Have you ever read a nasty comment online, and wondered who is responsible for it? There are people who find joy in hurting others and they do it on purpose. These are the kind of people who'll send an offending direct message (DM) on social media, and write public comments with negative content. The big question is who are these people? what makes them do it? and what can we do about it?
The internet and social media bring together all kinds of people from all over the world, allowing them to communicate within seconds and share information. Unfortunately, the internet also has a dark side - there are people called "Internet Trolls". An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.
Many people are facing online trolls, one of them is the award-winning pop star Selena Gomez "I delete the app [Instagram] from my phone at least once a week. You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, 'You’re ugly.' It’s like they want to cut to your soul." Selena told the New York Times.
"Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing, even if it’s just physical" Gomez added.
Why Online Trolls Behave This Way?
Online trolling found to be correlated with Dark Tetrad personality traits. Meaning, some of the trolls are people who have a lack of empathy, arrogant thinking and behavior, cold view toward others, and people who find pleasure in making others feel bad and humiliated.
Dark Tetrad personality traits include:
Machiavellianism - involves cold, calculating view toward others. Machiavellians have limited empathy for others.
Psychopathy – involves antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits.
Narcissism - involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration.
Sadism - involves people who get pleasure and gratification, especially with a sexual charge, from the pain, suffering, or humiliation of others.
How Can You Deal with Online Trolls?
Report them - You can make a stand against trolls by reporting, that way you can ignore them and still take action against their behavior. Social media networks have a report policy for hurtful behaver online.
Ignore them– remember trolls want to see you suffer and in pain. Don’t let them have this satisfaction.
Trolls want a battle, they want to make you feel angry, the best thing to do is to ignore them and "shake it off".