Portrait of a Troll: Q&A with Dr. Erin Buckels
Internet trolls are everywhere, but what is it that makes them tick? From the pesky people starting a full blown battle on your blog posts to the naive friends who “feed the trolls” in a comment thread, there’s no denying trolls are a vibrant part of most internet communities. Until now, little formal research has been conducted to understand what motivates people to engage in this type of behavior. An aptly named new study, “Trolls just want to have fun,” explores the personality traits of an Internet troll. Dr. Erin Buckels and her colleagues examined the specific relationship between personality traits and various online commenting behaviors (e.g., chatting, debating, trolling).