Unintentional Trolling: How Subjects Express Their Prejudices Through Made-up Stories

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It is often assumed that trolling is an intentional action. The aim of the paper is to argue for a form of unintentional trolling. Firstly, we outline minimal conditions for intentional actions. Secondly, an unintentional trolling example is introduced. Thirdly, we will show that in some cases, an utterance can be expressive, while it is perceived as descriptive. On the basis of the justification-suppression model, we argue that the introduced trolling example is such a case. In order to bypass social sanctions for expressing prejudices, agents unintentionally express their prejudices through stories that appear to be descriptive. Thereby, the characterized behavior does not fulfill the minimal conditions for intentional action. Fourthly, we give criteria that can be used to identify unintentional trolls. Finally, after unintentional trolling is analyzed, the trolls’ behavioral goals are considered. In conclusion, an analysis of unintentional trolling is given, which has explanatory benefits in contrast to the classic intentional trolling concepts.
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Archival date: 2021-09-02
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