Linguistics expert, Dr. Claire Hardaker, who has studied over 4000 online cases of trolling, has discovered that the methods used by trolls, such as those on Facebook and Twitter, are used to outrage others for amusement. Some say that trolls aren’t doing anything significantly wrong, that its about the humor and the mischief. Others who disagree however, state that the ferocity and personal nature of the language and “abuse” make it a sort of hate speech.
Trolls who use the Internet use it for their sense of power and amusement, and can stem from boredom and revenge, but the most thrilling piece is the anonymity that the Internet provides, especially on social networking sites.
Dr. Hardaker states that, “Aggression, deception and manipulation are increasingly part of online interaction, yet many users are unaware not only that some of these behaviours exist, but of how destructive and insidious they can be.” She also warns that this behavior can become more intense, leading to possible cyberstalking and cyberharassment, which could be punishable by law.
To see more on Hardaker’s research, check out: