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It makes some sense that serious trolls are mentally ill.



I was part of a somewhat well-known troll group for 2+ years, and trolled independently for 7. Your observation is correct, but for most of us, trolling was by far the most insane thing about us. Some serious time goes into the sport, and people've lost relationships and jobs over the time put into the game, and there are often reputation consequences for those who are caught. It's like World of Warcraft. Most of these people are fine "sane" people, capable of functioning at high levels and having normal relationships, except for the fact of being addicted to a compelling alternate reality. The difference is that WoW is a Skinner Box designed to be addictive whereas hypergraphic trolling is entirely emergent from transgressive behavior, but just as engrossing.

The other surprising thing about trolls is that they tend to come from very high-achieving and wealthy families. My father's an a high-ranking civil servant, my parents make $150k/year, and I was the "poor" in my troll group.

I always trolled ethically, though. No racism, no attacks on real-life non-participants except public figures who really deserved it, and no more misogyny than would be appropriate to the 18-year-old self that was the basis for one of my favorite troll personalities (ironically, named after a synonym for "thoughtful"; ok, I'm outed).


"The other surprising thing about trolls is that they tend to come from very high-achieving and wealthy families."

Is it really that much surprising? Trolling would fit well with the stereotype of "spoiled rich kids". No offense meant.


No offense meant.

None taken. It's true.


Write less.




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