Thursday, April 23, 2015

Online Trolls

The Washington Post has an interesting article about online trolls. After describing trolls as disruptive users, inclined toward personal attacks, the article describes their posting patterns:

... Those users, they found, tended to focus their comments on a small number of stories and were more likely to post things otherwise irrelevant to the overall conversation. Trolls' behavior also tended to get worse over time, according to the researchers -- and they were generally successful at getting a rise out of those in an online community.

...Unsurprisingly, research suggests these uncivil commenters tend to have some pretty dark personality traits. Research led by University of Manitoba graduate student Erin Buckels published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences last year found links between online trolling and narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism....

Peterson, Andrea.(2015, April 22) Scientists have figured out how to tell when someone is an online troll. The Washington Post


  1. It's one thing to have someone posting on a blog who has an alternative point-of-view and yet can politely and intelligently engage in an informative back-and-forth dialog with other posters.

    In this way, facts can be submitted, and discussion about the facts can make for a really productive discussion.

    However, when someone comes onto a blog and just repeats the same talking points over-and-over, insults other posters, threatens to turn other posters in to the authorities, or uses crude language, is this adding or detracting to a website?

    Should this type of poster be banned?

    1. I think web administrators should act to ban posters who aim to disrupt conversation and meaningful debate.

  2. I believe these people are probably lonely, and cannot communicate with people on a reasonable level, they are bullies and probably were so in their childhood too. I agree they should be banned from any site they decide to disrupt, and I know that is work for those running the sites but its well worth the trouble of doing it.....