Track Down Internet Trolls and Take Prompt ActionsPosted on 18th November 2021
It is difficult to imagine a modern information society without the Internet. This global network has flooded all human activities. However, the use of Internet resources is not always safe and comfortable for all visitors. Recently, such a negative phenomenon as Internet trolling is gaining popularity.
What Is Internet Trolling and What Is Its Purpose?
Trolling can be seen as a type of virtual communication with a violation of the ethics of network interaction. It is expressed in the form of various forms of aggressive, bullying, and abusive behavior to cause conflicts. Trolling is usually used in the process of communication between Internet users who want to gain recognition or publicity. It can also be found in the process of anonymous user interaction, carried out without the possibility of identification with the real subject of virtual communication. In the most general form, this phenomenon is characterized as a process of posting provocative messages on virtual communication resources to inject social tension by violating the rules of the code of ethics of Internet interaction.
Trolling is aimed at attracting attention to oneself. This is its main goal. Creating a certain virtual image, the troll seeks universal recognition and popularity. He tries to leave a vivid impression of himself, no matter positive or negative. The main thing – self-expression and separation from the crowd.
Characteristic Signs That Will Help Track a Troll
If you want to learn how to track down Internet trolls quickly and efficiently, pay attention that they have several distinctive characteristics. Among the distinctive signs of trolls, it seems necessary to highlight the following:
- The choice of a specific topic of the controversy to evoke the strong emotional reaction of a collocutor;
- Apparent short-sightedness or knowing too much information about everything in the world;
- Expression of own opinion, completely different from the opinions of the many other people;
- Rudeness, boorish behavior;
- Touching on obviously debatable provocative themes, etc.
Two Main Groups of Internet Trolls
Internet trolls can be divided into two groups: thick trolls and thin trolls.
Thick trolling can be tracked right away. Thick trolls usually behave on the Internet quite sharply and even rudely. Their opinion is opposite to the opinion of the majority. They expect the effect of a “bomb blast” and, as a result, a lively discussion about it, which best serves their goal of causing chaos and drawing attention to their identity. For this purpose, they interfere in the discussion and arrogantly argue, supporting their arguments with references to various sources, often unreliable and uncertain.
Thick trolls use active topics to turn them into a mass explanation, to divert the discussion into a dispute, and cause a scandal. They raise issues, the very names of which cause a storm of emotions and indignation. They are openly rude to participants, site administrators, and moderators, disregard the rules of the forum and the basic rules of ethics of Internet communication. Moreover, thick trolls usually ignore the requests of other participants to stop and official warnings for violating the rules.
It is much more difficult to recognize thin trolling. Its significance and degree of influence depend on how well the troll knows the psychology of personal and collective behavior. The thin troll operates on the edge of the rules adopted in the environment in which he operates. He does not violate the rules directly and often provokes the administration to exceed authority or to violate its own rules.
Thin trolls are characterized by deep knowledge in the field of psychology, which allows them to influence people using sophisticated methods. In many cases, victims of thin trolling do not even realize that they have been caught on a hook. Lack of communication and communicative experience can contribute to the fact that a person begins to exercise communicative competencies in virtual reality, becoming not only a positive Internet communicator but also a troll.
How to Resist Online Trolling?
It is possible to allocate the following ways to neutralize trolling:
- Delete the troll’s comments and contact the Internet service provider with a request to block the user;
- Use the tactic of silence;
- Expand the practice of disclosing the identity of those guilty of trolling, thereby partially solving the problem of anonymity on the network;
- Verify information, subject everything received from the information space to critical comprehension.
VPN as an Effective Means of Combating Online Trolling
Online trolling can happen to anyone, but taking preventive Internet security measures will make it less likely that it will happen to you. Keep yourself safe and protect yourself from trolls by making your social media accounts private. Do not post any confidential or important information about yourself and your family members, and use VPN to protect your online communications. VPN will securely encrypt your IP address and provide you with complete anonymity on the network.