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Concept.png Troll 
(enemy image,  Internet culture)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Interest of• Jessikka Aro
• Encyclopedia Dramatica
• GlasnostGone
Trolls are users of the internet who express opposition, especially those who seek to disrupt discussions.

A troll is someone who contributes to discussion on the internet in a way that is perceived as provocative, disruptive or otherwise unhelpful. The activity is termed (verb trolling).


The word "troll", originally a supernatural being in Scandinavian mythology, was applied to disruptive influence on the internet some years before the advent of the World Wide Web. "Do not feed the trolls" is an admonition to simply ignore rather than engage with trolls.


"Troll" is increasingly used as an ad hominem attack with little substantive meaning.

Integrity Initiative

Full article: Integrity Initiative

The Integrity Initiative makes much of "Russian Propaganda" as promoted by trolls. The report of "Operation Iris", a review of social media about the Skripal Affair by Harod Associates for the Integrity Initiative defined a troll as “Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. They hide behind their computer screens, and actively go out of their way to cause trouble on the internet. The internet troll is angry and disruptive in every possible way.” [1]


"Destructive behaviors" of trolls, as defined by a Facebook document

Leaked documents from Facebook report trolls are involved in "destructive behaviors" including "Red-pilling normies to convert them to their worldview."[2]

4chan is involved in raids.


WhoWhatWhy reported in 2017 that "Park benefited from the Korean National Intelligence Service's unlawful rigging of the election in her favor. It hired trolls to set up numerous fake Twitter accounts to create the illusion of widespread public support for Park."[3]

As an enemy image

Trolls were used as enemy images by the Integrity Initiative, which never described its own network of 'clusters' as cells of trolls, although it used them as a tool of covert influence. The Operation Iris report made dozens of references to pro-Kremlin trolls, but not one to a pro-UK troll. It stated that “The impact of troll accounts cannot be underestimated as they add an additional dimension to an organised disinformation campaign that is difficult to counter. It was noticeable during the research that, whilst UK media could hold its own against its Russian counterparts, there was no UK equivalent to the Russian trolls, who would able to counter their relentless bombardment of anti-establishment rhetoric.” [1]

An appendix of The Operation Iris document showing dissenting voices from the official narrative of the Skripal case - referred to as "Troll accounts"

"Ethical trolling"

Full article: “Ethical trolling”

"Ethical trolling" is a principled behaviour which others refer to as trolling.[4]


Brittany Venti is a YouTuber known for trolling as her alter ego, for entertainment purposes.


The image which kicked off #TrollingTheGuardian

After The Guardian used the DMCA to request takedown of a parody, the Streisand Effect lead to many similar pieces, unified by the hashtag TrollingTheGuardian.



Page nameDescription
"Ethical trolling"The concept was first promoted by the Youth International Movement ("Yippies") in the 1960s.
Jacob Wohl


Related Quotations

Piers CorbynPiers Corbyn is a danger to our families, teams + to the people who believe the garbage he bangs on about. People may not agree with all their MP does but threatening to hammer us to death and burn down our offices is vile. Anonymous online trolls aren’t the major problem here.”Piers Corbyn
Sarah Owen
18 December 2021
Michael Gunner“The BS that’s flying around on the internet about the territory is coming from flogs outside the territory – mostly America, Canada and the UK,” Mr Gunner told a media conference on Thursday. People who have nothing better to do than make up lies about us because their own lives are so small and so sad. If anybody thinks we’re going to be distracted by tin foil hat-wearing tossers sitting in their parents’ basement in Florida – then you do not know us Territorians”Michael Gunner25 November 2021
Ben Nimmo“Nimmo’s track record is simply appalling. In this report for the Atlantic Council website, he falsely identified British pensioner @Ian56789 as a “Russian troll farm”, which led to Ian being named as such by the British government, and to perhaps the most surreal Sky News interview of all time. Perhaps still more remarkably, Nimmo searches for use of the phrase “cui bono?” in reference to the Skripal and fake Douma chemical weapons attacks. Nimmo characterises use of the phrase cui bono as evidence of pro-Assad and pro-Kremlin bots and trolls – he really does. Most people would think to consider cui bono indicates a smattering more commonsense than Nimmo himself displays.Craig Murray
Ben Nimmo
28 August 2018


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:How To Spot A Twitter TrollWikispooks Page2 July 2019Craig MurrayExposure is the simple way to nullify the vast state propaganda programmes on social media
Document:How to spot a Twitter trollblog post2 July 2019Craig MurrayExposure is the simple way to nullify the vast state propaganda programmes on social media
Document:I get abuse and threats online - why can't it be stopped?Article18 October 2021Marianna SpringThe Disinformation Specialist at the BBC gets criticism online for her "fact checking". Internet censorship is the answer.
Document:Pro-Kremlin trolls infiltrating comments on news sites for major influence operation, research saysArticle6 September 2021Deborah HaynesA study at Cardiff University shows that "Pro-Kremlin trolls" are influencing opinion in the West by infiltrating the comments sections of news websites. Dissent from the Official Narrative? Must be Russian disinformation.
Document:Someone said they wanted to see me trapped in a burning car and watch flames melt my fleshArticle22 October 2021Nadine DorriesAfter the murder of MP David Amess, a crackdown on "internet trolls" is being demanded by most politicians. The UK's new Culture Minister Nadine Dorries is pursuing new overreaching legislation regulating Big Tech. The "Online Safety Bill" will abolish online anonymity and empower internet censorship. There are fears that it will be the end for freedom of expression in the UK.
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