I’m an Online Troll and I Don’t Know How to Stop

Amber Fraley
5 min readFeb 27, 2019

Let me clarify right off the bat what kind of troll I am and also what I am not. I am not the kind of person to get on the internet with the intention of making a 12-year-old girl cry. I do not pick on sweet old grannies or really anybody who’s just minding their own damn business.

Nah. I like to see who’s out there on the internets just being a dick and then be a dick to that guy. (And it’s usually a guy.)

What’s hilarious to me is that they’re usually astounded. I’m talking about guys who go full-on rage and condescension at a woman with not a second thought, but when you turn their abuse back on them, they blink. They blink big time. Then they focus their energy on telling me how “crazy” I am, for doing the exact same thing to them that they do to other women as naturally as breathing.

Why do I do this?

I think there are several reasons:

I like to be right

That’s just my personality. I don’t know why, and I’m not proud of it. But I get a huge charge out of being right. I suspect it has to do with the positive feedback I’d receive in school for having the correct answers, when at home I mostly received negative feedback. So I became, as Snape once said to Hermione: “An insufferable know-it-all.” This does not mean I’ll continue to fight for an idea if someone proves I’m wrong. I guess I like to think I’m a “better” kind of troll because if I’m legit wrong, I will apologize and acknowledge that. Why? Because I happen to be a huge fan of facts and the truth. Not that I don’t have my biases. I do. But facts matter more than ever.

I’m actually fighting with my dad

My dad is a bully. There’s really no other to way to say it, except that he’d certainly take exception to that characterization. He thinks he’s the nicest guy in the world. He’s not. I’ve watched my dad bully plenty of people over the years, including my mother, and I’ve been on the receiving end of his bullying, too. So when I get a chance to bully a bully, I’m really just standing up to my dad. Does knowing that stop me from trolling? Not so far.

I have full-blown TDS

Amber Fraley

Writing about abortion rights, mental illness, trauma, narcissistic abuse & survival, politics. Journalist, novelist, wife, mom, Kansan, repro rights activist.