This sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, mass media has used troll to describe "a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families."
2 Origin and etymology
2.1 In other languages
3 Trolling, identity, and anonymity
4 Psychological characteristics of trolls
5 Concern troll
6 Troll sites
7 Media coverage and controversy
7.2 United Kingdom
7.3 United States
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
12.1 Trolling advocacy and safety
12.2 Background and definitions
12.3 Academic and debate
The advice to ignore rather than engage with a troll is sometimes phrased as "Please do not feed the trolls."
Application of the term troll is subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. Like any pejorative term, it can be used as an ad hominem attack, suggesting a negative motivation.
As noted in an OS News article titled "Why People Troll and How to Stop Them" (January 25, 2012), "The traditional definition of trolling includes intent. That is, trolls purposely disrupt forums. This definition is too narrow. Whether someone intends to disrupt a thread or not, the results are the same if they do." Others have addressed the same issue, e.g., Claire Hardaker, in her Ph.D. thesis "Trolling in asynchronous computer-mediated communication: From user discussions to academic definitions", and Dr. Phil. Popular recognition of the existence (and prevalence) of non-deliberate, "accidental trolls", has been documented widely, in sources as diverse as the Urban Dictionary, Nicole Sullivan's keynote speech at the 2012 Fluent Conference, titled "Don't Feed the Trolls" Gizmodo, online opinions on the subject written by Silicon Valley executives and comics.
Regardless of the circumstances, controversial posts may attract a particularly strong response from those unfamiliar with the robust dialogue found in some online, rather than physical, communities. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore it, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts – hence the often-seen warning: "Please do not feed the trolls".
A popular early article defining and explaining the issue of Internet Trolls included the suggestion, "The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction to reminding others not to respond to trolls."
The "trollface" is an image occasionally used to indicate trolling in Internet culture.
Origin and etymology
There are competing theories of where and when troll was first used in Internet slang, with numerous unattested accounts of BBS and UseNet origins in the early 80s or before.
The English noun troll in the standard sense of ugly dwarf or giant dates to 1610 and comes from the Old Norse word troll meaning giant or demon. The word evokes the trolls of Scandinavian folklore and children's tales, where they are at times beings bent on mischief and wickedness.
In modern English usage, trolling may describe the fishing technique of slowly dragging a lure or baited hook from a moving boat whereas…