Thursday, January 4, 2018

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

From Psychology Today:
Let's start by getting our definitions straight: An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

What kind of person would do this? Some Canadian researchers decided to find out.

They conducted two online studies with over 1,200 people, giving personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their Internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the "Dark Tetrad" of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite Internet activity. To get an idea of how much more prevalent these traits were among Internet trolls, see this figure from the paper:

Look at how low the Dark Tetrad scores are for everyone except the trolls! Their scores for all four traits soar on the chart. The relationship between trolling and the Dark Tetrad is so significant that the authors write in their paper:
"... 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." [emphasis added]
Trolls truly enjoy making you feel bad. To quote the authors once more (because this is a truly quotable article): "Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun ... and the Internet is their playground!" (Read more.)
My own on-going experience with such a situation is described HERE. Share


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

This information might be more valuable if one were able decisively to say WHO is a troll.

I mean, Jeremiah and Our Lord would have been stamped as trolls by the Pharisees, if the term had been current, and so would St Athanasius of Alexandria by the Arians (who were supported by the back then Pharisees).

Defend a position which is unpopular, you can count on being stamped as a troll by some.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

As to your situation, I may have sth to do with it.

I promoted your blog among other things as an antidote against the Republican Patriotic Diffamation of Marie Antoinette, it could be Simon was trying to make a case I was stupid to take you as an "authority".

"Now perhaps it was pretentious of me to dare venture into the realm of historical scholarship reserved for tenured professors and professional historians."

It is NOT so reserved and pretending it is, is like pretending to pronounce yourself on morals you need to be a professor or at least post-graduate in psychology.

And before you think it is pretentious of me to imagine my own blogging could have anything to do with your situation, take a look at some stats.

As I have free commenting policy, it is something of a wonder I don't get more comments with those stats. Or less, if most are, at times, from Russia? Either way, here is a series of three posts linking to first of them, on which I get anonymous comments fairly abusive. Now, as anonymous, they are not linked to an account and cannot be deleted by whoever did it. They, and my answers to them, are a monument he can't erase. Other nuisances, this time linked to accounts, and usually deleted : spam comments, one from a recurrent account now fortunately going directly to spam, some others from Arabic accounts with publicity for plumbers and similar. I now profit from them as a means of selecting posts to promote.

For my own part, I am working full time as a writer and extra time as a beggar, since not printed.

If you come across Simon again, how about sending him my way, so I can get some "real debate" with a "real account"?

Just a modest proposal, not repeating the nagging about helping me to get printed (unless you consider this sentence as such a repeat). Even his losing a debate under one of my posts just might help ...

elena maria vidal said...

I appreciate all of your support, Hans. Feel welcomed to join the debate on Amazon, if it's still there. Amazon may have taken it down since it was all flagged.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Since I never bought a book via Amazon, I have no account, but thank you for the invitation!