"Trolls" or "warriors of faith"? - New publication

by CMC´s Tobias Eberwein on "Differentiating dysfunctional forms of media criticism in online comments"

While the opportunity for reader participation via comments on journalistic online content has largely been welcomed in theory, in practice it has proven much more problematic. Systematic trolling and hate speech have a negative impact on journalistic actors and so far, the ethics discourse in the industry seems to offer no proven method to counterbalance or neutralize these often hostile (to the media per se and individual journalists) commentators.

Tobias Eberwein suggests that part of the reason for this is a lack of understanding about who these users are and what drives their engagement with news organizations and journalists. The study reports on the findings from 22 problem-centered interviews with users who regularly comment negatively on news websites, looking into their backgrounds and offering a typology of these disruptive comments based on the users´ stated motives.


Tobias Eberwein. "Trolls' or 'warriors of faith’? Differentiating dysfunctional forms of media criticism in online comments". Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 2019 (Open Access)
DOI: doi.org/10.1108/JICES-08-2019-0090 


Selected media coverage (in German):

Warum Online-Trolle trollen (Pressemeldung). science.apa.at, 18.02.2020

Warum trollen Online-Trolle? (Interview mit dem Team Öffentlichkeit&Kommunikation der ÖAW). oeaw.ac.at, 18.02.2020

Interviews mit 22 Trollen. orf.at, 18.02.2020

Online-Trolle: „Glaubenskrieger“ für die Wahrheit. krone.at, 18.02.2020

Studie: Trolle halten sich für „Glaubenskrieger“. kurier.at, 18.02.2020

Studie: Online-Trolle sehen sich als Glaubenskrieger für die Wahrheit. derstandard.at, 18.02.2020

Die Motive der „Störer“ im Internet. diepresse.com, 21.02.2020