elicit a response from other users. The response is supposed to be embarrassing to the user in question, and humorous to others. Baiters frequently concentrate on unpopular groups (in that forum), such as pedophiles, fraudsters (often 419 fraudsters), religious fundamentalists and racists. Baiters do not need to make sense, and is often simply written to baffle the baitee, and to produce an interesting result. Baiting is similar to telephone prank calls, but often much more elaborate.

On Internet forums, baiting is sometimes used in attempts to empty forums or reduce a forum's usage. This type of baiting is usually done to make the atmosphere of a forum appear unpleasant or to make forum owners, moderators and long-time users look foolish. A person using this kind of baiting may post comments to elicit rude responses from prominent members of a forum, thus making the responding member or members appear as trolls or flamers to bystanders. As a result, forum users in general may become disgusted and leave the forum.

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