Academic literature and research on trolls and trolling (subversive online users)

[updated October 2014]
Several students have been looking for academic literature and research on trolling and “trolls”: people that appear on fora, comment threads, mailing lists and other venues of discussion online, typically with the intent of disrupting and displacing the discussion, annoying posters, insulting other commentators etc. I did a short search for literature, but did not find much, but luckily my Facebook Network came to my aid. So, based on my own search and with the contributions of Lars Konzack, Tama Leaver, Christina Neumayer, Stine Gotved, Anette Agerdal-Hjermind and Wikipidia, here goes a small list on academic research on trolls and related phenomena, listed by year of publication.

Kiesler, S, Siegel, J. and McGuire, T.W.(1984). “Social psychological aspects of computer-mediated communication”. American Psychologist 39 (10): 1123–1134.

Tepper, Michele (1997). “Usenet Communities and the Cultural Politics of Information” in Porter, David (ed). Internet culture. NY, Routledge.

Donath, Judith S. (1999). “Identity and deception in the virtual community”. In Smith, Marc A.; Kollock, Peter (eds.). Communities in Cyberspace , Routledge.

Bond, Robert (1999). “Links, Frames, Meta-tags and Trolls”. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 13. pp. 317–323.

Baker, P. (2001) “Moral panic and alternative identity construction in Usenet.” Journal of
Computer-Mediated Communication

Herring. Susan et al. (2002): “Searching for Safety Online: Managing ‘Trolling’ in a Feminist Forum”. I: The Information Society 18. Oxford: Taylor & Francis, s. 371–84.

Shin, J. (2008) “Morality and Internet Behavior: A study of the Internet Troll and its relation with morality on the Internet”. In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 2834-2840). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Shachaf, Pnina et al. (2010): “Beyond vandalism: Wikipedia trolls”. I: Journal of Information Science 2010, 36. Los Angeles: SAGE Publ., s. 357-70.

Bergstrom, K. (2010). “Don’t feed the troll”: Shutting down debate about community expectations on First Monday, 16 (8).

Hardaker, C. (2010) “Trolling in asynchronous computer-mediated communication: From user discussions to academic definitions”. Journal of Politeness Research. Language, Behaviour, Culture. 6 (2), 215–242.,%20C.%202010.%20Trolling%20in%20ACMC.pdf

Phillips, W. (2011a). Meet the trolls. Index on Censorship, 40(2), 68–76.

Phillips, W. (2011b). LOLing at tragedy: Facebook trolls, memorial pages and resistance to grief online. First Monday, 16(12).

Knuttila, L. (2011). User unknown: 4chan, anonymity and contingency. First Monday, 16(10).

Binns, A. (2012). “Don’t Feed the Trolls! Managing Troublemakers in Magazine’s Online Communities”. Journalism Practice, 6(4), 547–562.

Bishop, J. (2012). “THe Psychology of Trolling and Lurking. The Role of Defriending and Gamification for Increasing Participation in Online Communities Using Seductive Narratives. In: H. Li (Ed.) Virtual Community Participation and Motivation: Cross-Disciplinary Theories. IGI Global, pp. 160-176.

Coleman, E. Gabriella (2012): “Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls: The Politics of Transgression and spectacle”. Mandiberg, M. (ed.)The Social Media Reader. New York: New York University Press, P. 99-119.

Phillips, W. (2012). “The House That Fox Built: Anonymous, Spectacle, and Cycles of Amplification”. Television & New Media.

McCosker, A. (2013). “Trolling as provocation: YouTube’s Agnostic Publics”. Convergence, 19(4).

Bishop, J. (2013). Examining the Concepts, Issues, and Implications of Internet Trolling. IGI Global.
Edited volume with several contributions linking more or less directly to trolling.

Millner, Ryan M. (2013). Pop Polyvocality: Internet Memes, Public Participation, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement’, International Journal of Communication 7, pp. 2357–2390.

Fichman, P. & Sanfilippo, M.R. (2014). The Bad Boys and Girls of Cyberspace – How Gender and Context Impact Perception of and Reaction to Trolling. In Social Science Computer Review>. Online before print, June 3, 2014. Abstract:

Buckels, E., Trapnell D., & Paulhus, D. (2014). Trolls just want to have fun. Personality and Individual Differences (2014).

Other sources

A special issue of the Australian Journal Fibreculture on trolls “trolls and the negative Space of the internet” was published december 2013. Many interesting articles. (

Poole, C. (2010, February). Christopher “moot” Poole: The case for anonymity online. TED Talks. Retrieved from

Christesen, A. og Maul, P.(2013). Internettets brøleaber og undercoveragenter. K-Forum, April 9th, 2013.

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