Iowans Are Near the Top in the U.S. for Sending Hurtful Trolling Messages Online
Remember the good days when trolls lived under bridges, carried big clubs, and ate fish? While obviously not real, these trolls would only be hanging out by bridges. The modern-day troll carries no club and doesn't stop people from crossing.
Oh no, he/she goes on social media or message boards and posts inflammatory, insincere, rude, sometimes sexual, and/or overtly negative comments to others. Oh, and Iowa has a TON of 'em according to a new study.
Iowa has among the most internet trolls in the U.S.
Iowa is home to many opinionated residents, and as such, there's bound to be some trolls in the mix. But Iowa being near the top when it comes to trolling? That does seem a little odd, right? According to the website Redact, that is indeed the case. Their study finds 19% of Iowans admit to sending trolling messages online. If that seems low, compare it to neighboring states and you'll see it's quite high:
- South Dakota: 14% have trolled
- North Dakota: 7% have trolled
- Wisconsin: 15% have trolled
- Illinois: 13% have trolled
- Minnesota: 18% have trolled
However, Nebraska tops Iowa with 21% of internet users admitting they've been guilty of trolling online. The national average is 17%, so Iowa is certainly, um, overachieving in the troll department.
One of the interesting common threads with trolls, according to the study, is just how many create fake social media accounts to carry out their trolling. It's interesting, to me anyway, because they're willing to go through so much work to create a fake person to keep their own identity a secret. In other words, they know what they're doing is wrong or crass, so they'll make someone else (not real) do their bidding. Interesting, and troubling, too.