Death and Lulz: Understanding the personality characteristics of RIP trolls

Kathryn C. Seigfried-Spellar, Siddharth S. Chowdhury


Trolling on the Internet is a form of deviant behavior that borderlines cyberharassment. A specific type of trolling behavior involving individuals posting rude/harassing comments on online memorial pages is known as RIP or memorial page trolling. This study compared the personality traits of self-reported RIP trolls to other trolls who did not engage in RIP trolling (non-RIP trolls); 30 respondents were classified as RIP trolls and 119 respondents as non-RIP trolls. Results indicated RIP trolls scored significantly lower on conscientiousness and internal moral values compared to non-RIP trolls. Overall, trolls are not a homogenous group; further supporting the need for future research to explore individual differences within the trolling community. By understanding the personality and morality differences between trolls and non-trolls, we may be able to identify those individuals at risk for engaging in different forms of online harassment.


Trolling, Individual Differences, Cyberharassment, Memorial Page Trolling, Personality

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