In the last decade trolling, cyberbullying and hate speech in CMC (computer-mediated communication) has attracted much attention from electronic and print media but there has not been much linguistics related academic research conducted on CMC. One of the prominent examples of content analysis is presented in Hardaker (2010), where she identifies aggression, disruption, success and deception as four main characteristics of trolling in Usenet posts. Claire Hardaker continued her research and devised six working tactics adopted by internet trolls.
She termed these strategies as digress, (hypo) criticise, antipathise, endanger, shock and aggress (Hardaker, 2013). Another prominent name in recent Troll studies is Dr. Whitney Phillips who published about online trolling on Facebook memorial pages (Phillips, 2011). She studied offensive comments and images posted by trolls. She observed that apart from an annoying and disrespecting behavior, trolling was also a protest against unfair and hyped coverage of tragic incidents by the mainstream electronic and print media.
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Considering Anonymity may play a vital role in adopting certain impolite or improper behavior, Phillips conducted a research on a group of 4chan self-identifying trolls. 4chan is an online imageboard social media forum where users (if they do not want) are not required to register themselves. They are not required to identify themselves and there is no restriction about what to post. Phillips argues “trolling behaviors are homologous to mainstream media output, not diametrically opposed to; the motivations of each group might diverge, but their respective rhetorical strategies are often indistinguishable (Phillips, 2013).Mihaylov et al. (2015) looked into the activities of trolls who influence and manipulate news community forums.
They examined two types of trolls, paid trolls and mentioned trolls. “Mentioned trolls” are recognized by the comments of other users of the news communities under study. The second types of trolls were recognized as “paid trolls” and their identity was established by their leaked “reputation management contracts”. The main aim of troll was recognized as “opinion manipulation” and this broad definition of trolling as “opinion manipulation” is a useful parameter for our current case study on twitter trolling and hate speech. Buckels et al. 2014 focused on general behavior and personality traits of trolls and found a direct relation between sadism and trolling.
The users having sadist personality traits get pleasure, satisfaction and enjoyment while posting and following up inflammatory and trolling comments in their open online discussions and comments