Troll Culture by Stefan Krappitz
Master thesis turned online book looks at the various aspects of trolling, both good and bad, with the online version formatted to look like a 4chan page.
Below is taken from the introduction (with bad spelling intact):
Trolling is a phenomenon, that is normally covered in a very biased way. The usual tenor seems to be, that trolls are neckbearded basementdwellers without a life, or stupid bored teenagers that just hit puberty.
Hardly anyone has written about trolls in a positive way, other thatn the trolls themselves and most people wouldn’t even go as far to associate trolling with the word culture, thus ignoring early online-communities like alt.flame.
Altough the word “to troll” was propably not mentioned in this context until the usenet of the early 90s, similar behaviour could even be seen in Socrates, who lures others into thinking of themselves as savants or scholars who then proceed to teach the, now famous, philosopher. This went on until Socrates asked questions, that questioned the whole philosophy of the other, leading to his realization to not know anything. This cannot be compared entirely to the trolls of modern days, but the phenomenon was there for a long time.
The Internet, however, amplified this behavior with anonymity, ephemerality and the following disinhibition of the mind.
In this thesis, I want to describe the phenomenon of trolling, as a culture.
By respecting the trolls, I wish to give a neutral summary to anybody interested in learning about it.
You can find out more or read the whole work here