Talk:Internet troll

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 Definition A person who, often anonymously, takes pleasure in sowing discord on the internet. [d] [e]
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Should live at Internet troll. -- One of my favorite subjects.  :-) --Larry Sanger 21:54, 8 October 2007 (CDT)

Now thats cool. The metadata template name got changed as part of the move along with the talk page! How long has it been that way? Can we get it to do the approval and unused subpages as well? Chris Day (talk) 22:02, 8 October 2007 (CDT)
OK false alarm, i see Stephen Ewen was responsible. Can we get it programed in to the media wiki move function? Alonf with all known subpages? Maybe that is a bit too much to ask? Chris Day (talk) 22:05, 8 October 2007 (CDT)
I'm no mediwiki guru, but if talk pages can be made to cascade with articles, then it seem it would not be too much trouble to make any number of pages cascade.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 22:08, 8 October 2007 (CDT)
I would guess, however, that the syntax would have to change, e.g., Bibliography:Internet troll.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 22:20, 8 October 2007 (CDT)
That would require that each subpage has its own namespace? Is that even on the table? Chris Day (talk) 22:30, 8 October 2007 (CDT)

Psychology of

I understand (I think) that Citizendium tries not to fetishize footnotes, since "the devil can cite scripture for his purpose," [1] and we don't have a "Citation Needed" template, etc. But I wondered whether I could possibly request some citations for the sections of this article that create a category of people and then proceed to make psychological generalizations about them. Those sections contain passages inside quotation marks, and apparently they were created by an author-constable with very serious academic credentials, so would it be possible to supply a source for those assertions? Just another newbie author poking fingers at the perimeters (not parameters!) of Citizendium's policies. Thanks. Bruce M.Tindall 18:52, 28 November 2007 (CST)

Done. It's in French, though, never could find anything in English! Stephen Ewen 23:19, 9 January 2008 (CST)


Hi, could anyone please add some well-known (notorious) exaples of Internet trolls? There should be quite a many identified trolls. I remember I once read an article in Wikipedia about a guy (troll) who shot himself. Now couldn't find the article, though. Erik Jesse 10:59, 29 February 2008 (CST)

The problem with this is that trolls are well-known among their respective communities, but there isn't necessarily a "worldly known" troll. You'd have to cite specific examples, and then you run into issues like community archives, dissenting opinions, etc. I don't think there is yet one troll that "everybody knows". --Robert W King 11:15, 29 February 2008 (CST)

Actually, there are a few that are (or were) particularly well known, back in the days of Usenet anyway. --Larry Sanger 12:11, 29 February 2008 (CST)


  1. Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, Act I, scene 3 [oops, sorry, pardon my footnote...]

Theoretical framework

I wonder if Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish applies here. Trolling seems to be attributed here to a break down in the effectiveness of surveillance for controlling the behavior of the individual as a result of anonymity. If noone else is interested in following up on this, someone should remind me when the semester is over and I'll look into it. Rereading Foucault while I still have assigned reading for class is a bit more than I'd like to attempt.;-) --Joe Quick 12:28, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

This sounds very plausible to me, but it needs some work to summarize Foucault accurately and not too simplistically and apply it here. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 22:06, 28 October 2010 (UTC)


I never read "Internet troll", only "troll". The title should be "Troll (I/internet), I think. --Peter Schmitt 22:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Good point. Ro Thorpe 22:27, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I don;t think i agree. Although we abbreviate it to "troll" these days, internet troll is also widely used. Note "Internet troll personality disorder" as a formal medical diagnosis. It avoids confusion with mythological trolls, from which the name is derived. WP uses the format that Peter suggests, but this (to me) is like saying that the correct word is not "television" but "tv". ON the other hand, we saw a clear transition from "omnibus" to "bus" some time ago (!), but there was no ambiguity with the shorter word. Ro: you're the language expert here! Martin Baldwin-Edwards 23:13, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
As Alfred Doolittle sang, "Feather and tarmacadam me, Call out the Army, But get me to the church ON TIME!" Hayford Peirce 23:25, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Haha, I am open to persuasion on this. It needs disambiguation pages, anyway...Martin Baldwin-Edwards 23:38, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I still like Peter's suggestion, but I see he raises the question of whether or not to capitalise if we change it: "Troll (I/internet)". Ro Thorpe 00:46, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Cap I. A private internet doesn't give a troll sufficient opportunities along with anonymity. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:56, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
As I was surmising... Ro Thorpe 00:58, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure that we can say, without hedging, that the term is derived from the word for the Norse mythological creature. OED has it under "troll, n.1," which is a noun related to the fishing-et-alia-related verb "troll," but also says it is "perhaps influenced by troll, n.2" (which is the creature). Note that the OED's North American Editor-at-Large, Jesse Sheidlower, is a veteran denizen of the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, where the Golden Age of recreational and competitive trolling took place in the 1990s, so the OED is likely to give more than cursory attention to the etymology of this term; it's not often that a lexicographer gets to watch the genesis of a word! Bruce M. Tindall 01:05, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, interesting issue. I checked in my SOED (2007) and saw that too. however, don't forget that in these sophisticated times there may well be choice of neologisms with multiple etymologies: that is, the word is apposite both for "fishing" and also as an unflattering characterisation of those engaged in such internet activity. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 04:36, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Purely on stylistic grounds, I don't like Troll (Internet). It looks horrible to me. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 04:37, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
And Troll (internet) is incorrect. Internet troll, however, looks good. Ro Thorpe 15:34, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I am on board with Ro on this one, for sure. Internet troll it should be. (When I was a kid and used to go trolling for bass and perch in our little boat on Green Lake, in Maine, I never fell overboard....) Hayford Peirce 16:23, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Oslo full of "No Trolls" signs...a nasty little creature in a red circle bisected by a diagonal red line. I wonder if we could find an image for the article?

Do please work in asking the velocity of the sparrow. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:16, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Profit from trolling?

Not sure quite where it fits in, but [1] and [2]. Spectacularly obnoxious merchant gets top Google ranking because of all the complaint posts that mention his site. 09:43, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Rational Wiki

Their article has a great quote. "if you spend a great deal of your time pretending to be an asshole to get a reaction from aren't pretending. You are an asshole." Should we use it? Sandy Harris 03:09, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

No. Hayford Peirce 16:00, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Trolling as a cyber-weapon?

Report of the US government sponsoring "an improbable new initiative to annoy, frustrate and humiliate denizens of online extremist forums" by trolling them. [3] Sandy Harris 13:13, 19 July 2012 (UTC)