Everyone is Troll

Neues Paper aus der Trollforschung, hier als PDF: Anyone Can Become a Troll: Causes of Trolling Behavior in Online Discussions.

Ergebnisse: 1.) Wer schlecht drauf ist, trollt mehr (ach!), 2.) Trolling führt zu mehr Trolling (ach!), 3.) Montag ist Trolltag (wusste ich noch nicht, klingt aber logisch) und 4.) We only come out at night (wusste ich ebenfalls noch nicht, klingt aber auch logisch).

time

Frühere Troll-Studien hatten unter anderem gezeigt, dass Trolle auffällige Verhaltensmuster bezüglich der sogenannten Dark Tetrad aufweisen („Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism [willingness to manipulate and deceive others], narcissism [egotism and self-obsession], psychopathy [the lack of remorse and empathy], and sadism [pleasure in the suffering of others]“ in Anlehnung an die Dark Triade), diese Studie hier widerspricht zwar nicht, bietet aber ein paar komplexere Erklärungen für Trolling:

our investigation sought to understand whether ordinary users engage in trolling behavior. In contrast, prior work suggested that trolling is largely driven by a small population of trolls (i.e., by intrinsic characteristics such as personality), and our evidence suggests complementary hypotheses – that mood and discussion context also affect trolling behavior.

Für mich und meine Outrage-Memetik ist vor allem der Teil über die Verbreitungsmechanismen von Negativität interessant, auch hier bestätigen die Trollforscher bereits bekanntes und unterstreichen, dass auch Trolling maßgeblich von Emotional Contagion beeinflusst wird:

Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-08 um 16.24.47The spread of negativity
If trolling behavior can be induced, and can carry over from previous discussions, could such behavior cascade and lead to the community worsening overall over time? Figure 5 shows that on CNN.com, the proportion of flagged posts and proportion of users with flagged posts are rising over time. These upward trends suggest that trolling behavior is becoming more common, and that a growing fraction of users are engaging in such behavior. Comparing posts made in the first half and second half of the CNN.com dataset, the proportion of flagged posts and proportion of users with flagged posts increased (0.03 vs. 0.04 and 0.09 vs. 0.12, p<0.001). There may be several explanations for this (e.g., that users joining later are more susceptible to trolling), but our findings, together with prior work showing that negative norms can be reinforced [91] and that downvoted users go on to downvote others [17], suggest that negative behavior can persist in and permeate a community when left unchecked.

Snip von MIT Technology Review: There’s a Troll Inside All of Us, Researchers Say:

According to an experiment conducted by Stanford and Cornell researchers, [a Troll] could be any one of us: they determined that being in a bad mood and seeing troll-like posts from other people on online articles made it more likely that people would then type nasty comments themselves. A paper on the work will be presented at a conference in Portland, Oregon, in late February. The researchers say their work is meant to challenge the idea that the people spouting all this negativity are all antisocial, sitting in dark rooms writing comments on discussion forums and social networks. They also think it may be used to help predict when trolling is likely to occur.

[Participants] took part in an online discussion where they saw an article related to the presidential election that either had benign or troll-like comments tacked on to it. Researchers found the highest number of trolling posts occurred when people were in a negative mood and saw other mean comments already added to an article. Specifically, they determined that being in a bad mood raised the chances that someone would troll by 89 percent, and that seeing other people’s invective increased the chances 68 percent.

The researchers also analyzed 16 million comments on CNN’s website: a quarter of the posts flagged as abusive were written by people who hadn’t done that kind of thing in the past, and once a negative post appeared on an article, more negative posts tended to follow. They also found that the most negative behavior occurred in the evenings, and on Mondays—both times when research has already indicated that people’s moods may be worse.

Related: Collection of 13,500 Nastygrams Could Advance War on Trolls

nasty

Misogyny, racism, profanity—a collection of more than 13,500 online personal attacks has it all.

The nastygrams came from the discussion pages of Wikipedia. The collection, along with over 100,000 more benign posts, has been released by researchers from Alphabet and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia. They say the data will boost efforts to train software to understand and police online harassment.