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The hyena is a dangerous creature which is always ready to fight. It is courageous and will even attack stronger animals looking for a weakness. It feeds on the weak. It is ugly and unloved. The hyena surely has an important role in ecology.

It may be that certain participants in online communities - sometimes incorrectly said to be "difficult" or "trolls" - do play a similar role. Maybe they separate the weak from the strong or drive off the weak. Maybe they prepare the communities against certain invalid attacks or accusations. Maybe they force the readers to look deeper than "no smoke without fire" because they create smoke where there is no fire. Maybe their effect is to strengthen the community. Everyone gets the chance to learn to defend correctly and to understand the difference. All get a chance to defend each other and advance the community. Defending each other is BarnRaising.

A person in the HyenaRole is poor. He sacrifices his chances for fruitful synergetic relationships for the adrenaline of fighting. The person in the HyenaRole feeds on diminishing others. When he feels a glorious winner, this is primarily his personal subjective reality. Others just view him as an ugly pest. He in effect sacrifices his online lifetime for the healthyness of the online community, but he will neither make friends nor earn positive respect. It is a thankless role.



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