Why AutoHotkey for Internet Trolls?

If You Plan on Being One of the Most Annoying People on the Web, Why Not Make It Easy on Yourself?

Note: If you’re an Internet troll, please don’t take offense at anything I say here. I’m merely showing how AutoHotkey makes trolling easier—as the free software does with anything you do on any Windows computer. Not that trolls need any help—other than psychological.

Internet trolls patrol cyberspace in an effort to right the wrongs perpetrated by unsuspecting users…or, maybe, they just want to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse. Whatever! The important point is that even Internet trolls can make good use of the free AutoHotkey tools available for their Windows computers.

TrollingRobotSome people think that AutoHotkey software should only be used for good, but if you like to harass people on the Web, right or wrong, AutoHotkey may be the tool for you. Internet trolls will be surprised at how easy AutoHotkey makes harassing people.

Disclaimer: Don’t blame AutoHotkey for this blog. Any tool can be used for good or evil. While a hammer can build a house, it can also tear it down.

(If you’re new to AutoHotkey, please see this “Introduction to AutoHotkey: A Review and Guide for Beginners.”)

Yell at Your Trolling Target

One of the most important forms of trolling involves expressing everything in all capital letters. In digital communications, people equate all caps with yelling—but a troll knows that using uppercase letters merely represent a way to emphasize a point. Therefore, the CapsLock key should always be locked in the ON position. The problem arises when you either forget to turn CapsLock on or you accidentally turn it off. Fortunately, if you install and load AutoHotkey, a simple one-line script solves the problem:

SetCapsLockState, AlwaysOn

The SetCapsLockState command gives you absolute control over your CapsLock key. (This may be one of the few areas of a troll’s life where it can establish any level of control.) However, as unlikely as it may be, there could be times when you don’t want the CapsLock key ON. In that case, you might use an AutoHotkey technique for creating a key combination which turns any highlighted text into all caps after the fact:

^u::    ; capitalize text
  OldClipboard:= ClipboardAll
  Clipboard:= ""
  Send, ^c ;copies selected text
  ClipWait 0
  If ErrorLevel ; for when you forget to select text
  {
    MsgBox, No Text Selected!
    Return
  }
  StringUpper Clipboard, Clipboard
  Send %Clipboard%
  Sleep 100
  Clipboard:= OldClipboard
Return

Okay, while this may look a little complicated for the average troll, it’s not that difficult. Using what I call the “Standard AutoHotkey Windows Clipboard Routine“, selected text (highlighted by dragging the mouse cursor over the text with the left mouse button held down) gets copied to the Windows Clipboard, changes the text to all uppercase letters with the StringUpper command, then pastes it back in place of the original text—all without altering the previous contents of the Windows Clipboard. This approach adds more flexibility to your trolling activities while maintaining the option to go all caps anytime.

Don’t Use AutoHotkey AutoCorrect!

megadeal180goldWhether from typos or pure ignorance, nothing adds Net cred to your trolling activities like misspelled words and grammar errors. What you have to say is far too important to care about trivialities such as accepted spelling and punctuation promoted by the establishment. Just let the words flow. That’s why you absolutely should not run the AutoHotkey AutoCorrect script which fixes thousands of commonly misspelled English words on the fly.

However, you also should not deliberately add misspellings or insert faulty grammar. Just let the words randomly fall wherever. (You may want to turn off your copy of the free version of Grammarly. Full Disclosure: I get 20¢ if you install the free version of Grammarly using this link.) Intentional errors are a form of troll cheating and regarded as an attempt to disguise oneself—which, come to think of it, may not be a bad idea.

Disguise Yourself as a Candian

Many Internet trolls hide behind pseudonyms to prevent their identification—at least, without a warrant. However, even with a fake name, if you don’t take further steps, people may recognize you as someone they know. Throw them completely off track by pretending to be from another country. If I were a troll (which I’m not), I would pick Canada because most people from the United States can easily be fooled by simple Canadian text misdirection. (Warning: Don’t try this on real Canadians because they will immediately recognize you as a phony and a scoundrel, eh?)

The simplest way to convince someone that you’re Canadian is to add “eh?” to the end of your sentences. This immediately alerts those of us from south of the border that we’re talking to one of our brethren from the north. While we might use “Eh?” when wondering what the heck someone’s talking about, many Canadians use it as a unique way of emphasizing their last statement. With AutoHotkey you can ensure that you add it to your rants with the following line of code:

::`.::, eh?

After running this one line script, whenever typing a period followed by a space, AutoHotkey replaces it with “, eh?” and a space. Alas, this Hotstring replaces every occurrence of a period with the comma followed by “eh?” That’s a bit too much. The following Hotstring routine only replaces every third occurrence of the period.

Count = 0  ; in auto-execute section of the script

:B0:`.::
  Count++
  If (Count = 3)
   {
   Send {BS 2}, eh?
   Count = 0
   }
Return

For information on how Hotstrings work, see AutoHotkey Hotstrings at the main AutoHotkey Web site. (For even more detailed discussion see my book Beginning AutoHotkey Hotstrings.)

Of course, if you understand where it’s appropriate to append “eh?” to the end of a sentence, then, with AutoHotkey, you can create your own Hotkey keyboard shortcut:

^!E::Send `, eh?  ; activates with CTRL+ALT+E

Then, anytime you want to insert the Canadian add-on into your Windows documents or Web browser, simultaneously press CTRL+ALT+E (represented in the AutoHotkey code by ^!E). (Learn more about Hotkeys at https://autohotkey.com/docs/Hotkeys.htm or check out my book AutoHotkey Hotkey Techniques.)

While much more subtle than the “eh?”, adding the following Hotstring to your standard AutoHotkey script may assist you in duping an American target of your trolling:

::about::aboot

While typing on your keyboard, this Hotstring automatically replaces every occurrence of “about” with the “aboot” Canadian pseudo-homonym. This immediately makes people from the United State think you’re a Canadian. Of course, Canadians won’t be fooled because “aboot” doesn’t appear in their vocabulary. Although they might pronounce the word “aboat”, they still spell it “about”—the same as every other English speaking person. Admittedly, since you can’t hear dialects when reading on the Web, this may seem like a pretty silly suggestion for such a serious blog. It might be better to create your own Canadian AutoCorrect script.

Canadian AutoHotkey AutoCorrect

If you really want to make someone think that you’re a Canadian, then use AutoHotkey to build your own specialized AutoCorrect script altering American spellings into the Canadian counterparts. (Caution: You can’t use a British AutoCorrect script!) By researching the differences between American and Canadian spelling you can write a script which (with any luck) will make you sound (in written text) distinctly Canadian. For example, the script may include the following:

::color::colour
::center::centre
::defense::defence
::offense::offence
::practice::practise
::traveled::travelled

Then, throw in a few “eh?”‘s and you have it made.

This blog barely scratches the surface of what Internet trolls can do with AutoHotkey. Of course, if you don’t use Windows, then you’ll need to find another way to do it.

Disclaimer: Some of my best friends are Canadians, although I don’t hear their accent anymore. Maybe they lost it?

*          *          *

donotfeedtroll-svgNo Internet Trolling Zone! Please, Don’t Troll This Blog!

Note: Nothing in this blog should be taken as any type of bias against anyone who spends days and/or nights trolling on the Web. Trolls are people too! After all, when you have no life, what else are you suppose to do? Everyone needs a hobby!

 

 

 

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