Trolls are shitting all over our internet. You can hardly search for something as innocuous as “dog” on Google without coming across inflammatory attacks on every possible dog-related opinion under the sun. All horrible things have to crawl before they can walk/crush spirits, though. Even trolls.
And while the term “troll” has become wildly muddied, it did have to come from somewhere. We decided to try and find out just where that dark, acerbic origin story began.
In the Beginning
There were bulletin board systems. And Usenet. And newsgroups. And people just starting to realize the massive potential trembling beneath their fingertips. Anything was possible! Which, as it turns out, is not always a good thing.
In the early 90s, trolls had yet to come into mainstream public consciousness, at least according to the 1993 Big Dummy’s Guide to the Internet. Flame wars, on the other hand, were already an online staple.