I think he’s talking more about a caricature of trolls rather than most real trolls today.
By his definition “These are the folks who combine a strong opinion with a lack of knowledge and whose main goal is attention” you could classify the majority of the internet as trolls. Anyone on Facebook that posts about policy decisions without having read the policy could be a troll.
While most trolls are probably men, the rest would vary pretty wildly by community.
A far better definition I liked was ‘Future Banners Users’. There was a great study last year that conceptualised the idea that with enough data you could identify people most likely to be banned in the future before they commit the act that will lead them to be banned.
From a selection of first 10 posts they created a model that had an 80% accuracy rate in predicting future banned used. I’m honestly surprised more people haven’t tried to build moderation businesses around this.
I blogged about it here. The key signs were:
[quote]* Future Banned Users (FBUs) concentrate on fewer discussions.
- FBUs mostly post replies to existing threads.
- FBUs post very frequently.
- FBUs get fewer votes/rating points.
Other possible predictors include:
- FBUs use less accommodating language.
- FBUs use language which is less similar to other members.
- FBUs swear more frequently. ). [/quote]