Prosocial vs. Trolling Community on Facebook: A Comparative Study of Individual Group Communicative Behaviors

Elmie Nekmat, Kellyn Lee


Communicative behaviors displayed on the group “walls” within and between a prosocial and a trolling community on Facebook were compared based on the following conceptual frameworks: (1) types of information exchange behaviors, (2) message contingent interactivity, and (3) proportion of agreement and disagreement. Findings revealed that participants in a prosocial community exchanged more emotionally supportive messages and showed greater level of message reciprocity and member agreement. That is not to say that a trolling group exists in disharmony. On the contrary, participants of a trolling community were found to agree more with one another than disagree. Findings extend online community research that largely examined solo communities and investigated trolling as individual activities, and show that at the group level, a trolling community can instead be more collaborative than acrimonious. Practical suggestions and implications of findings in the context and theorization of online communities are discussed.


online community, prosocial, trolling, content analysis, information exchange, message interactivity, Facebook

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