Jen Golbeck Discusses the Rise of Online Trolls and How People Can Protect Themselves from Online Harassment

Euan Kerr & Jeffrey Bissoy, MPR News
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Inside the world of an internet troll: How web users can protect themselves online

UMD iSchool News

40 percent of Americans have experienced some form of online harassment. Sixty-two percent consider it a major problem in the United States. Nearly 80 percent believe that online services, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have a responsibility to protect users when harassment occurs on their platforms.

MPR fill-in host Euan Kerr spoke with Australian journalist, Ginger Gorman and University of Maryland iSchool professor, Jennifer Golbeck, about the rise of online trolls and how people can protect themselves from online harassment.

"Trolling is correlated to the dark tetrad of personality," Gorman explained. "It's psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism and sadism, but sadism is the strongest link. What that means is that they want to hurt you and that they take pleasure from it."

Golbeck added, "You don't get people who troll who don't enjoy seeing the suffering of other people... . Among these more vicious trolls you see language of superiority, and that combines with wanting to hurt people."

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