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. Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 4:23
  • 1
    I confirm. This meaning of "troll" is internet dialect, and not related to any physical region.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 4:30
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    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. Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


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.

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