I wonder if the academic community spent time on our hallowed site in the course of this research - in which case they are probably in need of counselling. Online trolls post abuse out of boredom, research finds. - Telegraph I'm not sure how much intellectual firepower was needed to discover that trolls trolled from boredom or from a need for power, amusement or revenge. For those too idle to follow the link, here's how to spot a troll - Arrse probably sets the standard for 4 & 5. Who, in your view, is the greatest Arrse troll according to these criteria? How to spot an internet troll 1) Digressing from the topic at hand, especially onto sensitive topics. Not necessarily overtly argumentative, this tactic frustrates its targets with its pointlessness and circularity. Digression onto sensitive topics triggers the strongest reactions. 2) Hypocriticising, especially for a fault that the critic then displays themself. A simple tactic, often this is pedantic criticism of grammar, spelling or punctuation in a post which itself contains proofreading errors to provoke exasperated responses from others. 3) Antipathising, by taking up an alienating position, asking pseudo-naive questions, etc. This tactic is heavily reliant on deceiving the group it is aimed at and covertly manipulates egos, sensitivities, morals and feelings of guilt, usually to trigger emotional responses. It can also create moral dilemmas. 4) Endangering others by giving dangerous advice, encouraging risky behaviour, etc. A trolling strategy designed to masquerade as help or advice whilst actually causing harm and/or forcing others to respond to prevent harm. It relies on the target's social responsibility and moral obligation. 5) Shocking others by being insensitive about sensitive topics, explicit about taboo topics, etc. This appears to succeed mainly due to the strength of feeling provoked by the deeply personal and extraordinarily hurtful nature of the troll's insensitivity. It triggers a desire to retaliate that is stronger than the desire to deny the troll the satisfaction of a response. 6) Aggressing others by insulting, threatening, or otherwise plainly attacking them without (adequate) provocation. This is open and deliberate aggression without any clear justification with the aim of antagonising its target into retaliating. 7) Crossposting sending the same offensive or provocative message to multiple groups then waiting for the response.