What Makes Someone Become A Troll?

I tweeted about trolls earlier today and received a great response so thought I’d expand the conversation to the blogging community. I’ve been very fortunate to have largely avoided them during my online career but they are a major topic in the U.K. at present due to a number of public figures receiving vile abuse, including death threats. A campaign seems to be growing to halt online anonymous accounts where most of these nasty attacks originate.

What brings a person to go to the extent of creating an anonymous account for the purpose of directing abuse and hatred towards total strangers? Many of them appear to spend much of their day doing so which leads me to question what is going on in their ‘real’ lives? Do they spend most of their day being equally obnoxious to people they know? I doubt that very much which is why they prefer to lurk online, directing their venom at others.

Much of it must boil down to feelings of jealousy. Is your own life that bereft of love and success that you feel the need to direct your inner anger at others? Because that’s what it is. Anger. But more a deep inner anger which they project outwards rather than allow to fester and ferment within. Trolls are angry creatures but primarily angry about their own failings and inadequacies. Hence the need to direct their resentment at others who are making something of their lives.

Trolls are ugly, cowardly creatures. They hide in the shadows because they lack the courage to face their victims. Whenever criminal investigations are conducted and trolls are identified they are invariably found to be rather pathetic, nondescript characters. More to be pitied, than feared. They never fail to disappoint and are rarely the tough, mouthy keyboard warriors they profess to be online.

My limited experiences with them has led me to conclude that the best approach is to ignore them. They crave attention, it is their oxygen. When we react to them they appear to get some perverse kick out of it. It makes their day because, outside of their social media personas, they have very little going for them. I’ve tried to get my head around the mentality of such a person but struggle to see what happens someone to lead them to this abject existence.

Muting and blocking are what I do now. I’ve been attacked on several occasions, usually when I write about political matters or the coronavirus pandemic. I tend to avoid these topics now as it seems to attract them like a bear to honey. In fact, there’s an argument to simply ignore as muting and blocking suggests a reaction on my part. Ignoring reduces them to nothing. They simply don’t exist.

What are your views on trolls?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

16 thoughts on “What Makes Someone Become A Troll?

  1. I have dealt with them, but not often. If one appears on my social media I tend to ignore as long as their comments don’t go too far over the line. If anyone else goes to comment I will send them a private message asking them to not feed the trolls, let them die of starvation because what they feed on is attention. but again, most of my dealings have been mostly benign so they are easily ignored. If they had been of a more serious nature different actions would have had to been taken.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I think there are maybe two kinds (probably thousands, once you make a taxonomic analysis): the purposeful shit-disturbers and the “true believers” who have lost their way. The former are a waste: they find joy in other’s social media misery and care not if it causes real pain. Report and block and don’t give them neural space. The others though, that’s harder. Especially in politics when so often the driving forces are pain and fear. The things some are willing to say, though…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I learned years ago that you cannot bwin against a troll if you engage with them. Block and move on. Don’t waste even the tiniest sneeze of your life on moronic haters.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Trolls are everywhere you look on Social Media. They look for an argument on anything. It is what drives them on – the reply and retort back. Do not engage, just block them and move on. Report them to Twitter/FB or whatever platform.
    Sometimes though, Twitter and FB take a long time to respond, and by that time the troll has spread enough crap about you for your readers to view.
    I now prefer to blog here on WP as we can moderate all comments 🙂
    Great post Stephen and Fionnuala

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Harumph, harumh, I agree. They want attention, like children with too much sugar.
    If they are not acknowledged, then they turn to another target.
    When they cannot stop themselves, then maybe some peripheral ridicule might help, as they lack any sense of humor. Leading them into logical traps will send them into self-harm. Then again, most have no recognition of any logic, so …………. we go back to ignoring them and blocking them.
    Damn, I have no cure for it. I left FB entirely.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t tolerate them. As much as I am able, I block them. Trolls are the internet version of the abusive lover; some of the worst I have encountered have been women (or have women personas). They never have anything of value to add to the debate; they depend on name-calling, finger-pointing & false information. I have no use for them whatsoever.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t avoid topics. Right now I do not have an active following on Twitter, and on FB they mostly ignore me or haven’t found me. I’ve had some disagreeable comments, but not trolls. Mostly I get FB or twitter or IG private messages (DMs) from men trolling for women. UG… sometimes I report, but I always block and then delete.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Very good post. I’ve dealt with trolls from time to time which got annoying, not going to lie. One piece of online advice I followed was the e-adage (patent pending) “Never feed a troll.” You could be right on your points and they’ll still try to drive you mad. Not going to lie, I thought I was going to be trolled hardcore years ago when I posted by review of Kimba the White Lion on one of my blogs mainly due to THAT plagiarism controversy which one can’t ignore, but I was surprised when I had some likes and healthy dialog with others. I’m glad you’ve been able to deal with trolls your own way.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Ignoring them only works for certain types or troll. But for the most part, it doesn’t work for the career troll is what I call those who are very persistence in their trolling.

    Like

  10. I really love your points. Some people are just plain mean and hateful, but they live pitiful, sad, angry lives. How sad for them, but I’m not going to spend my day feeling sorry for them. I will pray for them and then move on with my life.

    Like

  11. My now ex was an internet troll. This is actually incredibly accurate. Every troll I’ve ever met was profoundly unhappy with themselves, and they had to project it onto everyone else to feel better. Needless to say, there’s a reason this person is now an ex lol

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Some trolls do it for the profit. We have plenty of famous trolls in America. I won’t mention names. Many of them have large followings and make $$ from their podcasts, books, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Being the owner of such a small blog, I have not yet come across a troll, I don’t think so anyway. This is all helpful to know, and the comments provide further evidence that not engaging denies any fuel for their baseless fires.

    If a response is somehow necessary to prevent harm to oneself or another, I can only think of choosing kindness. It is more difficult in those situations I’m sure. Not agreeing, not condoning, not engaging with baseless accusations, but as kind a response as one can to show their voice has been heard, and that’s it. Of course blocking them ASAP too, if necessary.

    Thanks again for the good share, Stephen.

    Like

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