The psychology of an internet troll (infographic)

1 Feb 2013

Anonymity and a feeling of escapism are among factors that make internet trolls tick, reveals an infographic that examines the psychology of the people who lurk about online and post material intended to provoke a reaction from other internet users.

Anonymity refers to the sense of ‘protection’ the internet offers users of forums and social networks. Users can ‘hide’ behind user names, and not have to communicate with someone face-to-face. This, in turn, can lead internet trolls to ignore consequences and say or do things online that they may not normally say or do offline and in person.

The infographic by also looks at factors such as narcissism, minimising authority, and deindividuation, which refers to reducing our sense of our own identity.

And if you’ve ever wondered how to psych out an internet troll, the infographic tells you that, too.


Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic