Home : Internet Terms : Troll Definition


Trolls are typically thought of as scary creatures that live underneath bridges. While these mythical creatures may only exist in legend, "Internet trolls" are real and cause real problems. In computing, the term "troll" refers to a person who posts offensive, incendiary, or off topic comments online. These comments may appear in Web forums, on Facebook walls, after news articles or blog entries, or in online chat rooms.

Trolls post off-color comments for a number or reasons. They may want to stir up an argument or may simply want attention. Some trolls use comment sections after news articles to rant about their feelings, which may or may not be related to the news story. Whatever the case, trolls are seen as a nuisance in online discussions. At the least, their comments distract from an otherwise legitimate discourse. In worse cases, trolls stir up emotions from other visitors, creating unnecessary arguments.

The action of posting obscene or inflammatory comments is often called "trolling." This activity is highly discouraged and may actually a violation of online community's user agreement. Fortunately, webmasters and forum moderators typically have the power to remove offensive or off topic posts and even terminate accounts if needed. While we enjoy the liberty of free speech online, it is still important to respect others. Therefore, remember to show common courtesy when posting comments online and don't be a troll!

Updated: May 3, 2011

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of Troll. It explains in computing terminology what Troll means and is one of many Internet terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Troll definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.