With online communication being predominant today what is the collective word that describes accusations, generalizations, insults in people’s comments? It is not a behavior or conduct since no actual physical activity take place. I want to say for example, “people who engage in such ?????...are...” “Mental activity” is the only thing that I came up with.

  • Why does you definition of behaviour not include online activity? After all "online behaviour" is a common enough ideom? Apr 10, 2020 at 12:02
  • Look in a thesaurus for behavior or conduct.
    – Mitch
    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:18
  • The way I understand behavior, one has to physically do something, yell, break, jump etc. Accusations, generalizations and insults are abstract concepts.
    – Mac Book
    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:19
  • People who engage in “ insulting, accusing, generalizing” are ...whatever. I want to replace “insulting, accusing, generalizing” with a collective word(s)
    – Mac Book
    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:27
  • 1
    You're overlooking the fact that insults etc. need to be communicated through physical activity - spoken, typed, whatever. And the general word for what you're describing could be slander.
    – Steve
    Apr 10, 2020 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


I want to say for example, “people who engage in such trolling...are...”


Draft additions March 2006

Troll (v.) intransitive. Computing slang. To post a deliberately erroneous or antagonistic message on a newsgroup or similar forum with the intention of eliciting a hostile or corrective response. Also transitive: to elicit such a response from (a person); to post messages of this type to (a newsgroup, etc.).

1992 Re: Post the FAQ in alt.folklore.urban (Usenet newsgroup) 8 Oct. Maybe after I post it, we could go trolling some more and see what happens.

2005 B. McWilliams Spam Kings iii. 69 Once, after a spammer trolled Nanae, accusing antis of having no life, Mad Pierre sarcastically responded that the spammer was correct.

Probably from the angling/fishing term "to troll"

V. Senses relating to angling.

  1. Angling. intransitive. To angle with a running line (? originally with the line running on a ‘troll’ or winch); (also transitive) to fish (water) in this way;

[See also] v. 10a, 10b; (c) (in U.S. and Scottish use, perhaps through association with trail or trawl) to trail a baited line behind a boat; also figurative.In quot. 1606 perhaps confused with trawl n and v.

1606 S. Gardiner Bk. Angling 28 Consider how God by his Preachers trowleth for thee.

1891 A. Lang Angling Sketches 5 Trolling a minnow from a boat in Loch Leven—probably the lowest possible form of angling.

1966 ‘E. Lindall’ Time too Soon iv. 51 Kamindo had rebuffed him when he had trolled for information.

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