Troll Psychology: A discussion on ‘internet bullying’

An interesting suggestion was put forward to me on Yahoo answers the other day by ‘Patricia’ who said that I should write an article about internet bullying and more specifically why the internet bullies; or trolls are compelled to purposely to post inflammatory comments on websites in the first place. Please be warned that this article does contain some strong language, if you are easily offended please do not read any further.

What is a troll?

Before we begin we need to define exactly what a troll is. According to Wikipedia a troll is “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

The definition in my opinion is spot on but it certainly doesn’t tell us what motivates an internet troll. Not being one myself I can not really tell you with any kind of first person experience. I can offer you the opinions of others though.

Why so aggressive?

In my own opinion I do not think there is any singular reason why people feel like they need to be trying to insult others on the internet but rather a combination of a number of factors. A very nice article about exactly this came from Michael Marshall of the prestigious New Scientist publication back in 2007. You can read the full post here but here are some points that I found interesting: Continue reading “Troll Psychology: A discussion on ‘internet bullying’”