With respect to the Internet, The Macquarie Dictionary (Sixth Edition, 2013) defines a troll as:
/troʊl/ (say trohl)
- Internet to behave in the manner of a troll.
–noun 13. the act of trolling.
a. someone who, protected by online anonymity, posts messages in a discussion forum, chat room, etc., which are designed to disrupt the normal flow of communication by being inflammatory or puzzling.
b. such a message.
[Middle English trollen roll, stroll, from Old French troller, from Middle High German trollen; def. 16 variant of trawl, from the notion that originally people in a chat room identified newbies by asking questions that only a newbie would take seriously]
OHPI specifically focuses on trolling that is related to causing reputational damage, encouraging self-harm, threats and intimidation, and spreading hate about a person or community.
Campaign (August 2020) – Combating Online Trolling
During the month of August we will be running a special campaign to combat online Trolling. The campaign aims to increase the focus on preventing this particular area of online hate. Special donations can be made to support this specific campaign and are welcome at any time.
Below is a list of our publications documenting, reporting and highlighting instances of online racist speech.
OHPI briefings tackle specific instances of online hate and are produced rapidly to respond to emerging problems.
April 18, 2017: Nathan Sykes an Australian Troll
June 1, 2016: Trolling the AFL with racism and misogyny
November 25, 2015: When does disagreement become hate?
September 16, 2015: Facebook to add a new “dislike” button
September 3, 2015: Where do trolls come from and how to we stop their cyberbullying?
August 26, 2015: Cyberbullying: Not just a teen phenomenon
August 23, 2015: Bigots target OHPI
August 21, 2015: Online Vigilantism and its perils
August 18, 2015: Cyberbullying: Tips and tools to tackle it
May 8, 2015: Steps taken by Twitter to combat abuse
May 22, 2014: 4Chan’s /pol/ and the Trouble with Dean
April 28, 2014: Ben Garrison on Trolls
October 5, 2013: The problem of cyberbullying trolls
Commetary & Media Coverage
September 21, 2015: OHPI in the BBC News
September 3, 2015: Radio interview about OHPI’s work combating online hate (K-Rock FM)
September 1, 2015: Calls for online trolls to face harsher legal consequences (3AW)
Junw 27, 2015: Vice Magazine quotes OHPI in an article on trolls
June 4, 2015: Article on OHPI’s assistance to Ben Garrison
March 3, 2015: Fight Against Hate Flyer
December 15, 2014: New tool in fighting online hate (Australian Jewish News)
December 11, 2014: OHPI: Tracking down the data to combat online hate (The Big Smoke)
December 10, 2014: Hitting Back Against Hate (MX)
December 9, 2014: Fight Against Hate Launched (OHPI Press Release)
See also, our publications on cyberbullying.