Internet Troll – What They Do, Why, and What YOU Should Do

Lets face it. The internet troll problem is worse than ever. Everywhere. Have you ever wondered why an internet troll does what they do? And do you know the best way to handle the situation when you’re being trolled on the internet? Well, I’m here to help you…

Forewarned is forearmed.

I will touch upon three things:

  1. Identifying their behaviors
  2. Why they troll
  3. What you should do

Behaviors of an Internet Troll

How to identify a real internet troll. It doesn’t take long to figure out that you’ve got a troll in your midst…

An internet troll is someone who posts inflammatory, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking readers, or otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, typically with the sole intent of bashing the subject matter.

Internet trolling is a deliberate attempt to create conflict and distress by communicating inflammatory, proactive, and menacing comments to victims.

Every post that a troll submits is about challenging, tearing down, and ridiculing.

They cannot be reasoned with.

They don’t care about substantive debate except as an excuse for pretending everything that challenges them is wrong.

A troll is a basic Blinky light, seeking to draw attention away from anything relevant.

Why Do Internet Trolls Do It?

Being a blog owner for more than a decade, and having to deal with trolls throughout the time span, this question interested me.

It’s one thing to easily identify a real troll. And then deciding how to handle it (the next section). But why? Why oh why do they do it? It seems like such a waste of time! Trust me… there’s a reason.

The number one reason why internet trolls do their trolling

An internet troll enjoys their behavior. They do it for enjoyment. It just does not serve any other practical purpose.

“How can trolling be enjoyable to them?!” you might ask…

Psychologists have studied this. I spent some time researching this out of my own curiosity. The predominant conclusions are as follows.

An internet troll typically have the following three psychological conditions:

  • Primary Psychopathy
  • Direct (and Vicarious) Sadism
  • Grandiose Narcissism

Primary Psychopathy >> Calloused, Manipulative, Lacking in remorse and effective empathy, and guilt.

Direct Sadism is when someone enjoys directly hurting or humiliating other people.

Vicarious sadism is when the enjoyment is derived from watching other people being hurt or humiliated.

Both types of sadism are positive predictors for internet trolling behaviors.

Grandiose narcissism is characterized in part by overt expressions of feelings of superiority and entitlement. Owing to their grandiosity, they believe that they are somehow above the rest of us, and that they, therefore, are entitled to special treatment.

What You Should Do With An Internet Troll

Don’t get distracted by the clown honking the horn.

This is easier said than done. But the best thing you can do is to ignore – do not respond to – the troll.

Their enjoyment, being associated with their grandiose narcissism, is not fulfilled unless YOU let it be. No interaction, No fun.

Remember, they CANNOT be reasoned with.

They CANNOT be reasoned with.

This is usually very difficult for most people to handle. Why? Because the internet troll is very, very good at getting others to engage in their destructive behavior. They are good at “pushing your buttons”. Because their goal and motivation is to receive pleasure and enjoyment from their behavior. Thus, they’ve learned how…

I myself am guilty of engaging with internet trolls. Way more than I should have over the years. However once you realize that they WANT you to engage into their toxicity in order to get pleasure from it… well, that should help you to stop engaging. Right?

When you see that lure dangling in the water, don’t bite. The troll gets very upset when no one takes the bait.

Best way to deal with them is to destroy their enjoyment by laughing it off or just completely ignoring them. This will really disappoint them cause they didn’t get the reaction they wanted.

TIP:

The term “troll” is sometimes overused or mischaracterized on the internet. Labeling someone a troll just because there’s some disagreement isn’t always accurate. The term is often used loosely.

HOWEVER, on any given internet site or platform with comments enabled, a behavioral pattern quickly develops for a real troll. Their comments are always disruptive. Always. Or almost always. Re-read what I wrote above. Once you “get it”, then you’ll readily see it when they pop in.

Remember, they get pleasure from their internet trolling interactions. It’s creepy to you and I, but it’s absolutely true.