"Troll shielding" is the act of attempting to evade being trolled by becoming a member of a trolling organization. Typically, those who manage to obtain shielding spend their second lives as trolls contributing nothing to the cause, and continue to do what they did before convincing their new buddies that they've "changed their ways".
Those who see themselves as potential targets (Herein referred to as "potentials") recognize that what they choose to do with their lives is warranting of mockery, but instead of stopping, find a smug satisfaction in using the trolls who despise their kind so very much as their own bodyguards. It's similar to the way tartlets will join "harsh critique" groups within the DeviantART website or Encyclopedia Dramatica Forums, putting them in a position where other artists might be too intimidated to critique them for the fear the whole group might tear their own work to shreds.
It's easy enough to spot potentials, as most of them still cling to their love of anime or talk a decidedly uncomfortable amount about furries (Whom, unbeknownst to their new troll brethren, they actually prefer to associate with). Alternatively, overuse of memes and the plastering of profile pages with 4chan paraphernalia can indicate someone who is trying too hard to fit in.
In recent years, dear old ED has become one of the larger treehouses for people avoiding the trolls. It's a truth many refuse to accept, and an even smaller amount choose to do anything about. Of course, it's been happening for years; be it YouTube, LiveJournal, or even TOW drama, it usually results in one or many in a group trying to find a place to call home. Or be even bigger faggots, it's not really known WHAT some people are thinking when they come to ED for anything other than the prime directive. Due to recent financial troubles, ED has laxed a large number of it's policies, in the vain hope that riff-raff that would have typically been banned on sight years ago might stick around long enough to donate. With the introduction of the new forums, it's easier than ever for potentials to disguise themselves as EDiots, now that they don't even have to make a single contribution to the wiki in order to be accepted. The situation has become so dire in ED that the majority of EDiots are either Weeaboos, Furfags, Pedos, or simply faggots that take the internet far too seriously.
Better yet for potentials, ED loathes internal drama, and will typically punish the instigator in cases where one user is caught trolling another. This means that "true" trolls who serve a higher cause are actually frowned upon for calling out potentials, while said potentials can continue to live a happy e-life posting shit nobody cares about on ED IRC. Even still, some potentials may try to get really buddy-buddy with the staff, trying to either make their presence known as a "trolling authority" or to promote themselves as if they were true patriots for the lulz. This kind of faggotry IS frowned upon by the majority of ED, but some Admins are easily swayed (more like WERE easily swayed) by a certain amount of lip-service and fan-retardation. The irony of the previous being that some of the individuals mentioned created this very article.
Unfortunately for ED, an old dog can't be taught new tricks, and the theory that sticking around trolls long enough will turn a weeaboo or furry into a troll themselves is preposterous. Furthermore, the idea that a potential would ever go so far as to financially support ED (Or any trolling organization for that matter) is ridiculous, as they are still sickened by the thought of making other netizens miserable.
On Other Websites
YouTube's "Group" system has lead to the creation of many so-called "YouTube Trolling Organizations", all purporting themselves to be the next FCTC or YTYC. In reality, a large number of these groups don't have a single trolling credit to their name, or exclusively troll popular targets so that their impact is as minimal as the attention they seek to avoid.
Time for a random sample: This group, titled "United Trolls". At first glance, it appears to be a group that's guilty only of trying too hard, but perhaps has it's heart in the right place. But, dig even a single post into any of their discussion topics, and you'll find that they're actually trying their scout's best to not have to do any real trolling. Their operations end as soon as their "targets" block them, which is typically where most true trolling operations begin full-force. Further proof lies in the channels of the group's members; over half of whom are recolor artists and / or furries. Because, nothing shouts "hardcore troll" louder than . Am I right, guys?
In recent years, /b/ has become little more than a hangout for Gaia Online users and Diggers. Beginning as early as 4chan's first expose on Fox News, the imageboard became the easiest trolling organization to pretend to be a part of. Since posts are temporary and tripcodes are for faggots, it's easy enough to pretend that you post regularly, so long as you know one or two recent memes and can repeat them over and over again. Easier yet, use a picture of Anonymous as your avatar, and you're as good as gold! Nevermind the inherent irony of using the term "Anonymous" to identify yourself as being Anonymous: Not even regular posters on /b/ will recognize it. Which, when you think about it, is pretty ironic in itself.
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