If the word "troll" draws you back to childhood fairy tales, you aren't far off. Trolls have always been depicted as unattractive creatures with a tendency to bully other people - or at least billy goats. In more recent years, the word "troll" has become an Internet term, but the online posters it now describes aren't exactly lovable, and their actions have been blamed for everything from provoking a backlash against the European Union to teen suicides.
By definition, an Internet troll is someone who posts material on message boards or in online communities in an an attempt to provoke others and create an emotional reaction, rather than create or contribute to a true discussion. But while many people argue that trolls are just the price we pay for enjoying a free and open Internet, the ferocity and cruelty of trolling has led many others to call for a crackdown on the online anonymity that makes the most vicious trolling possible.
This infographic from BestPsychologySchoolsOnline.com examines some of the factors of online communication that facilitate trolling, and how users can tone down some of their own trollish behavior.
Source: Psychology of an Internet Troll