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According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of an Internet troll is as follows: "A person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post." While we've, more than likely, all been guilty of doing some form of that before, a new survey from Five Thirty Eight wanted to know the cold hard facts about why people feel it necessary to leave an opinion online—and, surprisingly, it actually isn't to be a troll.
The survey, which polled 8,500 male and female Internet commenters between the ages of under 20 to 100, showed some interesting results, with, the majority of people, actually using an open forum to contribute, educate or to simply fix an error.
So, as the study discovered, most people are trying to add value to to a piece by either giving additional info left out of a specific article or to join the conversation because the topic's of interest to them.
Additionally, the survey asked respondents to reveal just how often they're actually leaving comments, too, with nearly a quarter of them saying they do it daily.
The Internet can be a cruel place where people hide behind their keyboards to vent, bully or passive aggressively state their opinion, but this research goes to show that, in most cases, a commenter isn't just out to be vengeful—which is a nice relief if respondents answered truthfully.
You can see the full survey results on Five Thirty Eight.