Q&A: Why is it called internet trolls?

Questions: I read about internet trolls all the time. But why do we call them trolls?

Answer: There are two words that have helped us to form the new expression ‘internet troll’.

We have the mean and ugly trolls that we can read about in sagas and old folklores. They are described as man-eaters and have evil personalities.

Then there’s also trolling, a fishing method. On Wikipedia you can ready: Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water. The fisherman is then waiting for a fish to be attracted by the bait. 

An internet troll writes something that is provocative, or makes an inappropriate comment, and then waits for someone to react. For them, it’s all about upsetting others.

I spoke to a linguist who pointed out that there are many fish terms that are used on the internet, phishing, when email scammers are trying to steal your personal information, is one of them.


Download 13 tips how to protect yourself from internet trolls and other nasty people online. 

Internet troll in social media

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