By the way, someone who posts a comment in a thread that disagrees with others is often mistakenly called a troll. Perhaps it is true, but quite often, the label is incorrect.
The definition has broadened in recent years, probably because of the availability of social media. Trolls have become obsessive and vindictive. In my experience, many Internet atheists are not only trolls, but are bullies and narcissistic stalkers who seek to do harm to others. Many are unemployed, so they have time to wreak havoc. Most are dealt with by simply blocking them and reporting them to the appropriate authorities. Then they play the victim card.
Many atheopath trolls are indeed mentally unbalanced. Some have become a bit more sophisticated in their approach, wanting to "have a discussion" or "ask questions" in a manner that is meant to be destructive, disruptive and upsetting. One of the first indications of trollishness is of a provocative, off-topic comment or question. But they do not seek to have discussions or gain knowledge.
My wife likes to give what I call a "voice over" to Basement Cat when she seems to have an attitude; "leave me 'lone" became "LML". These reprobates do not respect other people, and will not "LML" unless they are forced to do so.
Here is an excellent article that covers troll stuff quite nicely:
While the hot topic of the moment is cyber bullying (after the Charlotte Dawson affair) I have to speak up and make it clear that I’ve been irritated by the ‘comment’ button for quite some time. It’s a great invention if you want to tell people how awesome they are and show appreciation but then there’s the other side – the darker side of the ability to comment.
While I haven’t yet made my way to Twitter I’ve seen enough hatred when I visit Christian philosophy videos on YouTube or some of my favourite blogs. It’s not just the comment button either. Some websites (such as creationist ones – creation.com and answersingenesis.org) don’t allow for commenting but they still get emails sent to them with all sorts of creative language and ill-founded assertions. And yet in an act of good sportsmanship they still bother responding to letters of people that can’t be bothered researching the facts first.
I’ve learned my own personal lesson with this, with my own Facebook ‘friend’-turned-bully who would attack every Christian post I made claiming that Christians (and especially creationists) were stupid and uneducated. The fact that we used to frequently spend time together should have told her that I was neither, but she clearly never thought of that as she was too busy trying to discredit me in front of others before I blocked her.You can read the rest of "Welcome to Troll City", here.