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CNN: 'Online troll' survey: Internet trolls show signs of sadism, psychopathy & Machiavellianism Re

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Concudan, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Oz-troll lives
    http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/scienc...signs-of-sadism-psychopathy--machiavellianism

    (CNN) -- If you've ever complained that the trolls junking up online comment sections are a bunch of sadistic psychopaths, you might be onto something.

    An online survey by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and "Machiavellianism": a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others.

    "It was sadism, however, that had the most robust associations with trolling of any of the personality measures," says an article by psychologists from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and University of British Columbia. "In fact, the associations between sadism and ... scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists."

    Sadism is a tendency to take pleasure in other people's pain or discomfort.

    The article was published last week in the journal Personality and Individual Differences .

    As defined in the article, online trolling is "the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose."

    So, as opposed to cyberbullying, saying nasty things during an argument over politics or even making hateful comments that reflect the commenter's true feelings, trolls are offensive for the sheer enjoyment of it. Or, in Internet parlance, "for the lulz."

    "Trolls operate as agents of chaos on the Internet, exploiting 'hot-button issues' to make users appear overly emotional or foolish in some manner," the article reads. "If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished, 'Do not feed the trolls!'."

    Survey respondents were asked about their Internet behavior, including how much time they spend online and whether they comment in places like YouTube or on news websites. They also were given tests that measured responses against psychology's ominously named "Dark Tetrad": narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadistic personality.

    Commenters who said they enjoy trolling other users more than other options (which included debating topics and making new friends) consistently scored higher on the "tetrad" and displayed a tendency to enjoy trolling because it is pleasurable, the authors wrote.

    The questions asked to determine sadistic tendencies included ''I enjoy physically hurting people," "I enjoy making jokes at the expense of others" and "I enjoy playing the villain in games and torturing other characters."

    To be clear, the article is not based on a random sampling of respondents.

    For their final study, researchers gave their questionnaire to 188 Canadian psychology students who got extra course credit for completing the surveys and 609 United States residents who use a website that lets people fill out surveys for a small amount of money. Those respondents were paid 50 cents for filling out the questionnaire.

    But it speaks to a growing concern about behavior that has existed, certainly, since the dawn of the Internet and in other forms for much, much longer.

    Sites like YouTube and the Huffington Post have banned anonymous comments, requiring users to create an account that identifies them by name, while others have taken different tacks to try to moderate comment sections.

    "These findings provide a preliminary glimpse into the mechanism by which sadism fosters trolling behavior," the article says. "Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun ... and the Internet is their playground."

    The-CNN-Wire
    ™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.



    Read more: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/scienc...m-psychopathy--machiavellianism#ixzz2tE8hv23W
     
  2. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Thanks for this contribution Conc. Its the off-season after all and we should keep the ball rolling. My feeling that this is a piece of wishy washy journalism spun by a few twenty something year old intellectual wannabes from the land of my origins... (which may be slightly better than typical American spin, but not much).

    There is this form of comedy that dates back to the early origins of that art form itself. Somebody else's pain is funny. The Three Stooges were like that. When Fred Flintstone drops a bowling ball on his foot, it is funny. When Wilma hits him over the head with a frying pan, it is funny. I doubt that Hanna & Barbera were sadists.

    When I address one of matilack's posts it is because HE is causing me pain and not the other way around. My potential to cause him pain as an act of retribution are virtually zero. One can spin some Don Rickles style comedy off the really bad stuff, but that is just thrown out to the entire audience and not to the writer specifically. Most of this purported "sadism" is just making light of a particular situation for our general amusement. Attaching the word "troll" to it just serves to harden factions, and polarizes the group at large into good guys and bad guys. Most posters on this board are probably neither.
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I can see why that is your perception.

    However, I know you have seen people who fit the label. Post with them, and if it is on one side, you are ok with the trolling activities because of the 'tee-hee' factor it gives you or others in their hidden threads. If it is on the other side it is intolerable. That is the standard way everyone approaches the dance we call the interweb forums.

