We Know How We Feel About Internet Trolls, but What Makes Them Tick?

ROFL STFU.

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Around here, we know a thing or two about the difference between constructive criticism, conversation, healthy debate, and trolls—despite the hate we receive from the scores we’ve banned from commenting. However, if you’ve ever wondered, “What are these people like in real life? How is it that the Internet is crawling with them, but real life is so different?” AsapSCIENCE has some answers.

The answers, perhaps expectedly, are about as complex as the Internet trolls themselves: they really are people who get a good feeling from inflicting pain upon others, and the Internet lets them do it consequence-free. Like obnoxious siblings, though, the best defense (if possible) is to not give them what they want: any reaction at all.

—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>