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(trōl), in Scandinavian folklore, dwarfish or gigantic creature of caves and hills. Variously friendly or malicious, trolls toiled as smiths. The mountain king in Ibsen's Peer Gynt is a troll.
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Angling a bait or lure used in trolling, such as a spinner


(in Scandinavian folklore) one of a class of supernatural creatures that dwell in caves or mountains and are depicted either as dwarfs or as giants
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


An array language for continuous simulation, econometric modelling or statistical analysis.

["TROLL Reference Manual", D0062, Info Proc Services, MIT (1973-76)].


An electronic mail message, Usenet posting or other (electronic) communication which is intentionally incorrect, but not overtly controversial (compare flame bait), or the act of sending such a message. Trolling aims to elicit an emotional reaction from those with a hair-trigger on the reply key. A really subtle troll makes some people lose their minds.
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(1) See robot, chatbot, botnet and botcloud.

(2) (roBOT) A search engine program that indexes the Web. See spider.

(3) (roBOT) A program on the Internet that performs a repetitive function such as posting a message on blogs, newsgroups and social networks or searching for information. Bots reside in the background waiting to respond to certain conditions. The term bot is used for myriad "intelligent agents" that continuously or periodically perform some function. It is estimated that as much as 60% of Web traffic comes from bots and not humans. See social bot, spambot, chatbot, agent, CAPTCHA and trolling.

(4) (BOT) (Beginning Of Tape) The status of a tape file when it is first mounted in the drive. See BOF.

(5) (BOT) (Bulk-Only Transport) The early USB protocol for external storage drives. See UASP.

Internet troll

An individual who posts false accusations or inflammatory remarks on social media to promote a cause or to harass someone. The anonymity of such venues enables people to say things they would not say in person, and they often like to ratchet up emotions to generate strong reactions. See patent troll, flame war, trolling and cyberSLAPP.

patent troll

An organization that uses its patents to generate revenue without manufacturing the products that the patents pertain to. The patents are often purchased from a third party, which may be bankrupt or no longer interested in bringing the product to market.

Also called a "non-practicing entity" (NPE) or "patent assertion entity" (PAE), which are less denigrating, the patent troll looks for infringers that have invested heavily in the product and often has to threaten them with or actually instigate a lawsuit in order to obtain licensing revenues. Companies that are involved in the business that the patent covers may indeed sue others for patent infringement, but that does not make them a patent troll. A patent troll is a holding company that buys patents based on their potential profitability if enforced. See Internet troll.


(1) Posting derogatory or false messages on social media. See Internet troll, bot and doxing.

(2) Using patents to generate income. See patent troll.

(3) Hanging around in a chat room without saying anything, like a "Peeping Tom." See troll.
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