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HOME > PAST ISSUE > May-June 2017 > Article Detail

FEATURE ARTICLE

Anyone Can Become a Troll

Analysis and simulation of online discussion sections show circumstances that can cause civil commentators to engage in aggressive behavior.

Justin Cheng, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Jure Leskovec, Michael Bernstein

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What if all trolls aren’t born trolls? What if some of them are ordinary people like you and me? In our research, we found that people can be influenced to troll others under the right circumstances in an online community. By analyzing 16 million comments made on CNN.com and conducting an online controlled experiment, we identified two key factors that can lead ordinary people to troll.


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