Definition of a Troll

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement. This sense of both the noun and the verb “troll” is associated with Internet discourse, but also has been used more widely.

Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, the mass media have used “troll” to mean “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.

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