Cum e cu troliimiercuri, decembrie 14th, 2011
I think trolling in the broader sense has four causes. The most important is distance. People will say things in anonymous forums that they’d never dare say to someone’s face, just as they’ll do things in cars that they’d never do as pedestrians—like tailgate people, or honk at them, or cut them off.
Trolling tends to be particularly bad in forums related to computers, and I think that’s due to the kind of people you find there. Most of them (myself included) are more comfortable dealing with abstract ideas than with people. Hackers can be abrupt even in person. Put them on an anonymous forum, and the problem gets worse.
The third cause of trolling is incompetence. If you disagree with something, it’s easier to say „you suck” than to figure out and explain exactly what you disagree with. You’re also safe that way from refutation. In this respect trolling is a lot like graffiti. Graffiti happens at the intersection of ambition and incompetence: people want to make their mark on the world, but have no other way to do it than literally making a mark on the world. 
The final contributing factor is the culture of the forum. Trolls are like children (many are children) in that they’re capable of a wide range of behavior depending on what they think will be tolerated. In a place where rudeness isn’t tolerated, most can be polite. But vice versa as well.
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