- Sep 12, 2008
- Reaction score
I find this good advice for all of his ilkAn Internet troll is someone who joins an online discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, it is quickly evident that their sole purpose is to upset everyone. They will lie, exaggerate, defame and vituperate just to create a response and derail a thread.
Some researchers from Canada sought to find out what type of person would do this and why. Their study, published in the September 2014 issue of Personality and Individual Differences, found that cybertrolling was an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.
Researchers conducted two online studies of 1,200 people. They gave personality tests to each one and surveyed their Internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence of what is termed the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. What they found was that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said their favorite activity was trolling.
The study authors wrote that the Dark Tetrad scores were off the charts for Internet trolls and “… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.”
Of course, this does not apply to all trolls. Some are simply government or nongovernment agency disinformation agents. Intelligence services, corporations, governments and politicians have all been outed as having disinformation trolls roaming Internet sites.
But it’s just as likely the annoying troll on your favorite site is simply mentally ill. When you respond, you’re just feeding his psychopathy.
The best advice is, if you see one, don’t feed him.