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Internet trolls are psychopaths and sadists, psychologists claim

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posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:17 PM
In ternet trolls are psychopaths and sadists, psychologists claim

Canadian researchers have confirmed what most people suspected all along: that internet trolls are archetypal Machiavellian sadists.

In a survey conducted by the group of psychologists, people who partake in so-called trolling online showed signs of sadism, psychopathy, and were Machiavellian in their manipulation of others and their disregard for morality.

The researchers defined online trolling as “the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet” for no purpose other than their pleasure.

"If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished", 'Do not feed the trolls!', the study warned.

The team concluded that those who enjoyed trolling more than other activities, such debating and making friends, had tendencies in line with the psychological “Dark Tetrad”.

Dark Tetrad

The dark triad is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. The use of the term "dark" reflects the perception that these traits have interpersonally aversive qualities:

*Narcissism is characterized by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.

*Machiavellianism is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.

*Psychopathy is characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.
In case you're wondering what a "troll" is....

Internet Troll

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Glad ATS doesn't have any.

+4 more 
posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:21 PM
Leave it to humanity's own sense of self-importance to cause a "study" of something everyone's always known: There's d*cks out there acting d*ckish.

posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:28 PM
reply to post by WonderBoi

Just LOL. Really.

First, ATS??? Not trying to be nasty or anything, but this is Troll Heaven, really, isn't it? I know that won't go over too well, but it's seems pretty right on the mark. Just research the foundation of the website, for starters. It's like commercial fishing, for God's sake, in the internet ocean…..

Second: As to your title and conclusion, about the psychology of such…..
well, nothing like the broad brush stroke being applied, is there? Sort of like saying jaywalkers are all anarchists….

+3 more 
posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:30 PM
reply to post by WonderBoi

Except that on most internet forums, "troll" usually means anyone with an opinion different than yours.

posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:31 PM
reply to post by tetra50

And here I thought OP was being sarcastic...


posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:36 PM

reply to post by tetra50

And here I thought OP was being sarcastic...


Ha. I'm sure he/she is, and I'm just too stupid to get it. Thanks for clarifying that for me and anyone who might have been too confused to get it.. The real scope of it is that someone wrote this in an article to begin with, right, as you so sanguinely pointed out in your first response, and then linked with and reinforced a common perception that this is just the same old crap "humanity" comes up with. I swear if you want an all encompassing view of how crappy humanity is on so many levels, this is the place to find it on any given day. Downright scary what happens with just enough brain cells for thought, but not enough for anything beyond basic comprehension…..
edit on 20-2-2014 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by WonderBoi

People always told me that nobody can make you feel anyway without your permission. Your feelings are yours and yours alone.

Lets put it this way...If you can get an IP ban from Huffington Post and Infowars on the same are a super troll.

I can walk into a room gestureless , not saying a word and drain the lifeforce out in seconds.

posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 11:53 PM
People talk about having a different personality online, but is there really a clinical difference, in that someone can be a psychopath online, and not a psychopath offline? This might sound cynical, but could this be a pre-requisite for a drive to diagnose people with psychopathologies to ensure treatment programmes are economical?

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 12:02 AM
Reality testing . . . particularly good reality testing . . .

vis a vis trolls and trollish behavior . . . on ATS as elsewhere

seems to be in very short supply--most particularly on the part of those most engaged in such attitudes, traits and behaviors.

It has far too sadly appeared far too often to be the case that a significant percentage of folks on ATS . . . what? . . . 5%? . . . 10%? . . . 15%? . . . 25%? . . . I'd guesstimate between 5% and 20% . . . of all posters--from occasional to frequent posters.

. . . or maybe 40-80% of THE MOST HYPER-'VOCAL' posters . . . demonstrate, exhibit significant amounts of said trollish attitudes, traits and behaviors.

Or, if we considered another filtering criteria . . . one might guesstimate 70-90% of all chronic, habitual, knee-jerk, addicted-to-naysaying naysayers to exhibit significant amount of said trollish attitudes, traits and behaviors.

