There's a new scientific study out this week (Jan 30th) on the personality of internet trolls. AsapScience put out a 3--minute video on the subject. These guys are likely to have some insight, too. They have nearly 5 million subscribers waiting for their research and must constantly deal with the online low-lives.

The science of motivation, how old are your ears, which came first - the chicken or egg? are popular topics they have dealt with ... and been viewed by more than 100 million times! That's a big number.

They don't get all the answers right. That's a different discussion for another time.

What Happens When You're Viewed 100M Times

By the way, do you know what happens when you have been viewed/read 100 million times? I have some firsthand experience here.

What happens? Nothing. It's just a number. The meter keeps on ticking. Life doesn't change. It's just bragging rights. Unless you're a troll. They probably keep track of how many stupid, offensive, abrasive, sadistic comments they leave.

According to their research with 1200 internet users), 5.6% of online users are self-proclaimed trolls. Translated, there are probably more than that.

Trolls Display 3 Dark Traits.

  • Psychopathy
  • Narcissism
  • Sadism

Sadism, the last trait, is what comes out online Trolls enjoy being cruel. They find being cruel exciting and pleasurable.

This sounds a lot like my ex-mother-in-law. She was only happy when other people were more unhappy than she was.

Most people have some sadistic traits. Examples: People enjoy a fight or the thrill of a violent movie. Can you say Rey versus Kyle Ren?

The generally anti-social individual enjoys arguments but more importantly being disruptive.

Unless you are a panda practicing kung fu.

If the troll can get you off track, they feel powerful and that gives them pleasure.

Silicon Valley Cultivating Trolls

Does that mean the culture of Silicon Valley is that welcomes trolls? Disruptive is a theme here. "What can we turn upside down next is an everyday discussion in many of the co-working spaces I visit.

Online trolls can hide behind anonymity. This allows them to connect with others yet remain distant.

What's the best way to deal with trolls. The AsapScience folk give their answer.

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