“The Troll’s Head”, a place where friends can meet for a convivial chat, to swap ideas and to deposit items inimicable to their very existence (trollish Kryptonite if you like) FACTS! But allow me a moment of whimsy if you will, as I explore the psyche of that odd beast, the Internet Troll.
The dictionary definition of an internet troll is
a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
There are many breeds of troll – the concern troll, the shill & the ‘turfer, the flamer, the sockpuppet (a curiously woolly and compliant creature) – but the one we come across most often is Troglodytarum Toryiensis, the common or garden Tory Troll. This creature can be identified by its use of low cunning, a streak of psychopathy, a sneering nature and the use of complex & inappropriate language; the innate certainty of their own superiority is its most recognisable trait.
Sadly, of course, that superiority is only recognised by them and is rarely backed up by their ability; don’t forget, many of these people are the product of Thatcher’s Britain so their levels of educational attainment are not high, poor standards of spelling & grammar, coupled with a limited vocabulary, are de riguer. And, let us be honest, any person who thinks that adopting the internet of a false nose and a squeaky voice disguises their use of sock puppetry is far from the sharpest tool in the box.
Academic studies have shown that trolls often have a high expectation of what it means to be successful, which is higher than they are able to attain, and this results in them resenting others who think they are successful but who fall below their standards. Their bullying nature masks a deep insecurity, often as a result of being bullied themselves; they are the Omega male/female who knows they can never be the Alpha, but attempts to adopt their garb as camouflage for their own shortcomings. In most cases their output is best compared to two cats fighting, lots of snarling and shouting, but rapidly running away when faced with a superior opponent.
At the end of the day these creatures are simply an irrelevance whose sole purpose is to distract and annoy. You can engage with them, you can beat them over the head with facts, you can remonstrate with them but, at the end of the day, the best thing is simply to ignore them as that really gets their (billy) goat!