Hamilton 68 has been working to expose trolls - as well as automated bots and human accounts - whose main use for Twitter appears to be an amplification of pro-Russia themes. The site's mission is to monitor and illustrate the themes that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Americans to be thinking and talking about, including "the failure of democratic governance in the United States."

The source

Having looked it up in the Collins dictionary, I believe the definition 9 under British 1 is the correct meaning for this context, but I need confirmation here. It looks like it's a usage in Britain. I am wondering if it's used the same way in the US as well.

troll in British 1

  1. a person who posts deliberately inflammatory messages online
  • You are quite right. And this is colloquial use in the US, too. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 20 '18 at 4:23
  • 1
    I confirm. This meaning of "troll" is internet dialect, and not related to any physical region. – Andrew Jan 20 '18 at 4:30
  • 1
    A source to back up @Andrew's comment, the Jargon file's definition of troll. I believe this could be considered the definitive dictionary for early internet dialect. – Jakob Lovern Jan 20 '18 at 7:54

That is correct.

The word is from a fishing technique in which a bait is dragged through the water. It's earliest recorded uses as a verb to mean "writing inflammatory posts on the internet" come from the early '90s. The use of a noun "troll" to mean "someone who trolls the internet" came shortly after.

This word was certainly influenced by the other meaning of "troll", a type of monster.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.