The etymological roots of the word troll go back to the 1600s, when trolls were ugly dwarfs or creatures that made life difficult for travellers. Though the usage of the word has changed completely in the modern world, trolls today stay true to their disruptive nature. A social media troll is a person who posts inflammatory content intended to provoke a response from others on online platforms, causing disruption and controversy.
Trolling on social media is much like the trolling technique in fishing. A troll's posts are similar to the colorful baits and lures that are dragged along the water from a moving boat to attract fish. Much like the unsuspecting fish, internet victims of trolling “take the bait”.
Internet trolls do not stop at just harassing individuals. They also target brands online. A survey about online trolling found one in six business owners claimed unfair negative posts could destroy their business completely.
Trolls can wreck serious havoc on your business. A study found that one negative article found on Google can turn off 22% of your customers – and four or more could lose you 70% of your potential customers.