Trolls Are “Sadists and Psychopaths”


Common wisdom has it that the Internet has disconnected people from their sense of empathy—but maybe it’s just exposed society at large to greater numbers of people who were already unempathetic.

This Washington Post blog post reports on a Canadian study which “found that trolling correlated with higher rates of sadism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism, a certain lack of scruples when it comes to deceiving or manipulating other people.”

Is that better or worse?

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →