It's not just that anonymity reduces inhibitions.

Video Why do some people become trolls and bullies online Wikimedia Commons/Gil mnogueira
Social Internet Culture Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 12:55

What makes an online troll? Irrespective of race, creed, gender or any other identity markers you could think of, anyone who’s spent time on the internet has eventually run into a troll of one kind or the other. A troll is basically anyone who writes off-topic and/or inflammatory comments to disrupt normal discussions online.

In the early days of the internet and social media, common-sense thinking advised that trolls should just be ignored or laughed off. But the effects of online trolling in its cyber-bullying version are increasingly being taken seriously. And with the increased attention, psychologists have also begun research into what is it that makes a troll and prompts such behavior online.

Going beyond the truism about anonymity reducing inhibition, psychologists are breaking down the various components of the “online disinhibition effect”. They are also studying aggressive online trolls to discover the dark triad or dark tetrad of negative personality traits that are predominant in internet users who tend to interact more on the internet through trolling.

Watch this video for a quick lowdown on online trolling:


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