Farhad Manjoo criticises this view, noting that if the person really is trolling, they are a lot more intelligent than their critics would believe.
There are competing theories of where and when "troll" was first used in Internet slang, with numerous unattested accounts of BBS and Use Net origins in the early 1980s or before.
The profiles were fake as well, carefully crafted to match your interests.
The "trollface" is an image occasionally used to indicate trolling in Internet culture.
These types of trolls served as a practice to identify group insiders.
This definition of trolling, considerably narrower than the modern understanding of the term, was considered a positive contribution. By the late 1990s, alt.folklore.urban had such heavy traffic and participation that trolling of this sort was frowned upon.
Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment.
For example, the mass media have used "troll" to mean "a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families".