It, therefore, comes as no surprise to me that a new psychological study, E.E. Buckels et al, “Trolls just want to have fun,” Personality and Individual Differences, 2014, determined that online trolls are narcissistic, manipulative, deceptive, sadistic PSYCHOPATHS.
In other words, trolls are evil.
Chris Mooney reports for the Daily Mail, Feb. 14, 2014, that new research by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues sought to investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called “Dark Tetrad”: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).
The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.
Urban Dictionary defines troll as “One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”
Appropriately, the etymology or origin of the English noun troll in the standard sense of ugly dwarf or giant dates to 1610 and comes from the Old Norse word ‘troll’ meaning giant or demon.
Like other sites, FOTM has our share of obnoxious trolls. An example is a demonic troll who first called himself Lets Kill Birthers and made death threats against our writers. I repeatedly banned him, but he kept coming back by using a seemingly endless series of aliases — Birthers are Traitors, Why Lie, Truth Hurts, Want Truth?, James Spader, Jasper, John Bingham, David Strange, Jason Jones, JasperX, John Jasper, Jack, middle upperclass guy, hater of trashjerks, Tom, Tom’sBro, tbm, Tman, The Humphrey. Boss Hogg, paid blogger, Devil’s Advocate, Tom Franks. And so I cut to the…
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