Lurking = A lurker is a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, chatroom, file sharing or other interactive system, but rarely or never participates actively.
In Mafia, players that are quiet during the day cycles are said to be lurking (or laying low). The term most often applies to voluntary absence, as opposed to inactivity. In many cases, without host intervention, players can't distinguish between lurking and inactivity, unless they can see the player is active through other means (which falls under active metagaming).
Although this is frowned upon by other player players as it decreases the information gained by the uninformed minority, lurking (as a voluntary absence - also known as laying low) can be used by a player, regardless of faction, in order to not draw attention to themselves:
- Goodies or Indy, for fear of being NKed
- Baddies or Indy, waiting on other players to either make logical fallacies or show weakness that can be used in order to direct suspicion elsewhere.
A subset of lurking is the so-called "active lurking", where a player posts in the thread but without making any contribution to the progress of the game. Their posts may be minimal in length, off-topic, or merely parroting what other players have already said.