When I was little I remember hearing and then reading the story of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. They had to cross a bridge to get to their grazing pasture. A troll lived under the bridge and wanted to eat them. The story, though a bit gory, was a message of good flouting evil as the troll was bested by the goats.
Trolls were normally pictured as weird, ugly, misshapen beings who wanted to eat everything in sight. They were prevalent in Norwegian fairy tales as far as I can remember.
Let us now take a step forward in history to the present day. As with a lot of things in life the computer age has taken over words and given them new meaning so why should the word “troll” escape?
In the fairy stories trolls were always pictured as mean, horrible creatures. In computers a troll is just that. It is a mean, horrible person who is looking for a fight.
A troll’s modus operandi is to visit social sites and post inflammatory comments to a post. The sole purpose of this seems to be to get a rise out of the followers of the post.
I’m sure you know some people like that. Many years ago a member of our social group would introduce a controversial topic with seemingly no agenda. As the conversation around the topic developed it usually became clear that all were united in their opinion either for or against. As soon as that happened this guy would fling in a comment that was the exact opposite of the common trend. His purpose? To get a rise out of the group, to cause disharmony while he sat back with a satisfied smile and watched the ensuing fiasco.
© Vera Alexander