Now let's look at the key words in the definition of trolling.
- Creating Conflict
Three of these words are positive (as I see it). Provocative, Disruption and Amusement are all things that can be good (Socrates and Jesus et. al were certainly provocative and disruptive).
But the article defines trolling as a combination
of those things. It doesn't say that everything that's infammatory, argumentative, provocative etc or
posted just to create conflict or
posted just for amusement is trolling. It defines trolling as the specific act of posting stuff that's inflammatory etc, in order
to create conflict/disruption, for your own amusement. And in defining trolling this way, the article is right in line with common practice.
If you're posting provocative stuff but you're doing it out of, say, zeal/conviction, not just to create disruption as aim in itself, for your own amusement, it's not trolling. Not according to this article and not according to the traditional definition of trolling. So I do think you're building a straw man argument here - or, at least, reading sloppily - by pretending that the author argued that any kind of provocative, disruptive posts and comments = trolling.
Now, taking a step away from this article, the definition of trolls and trolling has gotten a bit more ambivalent over time, that much is true, as journalists etc who didn't spend their earlier years on message boards have picked up the word "troll" and run with it, often giving it wholly new meanings. Mother Jones once ran a really dumb story where they claimed to have looked up their "biggest troll" to find out why he did it ... But it wasn't a troll at all. The guy was just an ardent conservative who posted a lot of comments. More recently, we've seen a lot of reporting about paid Russian "trolls" and "troll factories" infesting comments sections etc. This again takes us a bit away from the original meaning of the word, since those Russians are hardly just doing it for their personal gratification. They're doing it because they're paid to. But unlike with the Mother Jones example, I can kind
of see an argument that the label applies, because their work is part of a broader strategy that's aimed at causing maximum disruption, distrust and disorder in Western societies as end in itself ... which I guess is a kind of trolling writ large ... but it still doesn't sit well with my purist sensibilities.
None of the above paragraph, however, relates to the link we're discussing here, since the author's pretty precise about what she means, and she does stick with the commonly/traditionally accepted meaning, and she's not making any of the arguments you're putting in her mouth.