With respect to the Internet, The Macquarie Dictionary (Sixth Edition, 2013) defines a troll as: 


/troʊl/ (say trohl)

verb (t)

  1. Internet to behave in the manner of a troll.

noun 13.  the act of trolling.

  1. Internet
    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]
troller, noun

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.