From Trolling Victimization to Reactive Trolling : Moderated Mediation Effects of Online Disinhibition and Motivations

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Journal / PublicationSocial Science Computer Review
Publication statusOnline published - 6 May 2024


Online trolling behavior is becoming prevalent and has received increasing attention. Although few qualitative studies demonstrated that victims of online trolling are more likely to troll others, quantitative evidence examining such a phenomenon is lacking. Drawing on the general aggression model, this study aimed to investigate how trolling victimization affects reactive trolling behaviors and the roles of two motivations (i.e., revenge and social recognition) and online disinhibition during the process. Results from an online survey in China (N = 626) showed that online trolling victimization was positively associated with online reactive trolling and this relationship was mediated by revenge and social recognition motivations. Additionally, the indirect effect of trolling victimization on reactive trolling via revenge motivation was more pronounced when individuals had higher levels of online disinhibition. The findings of the study extend the existing literature on online trolling and provide insights into the mitigation of online trolling behaviors. © The Author(s) 2024.

Research Area(s)

  • trolling victimization, reactive trolling, revenge motivation, social recognition motivation, online disinhibition