This article reveals a study’s recent findings that Internet “trolls” are actually Machiavellian sociopaths.
My response: NO WAY?!? Does gravity also happen? Is ice just frozen water? WHAT.
Ok, but in all seriousness, I am so glad to see a study backing up a claim many have probably hypothesized. There are now some numbers to back up a sneaking suspicion that I’ve had that you simply cannot be a completely healthy contributor to society and enjoy fruitful in-real-life relationships, then go online and talk trash, virtually without consequence.
The Machiavellian angle was an interesting approach in the study, which I’m thinking, in addition to a willingness to manipulate others, also indicates that trolls mostly hold the conviction that ends justify means and that people are not inherently valuable. (I would like the article to give a clearer description of that how the study measured that label and the “Vicarious Sadism” qualifications.)
Perhaps my selfishly favorite aspect of the article, apart from what it has to say about trolls, is the complete lack of narcissism, Machiavellianism, sadism, and psychopathy in the “Non-Commenter” category. As a non-commenter on most websites, I’ve always thought that the comment section was not as preferable place to express my opinions (most of the time) as my actual conversations are, but now I can use my non-commenting characteristic to prove that I’m neither a sadist nor a narcissist. I’ll take it.
(Wait, that may have been a really narcissistic way to look at the study…)