Internet Trolls: They Do It For Power

8 October 2014, 07:35 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

An East Midlands lecturer in criminology has been telling Capital what he thinks motivates people to become an internet troll.

Dr Jamie Cleland thinks one of the reasons people send abusive messages online, is because they enjoy the power:

'Well, trolling happens not necessarily to just famous people but me and you really, ordinary people.

'With regard to the famous people, what they're [troll] looking for is a response and if they can get a response, it satisfies their craving to engage more and more in trolling.'

Dr Cleland says people of all ages are becoming trolls:

'What we see with people like Stan Collymore [who was a victim of trolling] is that very young people are engaging in trolling, what we saw with the McCann's case over the weekend, was a women in her sixties.

'So, it's very hard to pinpoint what exactly makes people engage in trolling, I think it gives people a sense of power'.

Dr Jamie Cleland from Loughborough Uni


63-year-old Brenda Leyland from Burton Overy was accused of abusing Madeleine McCann's family online.

Her body was found at the Marriot Hotel in Leicester on Saturday, her death isn't being treated as suspicious.

An inquest into Ms Leyland's death will open today.