Reasonable critical thinking skepticism is one thing. But that sort of reasonable skepticism seems to have drowned on ATS and most of the net, in a sea of immediately, chronically, habitually, reflexively, arbitrary, addicted, ATTACHMENT DISORDER fostered, borderline-to-clearly hostile/nasty, pointed, prickly, sharp to assaultive, haughty, prissy naysaying.

It seems to have become THE RELIGION OF CHOICE, or at least the sub-dogma of choice. The religious fervor with which said folks engage in such trollish naysaying is often startling to outrageous.

And of course, most to all such over-the-line trollish naysayers are 101% convinced of the supremely omniscient authoritative accuracy and unassailable perfection of their perspective . . . or near so.

Is it any wonder that increasing numbers of thoughtful posters just abandon the whole bother of trying to initiate a thoughtful thread of substance on anything remotely vulnerable to controversy? And what isn't vulnerable to such controversy in such a climate?

And, others, who MAY risk initiating a thread on a thoughtful topic will merely post their OP and then retreat or retire to avoid the machine gun crossfire that inevitably results.

I don't know that I have a solution to suggest.

The ATS standard of civility helps keep the trollishness down to a slightly muffled dull roar. However, imho, that mostly results in hostile trollishness cloaked in layers of prissiness and codewords that don't really fool anyone nor mollify anyone with the least bit of true civility.

I don't see a way around that. Folks will always find a way--within whatever rules--to express their true natures, their true heart and attitudinal perspectives--however outrageous, haughty or mean-spirited--in whatever context.

And when such a black-hearted motivation is cloaked in layers of subterfuge . . . almost ANY attempt to reign it in will be met with mock incredulity--some variation on "Whatever can you mean" . . . with the greatest practiced pretense of innocence.

That's all the more so when those tasked with reigning in such nastiness are over-worked volunteers--some given to being overly human in such directions themselves--at least occasionally around the edges.

I think at the root, heart of the matter is a particularly virulent core of ATTACHMENT DISORDERED psyche virtually hell-bent on carving out "meaningfulness," attention, "worth" DEFINED BY the numbers and intensities of upset to outrage they can trigger far and wide on the part of those who fail to see reality the way the trolls do.

And, if they are lacking in folks on the scene to disagree starkly with, they'll turn on each other in a nit-picking frenzy full of almost as much blood and knife slashing as is normally reserved for their overt, more opposite opponents.

I belong to ONE website that has a small sub-site engineered by the larger site owner and creator--of INVITATION ONLY members. There is some diversity but mostly it is a congenial, collegial group of mostly similar values. While there's a significant degree of diversity along some limited issues and lines--folks are mostly in agreement on the critical values in life--at least ostensibly. And, any nastiness is quickly shot down and the guilty are well aware they are at risk for being quickly removed from the small congenial group if it persists. And that's a group of say 15-30 people; about 8-12 frequent posters.

I don't think that's very workable in a larger group--particularly a large very diverse group.

I have wondered . . . what would it mean to have a policy on ATS or similar boards where FOR THE FIRST 1-3 PAGES of a new thread, NO naysaying was allowed. That ONLY after 1-3 pages of neutral to affirming posts could the naysaying begin.

That MIGHT do a number of things.

1. It would prevent the addicted-to-naysaying trolls from trashing a new thread right off the bat.

2. It would also force posters to at least empathetically CONSIDER the possibilities that the OP was either right &/or had some interesting points worth considering or giving the benefit of the doubt.

3. It would set a standard and a precedent quite opposite to the current one--it would signal more demonstratively that hostile, chronically haughty reflexive, arbitrary naysaying was NOT that welcome, nor respected, nor nice.

= = =

And/or perhaps alternatively . . . a new thread's OP's respondents could not post a naysaying post within the first 3-5 pages UNTIL AFTER they had first posted 5-7 neutral to positive sentences about the OP. It might even be possible to program the software to monitor and moderate that issue.

