There seems often to be an implicit assumption in the minds of many people that most trolls are children or teenagers or generally in the younger demographics.

Such as this unsourced claim on this article:

Close to 90 percent of the trolls on the Internet are between the ages of 14 to 21

Also in one of the quotation for this article

These trolls are predominantly young white men

Also in one of the responses to this YA question:

Many are pre-teens and adolescents.

and from the same post, the (most likely made up) statistics claimed by user ILLUMINUTTY:

13 - 14 : 12%
15 - 19 : 43%
20 - 26 : 22%
26 - 33 : 14%
34 and older : 9%

Also the title of this article:

What is turning so many young men into internet trolls?

Is there any sort of truth to this? Is there any evidence that shows the demographic of trolls to be any different than the demographic of normal internet users (esp. age; race, gender, and economic status are also interesting topics to discuss but please focus this question on age)? Is young internet users more predisposed to trolling than older people?

  • it's the GIFT of the internet Nov 18, 2013 at 9:19
  • 4
    Does 'troll' even have a firm definition that is accepted by most internet users, or is it like 'porn' for the Supreme Court (we know it when we see it)?
    – Paul
    Nov 18, 2013 at 10:43
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    For example the definition in the second article is closer to "griefer" rather than "troll". Besides, trolling is way older than the internet. It's been already used by ancients, and it's has been described as strategy number 8 in Schopenhauer's "The Art of Being Right". And BTW original internet trolling rather than provoking just one person to be angry was provoking a flamewar w/o need of further involvement.
    – vartec
    Nov 18, 2013 at 11:25
  • Unfortunately this question may be unanswerable because it's difficult to know who is who.
    – ChrisW
    Nov 18, 2013 at 12:04
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    @Paul: I think it is a you-know-it-when-you-see-it in most of the internet, for the purpose of this question I'm not going to put hard limit on what constitutes trolling to allow flexibility on answerers. However if you need one, you can use either someone who "self identify as a troll" or someone who "exhibit behaviors commonly associated with trolling" (a limited list of these behaviors would need to be provided).
    – Lie Ryan
    Nov 18, 2013 at 16:19


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