Internet Trolls

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    • #81240
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

        Everyone who spends time on the internet has experienced Trolls to one degree or another.

        We at MTV have certainly experienced our fair share, but due to the high standards on the our Forum it is usually brought to a swift conclusion.

        So let’s look at some of the motivations and psychology of the internet troll.

        Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

        What kind of person would do this?

        Trolls have the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, direct sadism, and vicarious sadism.

        Narcissistic personality disorder affects an estimated 1% of the general population. Although most individuals have some narcissistic traits, high levels of narcissism can manifest themselves in a pathological form as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), whereby the individual overestimates his or her abilities and has an excessive need for admiration and affirmation. Some narcissists may have a limited or minimal capability to experience emotions.

        Machiavellianism is a term that social, forensic and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to be unemotional, uninfluenced by conventional morality and more inclined to deceive and manipulate others.

        Machiavellianism is also defined as the political theory of Niccolò Machiavelli, especially the view that any means can be used if it is necessary to maintain political power.

        Psychopathy is traditionally a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits. It is sometimes considered synonymous with sociopathy.

        “… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.”

        Internet trolls tend to have unusually high expectations of what it means to be successful. The standard is so high that trolls themselves fail to achieve it. When they see someone who is successful despite being below this standard, they tend to resent them.

        The best course of action is to ignore them, best expressed in the classic “don’t feed the Trolls!”

        Given the “don’t feed the Trolls!” advice, why do I engage our Trolls?

        Generally the main reason is to confirm beyond doubt to those observing the exchange that the Trolls words are me meaningless and should be ignored.

        Some Trolls are just subtle enough to deceive the casual reader into believing the lies presented.

        Generally the Trolls words will easily expose them when brought to readers attention in legitimate context.

        Lastly Trolls use the false sense of anonymity the internet presents thinking there can be no repercussions for their activity.

        Due to my background I am uniquely qualified to expose their real identity through OSINT. I generally save publicly outing Trolls identities for the most persistent, but they should know I typically have discovered their true identity before I even engage them.

      • #81241
        wheelsee
        Participant

          I typically have discovered their true identity before I even engage them.

          I always find it somewhat amusing of this. I always gave my offspring an opportunity to “come clean” with a “is that your final answer” (or similar). With teenagers, is one thing, with adults a totally different response (on my part).

          One of the first rules a lawyer lives by in the courtroom (or so I’ve been told by some lawyer colleagues) is “Never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to”…….. fits hand-in-hand with the above….

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