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  • Do you know the anatomy of an internet troll? It's a little uglier than you might think.

  • [MUSIC]

  • Hey everyone, Laci Green here for DNews. It's admittedly my favorite scientific field of

  • all: internet trollology. I grew up on AND work on the internet in many capacities, so

  • trolls have always been a point of fascination for me. Who are these a-holes who seem to

  • take pleasure in saying and doing hurtful things to others on the web -- these "trolls"

  • who derail interesting discussion in favor of an epic (but meaningless) flame war?

  • A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences finds there's more....or

  • maybe just as much...to trolls as meets the eye. They found that the people who engage

  • in this behavior online have some striking personality traits in common. Particularly,

  • traits that are found in the "Dark Tetrad": Machiavellian tendencies, psychopathy, sadism,

  • and narcissism. Those who fall in the Dark Tetrad may appear charming at first, but they

  • are ultimately self concerned, callous, and lack empathy for others. The cherry on the

  • sundae is the sadism -- sadistic personality types truly enjoy seeing others in distress.

  • The Dark Tetrad is the perfect villain.

  • Compared to the general population, study participants who reported that they enjoy

  • trolling have much higher rates of these Dark Tetrad traits - most notably is their unusually

  • high rates of sadism. The study was conducted by evaluating the personality traits of participants

  • against what they use the internet for. Those who engage in purposefully inflammatory behavior

  • make up a very small percentage of internet users on the whole, though -- only 5%. Compare

  • that to the 41% of users who don't comment at all, period.

  • So what does this mean? Well, first off: the sadistic group is the smallest, but the loudest.

  • The researchers believe that the anonymity and social acceptance of "trolling" creates

  • a safe space for real life sadists to indulge themselves. Offline, there are more consequences.

  • It also means that there's more to a troll than simple mischief. Internet trolling could

  • be an indicator of disturbing behavior offline. And...it also calls to question the effectiveness

  • of "not feeding the trolls". Sadists find their behavior intrinsically motivating, so

  • even if they never get a response -- simply acting on the nasty impulse is pleasurable

  • in and of itself.

  • What I've noticed in the past 5, 10 years is that there is a change slowly coming over

  • the internet. As the web becomes more intertwined with our REAL lives and identities -- and

  • less of the anarchistic playground it used to be in the olden golden days, it will be

  • harder for people to indulge in everyday sadism on the web. YouTube itself has contributed

  • to the movement toward internet civility by forcing many users to have their comments

  • connected with their name. You know, with that G+ revamp we were all so fond of...

  • So guys, what do you make of internet trolls? Share your thoughts down below, and we'll

  • catch you next time on DNews for some more science updates.

Do you know the anatomy of an internet troll? It's a little uglier than you might think.

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B2 US trolling personality behavior dark indulge web

Are Trolls Jerks In Real Life?

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    羅紹桀 posted on 2016/07/08
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