Inside the Dark World of Trolling

Damon McCoy is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

"For your own safety never call a Kentucky game again. Don’t piss off Kentucky fans. We’ll make your life hell….”  —Facebook message posted on the page of a business belonging to NCAA basketball referee John Higgins. … In the end, the Higgins matter was a checklist of behaviors commonly associated with trolling, a nebulous, post-millennial word that refers generally to the anonymous sending of threats, insults or other harassment, usually online, from a distant remove. … Most experts, including Damon McCoy, an assistant professor at the NYU Center for Cybersecurity, believe Higgins’s case will be as difficult to win as his trolls were to track down. “Unless it’s an instance of swatting,” McCoy says, referring to the trollish crime of calling a SWAT team to a fake emergency, “there is usually no legal recourse.”

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