Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


This paper investigates the linguistically marked motives that participants attribute to those they call trolls in 178 comment threads of three Hungarian left-wing political blogs. It is also concerned with how frequently these motives are mentioned and how they contribute to 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 threads. The paper identifies five motives for trolling: emotional reasons, financial gain, political beliefs, being employed by Fidesz or the Hungarian government, and unspecified political affiliation. Depending on these motives, trolling and trolls are constructed in various ways. Furthermore, by suggesting that Fidesz or the Hungarian government employs trolls, the posters discursively construct Fidesz as an autocratic and corrupt state party that tries to manipulate the public.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Anthony, Laurence
    2016AntConc(Version 3.4.4) [Computer Software]. Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. Available fromwww.laurenceanthony.net/
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Baker, Paul
    2001 “Moral Panic and Alternative Identity Construction in Usenet.” Journal of Computer-mediated Communication (7) 1.10.1111/j.1083‑6101.2001.tb00136.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2001.tb00136.x [Google Scholar]
  3. 2006Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Balconi, Michaela
    2010 “Intentions and Communication: Cognitive Strategies, Metacognition and Social Cognition.” InNeuropsychology of Communication, ed. by Michaela Balconi , 159–176. London/New York: Springer.10.1007/978‑88‑470‑1584‑5_9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-88-470-1584-5_9 [Google Scholar]
  5. Binns, Amy
    2012 “Don’t Feed the Trolls! Managing Troublemakers in Magazines’ Online Communities.” Journalism Practice6 (4): 547–562.10.1080/17512786.2011.648988
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2011.648988 [Google Scholar]
  6. Brezina, Vaclav , Tony McEnery , and Stephen Wattam
    2015 “Collocations in Context: A New Perspective on Collocation Networks.” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics20 (2): 139–173.10.1075/ijcl.20.2.01bre
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.20.2.01bre [Google Scholar]
  7. Buckels, Erin E. , Paul D. Trapnell , and Delroy L. Paulhus
    2014 “Trolls Just Want to Have Fun.” Personality and Individual Differences35 (67): 97–102.10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.016 [Google Scholar]
  8. Cheng, Justin et al.
    2015 “Antisocial Behavior in Online Discussion Communities.” Proceedings of ICWSM 2015. arxiv.org/abs/1504.00680 (Date of access: 25 February 2017)
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Cienki, Alan
    2007 “Frames, Idealized Cognitive Models, and Domains.” InThe Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, ed. by Dirk Geeraerts , and Hubert Cuyckens , 170–187. Oxford: Oxford University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Culpeper, Jonathan , and Claire Hardaker
    2016 “Pragmatics.” InTriangulating Methodological Approaches in Corpus-linguistic Research, ed. by Paul Baker , and Jesse Egbert , 124–137. New York/London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Donath, Judith S.
    1999 “Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community.” InCommunities in Cyberspace, ed. by Peter Kollock , and Marc A. Smith , 27–58. London/New York: Routledge
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Fichman, Pnina , and Madelyn Rose Sanfilippo
    2015 “The Bad Boys and Girls of Cyberspace: How Gender and Context Impact Perception of and Reaction to Trolling.” Social Science Computer Review33 (2): 163–180.10.1177/0894439314533169
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439314533169 [Google Scholar]
  13. Galán-García, Patxi et al.
    2014 “Supervised Machine Learning for the Detection of Troll Profiles in Twitter Social Network: Application to a Real Case of Cyberbullying.” InProceedings of International Joint Conference SOCO’13-CISIS’13-ICEUTE’13, ed. by Álvaro Herrero et al. , 419–428. New York: Springer.10.1007/978‑3‑319‑01854‑6_43
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01854-6_43 [Google Scholar]
  14. Golder, Scott A. , and Judith S. Donath
    2004 “Social Roles in Electronic Communities.” Paper presented atthe Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Conference Internet Research 5.0, 19–22 September 2004. Brighton, England. 1–25.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Greaves, Chris , and Martin Warren
    2010 “What Can a Corpus Tell Us about Multi-word Units?” InThe Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, ed. by Anne O’Keeffe , and Michael McCarthy , 212–226. London/New York: Routledge.10.4324/9780203856949.ch16
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203856949.ch16 [Google Scholar]
  16. Hardaker, Claire
    2010 “Trolling in Asynchronous Computer-mediated Communication: From User Discussions to Academic Definitions.” Journal of Politeness Research. Language, Behaviour, Culture6 (2): 215–242.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2013 ““Uh….not to be nitpicky,,,,,but…the past tense of drag is dragged, not drug.”. An Overview of Trolling Strategies.” Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict1 (1): 58–86.10.1075/jlac.1.1.04har
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlac.1.1.04har [Google Scholar]
  18. 2015 “‘I refuse to respond to this obvious troll’: An Overview of Responses to (Perceived) Trolling.” Corpora10 (2): 201–229.10.3366/cor.2015.0074
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2015.0074 [Google Scholar]
  19. Haugh, Michael , and Kasia M. Jaszczolt
    2012 “Speaker Intentions and Intentionality.” InThe Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics, ed. by Keith Allan , and Kasia M. Jaszczolt , 87–112. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781139022453.006
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139022453.006 [Google Scholar]
