And i happen to be writing this to provoke a response, and maybe even some measure of change on this board. Is that trolling?
Nope. Trolling is saying things with no consideration for their effect beyond getting people's attention. For example, your use of racially abusive terminology in this thread had no primary purpose except to get attention:
i usually use these terms for the shock effect it has on the politically correct
Was that trolling? That's an interesting question - probably not intentionally so, but it became clear that what was important for you in that instance was not how other people might react but how you felt - that is, you were interested in impact, but not actually very interested in reacting to that impact - any negative reaction was pathologised and discarded as "politically correct". Of course, the down side of this is that it tends to make people think that anything you say might be likely to be more about getting attention than communicating, which is one of the problems of trying to separate out what is a troll and what is just somebody who is either socially inexperienced or working under some other factor that might affect their ability to post in a way that wiill be ring-fenced against being perceived as trollish.
There's a thread elsewhere on fiction suits we never used in which the episode where a joke suit sent sexually menacing private messages to a number of members of Barbelith (including, if I recall correctly, at least one victim of previous sexual violence, which didn't lead to the best reaction) comes up. At the time, this caused quite an odour, but, with no social reference points outside the chums who egged each other on to do it, the consequences of the action did not really pertain - the message board was being used as a way to get a slightly more satisfying orgasm out of a circle-jerk rather than an interaction with a broader group. Over time, because the people involved were able to adapt to negative responses, they began to act more meaningfully as members of a message board, but it's not wildly controversial to suggest that previous actions (sometimes to a disproportionate extent) condition current opinions.
You could see that as a way of subdividing trolls - say into the kind who select environments with no other criterion than how effectively it can be stirred to outrage (the sort of competition troll who might hang out on dedicated message boards or coordinate groups, and the kind who react to early rebuffs (criticism, being ignored, a failure to give them a kiss and Grant Morrison's home phone number) by dedicating their copious free time to targeting individuals or specific boards in a way that could be seen as not just sociopathic but also neurotic. As has been said, it seems pretty credible that "troll" could be a developmental stage, especially as access to the Internet is given to younger and younger people, and therefore that ongoing trolling is best described as a form of personal arrestedness - an endless retention of comforting feelings of outsiderdom from childhood.
One interesting thing about this developmental narrative is that it poses some interesting questions about people whose behaviour has in the opinion of others approached trolling in the past, in intention or effect, who are not currently behaving in that fashion, but who either ignore that past or defend it by relating a narrative in which they were themselves the victim of persecution by some oppressive force. This is tricky because, among other things, it means that the behaviour is apparently perceived as acceptable (or defended as meritorious), and therefore returning to such behaviour is always retained as an implied threat, which is where things get tricky.