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It never fails. You get online to post a video, a picture, an audio clip, or even a story, and you’ll instantly meet a person who’s most insightful and elaborate comment is something taken straight out of a 5th grade recess shouting match. When you try to correct this person, you get a comeback from the 90’s to the effect of – oh yea, well, your mom is an alien! Before long, you realize that you are trapped with a troll.

Trolls are hard to avoid, the only way to completely avoid trolls is to not do anything online. The same way that you would avoid criticism– say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. Which is not a healthy way of living in my opinion.

These people lurk over forums and video sites waiting for the opportunity to criticize the content provider. They have one goal in mind when they get online – humiliate all the things! Shortly after logging on, they flip their switch to attack mode.

Oscar Wilde once said “ A Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” The same holds true when it comes to commenting on websites under anonymous user names. When you’re far away from a person and the conversation is not happening in real time, you are more prone to make an offensive statement towards someone – after all, there are hundreds of John Does in the world. Additionally, they can simply walk away from the keyboard - it’s easier for someone to throw out their opinion and then leave.

The study took anonymous user names like – XYZTroller – and compared it to John Doe on Facebook, it found that having a name next to your comment had little to no effect. People continued to say mean things and did not apologize for their statements. However, when people are outed – having their mask taken off – they instantly change their ways and attitudes. An excellent example happened in 2012 when Anonymous exposed Kylie Kylem’s trolls, shortly after they were revealed, they walked away with their tails between their legs crying for mercy.

Not all trolls are created equal though, in the infographic listed below, you can clearly see some instances where people who normally do not troll get sucked into a mob mentality and began to attack and insult a person for no apparent cause. They compared cases where people threatened to commit suicide by jumping from buildings, and found out that people in mobs actually encourage the victim to jump – but if the crowd is small, they try to talk them out of jumping.

The infographic is presented by bestpsychologyschoolsonline.com, it offers ways to beat internet trolls at their game and even offers ways to frustrate trolls to help you have a more enjoyable experience online.

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