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Scott Adams admits he’s a troll online

Back when Dilbert creator Scott Adams was being castigated for a post he wrote on men’s rights which included comparing women’s preferential treatment to the mentally handicapped he made a curious statement:

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I was enjoying all of the negative attention on Twitter and wondered how I could keep it going. So I left some comments on several Feminist blogs, mostly questioning the reading comprehension of people who believed I had insulted them. That kept things frothy for about a day. Now things are starting to settle down. It’s time for some DMD.

Now we’re learning that Scott has been doing this for quite awhile. Lately he’s been using the name PlannedChaos on the website Metafilter to argue with critics and to brag about how successful and intelligent he is. It was revealed that PlannedChaos and Scott are one in the same.

In one post on Metafilter, Scott declares himself to be a certified genius:

As far as Adams’ ego goes, maybe you don’t understand what a writer does for a living. No one writes unless he believes that what he writes will be interesting to someone. Everyone on this page is talking about him, researching him, and obsessing about him. His job is to be interesting, not loved. As someone mentioned, he has a certified genius I.Q., and that’s hard to hide.

On his blog, Scott defends his actions and explains why trolling is useful.

Some time ago, I learned the hard way that posting messages with my own identity turns any discussion into an orgy of name-calling. When I’m personally involved, people speculate that I’m being defensive, or back pedaling, or being a douche nozzle, or trying to weasel my way out of something. Speaking with my true identity also draws too much attention to the very rumors I’m trying to extinguish. In contrast, when my spunky alter ego weighs in, people generally focus on the facts presented, including checking the source material to see my writing in context. The masked vigilante strategy worked well until recently. And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun.

Go ahead and read the whole thing so you can get the full context yourself. Personally, this latest episode and the misogynist post makes Scott come across as going Charlie Sheen on everyone.

I’ll close this post by quoting a fake interview between himself and this pseudonym persona that he’s posted on his blog:

Are you just a troll?

Scott: If I understand the term, trolling involves off-topic comments with no purpose other than to get people worked up. My main purpose is generally to add context to the stuff that trolls and issue advocates have posted online about me. My primary motivation is economic as opposed to evil. But I do have a twitchy trigger finger when I run into sadists and bullies online. So while I generally enter an online conversation with the intent of suppressing damaging misunderstandings, I’ve been known to empty my clip once I’m there. I’m not proud of that. I’m also not proud that my personal hero is the bigger kid in this video. I’ll own that.

Here’s the video he references.

One last thing. In his post to defend himself, Scott says that he does this as damage control – that rumors on the internet can cause so much damage to his brand and income. All I can say is… if damage control is your goal… you’re “winning.”

Community Comments

#1 Zoe Kirk-Robinson
April/19/2011
@ 9:08 am

“When I?m personally involved, people speculate that I?m … being a douche nozzle”

Given how he acts, people are right to.

#2 Uland Krzyz
April/19/2011
@ 9:36 am

It’s funny that Adams is made to look like a jerk while Gawker and Metafilter ? who both attack Adams whenever given the slightest opportunity? are basically doing the same thing he is, except they’re not defending anything, or have any purpose beyond talking trash about the ( yes, eccentric and cranky) guy who does Dilbert.
I’m on his side.

#3 donna lewis
April/19/2011
@ 11:53 am

I think that trashing makes for a lot of internet activity and that it’s easy. The internet trashing culture also seems conducive to a good deal of misdirected hostility. I’ve been called names by people who have never met me or even tried to know me or engage in discourse. I’ve been called names that don’t even make sense.

I miss the old days when you would only know that someone had trashed you after you heard it through the grapevine…and then you couldn’t even be sure what was originally said because of the way that the information was transmitted. In the old days, nobody talked directly to the person who trashed them. Except in movies.

#4 Jeff Darcy
April/19/2011
@ 12:40 pm

The infamous ‘Bad Cartoonist’ finally reveals himself

#5 Dave Stephens
April/19/2011
@ 1:40 pm

The bigger kid was being bullied by the smaller kid – and good for him for fighting back and winning decisively – that bigger kid is my hero, too…

Violence isn’t the answer… Except when it is. ;)

#6 Stephen Beals
April/19/2011
@ 1:45 pm

I don’t think Scott Adams is the first person to use a pseudonym to go online and defend himself. I’ve heard of celebrities claiming to do this. Maybe Scott is the first to go into great detail about all of it.

When I was reading the Metafilter thread, I thought it was all pretty funny. Scott called himself a genius using his pseudonym while defending himself. Something about it made me think that talking about yourself as somebody else would be a great psychological exercise, but only if you didn’t play the part of your biggest fan.

