|The evolution of trolls 1: the Jotunn (image: Theodor Kittelsen)|
|The evolution of trolls 2: Three Billy Goats Gruff (image: nydamprints.com)|
Initially, internet trolls inhabited public forums, such as YouTube’s comments areas, igniting flame wars and providing oxygen with carefully placed snippets of vitriol that end in chain reactions of thermonuclear off-topic hatred.
|The evolution of trolls 3: Dam dolls (image: indiemoviesonline.com)|
Now the trolls have turned professional. The attraction of web advertising revenue has encouraged organisations to hire trolls that have trained as journos to write articles that are full of extreme views, encouraging plaudits from fans and outrage from those with opposing views.
|The evolution of trolls 4: Trollface (image: whatport80.com)|
Current masters of article-writing trolling in the UK are right wing press darlings Melanie Phillips and James Delingpole, both of whom receive extra coverage thanks to indignant Twitterati. The liberal press have their own demons though, like The Guardian’s Bidisha.
|The evolution of trolls 5: Uber-troll Phillips (image: guardiam.co.uk)|