Researchers: Internet trolls are ‘everyday sadists’

“An online survey by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and ‘Machiavellianism’: a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others,” Doug Gross reports for CNN. “‘It was sadism, however, that had the most robust associations with trolling of any of the personality measures,’ says an article by psychologists from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and University of British Columbia. ‘In fact, the associations between sadism and… scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.'”

“Sadism is a tendency to take pleasure in other people’s pain or discomfort,” Gross reports. “The article was published last week in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.”

“As defined in the article, online trolling is ‘the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose,'” Gross reports. “So, as opposed to cyberbullying, saying nasty things during an argument over politics or even making hateful comments that reflect the commenter’s true feelings, trolls are offensive for the sheer enjoyment of it. Or, in Internet parlance, ‘for the lulz.’ ‘Trolls operate as agents of chaos on the Internet, exploiting ‘hot-button issues’ to make users appear overly emotional or foolish in some manner,’ the article reads. ‘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!””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Troll Quote: Do or do not. There is no try. - Dumbledore

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dennis” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

51 Comments

  1. As a fan of both Star Wars and Harry Potter, I can tell you that Dumbledore NEVER said that…but that the quote belonged to Yoda from Star Wars. Interesting article, though it is very obvious.

      1. This only mashes 3 different universes. It’s still beaten by the picture that says

        “Use the Force, Harry”
        – Gandalf

        … with a shot of Patrick Stewart instead of Ian McKellen. That one mashed 4 geek universes together.

    1. I think the point of the picture is the deliberate fact-challenged “truth’s” Trolls like to extol on the Internet. So a Yoda quote attributed to Dumbledore as pictured as Gandalf is an example of their spiteful cluelessness & disingenuousness.

  2. “An online survey by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and ‘Machiavellianism’: a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others,”

    They would have reached the same conclusion had they interviewed Ballmer’s left nut. Would have saved them a lot of time and money.

    1. This fits with what I’ve thought for some time now — I can’t see any explanation other than mental disorder for the dripping nastiness of some people on this forum – botvinnik, Nut and a couple of others.

      1. John, I hope you realise that as obnoxious as they might be, BLN and botvinnik are not trolls. Any behavioural congruences with trolls are incidental. They use and appreciate Apple products. Trolls do not and unconvincingly pretend to do so. They exhibit fully realised personalities complete with frailties. Trolls are ironclad, unrelenting, one-dimensional, cruel. And finally, trolls are monotone, one trick ponies, whereas our two maligned posters have demonstrated stereo personalities. We may not enjoy dissension, but we may as well differentiate between infiltrators and those in our own ranks who may simply be less than glad.

  3. “Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and ‘Machiavellianism’: a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others”

    They also make really good sales people. 😉

  4. Thats from the scene where Yoda was telling Luke to lift his X-wing from the swamps…where Luke said, “Alright, I’ll give it a try.” Then Yoda said those infamous words.

  5. I hope they are not getting sexual pleasure from their activities …. that would be sicko.

    Sadism – enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain; especially : sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone

    Schadenfreude – scha·den·freu·de. noun, often capitalized \ˈshä-dən-ˌfrȯi-də\. : a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people …

    1. Hahahaaha….HA! Knowing iits a picture of ‘who gives a shite’ quoted from ‘virgin boy porn’ signed by ‘I can’t believe you know the characters from Harry P$$y Potter’ is a megadose of chick repellant.

      Nerd!

      1. That’s not trolling, that’s being a dick while trying to appear clever.
        Result; Epic fail. I can see all the hot girls making the ‘L’ sign on their foreheads whenever you rock up with you wisecracks,

  6. Internet TROLLS are most likely Virgins! Specially the ones that really Hate Apple and users. They hate the Apple store because all the HOT women goes there and play loving with the toys and enjoy hanging out to talk to Apple users. That’s why the haters are all gunning for Microsoft Stores and Samsung Stores. Hoping to get the same environment. Guess what? It’s NOT WORKING! HAHAHA!

  7. I don’t know about their definition of sadist when I read the article so I checked it out. Sure enough:

    Sadism: enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain; especially : sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone.

    What they describe as Sadism (“a tendency to take pleasure in other people’s pain or discomfort”) seems to better fit the idea of Schadenfreude (the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune).

    Anyway, don’t feed the trolls, and learn to identify them.

    http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/articles/18-types-of-internet-trolls

  8. Botty! Where are you, Botty!
    Your dad and I have been trying to tell you this for years! Have a good read of this article, and then think about what a nasty little fuck you are.
    You too, Nut.

  9. What kind of idiot would believe any crap like this coming out of Canada? Those inbred schmucks couldn’t find two brain cells to rub together in their whole country.

    1. Only an inbred redneck would say that. Everyone else knows that Canadians don’t go starting illegal wars in other people’s countries; they’d rather stay at home, drink beer, and play ice hockey, eh?
      You sure your daddy and your sister weren’t spending a little bit to much ‘quality time’ together before you were born?

      1. I was all set to join you in deriding the moronic comment about Canadians, until you mentioned illegal wars, and revealed yourself to be in the same class as the one you attacked. I can now see you standing smugly by in your condescending pacifism as I am beaten and left for dead in an alley. Thanks for that.

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