Hi, I’m Niccolo Machiavelli.
The Internet is an anonymous environment where it is easy to seek out and explore one’s niche, however idiosyncratic. Consequently, antisocial individuals have greater opportunities to connect with similar others, and to pursue their personal brand of self expression as well as their ongoing attempts to defend decisions (e.g. purchase decisions) they once made.
Everyone is entitled to express his opinion on the internet. But …
There is an Apple logo in my avatar. Why? Well, I’m blogging about the company, the people standing behind, and the exciting products designed in California. Here on Google+ (an Android dominated network regarding communities dedicated to mobile devices) this alone is an inexhaustible wellspring of personal attacks.
Online Trolling is the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose. From a lay-perspective, Internet trolls share many characteristics of the classic Joker villain: a modern variant of the Trickster archetype from ancient folklore. Much like the Joker, trolls operate as agents of chaos on the Internet, exploiting “hot-button issues” to make users appear overly emotional or foolish in some manner. If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished,
“Do not feed the trolls!”.
Despite public awareness of the phenomenon, there is little empirical research on trolling. Existing literatures are scattered and multidisciplinary in nature. For instance, Shachaf and Hara conducted interviews of Wikipedia trolls, finding themes of boredom, attention seeking, revenge, pleasure, and a desire to cause damage to the community among their expressed motivations for trolling. In other research, Hardaker conducted a content analysis of Usenet posts that identified four primary characteristics of trolling: aggression, deception, disruption, and success. The deceptive and “pointless” disruptive aspects may distinguish trolling from other forms of online antisociality, such as cyber-bullying, where perpetrator identities are usually clear and the intent is more straightforward.
Frequency of activity is an important correlate of antisocial uses of technology.
For instance, cyber-bullying is often perpetrated by heavy Internet users, and disagreeable persons use mobile technologies more than others – not for socializing, but for personal entertainment. Similarly, gamers who express non-social motivations for online gaming (e.g., competition, personal achievement) demonstrate lower levels of agreeableness and conscientiousness than others. Still other research has linked low agreeableness, low conscientiousness, and high extraversion to heavy Internet use. These patterns parallel gender differences in online behavior:
Men are higher in overall Internet use and higher in antisocial behavior online.
Overall, the findings suggest that it may be fruitful to examine associations of trolling with the Big Five, gender differences, and global Internet habits.
The noxious personality variables known as the Dark Tetrad of personality
Narcissism, Machiavellianism, Psychopathy, and Sadistic Personality
are yet to be investigated in the trolling literature.
Their relevance is suggested by research linking these traits to bullying in both adolescents and adults. Also suggestive is research showing that narcissists and those with antisocial personality disorder use Facebook more frequently than others, thus indicating that dark personalities leave large digital footprints.
Of the Dark Tetrad, we expected everyday sadism to prove most germane to trolling. After all, trolling culture embraces a concept virtually synonymous with sadistic pleasure: in troll-speak, “lulz”.
About the term “Dark Triad” …
Narcissism is characterized by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
Machiavellianism is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.
Psychopathy is characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.
The tenor …
There are many people trolling in social networks. It can be a soul-destroying task to engage in pointless discussions in the comment section of posts. We cannot expect members or moderators to become psychotherapists. So my suggestions is to simply delete comments and block people with mental diseases according to Niccolo Machiavelli’s saying
The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.
Otherwise it’s most likely that you will lose your passion to engage in one of the best content networks worldwide, it’s Google+.
Feel free to download E. Buckels article as a PDF.
Thanks for reading.