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The Week: A Guide To Internet Trolls

Trolling gives its anonymous practitioners the catharsis of venting forbidden feelings and ideas without suffering any consequences. On the internet, you can cuss out a stranger with even more vigor and impunity than you can a bad driver from the safety of your own car. "The enjoyment comes from finding a context in which you can let go, take a moral vacation," says psychologist Tom Postmes of Exeter University in the U.K. "Trolls aspire to violence, to the level of trouble they can cause in an environment." That prospect is particularly appealing to disaffected men in their late teens and 20s, but they are hardly alone. ... Rider University psychologist John Suler says an "online disinhibition effect" allows people who might never utter a hateful word in person to unleash withering vitriol on comment boards/The Week (Technology). More here. (Wikipedia illustration: The "trollface", first appearing in 2008, is often used to indicate trolling in contemporary internet culture)

Question: Have you ever acted out as an Internet troll?



D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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