I'm a bit unsure on this topic.
I've had a lot of interaction with "trolls" online over the few years that i've
been allowed to roam the net freely. It's a weird thing, sometimes you just end
up feeling like everything in a situation is just a very surreal dream and
sometimes you just end up feeling bad.
Trolling to me is just there to poison the well.
Most of the time, it's just there to waste time and annoy you, sometimes, it's
genuinely harmful (like awhe mentioned with swatting) or with doxxing, so
making what they view as mistakes or acts of bad faith online and leaving a
large footprint that's traceable without carefully selecting what you post is
maybe going to ruin your day or your week, or your year.
I do think that fighting mocking,
non-pleasant internet people legally or morally will probably end up making
them more vicious, you just have to see what led to the creating of 8ch in the
US or Avenoel in France (yes, it's more tame that 8 but it's still a more
extreme version of the 18/25 from JVC that began gaining popularity when people
went after the 18/25 on the media and it was temporarily disabled, just like
(from what i understand) 8 began gaining popularity after the users got annoyed
with the original forum and the fact that people tried to regulate them). It's
like a vicious cycle, they're here, but if you try to remove a large group of
trolls from the internet, they just get more extreme in their way of
But i don't know any magic solution so i won't lecture people over the approach
they take towards this kind of mentality.
Now that's the trolls that i find really useless / stupid, i don't think that
annoying people with a certain way of thinking without stepping too much
outside of what's commonly accepted online is a very
bad thing, even
shock websites don't seem like that much of a problem to me now.
But it's more like :
are very likely going to almost always be irrespectful with their online account.
are likely to attack someone viciously if they feel like they have enough support
to do so without consequences.
- inoffensive / junk trolls
are just going to try to get a reaction out of you, just ignore them.
To me, all of them
are bad / not needed to have an healthy community online
or in real life. I feel like every time there's an argument with the "social media"
type of person, it's going to be vicious on both side of the argument until they
get a reality check.
To me, they can be both considered "trolls"
It also exists in real life, it's more of a mentality than a personality trait.
You just want to halt an argument that you're losing ?
Just be spiteful and troll-ish ! Don't explain calmly, just get angry !
Not to say that a reduction to pure absurdity is bad by itself, it's just the way
you convey it.
EDIT ADDENDUM :
By "lot of interaction" means that i've been both on the receiving and giving end,
a few years ago, i'd do petty trolling on games without really having any serious
effect, it was mainly seeing people insult me, threaten to r**e me or my parents,
threaten to dox me or destroy my internet, so i'm not throwing the first stone or
shaming anyone here, i'm just as flawed.