  20. Herring, Susan C. et al.
    2002 “Searching for Safety Online: Managing „Trolling” in a Feminist Forum.” The Information Society18 (5): 371–384.10.1080/01972240290108186
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01972240290108186 [Google Scholar]
  21. Herring, Susan C. , Dieter Stein , and Tuija Virtanen
    (eds) 2013Pragmatics of Computer-Mediated Communication. Berlin/New York: Mouton De Gruyter.10.1515/9783110214468
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110214468 [Google Scholar]
  22. Hopkinson, Christopher
    2013 “Trolling in Online Discussions: From Provocation to Community-building.” Brno Studies in English39 (1): 5–25.10.5817/BSE2013‑1‑1
    https://doi.org/10.5817/BSE2013-1-1 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hübler, Axel
    2011 “Metapragmatics.” InFoundations of Pragmatics, ed. by Wolfram Bublitz , and Neal R. Norrick , 107–136. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110214260.107
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110214260.107 [Google Scholar]
  24. Jenkins, Richard
    2014Social Identity. London/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Langlotz, Andreas
    2010 “Social Cognition.” InInterpersonal Pragmatics, ed. by Miriam A. Locher , and Sage L. Graham , 167–204. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Lockard, Matthew
    2014 “Implication and Reasoning in Mental State Attribution: Comments on Jane Heal’s Theory of Co-cognition.” Philosophical Psychology27 (5): 719–734.10.1080/09515089.2012.730040
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2012.730040 [Google Scholar]
  27. McCosker, Anthony
    2014 “Trolling as Provocation: YouTube’s Agonistic Publics.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies20 (2): 201–217.10.1177/1354856513501413
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856513501413 [Google Scholar]
  28. Morrissey, Lochlan
    2010 “Trolling Is an Art: Towards a Schematic Classification of Intention in Internet Trolling.” Griffith Working Papers in Pragmatics and Intercultural Communications3 (2): 75–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Noveck, Ira
    2010 “Inferential Comprehension.” InThe Routledge Pragmatics Encyclopedia, ed. by Louise Cummings , 220–222. London/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Ortega, Javier F. et al.
    2012 “Propagation of Trust and Distrust for the Detection of Trolls in a Social Network.” Computer Networks56 (12): 2884–2895.10.1016/j.comnet.2012.05.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comnet.2012.05.002 [Google Scholar]
  31. Özsoy, Duygu
    2015 “Tweeting Political Fear: Trolls in Turkey.” Journal of History School8 (22): 535–552.10.14225/Joh750
    https://doi.org/10.14225/Joh750 [Google Scholar]
  32. Petykó, Márton
    2013 “Az internetes troll mint identitás kialakítása politikai blogok diskurzusaiban [Construction of internet troll as an identity in the discourses of political blogs].” Magyar Nyelvőr133 (3): 274–313.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Postmes, Tom , Russel Spears , and Martin Lea
    2000 “The Formation of Group Norms in Computer-Mediated Communication.” Human Communication Research26 (3): 341–371.10.1111/j.1468‑2958.2000.tb00761.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2000.tb00761.x [Google Scholar]
  34. Shachaf, Pnina , and Noriko Hara
    2010 “Beyond Vandalism: Wikipedia Trolls.” Journal of Information Science36 (3): 357–370.10.1177/0165551510365390
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551510365390 [Google Scholar]
  35. Tanskanen, Sanna-Kaisa
    2007 “Metapragmatic Utterances in Computer-mediated Interactions”. InMetapragmatics in Use, ed. by Axel Hübler , and Wolfram Bublitz , 87–106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.165.07tan
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.165.07tan [Google Scholar]
  36. Thacker, Scott , and Mark D. Griffiths
    2012 “An Exploratory Study of Trolling in Online Video Gaming.” International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning2 (4): 17–33.10.4018/ijcbpl.2012100102
    https://doi.org/10.4018/ijcbpl.2012100102 [Google Scholar]
  37. Tomasello, Michael et al.
    2005 “Understanding and Sharing Intentions: The Origins of Cultural Cognition.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences28 (5): 675–691.10.1017/S0140525X05000129
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X05000129 [Google Scholar]
  38. Utz, Sonja
    2005 “Types of Deception and Underlying Motivation. What People Think.” Social Science Computer Review23 (1): 49–56.10.1177/0894439304271534
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439304271534 [Google Scholar]
  39. Verschueren, Jef
    1999Understanding Pragmatics. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. 2000 “Notes on the Role of Metapragmatic Awareness in Language Use.” Pragmatics10 (4): 439–456.10.1075/prag.10.4.02ver
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.10.4.02ver [Google Scholar]
  41. Wright, Rex A.
    2016 “Motivation Theory Essentials: Understanding Motives and Their Conversion into Effortful Goal Pursuit.” Motivation and Emotion40 (1): 16–21.10.1007/s11031‑015‑9536‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-015-9536-4 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error