Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Troll

By Abigail Clarke: Contributing Content Blogger

What's a troll? I've often wondered. Whenever I come across this word, I first picture a dumbly over sized monster so often depicted in films. I might not be far off the mark really, at least personality wise. 

The word “troll” has reinvented itself in the modern slang of the internet. A troll on the internet is someone who intentionally tries to upset others by starting arguments or posting unnecessarily inflammatory messages on blogs, in chat rooms, or forums. This is essentially the same thing as flaming where “flamers” go about their ways posting nasty comments to start angry dialogue. As is the usual theme, anonymity plays a central component in this cowardly immature activity so many are prone to. 

There's been an effort to understand the psychology of the internet troll, in a study conducted that questioned over 400 participants on their internet activity and behaviours. As it shakes out, those who actually enjoy trolling or flaming also have a disproportionate sadistic nature to their personalities which is formally characterised as psychopathic. In fact, statistical analysis places a significant overlap between the troll and the sadist.  They are indistinguishable. It can basically be said that these people writing nasty comments are doing so because they have need to harm other people. The sadist or troll, is someone who is vicious and degrading toward others. Keep in mind these traits are commonly seen in serial killers and sex offender personalities. The sadistic troll combs through chat forums and the like, spending over an hour per day spreading their invective. This is a sickness and we are just now coming to realise the internet exacerbates the condition at the unfortunate expense of others.

Trolls are a scare and even the most dumbly over sized monsters can do a terrible amount of damage in films and online. Should we not be doing something about seeing to it the clubs these trolls bang on with are taken away from them?