A new paper suggests that it might be possible to identify potential trolls before they do their worst. Researchers at Stanford and Cornell have pulled out patterns of behaviour exhibited by the approximately one in 40 users of three news sites—CNN, Breitbart and IGN—who were subsequently banned for abuse. These include trolls’ unwillingness to mould their conversation to the slang of an online community; their propensity to swear; and the volume of contributions they make to a debate. Making an algorithm of these patterns, the researchers believe they can be 80% confident of identifying those likely to cause trouble within five posts online.
From The Economist. I wonder what percentage of online trolls are men. It must be a majority. Men are terrible.
Now we just need Tom Cruise and a team of soldiers crashing in through people's windows before they even turn into trolls: “Sir, we're arresting you for the future abusive tweet directed at Sarah Marks that was to take place later this evening at 11:09pm.”
I need me some precogs to help me pre-block people on Twitter before they troll me.