1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What Is an Internet 'Troll'?


Question: What Is an Internet 'Troll'?
Answer: An internet 'troll' is an abusive user who delights in causing disharmony and conflict online. Named after the wicked troll creatures of children's tales, an Internet troll is someone who abuses their online anonymity by purposely sowing hatred, bigotry, racism, mysogyny, or just simple bickering between others. Because trolls enjoy promoting fights between others, they frequent blog sites, news sites, discussion forums, and game chat. Trolls thrive in any online environment where they are allowed to make public comments.

Where Do You Find Internet Trolls?

Ans: Internet trolls are sadly common. They can be found wherever online users interact with each other. Trolls will abuse others in news blogs, political discussion forums, hobbyist communities online, Facebook pages, torrent search engine conversations, and in online game chat. Trolls have become very common in news sites. Many online news sources now avoid using open comment features because so many Internet trolls will use this venue to post abusive comments as responses to news articles.

How Exactly Do Internet Trolls Abuse Others?

Ans: Internet trolls seek to be disruptive and hurtful by using any of the following techniques:
  1. Trolls will post abusive and hurtful comments directed at a specific person (aka "flaming" another person)
  2. Trolls will incite broad arguments and provoke angry responses by making controversial statements. (e.g. racism, religious intolerance, bigoted or elitist views, mysogyny, extreme political views)
  3. Trolls will narcissistically dominate conversations, trying to make themselves the center of attention. (e.g. nonstop comments about themselves and their accomplishments; repeated self-centered statements and bragging)
  4. Trolls will start many off-topic threads, seeking to derail users from the focus of an online community.

The Sad Truths of Internet Trolls:

  1. Trolls are immune to criticism and logical arguments. True trolls cannot be reasoned with, regardless of how sound your logical argument is.
  2. Trolls do not feel remorse like you and me. They have sociopathic tendencies, and accordingly, they delight in other people having hurt feelings.
  3. Trolls consider themselves separate from the social order.
  4. Trolls do not abide by etiquette or the rules of common courtesy.
  5. Trolls consider themselves above social responsibility.
  6. Trolls gain energy by you insulting them.
  7. Trolls gain energy when you get angry.
  8. The only way to deal with a troll is to ignore him, or take away his ability to post online.

Why Do People Enjoy Being Internet Trolls?

Ans: it is a kind of power rush or ego trip to be a troll. Being online is a place that is largely free of perceived consequences... an insecure person can get a sense of power online, without ever having to face someone directly. With the Internet being a world of imagination and fantasy for some, cowardly users can forge an alter ego for themselves, and act out their feelings of anger and inadequacy. It's sad and unfortunate that our advanced communications also brings out the darker side of many people.

What Are Some Examples of Internet Trolling?

Ans: here are some examples of trolls abusing other people and their online communities:
  1. Example: a troll incites arguments over anti-diversity and anti-multiculturalism

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Internet for Beginners
  4. Blogging, Forums, Instant Messaging, and RSS
  5. Internet Forums and Mailing Li
  6. What Is an Internet 'Troll'? Is a Troll the Same as a 'Flamer'?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.