Analyzing more than 40 million posts by around 1.7 million users over 18 months, it was discovered that trolls write differently than everyone else, often going off topic (sound familiar?) and saying more negative things.
In addition, trolls were found to make more comments per day and post more times on each thread.
The research also identifies the process by which (possibly) decent people gradually become the bane of everyone’s existence: they start off surly, are met with opposition, get pissed off and finally go into conniptions when their posts are deleted.
Unfortunately, the study doesn’t consider sarcastic super-trolls who “purposefully ask overly naive questions or state contrary viewpoints.”
Ultimately, it turns out that if you subscribe to the “ignore them, they’ll go away” school of thought, you are absolutely correct - trolls “receive more replies than average users, suggesting that they might be successful in luring others into fruitless, time-consuming discussions.”
Discover exactly why you've morphed into a troll, AFTER THE JUMP...