    I would suggest when one is posting to 'poke the bear' so to speak, that the 'trolling' label can be accurate, especially if it is done not to jest among friends but to cause strife and friction. There are several examples that can be used for this. Another application is when someone derails all conversation to ensure that 'their' topic is discussed. Bolts4Life (Alan) is a prime example of this, when he could not post in a single thread without ranting against Norv, regardless of the topic, even when asked repeatedly to tone it down.

    As to if all trolls are sadists, I don't know and don't care. I don know that some feel the need to impose their beliefs on everyone and express the superiority of their perception, (such as proclaiming the superiority of Canadian articles to American ;) I kid...) and that can get old very quickly, and rarely reflects any factual reality beyond the self assessment of greatness. When coupled with an antagonistic, aggressive, self superior attitude, it clearly becomes a peg for the troll sign. That is my take on it at least.
     
  4. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Dear Conc. Some people articulate themselves in a certain fashion just because they can. This " antagonistic, aggressive, self superior attitude" business has little or nothing to do with it. Nobody expects the well hung black guy to announce he is going to only use half of his bird. My opinion is that you don't have to identify yourself with the penis envy crowd. Why you do this is a mystery to me. Besides... when the JNCP crowd got into falsely accusing me of controlling Oz or FCB and mocking my reasoning for taking a stand, that was a lot more mean spirited than anything I have written to lampoon the authorities here. At least I took my views directly to the source.
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Dear Sandolf; I am confused why you have a phallic take on this, perhaps something that is near and dear to you, don't ask don't tell I guess.

    I saw absolutely no false accusations leveled against you or FCB. You both decided to attack the group for not taking up your personal fights and marching to the drum you beat. I saw no one being mean spirited.

    Is this discussion of trolls or mean spirited people?

    If it is mean spirited people then I would ask you to define and defend that label when someone is banned from the board yo and Oz moderate for no reason with no dialogue involved? Is that not what you claim fight against here? Is that not what FCB was up in arms against? How do you defend the hypocrisy of this and still try and paint others as mean spirited?
     
  6. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Dear Conc. I thought it might have been a bit of a stretch to get you to view this objectively. We both love the same football team but have different tastes in what is written here. Team Vapid is likely to win the war of attrition over Team Troll in the long run anyway. Ever thought of defecting over to the dark side sir? :D
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I think I am viewing it objectively. I agree there are teams and that greatly impacts the perception of one side to another.

    I would like to ask, with labels like 'team vapid' and 'team troll' are you approaching this with objectivity? That is not meant to be a shot or insult, as the communication between us can easily get side tracked due to the history we share.

    I tried going over to the dark side, but got banned there for no reason... ;)
     
  8. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    You know Conc there are always reasons. What we are discussing here, (besides the trolls "= or not =" to the mean spirited concepts), are the validity of those reasons. We are going to have to leave it at that, as an open in depth discussion would not be in the spirit of the agreement I negotiated with robdog.
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Okay.
     
  10. FCBolt

    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    Attack? Given your PMs at the time, that's pretty hypocritical of you to say there Conc.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    How so?
    I tried speaking with you, the posters in the tread tried speaking with you and you practically called everyone but Sandolf a liar, asking why everyone did not fight against the great oppression like you. When asked if you had been oppressed, you admitted you had not, all you knew is Sandy said he was oppressed so he was. So which is the hypocrite? Yes I tried helping in PM, happy to, your actions showed it was a wasted effort.

    Yet at the other site you frequent, you say nothing when people are banned for no reason. Hypocritical is a very astute choice of words....
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  12. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    FCB is looking for a shrubbery.

     
  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Ni, Peng and Neee-Wom.
     
  14. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    I am hereby adding "Troll" to your sacred word list. If you do not like this, we can have an argument.
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    How about we just take a walk...
     
  16. FCBolt

    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    More like pissing in the wind. (I wouldn't go through that much trouble, and at least the knights got it all along...)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  17. FCBolt

    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    You really **** the bed by not going into politics.
     
  18. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Possibly, you **** the bed by being a hypocrite. Scream oppression... then gladly watch it occur to others.
     

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