Anyway--just trying to think outside the box toward dealing with the trollish dark tetrad mentioned in the OP. I think the OP is accurate. I think it's a dreadful fact of net life--even on ATS.

And, I think it's beyond off-putting.

I think it is also a sign of our era . . . a "spirit of the age."




posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 12:23 AM
I hate to break it to them but the "trolls" that they have studied are only the infant trolls.

You see I have been forever a "troll" on the internet, but my methods have evolved past what these so called "experts" have been researching.

You see I no longer hunger for "personal insults." Those are child's play. Not for me. You will see them every where on the internet mostly because these "trolls" are between the ages of 11 and 15. 16-18 year old "trolls" have a more open mind when it comes to trolling and can begin to figure out new ways of trolling. "Trolls" between the ages of 19-23 begin to either drift away from it, or harness their abilities to do far more worse things than just making somebody cry. They can manage to make several dozens of people cry. Even make them question their own methods.

I hunger more for a challenge when it comes to trolling. Maybe you other trolls out there might not understand but throwing out a joke on someone else's expense just doesn't do it anymore.

Take this for example:

A troll going from infancy to a much more robust form. Youtube user BlackBusterCritic

A troll who has drifted away:
Original troll video done by Chad Warden 2007
Youtube user Chad Warden today

Notice the difference between the two trolls?

They both started at the same principles, but one has continued to further himself on trolling whilst the other has given it up.

This is just on youtube. These are the most vocal trolls you will ever encounter.

See these "trolls" are all about their proclaimed self image amongst other "trolls." If the trolls themselves begin to shy away from these effigies they begin to give it up. They are either in it for the trolls, or in it for the fun. Usually the ones who are in it for the fun don't really care about what others think, say, or do to another. But as they progress they get less and less "toxic."

I could go on forever about internet trolls, but you will run into one on every forum you have ever searched for. Even in yahoo answers, or medical questions. I would say the chances of you running into an internet troll online in any comment, forum, suggestion, or public chat dialogue what so ever is 1:1.001 (Based on personal experience.)

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 12:40 AM
Well then,
Color me crazy..
there.. thread bump

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 12:40 AM
Well then,
Color me crazy..
there.. thread bump

How about that... twice as psychotic....
edit on 21-2-2014 by Lil Drummerboy because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 12:42 AM

WonderBoiGlad ATS doesn't have any.

U mad bro?

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 02:00 AM
I'm starting to wonder if I'm being trolled. I keep seeing this thread appear disappear and then reappear. Am I losing my mind?

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 02:33 AM
Stupid people existed before the internet. They had kids, and now those stupid kids have turned into stupid people with a keyboard. Those stupid people will have, or already have kids, and they will find another avenue to display there inherited stupidity, and then before you know it, we have a majority of stupid people

'What a Wonderful World' could of been ?

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by DarksideOz
I don't think it has to do with how "stupid" one is. Trolls do what they do, for pleasure or for $$$.

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by GiulXainx

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Blackbuster critic!! SONY TROLL PAR EXCELLANCE. Really the guy takes it to the next level at times. You want something funny? look up his deathnote parody Opening.

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 10:37 AM
Here's a link to the actual study: "Trolls Just Want to Have Fun"

There are a few immediate and interesting discrepancies between the statements in the study and the quotes in the article.

However, I'm sure that since "trolling" seems to be defined as disagreeing or finding inaccuracies in claims, pointing this out is merely "trolling" on my part, LOL.

I have a much easier method of detecting a real troll: a real troll is the first person in a discussion that responds by calling another poster "a troll."

Your mileage may vary.

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 10:53 AM

Leave it to humanity's own sense of self-importance to cause a "study" of something everyone's always known: There's d*cks out there acting d*ckish.
At least now it is being recognized as something real, rather than just some whacky "conspiracy theory" . "One small step for man.........."

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 11:03 AM
Question: How do we distinguish a commenter with a passionate and diametrically opposing view to the "original poster" from a Troll?

Follow-up question: Should only posts of "agreement" be allowed? Doesn't a discussion then become merely an "amen corner"?

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