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Researchers: Trolls have dark tetrad of personality defects

Think psychopathy and BDSM dungeons, not desktops

Are you a fan of "everyday sadism"? Then you might just be a troll, according to the boffins responsible for a study which looked into the habits of these comment thread Caligulas.

In a study called "Trolls Just Want To Have Fun", eggheads from the University of Manitoba asked 1,200 online trolls what they like doing best.

Unsurprisingly, they seemed to enjoy upsetting people online. Which, lest we forget, was where they got their name.

Despite the term “trolls” now being used to mean virtually anyone who says nasty things on the internet, the word was initially used to describe someone who hijacked a forum or comment thread with nasty, sometimes off topic comments.

Here's a little chart showing which online activities the trolls like to indulge in:

Troll study chart from 'Trolls Just Want To Have Fun', Uni. of Manitoba

Trollery: Science's view of what internet trolls get up to

Trolls are thought to possess a suite of nasty character traits called the "dark tetrad", which means they possess the charming combination of narcissism, sadism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.

This makes them vicious, manipulative, cruel, self-obsessed, abusive and quite possibly bananas.

Does that sound familiar, commentards? ®

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