Browse Definitions :
Definition

trolling

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Trolling, in the context of the web, is the act of responding to online content or comments in a purposely disruptive fashion. The name arose as a reference to the way that online trolls try to lure victims with comments in the same way that fishers use bait and specially crafted lures to catch fish. Another reference is to the mythological troll, a hideous creature that lurks in dark places waiting for prey.

Online, a troll is someone who enters a communication channel, such as a comment thread, solely to cause trouble. Trolls often use comment threads to cyberbully other users, discredit valid content or comments and/ or spread disinformation. In many cases, trolls are sock puppets – fake accounts created so the users can promote their agendas anonymously.

Trolls tend to specialize. Some just want to stir things up (See: flamebait). During political campaigns, paid and unpaid trolls abound on discussion threads in social media and elsewhere online, boosting their candidates and/or denigrating the competition. Grammar trolls often enter a comment thread to insult the poster or other commenters on their use of language or punctuation. Typically, the grammar troll has nothing to say that’s actually related to the post or comment they’re responding to.

Engaging with trolls is generally considered futile at best and harmful to your mental state at worst. Reported psychological effects on victims include increased social anxiety and depression and decreased self-esteem.

The most effective defense against trolls is simply ignoring them. The target’s reaction is often the payoff they’re looking for, and if they don’t get it they will most likely go away. DNFT (Do not feed the troll) is a commonly seen warning in comment threads. Another tactic is to identify trolls as such so that others don’t take them seriously and then move on without giving them any further attention.

Trolls are so prevalent and noxious in some channels, such as YouTube comments, that a more stringent approach may be recommended. For situations where trolls tend to be especially pervasive, a newer abbreviation has arisen: DRTC (Don’t read the comments).

This was last updated in June 2018

Continue Reading About trolling

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • data governance policy

    A data governance policy is a documented set of guidelines for ensuring that an organization's data and information assets are ...

SearchSecurity

  • asymmetric cryptography (public key cryptography)

    Asymmetric cryptography, also known as public-key cryptography, is a process that uses a pair of related keys -- one public key ...

  • Evil Corp

    Evil Corp is an international cybercrime network that uses malicious software to steal money from its victims' bank accounts.

  • Plundervolt

    Plundervolt is a method of hacking that involves depriving an Intel chip of power so that processing errors occur.

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks or ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

Close