Trolls

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March 10, 2020
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March 10, 2020

Trolls

Trolling is a specific type of cyber-bullying that often involves spamming, hate-speech, doxxing attacks, and other forms of harassment.

Trolling is a specific type of cyber-bullying that often involves spamming, hate-speech, doxxing attacks, and other forms of harassment.

Early in 2019, trolls found a video of newly-elected U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that was taken when she was a college student in 2010. They edited a short clip to make her look provocative, and then helped it go viral. (In reality, the video showed her and a friend recreating the benign dance sequence from The Breakfast Club movie.)

Controlling trolls online has forced many of us—as well as media outlets—to take a position on the line between freedom of speech and censorship. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram updated their community standards to limit hate speech. Reddit has banned groups like r/incels for violating the site’s community standards (though there is plenty of awful content still to be found on the rest of the site).

And yet, neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer resurfaced in February 2018 after being effectively shut down by their domain host. State-sponsored trolling is most often linked to Russia but according to research from Oxford University, 28 countries and counting have cyber troops of humans and bots for the purpose of manipulating public opinion on social media. (For further reading, we recommend accessing Oxford’s full report “Troops, Trolls, and Troublemakers.”)