Photo: Pakutaso

Internet trolls may not be the type of people you think they are, according to Japanese research

By Katie Pask, SoraNews24

Have you ever come across a person on the internet who has been so riled up about something, so ready to pick a fight about something, so ready to die on a hill for something that you thought to yourself “What’s wrong with this person?!”

Maybe they took umbrage with a girl posting photos of herself, or maybe they just really hated a YouTube channel. Either way, they unleash a torrent of abusive and malicious comments.

Try and picture that kind of person in your head right now. Odds are, you might be thinking of someone who looks like the man in the photo at top.

But according to research from Tokyo International University’s Global Communication department, they may in fact look more like this:

▼ “Time to schedule in some Internet hate between work meetings.”

Photo: Pakutaso

Shinichi Yamaguchi, a professor at Tokyo International University, conducted two studies in 2014 and 2016, using 20,000 and 40,000 participants respectively. The studies found that out of all the people who answered that they were likely to participate in online aggression, 70 percent of them were male.

The participants were also asked about their annual income, highlighting another discrepancy between trolls and those who prefer to stay away from drama. Those who were more abusive online had an average annual salary of 6.7 million yen, whereas non-flamers earned on average 5.9 million yen, potentially dispelling the myth that haters may not be the stereotypical young unemployed person with too much time.

So if they aren’t bored, unemployed youth, what kind of jobs do online hate spammers do?

The survey’s final question asked participants to list their line of work. The answers varied over a wide range of professions, and while 30 percent of replies were from unemployed people, students or housewives, 31 percent of replies were from people in managerial positions.

▼ What line of work are you in?


So why are these kinds of people more likely to engage in internet hate? According to Yamaguchi, people who write hateful comments feel like it’s their duty, and by letting their feelings known they are dealing out justice.

But Japanese commenters had different suggestions for why they thought people, especially those in a higher position at work, were more likely to engage in online abuse:

“It’s probably just their way of releasing stress.”

“The kind of people who believe their way of thinking is the right way are likely to do better in the working world, I guess.”

“They’re used to being above, looking down on other people.”

“If you’ve got more money, why waste your time fighting online? Do something more fun with your life.”

“Yet the people who get busted for online abuse are always those with lower incomes.”

Sadly, it seems these days that the internet is riddled with hateful comments. If you ever feel yourself getting riled up, itching to make a spiteful reply, maybe take a deep breath and think about whether it’s really worth it or not before you click send.

Source: Toyo Keizai Online via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Could Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen be the start of a new form of workplace harassment in Japan?

-- Japanese man assaults wife after learning she trolled his YouTube videos for six months

-- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Or they could be an orange man sitting in the WH, arguably the most powerful position in the world.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Internet trolls may not be the type of people you think they are

Internet ‘ anything ’ may not be what we think it is...

but about this in particular : people like to think that internet trolls are unemployed losers sitting at home with too much free time on their hands. but no. as you can see, those are not the real losers. same thing when we say that bullying victims are not losers. the real losers are the bullies. they look strong and successful on the outside but full of insecurities and fears on the inside.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Those who were more abusive online had an average annual salary of 6.7 million yen, whereas non-flamers earned on average 5.9 million yen,

Trolls are often embittered middle-aged reactionaries. They take out their sense of failure and resentment on those who are more successful than themselves.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Many of them in Japan are actually paid by the LDP and Nippon Kaigi to troll, so yeah, they are not the lone wolf living in mom and dad's basement. Its different here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why would you use a poll as a means of collecting data from a bunch of people who self-identify as trolls? Because their self-reports are likely to be valid and reliable?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why does everything come down to politics?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The barriers to entry to political tribes are very low, all you have to do is pass a loyalty test...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it is appropriate that they are called "trolls." Picture a Nordic troll in your head, and then realize that engaging them online is a complete and total waste of one's time. Trolls are things to be invaded, whenever possible.

There is an expression over here: never get down and wrestle with a pig in the mud. The pig loves it, and you'll end up getting mud all over you. That is what it is like to engage with an internet troll. They love it, but you will waste your time, and end up more frustrated than ever.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Not "invaded" but "avoided." Sorry 'bout that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@1glenn: I prefer to think of trolls in the Tolkien sense - at night they come alive, when no one can see them; in daytime they turn to stone, as dead as headstones in cemeteries.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At 30%, 30% and 31% respectively, does that not just suggest a broad spectrum of people engage in this behaviour? In other words, people from any background can have a chip on their shoulder. And you could surmise the internet provides both a source and an outlet for their frustrations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a sick bullying. Those people are internet users like other people too. If someone collects everything of a certain thing or person, or if someone visits all home and away matches of a favorite sports team, and similar people, you wouldn’t say a word and attack or condemn them as crazy ‘trolls’. It’s all virtual and has no meaning. If you take that for real what happens in the internet, maybe you have the bigger problem than those so-called

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Some people call them keyboard samurai or keyboard hero. In real life they are NO ONE, but once the get behind the board in their little dark room their real character takes over .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many are paid trolls to comment on the internet just like China's "50 Cent Party". Paid trolls jobs are to manipulate public opinion, push narratives, and dispel online criticisms that may disagree with ideologies of any entity, company, government, or political leaning. Basically deep state bullying of free speech.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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