Understanding theTroll – Part II

In the first article I gave a snapshot of the behaviour of a Troll. I also used the word ‘deindividualisation.’ This term can best be understood by looking at the Mob.

The behaviour of a Mob is often totally unlike that of its individual members. The fact one can hide in a Mob, take no personal responsibility for its action, rely on the comfort of ‘everybody’ This is fairly standard in Cyberspace where one can hide behind a nickname or avatar and be whomever they chose. Hence you can’t know, for a fact (unless you are having lunch with him) who Forge is, what he really looks like.

For the Troll, the deindividualisation is his power.

He is usually less attractive in all ways than his peers, less successful, and his probably been bullied. He is usually a bone coward; that is a person who virtually runs when no one pursues. He will never stand up to anyone in real life, because he is weak. On the Internet he feels endowed with super powers. He can attack those who he defines as his ‘superiors’ without qualm. The joy is not just attacking, but attacking someone whom, were he or she in the same room, he would bow and scrap to.

The Troll needs this boost to his/her/its ego. All day he may be delivering lunches to people who don’t see him, all day h may be bullied by his bosses, his neighbours may treat him like a sub human, but on the Internet he is all powerful.

As long as no one knows that he is this Great Troll they will fear him. And knowing that he can get onto a Message Board and work his evil and win, knowing he can join a site and leave the most hurful comments without the slightest retribution feeds the starving ego.

Where the average person doesn’t need this false power, where the average person doesn’t have time or inclination to create duals and join a site about a topic they aren’t interested in, the Toll has nothing but time. Nothing but the inclination to kick over ‘sand castles’.

To respond to him, even by typing &^%^* is a response. And that is all he needs to prove his existence. Some one with a life has noticed him. He has become part of that person’s existence, even for the few minutes they read and respond to his remark.

This is the impetus of the Troll.