Internet trashing ultimately bored me. It naturally evolved from office gossip, appropriately enough from a lot of people online at work, and involved recycling anger with mysterious roots over and over.

I did this at a job I had. There were four women who spent the day gossiping relentlessly. So I started planting fake stories: my girlfriend was pregnant, she was an addict, and the methadone clinic told her she could only be on so many milligrams while pregnant … I mean, I really laid it on thick. I was young and it was fun, but eventually exhausting. When the truth was all revealed, we just stopped talking to each other, which was how it should’ve been in the first place.

These people don’t represent your fan base, Scott, and aren’t hurting your brand. Pull back before they drive you crazy.

#7 donna lewis
April/19/2011
@ 1:54 pm

I think I’ll plant a story that I’m homeless. That should get me fans.

Or maybe a scientologist.

Oh great…now the homeless are probably offended.

Forget it.

#8 Ed Power
April/19/2011
@ 2:12 pm

Wait, are we supposed to believe he was doing it in fun?

It sounds to me like he just got caught and backpeddled.

If we’re going to do that, then I’m actually Mort Walker and I did my comic under a psuedonym because I wanted to know what it was like to fail to remain syndicated.

Now you know. ;)

#9 Mark Tatulli
April/19/2011
@ 2:31 pm

I’m actually Stephan Pastis. I just post under Mark’s name.

#10 Stephan Pastis
April/19/2011
@ 2:32 pm

I post as Donna Lewis.

#11 THE Scott Adams
April/19/2011
@ 2:46 pm

If Mark Tatulli is the Jesus Christ of the comics page, Stephan Pastis is its Judas. Being of genius I.Q., I think I’m safe in saying that.

Discuss.

#12 Alan Gardner
April/19/2011
@ 3:00 pm

I should add that based on IP address “THE Scott Adams” above is not THE Scott Adams. I’m sure someone with a genius I.Q. would have been smart enough to use a proxy or an IP masking service.

#13 Scott Adams
April/19/2011
@ 3:14 pm

But I really am Scott Adams. And I have to say…Who the f#ck is Mark Tatulli?

#14 Stephen Beals
April/19/2011
@ 3:21 pm

I think a genius IQ in America means you have a Bachelor Degree.

#15 Donna Lewis
April/19/2011
@ 4:37 pm

I thought I was Stephen Pastis.

Or was it Lady GaGa…..hhhhmmmm

#16 Not Matt Bors
April/19/2011
@ 4:43 pm

Matt Bors is a registered genius at the genius institute.

#17 Bill Kellogg
April/19/2011
@ 5:54 pm

Lady Gaga makes more money so she must be a genius.

#18 Ed Power
April/19/2011
@ 8:00 pm

See…all these posting about making comments under each others names…before this whole debacle I would’ve known you were all joking. But now? Now I’m not so sure.

Before all this I saw the internet as a beautiful place of hope, child-like innocence, and plain ol’ good vibrations. A place where people could openly share and support one another.

This has sullied the previously spotless image of the world wide web. God knows what people will be using it for now.

I hope you’re all happy.

Sincerely,
-Ed Power,
The reclusive creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbs’

#19 donna lewis
April/19/2011
@ 8:07 pm

I am SO not joking.

#20 RIck Kirkman
April/19/2011
@ 8:22 pm

After all this, I’m not sure who I am anymore.

#21 donna lewis
April/19/2011
@ 8:25 pm

So does anyone have the schedule for the apology, rehab stint and WINNING road show? Wanna get tix.

#22 frankm
April/20/2011
@ 10:01 am

Alan – I the ambiguity of your header, “Scott Adams Admits He’s a Troll Online.” Because if he’s a troll of the offline variety, we’ve got a lot of bridges to look under in order to find him! Billy Goat Gruff anyone?

#23 Frank Mariani
April/20/2011
@ 10:02 am

Alan ? I the ambiguity of your header, ?Scott Adams Admits He?s a Troll Online.? Because if he?s a troll of the offline variety, we?ve got a lot of bridges to look under in order to find him! Billy Goat Gruff anyone?

#24 b.j. Dewey
April/20/2011
@ 4:08 pm

This troll stuff is funny, even if nobody is who they say or think they are, or may be or may not be, troll or not. Whatever, good to see it aired on the Daily Cartoonist. But wait, this IS the Daily Cartoonist Web site, right? A whole Web site can’t be a troll, right?

#25 Donna Lewis
April/20/2011
@ 4:27 pm

All of this troll talk is making me sentimental. My first love was a troll. And my third, fourth and seventeenth.

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