Facts Internet Trolls and dogmatists

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you’re dealing with an internet troll or a dogmatist. This can be good to know if you want to respond to the person.

A troll has a clear agenda and acts in a structured and conscious plan with the purpose of getting you out of balance. Rhetoric, distractions, and a superior understanding of the subject are methods for trolling that aim to make you do something unconsciously. A dogmatist, on the other hand, sees themselves as a victim where power-abusing authorities are to blame.

A dogmatist is often assertive and opinionated, and often threatens to report to various agencies and media. Conversations are often recorded, and a legal language and strong metaphors are often used.


  • Often use provocative words
  • Look for conflicts
  • Rarely give out personal information (often anonymous or have false identities)
  • Consciously try to lead to conversation to controversial topics
  • Know which topics engage the audience 
  • Inconsistent information: pretends to be a child but writes like an adult; pretends to be an adult but writes like a child.
  • Rarely post specifically about the subject, but more generally from their own agenda
  • Use anecdotal evidence (“I’ve experienced this, so I know”) to get others out of balance
  • If no one answers, they will gladly follow up their own posts
  • Make posts with many different aliases 
  • Gang up with others

Troll factories

What is a troll factory? A troll factory is an organization of internet trolls and bloggers who aim to spread propaganda or frightening and false information. Bots are often used to create fake accounts that then spread and share the information with the goal of creating confusion or fear.

It is not uncommon that email addresses are spread in alternative forums that result in organized chainmail when your inbox can overflow with hateful emails.

Let someone else clean out and collect digital evidence. File a police report. There are different ways of handling these situations, some people choose to make some of the emails public (while blacking out the name of the sender — which is important so that you do not end up in trouble). Do what feels right to you. Do not be alone, and get help with clearing out your inbox. 

Responding to trolls

Media witch-hunt

Internet bots

Advice Block and protect your social media

Advice Why are you exposed?

If you suspect that it is happening because of who you are based on race/ethnicity, religion, sex, transgender identity or expression, disability, sexuality or age – it can be unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, a hate crime or hate speech.

Hate crimes 


Advice Harassment (bullying) can be discrimination

If it happens because of who you are based on race/ethnicity, religion, sex, transgender identity or expression, disability, sexuality or age – it can be unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, a hate crime or hate speech.

Hate crimes 


Advice Take your mental health seriously

Put your mental health first. Sometimes, it can be important to take a break from social media accounts. Let someone else take care of or clear out your social media.

Support and help 

Advice Remove your information on the internet

Advice Never answer in affect!

Never answer in affect. Don't answer the person who is attacking you by attacking them back. Just ask them to stop. A lot of the time you don't want to answer at all, which is more than understandable. But to file a police report, it can be important that you can prove that you asked the person to stop, even when it comes to sexual harassment.

Advice Never answer threats!

Don't answer! It can escalate the situation and make the legal process more difficult. Always file a police report.

Advice Comebacks

If you want to respond or give comebacks, at the Cyber Hate Assistant, we think that you should. You have the right to stand up for yourself. We want to advise you not to write in affect, but instead to take a micro-pause from the situation and think about what you want to answer. Read through your text one more time before publishing. Partly because we are all active in creating the conversation culture on the internet – inclusive conversations are something we all should contribute to. And partly because of the fact that if someone violates or harasses you on the internet and you answer them in the same way in affect – their behavior stops being a criminal act.

Advice Gather digital evidence

Document and save everything that can be used to investigate what has happened.

Guide: Gather digital evidence 

Advice If you are threatened, do not be alone

Do not be alone. Even if the threats are online, they can have consequences offline. Make sure you're not alone.

Support and help

Advice Ask for help to deal with cyber hate!

You're not alone. If you want help dealing with cyber hate in the comment section, contact the facebook group #jagärhär to get help and support from the good forces at work for a good and open internet climate.

#jagärhär's facebook page 

Advice Ask the person to stop - maybe

Even if it can be difficult or threatening, it may be good to ask the person to stop or stop trying to contact you. Do not do this if you feel like it will put your safety at risk. The reason this is important is because when you file a police report, it is often required that you have made the person understand that their behavior is unwanted. However, for women and other marginalized groups, especially trans people, it can be dangerous to speak up and say no. Trust your instinct. Contact the police or other support services right away.


  • A dogmatist normally has repeated and aggressive demands
  • Comes with dramatic accusations
  • Has a concept of reality that differs from others and therefore has difficulty understanding other thoughts and perspectives
  • A dogmatist rarely leaves an injustice alone, but makes it into an endless battle
  • Typical behaviors are: long stories, underlining, messages written in all caps, sending long emails, requesting documents and records

Responding to a dogmatist