Minnesota Above Average in Internet Trolls

Survey finds 18% of social media users in Minnesota have trolled others

sasun Bughdaryan/Adobe

Minnesotans: Some of us are the greatest at being the worst. At least that’s what a new survey of social media users about internet trolling says.

Anyone with a social media account knows that trolls can ruin a perfectly good post and darken a day. This survey of 3,846 participants in January, conducted and released by the software company Redact, found that 28% of social media users reported they’ve been a victim of internet trolling and almost 1 in 5 social media users in Minnesota admits to having trolled someone in the past. At 18%, these nasty Minnesotans are a smidge above the national average of 17% who acknowledge they have shared or sent something mean or provocative on social media. Our neighbors all around us posted lower rates, with only 7% in North Dakota and 15% in Wisconsin.

The state with the highest admitted trollers was West Virginia with 27%, while only 5% of those in Delaware own up to the practice.

The definition of “trolling” may be to blame, too, for those of us who think of ourselves as Minnesota Nice. Are we offering up constructive criticism, or making comments to get a rise out of everyone else? It’s a fine line for many. Still, half of the survey participants say clearly abusive behavior of trolling should be a federal crime, and 1 in 10 would like to see community service as a punishment.

Another finding in the survey: 73% of participants would report someone they knew if they were an internet troll. Which means it’s time for some of us to get out of our parents’ basement and get a life. Or is that just trolling someone?

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