Trolling in online discussions: from provocation to community-building

Title: Trolling in online discussions: from provocation to community-building
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2013, vol. 39, iss. 1, pp. 5-25
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This paper focuses on the practice of trolling in online discussions. Working with a corpus taken from the websites of three British newspapers, it examines how users themselves define trolling; comparison with a previous study (Hardaker 2010) suggests that users' definitions of trolling may vary depending on the discussion topic. The paper then presents a qualitative pragmatic analysis of one discussion which was attacked by trolls. After examining how trolls announce their presence and attempt to provoke reactions from core community members, the article then moves on to discuss several salient aspects of the facework used during the ensuing "flame war". Finally, the article turns to address the social dimension of trolling, outlining how a practice which is generally considered destructive can also paradoxically have constructive effects, helping to build new communities and strengthen existing ones.
This article is an output of the ESF-funded project "Posílení rozvoje Centra výzkumu odborného jazyka angličtiny a němčiny na Filozofické fakultě Ostravské univerzity" (OP Vzdělávání pro konkurenceschopnost, reg. no. CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0222).
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