According to ChatGPT.
Online trolls often gain a sense of power or satisfaction from causing trouble or getting a reaction from others. They may also enjoy the anonymity and lack of accountability that the internet provides. Some trolls may also gain attention, either from the people they are trolling or from others who are watching the interactions. However, it’s important to note that not all trolls have the same motivations and they can range from individuals seeking attention, to those who are using trolling as a form of cyberbullying.
My experience :
I was asked by the Salem group on reddit to do an AMA and I really had no idea what reddit was or is. I went into the room and I was overwhelmed by the angry confrontation and insular mob within. I tried wholeheartedly initially to answer questions but I was over run. I tried to get some of the questions moved to Facebook but even then it was unmanageable.
I spent parts of two weeks trying to reason with characters and people hiding behind screen names. One of the luxuries and failings of reddit is the almost zero accountability. You don’t use your own name and your avatar and created identity becomes your own online personae. You can also vote someone up in agreement or down to silence them. This Salem group was great at both and tried as I might with ethos, pathos and logos to reason with anyone it was a non starter. I even tried launching a better Salemmass group hoping that people that wanted to engage would. This of course upset Reddit and they deleted that group. ( thank you Reddit)
I even invited members of that group to a meet up on a Thursday night at 5:00 pm I arrived a bit later at 5:15, I had an interview with a group of environmentalists in Salem, MA and it ran a bit longer than expected. I got there and it appeared nobody had shown up. I later learned that a 30 something male that was manically texting on his phone was a member of the Salem Reddit group but he lacked the social graces and abilities it appears to put down his phone and have a conversation. Yes he was rude in person like so many of his peers online. I drank my margarita finished my chips and guacamole and deleted my Reddit account.
What did I learn?
Peoples actions online and peoples actions in person are usually not the same except when it comes to members of Reddit. I was surprised to learn in fact that Trumps reddit was deleted from its platform. I would think Reddit would revere a loud mouth saying whatever hurtful things they could muster.
I’ll be honest I have a hand in this, I lost my cool but I was uninformed and unaware and it was an epic fail. Did I call the whole group of them a bunch of losers you bet I did. Are they voters who won’t vote for me? probably. But if I got them thinking about actually voting in the special election for somebody else or anyone I can take some solace that my work was done. I learned much, I will continue to learn and I will use it going forward.