What Is Internet Trolling & How Do You Spot A Troll?

If you are one of those who like being active on social media platforms and online communities, you might have come across the term being trolled or internet troll as savvy internet users say. When somebody responds or comments on something you post to provoke a
reaction.

Though most people use this phrase to describe appreciation of one’s sense of humor, it is a fact
that internet trolling is not always fun and can be pretty nasty at times, driving people to
depression or even suicide attempts.

With the increasing use of the internet and social channels, internet trolling is getting more frequent. Here is a brief introduction to internet trolling and a guide to spotting a real troll.

What is Internet Trolling?

Troll is an internet slang used for a person who deliberately argues over the internet with
the goal of provoking somebody or a group of people into a reaction.

Wikipedia defines this term as a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the internet to
distract them by posting off-topic, digressive messages through an online community like a blog,
newsgroup, chat room or forum with the intent of stimulating readers into expressing emotional
responses, whether for the person’s amusement or a specific gain.

Those who are not so familiar with the term Troll or Trolling and it's meaning might relate it to the
mythical, dirty, angry, ugly creature from the folklore that lives in dark places such as caves, looking to snatch anything that passed by for a quick meal.

Internet trolling is a modernized version of this literature. These people hide behind their
screens and go out of their way to cause trouble to others on the internet. Just like the mythical
troll, the internet troll is disruptive, angry and ugly in every way and without any reason.

Where Internet Trolling Happens?

Vector image of Social Media icons

Trolls can be found almost everywhere on the web. Here are some of the most common places
known to attract trolls.

  • Forums – These places are meant for discussing topics among like-minded people. However, at times, trolls enter and start spreading negativity all over. If moderators don’t ban them on time, members respond and the thread will, in no time, go off topic and turn into a pointless argument.
  • Blog Comments – Popular blogs and news sites with comments enabled often attract trolls who curse and cause trouble for no reason. This is more common for blogs related to controversial topics as they are more likely to get comments from other people who want to share their ideas.
  • YouTube Video Comments – Already known to have some of the worst comments, YouTube is even named "the trailer park of the internet". If you go through the comments on any popular videos, you can find some of the worst comments. More the views and likes a video has, the more troll comments it is likely to have.
  • Social Media Platforms – Now that social media is all the rage and anybody is free to post a comment on any status, community thread or question, trolling is found everywhere people can find for interaction. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter or any other social networking site that people use to post invite everybody to share their opinions in the comments section.

Celebrities on Twitter, big brands on Facebook and teens on Tumblr who have lots of followers are
targeted by trolls. Unfortunately, as the internet becomes more accessible and people use social
media from anywhere using their smartphones, trolling is likely to continue being an issue.

Why Do People Troll on the Internet?

Each of the internet trolls has its own story and varied reasons for trolling a community or a person
on the internet. They may either be angry, depressed, sad, jealous, attention-starving or other
emotion that influences their online behavior.

Internet trolling is getting popular because anybody can do it and it can be performed from an
isolated, safe place rather than having to interact with somebody. Trolls often hide behind their
computer screens, screen names and avatars to go out troubling others and when they have done it, they carry on with their real lives without having to face any consequences in their lives. Trolling
often makes cowardly people feel strong and powerful.

How to Deal with Troll?

The best way to deal with a troll trying to provoke you is to ignore them. You should remember that they are not worth their time or distress. You should not take anything personally and remind
yourself that any bad behavior cannot change who you are.

One who appears to be a troll is suffering in some way and is interested in distracting themselves and making themselves feel better by annoying others. You should laugh at it and feel how sad it is that people feel the need to trouble strangers on the internet.

If you are strong enough, you can respond to trolls with kindness and compliment them for
something. This is the last thing they expect from others. While it is likely that you are trolled again
for this behavior, there is also a chance that your kindness moves them in a way that brings changes in their behavior.

Emil S.

Emil is a Data & Design Specialist with a degree in BS Information System, specializes in Admin Support & Creative Design. He also manages his own Art Portfolio on Instagram: @escreativesph

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