Internet trolls are people who look forward to provoking and upsetting others online for their amusement. This article will show you how to spot the signs that someone is a troll, and it will also show you how to handle them.
What Are Internet Trolls?
If you have been on the internet, you’ve likely run into a troll at some point. An internet troll can be classified as someone who leaves intentionally inflammatory, rude, as well as upsetting statements online. Often to elicit strong emotional responses in people. OR. To steer the conversation off-topic. Trolls come in many forms. Most trolls do this for their amusement, however, other forms of trolling can be done to push a specific agenda.
Trolls have existed in folklore as well as fantasy literature for centuries, however, online trolling has been around since the internet has existed. The earliest known usage of the term is dated back to the 1990s on premature online message boards. Then it was a way for existing users to confuse newer members by spamming an inside joke. It has progressed into a much more malicious activity.
Trolling is perceptibly different from other forms of cyberbullying/harassment. It is normally not targeted toward any specific person; however, it relies on other people paying attention, then becoming provoked. Trolling exists on many online platforms, be it small private group chats. OR. The biggest social media websites. The places online where you’re likely to see online trolls are:
Anonymous online forums: Places like Reddit, 4chan, among other anonymous message boards house lots of online trolls. As there’s no way of tracing who someone is, trolls can post very inflammatory content without taking the repercussions into account. This is exceptionally true if the forum has lax/inactive moderation.
Twitter: also has the option to be anonymous, thus, serving as a hotbed for internet trolls. Frequent trolling methods involve hijacking trending hashtags. They mention popular Twitter personalities to gain attention.
Comment sections: places such as YouTube as well as news websites are popular areas for trolls to be found. You can find a lot of obvious trolling here, and these frequently garner lots of responses from angry readers/viewers.
You can find trolls anywhere and everywhere online, including on Facebook also on online dating sites. They are pretty common.
Signs Someone Is Trolling
It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a troll and someone who just genuinely wants to argue. However, here are a few signs that someone is trolling.
- Off-topic remarks
- Refusal to acknowledge evidence
- A dismissive, condescending tone
- Use of unrelated images or memes
- Seeming obliviousness
The list above is not definitive. There are many different ways to identify if someone is trolling. Generally, if someone seems underhanded or uninterested in a real discussion. Or is provocative on purpose, they’re likely an internet troll.
How do I handle the Internet Troll?
The classic saying regarding trolling is, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Trolls search for emotional responses, they find the provocation amusing. So, replying to them or attempting to debate will only act as fuel for them to troll more. By ignoring a troll, they will likely get frustrated, then take their trolls elsewhere on the internet.
You should try your best not to take anything the trolls’ comments to your heart. Remember these people probably have nothing going in their life, and just sit around and spend their hours being unproductive. While they try to make others mad and lose focus. Believe me, they are in no way worth your time.
If a troll becomes spammy or begins to clog up a thread, report them. There’s a chance nothing happens, however, you should do your part to actively dissuade them. If your report is successful, the troll may face temporary suspension. OR. Their account might be banned entirely.
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