University professor Whitney Phillips examines the culture of online trolling. Her prism into this world surveys those US residents who revel in this online subculture and identify as members of it. Phillips presents a complex, multilayered portrait of the mores, emotions and tactics of people who intentionally cause distress to others. She interviewed numerous trolls and directly participated in “trolldom” by opening herself up to attacks. She links trolling to the larger culture and shows how these individuals simply mirror attitudes and methods embraced by sensationalist mainstream media. She unflinchingly depicts trolls sexual, racial and scatological humor, which some readers may find offensive, as, indeed, the trolls intend.
About the Author
Whitney Phillips is an assistant professor of literary studies and writing at Mercer University’s Penfield College.