The magic of trolling

Picture: PRESIDENTTI, user of goSupermodel

Picture: PRESIDENTTI, user of goSupermodel

Trolling on the internet means annoying others on purpose. If you’ve spent a lot of time on any online community, you’ve probably encountered a troll or two. They’re the people who seem just too stupid to be real – but actually, they are acting like that with the purpose of annoying others.

Trolls are everywhere. They’re in Facebook groups trying to make people fight with each other. They’re in the comment sections of news sites claiming the journalist has all their facts wrong. And yes, they’re on children’s sites creating confusion.

The appeal of trolling lies in the power it gives. When you question everything that everyone says, you can never be wrong. There will always be an argument that you can throw in. If all else fails, a troll can always resort to saying all the others are too stupid to understand what the REAL point of the discussion was – and then quietly log off.

The best way to treat trolls is to ignore them. Aggravating is no fun without a response. If you get into an argument with a troll, you will lose, so why bother?

Kids and trolling

Kids will face trolls too, and many will even try trolling. That’s OK.

It’s a good idea to tell your kid that people don’t always mean what they say online. A troll is typically someone who created their account just for the purpose of trolling. They’re not necessarily bullying: they’re being annoying and they’re trying to get attention.

If your kid tries trolling, don’t worry. Hopefully he or she will realise that it just annoys others and stops soon.

About the author:

Silja Nielsen, watAgame

Silja Nielsen is Head of Community and Safety at watAgame. She has been a watAgamer since 2010. Silja has a master’s degree in Media Studies and is interested in privacy, online behaviour and online communities.