TED Conversations

David Williams

Training Specialist , Arvato

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Is trolling the start of sociopathic behaviour?

As we are losing the social interaction skills that were previously developed over time from social environments like play and outdoor games, with online gaming and social networking, are we encouraging a lack of accountability for sociopathic behaviour online?

Do we need do include social skills as an agreed part of educational programmes?

For example in traditional social environments a bully could be held accountable and shunned or even defended against, in cyber bulling there is little if any backlash which can result in a feeling of immunity to the social norms, and as such sociopathic behaviour can be dismissed as trolling.


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    Sep 12 2013: No. Trolling is the culmination of antisocial behavior. It is malicious, counter-productive behavior emboldened by the shield of anonymity.
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      Sep 12 2013: I think David may be thinking of trolling by young people and whether that foretells something about future behaviors.

      I think you are right that if it is one person acting independently, it is entirely anti-social. If it is a pack of people in coordination bullying targets, as I think it can be among young people, it might in a sense be social. Would you consider street gangs social or anti-social? It is social on one level and antisocial on another, I think.
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        Sep 12 2013: There is a truism of Sociology which says birds of a feather flock together. If all street gangs are believed to be opposed to the general welfare then it is justified to label them all as "antisocial". I agree that street gangs can be referred to generally as "social" entities of the "antisocial" type. Anyway, trolls are rather sophisticated misanthropes, they are definitely not neophytes! But, ICBW (I could be wrong).
        • Sep 13 2013: exactly, trolling is definitely not asocial behavior...

          however, sociopathic behavior is not necessitated by asocial behavior. gang (violent) activity as you bring up displays the characteristics (behavior that lacks a sense of moral responsibility or conscience)

          I myself responded incorrectly, the question asks does this behavior cultivate a person who will shun moral responsibility? Yes, but then the next question, if this behavior is being honed was it already present in an imperfect form and thus inevitable?

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