Glossary Entry: Troll

Quick Definition

Trolls are people who say or do something online in an attempt to get a reaction from someone else. This is basically a form of pranking or practical joke; they are not being sincere and are just hoping to get a laugh at your expense. The act of doing this is simply called trolling, and if you fall for these pranks you're said to have been trolled.

The term is often said to have acquired its name from the practice in fishing. To troll, fishermen cast baited lines and then slowly draw the line through the water to encourage fish to bite.

Many places prohibit trolling, but it's just a good idea to expect the internet to be full of trolls, beware of advice from anonymous users, and refuse to respond to their bait.

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