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Understanding Internet Trolls

Trolls are individuals who post comments on line which are designed to insult and provoke others. They post their verbal assaults mostly in the comments sections of YouTube, or news sites, as well as social media and email. The hateful remarks they spew is hard to believe. They seem to have no limits of indecency, or boundaries. They will verbally attack the victims or their families in news accounts of violent crime, say supportive or congratulatory comments directed at the offender, and celebrate death or suffering. Sometimes they are more subtle, and post comments which are completely irrelevant to the topic, to get a reaction, or what sounds like a detailed criticism which is intended make themselves look smart and someone else look dumb.  When the aggrieved parties respond with anger, outrage, and disbelief, they have a good laugh and push even harder to provoke them further. 



Internet trolls are typically narcissistic and sociopathic. Narcissistic individuals are filled with pride and excessive grandiose self-love. They feel they are not accountable to any authority, are very entitled, and refuse to believe they can ever be wrong. Sociopathy goes hand in hand with narcissism. A sociopath, aka a psychopath, aka an antisocial, is an individual who habitually infringes on the rights of others, harassing, stealing, assaulting, exploiting, manipulating, or raping without any guilt, shame or remorse. Both personality types are primarily motivated by self-preservation. Trolls are narcissistic sociopaths who enjoy hurting others at a distance. They can create suffering with impunity. 


Trolls are best dealt with by leaving them frustrated. If no one else on the forum responds, they do not receive any satisfaction. As they spew their filth, if others do not offer any response, they may initially escalate their level of provocation. Eventually, they will become bored and frustrated, and move on to another site. They will not stop being who they are, which are people who take pleasure in causing others suffering. But as their efforts to get a reaction are ignored, they lose their power. The worst thing for a narcissist is to be ignored; the worst thing for a sociopath is when their provocations fall flat instead of being greeted with impotent outrage or disgust. It is important for targets of trolls to remember who they are dealing with: hateful and arrogant people who are so full of misery that they can only feel better when they make someone else hurt. Don’t be as source of pleasure for them.