“You’re trolling because…” – A Corpus-based Study of Perceived Trolling and Motive Attribution in the Comment Threads of Three British Political Blogs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper investigates the linguistically marked motives that participants attribute to those they call trolls in 991 comment threads of three British political blogs. The study is concerned with how these motives affect the discursive construction of trolling and trolls.
Another goal of the paper is to examine whether the mainly emotional motives ascribed to trolls in the academic literature correspond with those that the participants attribute to the alleged trolls in the analysed threads. The paper identifies five broad motives ascribed to trolls: emotional/mental health-related/social reasons, financial gain, political beliefs, being employed by a political body, and unspecified political affiliation. It also points out that depending on these motives, trolling and trolls are constructed in various ways.
Finally, the study argues that participants attribute motives to trolls not only to explain their behaviour but also to insult them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora for the Humanities (cmccorpora17)
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
Event5th Conference on CMC and SocialMedia Corpora for the Humanities (cmccorpora17) - Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 3 Oct 20174 Oct 2017


Conference5th Conference on CMC and SocialMedia Corpora for the Humanities (cmccorpora17)


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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