Friday, February 28, 2014

The Dark Tetrad of Trolls

Recently the National Catholic Reporter (a liberal Catholic magazine) put its online comments on hiatus because they were getting trolled so aggressively.  They are back now, but require a bona fide email address.  And they are moderating more.  But the trolls are back too.

A recent study has found that people who engage in trolling behavior on line
are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).
So they really are sick puppies.

Add to that their effect on polarization, and good evidence that our response to them actually negatively affects our ability to reason, and you have even more reason to adhere to the fundamental rule:

Do not feed the trolls.


JCF said...

Wise words . . . w/ which I do not always comply. "Your Honor, I not saying I flamed the troll, but he needed flaming"

Kevin K said...

Trolls poll?