Personally, I have never really understood trolling. It is something I did try to oppose at first, but since that approach simply adds to the mess, I learned how to ignore it. Reading both “We’re the Reason We Can’t Have Nice Things on the Internet” and “Privilege Makes Them Do It — What a Study of Internet Trolls Reveals” forced me to research if there are any hidden benefits online trolls receive for what they do.
Even though I was not lucky enough to find the overall definite motives of trolling, I did discover something very interesting.
We have all probably seen this meme. If not, meet the Trollface. For me, and probably for many people around the world, this caricature of a smiling face has been the logo for anything troll-related. However, not many know of this meme’s origin. According to one of the articles on the Know Your Meme platform, Trollface was introduced to the world on September 18th, 2008. This was very surprising to learn about, since the concept of trolling and troll-like behavior, tracks back a long time before that date.
Another very interesting fact this article pointed out was about the author of the Trollface. Throughout a few years the man has made over $100,000 from his creation. Which, at the time of the number recorded, was approximately $15,000 a month. This was especially surprising, since despite the anonymity and the violation of many rights and morals, the meme ownership rights have been widely acknowledged, and, at least partially, paid for. Turns out trolling related things can grow into a business, and in fact, bring quite a bit of money to the people behind them.