From Royals to Vegans: Characterizing Question Trolling on a Community Question Answering Website Conference Paper uri icon


  • The phenomenon of trolling has emerged as a widespread form of abuse on news sites, online social networks, and other types of social media. In this paper, we study a particular type of trolling, performed by asking a provocative question on a community question-answering website. By combining user reports with subsequent moderator deletions, we identify a set of over 400,000 troll questions on Yahoo Answers, ie, questions aimed to inflame, upset, and draw attention from others on the community. This set of troll questions spans a lengthy period of time and a diverse set of topical categories. Our analysis reveals unique characteristics of troll questions when compared to" regular" questions, with regards to their metadata, text, and askers. A classifier built upon these features reaches an accuracy of 85% over a balanced dataset. The answers' text and metadata, reflecting the community's response to the...

publication date

  • January 1, 2018