The internet has served as a place for people to find their niche in society. When I say people, I mean ALL people including the everyday internet troll. An internet troll is someone who comments on or writes something specifically to upset and stir up drama in others. In doing this, they actually find pleasure. I don’t mean the occasional harmless joke you play one friends. I am talking about the person who spends a majority of their time online wreaking havoc. It is almost as if their sole purpose is to offend others.
Researchers in Canada decided to find out what kind of person the typical internet troll is in real life. Their results are interesting to say the least. They conducted personality inventories and a survey of individual commenting styles on different avid internet users, 1,215 to be exact. Results yielded that the personality trait associated most with trolling was sadism! The remainder enjoyed ordinary chatting and debating.
I found this study particularly interesting because it was a little hard for me to believe that trolls are in it only for the “lulz.” During our class discussion I began to wonder if there was something deeper to this trolling. This was the first study ever done on the personality of internet trolls. The result showed that trolls scored highest in what is called the Dark Tetrad: sadism, narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. In simpler terms, a troll enjoys causing others discomfort, is egotistical, often antisocial and selfish as well as manipulative. I’m sure in a different life Hitler would have been the king of the trolls.