Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles the term. Trolling originally referred to a fishing technique where multiple lines with bait are trailed behind a boat to attract and catch fish. With online trolling, they're still bait involved. But instead of catching fish, the goal is to catch you. A troll is someone who makes antagonistic remarks online with the goal of provoking and upsetting others. Sometimes it could be lighthearted, and other times it can be downright mean no matter where it falls on the spectrum, you can think of the troll as the person who's dangling the bait and where the fish that too often bite. But why do trolls dangle that bait in the first place? With most websites, we can create an anonymous account with a user name and a profile picture that don't reflect our real world identity. Trolls take advantage of this posting things with no one ever knowing that it was really them, meaning no real world consequences. In our day to day interactions, most people are motivated by positive social rewards. This'll means that the experience positive feelings after engaging in friendly or helpful behavior. Now, with trolls, it's usually a different story. They tend to have higher levels of negative social potency. This is basically a fancy way of saying that they enjoy causing mischief and suffering and the attention that that entails hurling insults or starting arguments and watching others get riled up from this gives them satisfaction. And the Internet has become the perfect place to do this. So how do we deal with trolling? Well, don't take the bait. They want us to respond, to get angry, to fight back. If we do, we're simply reinforcing their behavior, meaning they'll keep at it. It may not always be easy, but if we can manage to ignore them, we're depriving them of the negative social rewards that they're seeking. Less rewards means less motivation to keep patrolling. If the fish don't take the bait, the boat will have to look elsewhere.