Updated: Mar 23
Troll, According to UrbanDictioanary.com is “Someone who deliberately pisses people off online to get a reaction”.
Find a topic that suits you? Fairly sure there is a troll in the comments section of your favorite Article or post to ruin or trigger you into responding. It is a digital equivalent of heckling at a public event or a comedy show.What does a Troll do exactly? What goes on in that head of theirs? How to deal with them?
What is a troll? Other than the Urban Dictionary definition above a troll often scours articles sometimes at random sometimes there is a political or other malicious motivation behind it. They craft their comments in such a way to provoke a response. Usually, a falsehood that compels another user to respond or debate them in public. Some are targeted events where a group of trolls will trash a post as a targeted effort. Most Trolls will congregate in Social Media Sites but alas they are in the wild of News articles comment sections to such annoyance most news organizations are removing comment sections below their news articles altogether as this has gotten more out hand. Most simple troll comments will include the usual “You suck!” , profanity and more elaborate ones almost make you feel the commenter is wasting their talents as new material in Hollywood is clearly lacking and the yarn they are spinning is something exceptional. Has there ever a situation where one wonders who is suck person behind the keyboard doing this?
What goes on in that head of theirs? In simple terms, a lot of disturbing dark and bad things. To elaborate most psychologists attribute trolls to Dark Tetrad personality traits. That is a lot of Big Words. The way Delroy L Paulhus and Kevin M Williams from University of British Columbia in Vancouver explain, Dark Tetrad expanding on the Dark Triad traits of Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy adds “Everyday Sadism”. So, the people’s mindset is that of constant attention, they just love the spotlight. The Second aspect is having joy in creating chaos into a group or individual for personal gain will exploit others to achieve their goals no matter the consequence to the other person. They have little to no remorse or empathy while operating in this sphere. To add to the cruelty of the situation they find enjoyment in causing harm. Think Darren in the last season of How I Met Your Mother. A countermeasure is not to escalate the troll.
How to deal? What does a comedian do with a heckler? Jimmy Carr disposes of them immediately albeit crudely. Dave Chappelle overloads them with facts and makes them look utterly stupid. Daniel Tosh addressed them and when they acted up again had the bouncers throw them out and invited some audience members from the back to sit in the front row. Diffusing with humor can work in some cases. In the incendiary cases where harm is promised or promoted then ban or report to the admin or authorities especially if threats are involved. Correcting mistakes is a last resort as it may work one out of ten times and even if you load them with fact and figures it will not stop them as they are not above lying to get their sad point across so I would avoid debating them. Avoid feeding the troll if you can.
Ultimately with the state of our daily lives Trolls will multiply not fade way so it is best to have your wits about yourself.