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Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

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Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

a study was published  that confirms what we all suspected: Internet trolls are horrible people. 

An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. with no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response. 

 Canadian researchers looking for evidence that linked trolling with the 'Dark Tetrad' of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism conducted two online studies with over 1,200 people, giving personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their Internet commenting behavior.

They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite Internet activity.

Read the rest of the story HERE:

At www.psychologytoday.com

 

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity scheduled for release May 22, 2019

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments


Josh Mitteldorf

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This article is disinformation. It's bogus. Most internet trolls serve establishment narratives. They are hired by establishment interests to disrupt alternative narratives. These are not deranged people with an interesting psychological profile; they're workers being hired to do immoral and deceptive jobs. Like many jobs in today's economy, these people are paid to serve a secret and perverse agenda.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 26, 2019 at 2:57:17 PM

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Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

I could say exactly the same thing about your comment. It is not based on research. it is your observation. The article is consistent with my 16 years of running OpEdnews. Most of the trolls I've dealt with are narcissists, bigots and or sadists. It has been very rare that I've encountered the kind of trolls you're describing Josh.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 26, 2019 at 5:20:02 PM

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

"Most of the trolls I've dealt with are narcissists, bigots and or sadists."

Isn't that the way trolls are supposed to appear? The whole idea of trolling is to create a disruptive environment. Generating extremist impressions is the M.O.

Just because someone writes like an abuser, doesn't mean he actually beats his wife when he signs off. An anonymous poster can "be" anything he wants online, under as many simultaneous "identities" as needed, to facilitate disruption.

A troll may not even disagree with the subject material or the poster being "replied" to. The "argument" is not the focus. If it is, you're merely dealing with some poor soul "working from his mother's basement". (It's sad, but that's not a real troll, in the true sense of the word.)

I'm not sure I've spotted too many actual trolls on OEN for you to have dealt with. You've had a number of known shills, some of which actually use their real names, come in and out, trying to cause a bit of a ruckus or division. You have had a number of bots come in here and there, opening new accounts and posting nonsense, which might actually qualify more as "trolling", but you're obviously taking care of those (I try to flag these when I see them).

Submitted on Monday, Aug 26, 2019 at 6:47:40 PM

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I have to echo what Josh is saying.

Any "psychological" studies on trolling would have to be fraudulent. The odd troll that is actually looking for attention for mere personal gratification is not even going to be a participant. (The term "troll" was not chosen lightly.)

Trolls abound because they're paid to, not because of some "mental disorder" they're all supposed to share.

I'm sure "Psychology Today" knows that they're publishing is disinformation.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 26, 2019 at 4:22:36 PM

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Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019 at 2:02:11 AM

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That's not my experience. I have received too many back channel emails from trolls who do not fit your profile.

This is not a conclusion I came to lightly. It is based on a lot of experience and research. I'm not disputing that there are trolls like you describe, but there are also trolls who fit the profile of the study.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019 at 6:28:33 PM

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

I guess it comes down to what you define a "troll" to be. My definition appears to be not quite as broad as yours. I would probably also have to know what you mean by a "back-channel" e-mail to fully understand what you're saying - I'm not familiar with the term.

Regardless, I still have a big problem with the idea that someone claims to have done a "study" on this, and claims to be able to create a "general psychological profile" of trolls. I mean, who are these "trolls" that they're "studying"? How did they find them and acquire their participation, in order to "study and profile" them?

Profiles are already, in themselves, a questionable product. To claim you can apply them to people you most often can't meet or see, based solely on an interpretation of their online activities, strikes me as fraudulent. (Can they claim to be able to similarly profile "site operators", for instance?)

The people who generally make these kinds of claims are usually the same ones working from these government "think tanks" that are trying to flip all the censorship switches on us. The ones who claim to be experts on things like "terrorist activity" and "disinformation".

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019 at 9:56:12 PM

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Reply to Devil's Advocate:   New Content

Those are the concerns I tried to express, see below. I do believe there are people who troll for fun or to address personal feelings of inadequacy, but there are also professional trolls. And the purported study of the former is highly unscientific, partly because it doesn't even acknowledge the latter. And, to jump even further down the rabbit hole, the article itself may be disinformation to discredit the existence of the latter, as you and Josh are suggesting.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 at 5:49:39 PM

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

Rob, how do you know for sure which kind of troll you are dealing with?

And this is off topic, but do you have any idea why the "reply to this" link does not function on my installation of Firefox?

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 at 5:52:25 PM

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"...do you have any idea why the 'reply to this' link does not function...?"

This site is not fully cooperating with AdBlock Plus and a few other ad blockers. If you're using ABP, you'll probably also notice there's no preview pop-outs on the main menu, and the format bar is not available on the comment you're making.

If you're using an ad blocker, try turning it off for a second and see if anything changes for you.

I've mentioned this a few times. It's a genuine point of contention, especially for people who have paid for a membership that is supposed to allow the blockers to stay on.

The site's code need to be fixed.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 at 10:41:51 PM

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Yes, thanks, I could try what you suggest but that makes perfect sense. Other browsers work because I don't usually use them and don't have ad blocking set up. Of course Rob will probably say he can't afford someone to rewrite the code right now.

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 at 6:09:55 PM

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It's hard to say what Rob would say, as he has yet to return any comment about it. This is nothing new, as lots of small site operators feel they're in the middle with the "ad revenue vs. ad blocker" paradox.

Some still don't understand that most people who are using blockers are doing it as a necessary form of protection, and not with the intention to deny the site ad revenue. Unfortunately, the users' concern outweighs that of the site's.

Submitted on Friday, Aug 30, 2019 at 3:04:09 PM

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Is that it? It says what many of us feel is self-evident, but no methodology, not even the chart it describes. PT must have fallen a long way since the last time I looked at it! Would you really trust a survey based on people who claim Internet trolling is their favorite activity?

I know OEN readers are loathe to admit it, but a significant amount of trolling--foreign or domestic--is done with an expressly political agenda. Of course, most of your readers refuse to accept the sources attesting to the foreign component, but I think most do believe the Cas Sunstein paper about "cognitive infiltration" which is undoubtedly going on today. You can pretty reliably pick up on when a discussion thread is deliberately turned into a food fight.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 at 5:30:53 PM

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It's not just foreign actors. There's plenty of troll "boiler rooms" operating in the U.S. Probably the majority of them. Many operating with the blessing of your government.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 at 10:46:49 PM

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Undoubtedly. The proportion of genuine psychopathic trolls to foreign professional trolls to domestic (including, probably, government) professional trolls is speculative, but I have no doubt all three exist.

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 at 6:14:23 PM

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Reply to Maxwell:   New Content

It's interesting. The whole troll thing started out as just individuals with their own personal crusades.

Someone might have had a gripe with a site, or just one of the commenters, or was just looking for some sort of attention. Eventually, some started using multiple user names to fill up a site's comment section, pretending to be multiple people, in an attempt to cause the site to lose control of the comments.

This gave others the idea to create an "industrial" model. Something that was capable of creating more havoc and more damage to sites they didn't like, because there was a business interest in doing so. We began to see bots used to create bogus user accounts, and DDoS attacks.

Now, we're at a point where an individual can't possibly deliver the scope of trolling being done by "think tanks" and "intelligence agencies", which is done on a massive scale for the government.

You've still got a few crafty "script kiddies" working "from their mothers' basements", but they can't compare to the corporate "pros" out there now.

Submitted on Friday, Aug 30, 2019 at 3:45:19 PM

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