Thread: Academics on Why Trolls Troll
#1 Academics on Why Trolls Troll
06-14-2011, 08:59 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
— We're at a stage in the internet where trolling is ubiquitous and expected.
Claire Hardaker, a lecturer at Lancaster University in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, presented her paper, Trolling in Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication, at the Linguistic Impoliteness and Rudeness Conference (LIAR) back in 2009.
Her data was derived from digging through nine years of comments in a forum about horseback riding. What?
Strike two! And, finally, her work was published in the Journal of Politeness Research.
That there is dedicated scholarship in this field is most probably a strike three.
Well, her working definition for a troll is as follows:
"A Troll Is :"
"[Someone] who constructs the identity of sincerely wishing to be part of the group in question, including professing or conveying pseudo-sincere intentions, but whose real intention(s) is/are to cause disruption and/or to trigger or exacerbate conflict for the purposes of their own amusement"
Sound about right? Her study resulted in pretty sound advice for trollees, too:
(1) be frustrated if users correctly interpret an intent to troll, but are not provoked into responding,
(2) be thwarted if users correctly interpret an intent to troll, but counter in such a way as to curtail or neutralise the success of the troller,
(3) fail if users do not correctly interpret an intent to troll and are not provoked by the troller, or,
(4) succeed if users are deceived into believing the troller's pseudo-intention(s), and are provoked into responding sincerely.
Finally, users can mock troll. That is, they may undertake what appears to be trolling with the aim of enhancing or increasing effect, or group cohesion.
06-14-2011, 11:00 AM
I know what trolls do and how they do it and I know how to thwart them. More interesting to me is why people troll. I expect there are probably a half dozen reasons for the behavior, none of which reflect well on the troll.
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
- Southwest Michigan (in Exile)
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