10 Aug ‘Did you know?’ Thursdays
Did you know that…
‘trolling’ is the act of posting offensive or inflammatory comments online in order to provoke others? Based on a recent study, an estimated 5.6 percent of people self-identify as online trolls. The same study reveals that specific personality types, such as sadists, are most likely to engage in trolling and enjoy doing so. Narcissistic personalities are also prone to trolling, since sparking debates, being outrageous and non-PC can be a way to attract attention and be in the spotlight.
Beyond personality, trolling is alluring to many because it allows for anonymity and momentary identity loss. This temporary loss of one’s true self, otherwise known are ‘deinviduation’ in social psychology, diffuses individual responsibility and pushes people to break the rules and even engage in violent behaviour.
Some websites attempt to counter trolling by moderating and banning inappropriate comments. If you come across any online comments which you believe are inappropriate, report them. This is particularly relevant when trolling becomes hate speech, namely ‘negative discourse stretching from hatred and incitement to hatred; to abusive expression and vilification; and arguably also to extreme forms of prejudice and bias’.
SOS Malta is developing an app to report hate speech online. Click here for more info.