New Book: Online Trolling and Its Perpetrators: Under the Cyberbridge

Pnina and Madelyn

Who is a troll and why do trolls troll?

ILS Associate Professor and Chairperson Pnina Fichman and ILS doctoral candidate Madelyn R. Sanfilippo co-authored a book just released by Rowen & Littlefield Publishers. The book announcement is included here:

Online Trolling and Its Perpetrators: Under the Cyberbridge

Online trolling and other deviant behaviors have always affected online communities. As online trolling becomes widely spread, myriad questions are raised, including:

Who is a troll and why do trolls troll?

What are the enabling factors of online trolling?

How do members and administrators of online communities detect, interpret, and react to trolling? How can online trolling be handled effectively?

What is the impact of the socio-cultural and technological environments on online trolling?

What motivates trolling?

The book answers these questions and includes the following focuses:

Hard-core trolls and light trolls

Gender, trolling, and anti-social behavior online

Perception of trolling

Collaborative trolling

Ideological trolls

Trolling around the globe

This research topic is also being explored in the classroom within their courses at the graduate (Z518 Communications in Online Environments: Online Trolling) and undergraduate (Z362: Online Trolls) levels. The course specifically provides students with a broad framework, encompassing motivations and enabling factors, in addition to behavioral tactics, through which to understand and analyze online behaviors, based on a social informatics perspective on how context shapes social perceptions.

Related articles were published in 2010 by Dr. Fichman and ILS Associate Professor Dr. Noriko Hara, as “Beyond Vandalism: Wikipedia Trolls” (Journal of Information Science, Vol. 30, No. 3.), and in 2015 by Dr. Fichman and Sanfilippo, as “The Bad Boys and Girls of Cyberspace: How Gender and Context Impact Perception of and Reaction to Trolling” (Social Science Computer Review, Vol. 33, No. 2). They, along with other ILS graduate students are exploring the topic on various social media platforms and cultures.

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