In a comment I found online you can see,

I assume this answer is sarcasm, because you are not feeding the trolls, are you

However, I don't understand this comment. Clearly trolls are bad and online, but why would feeding them be a bad thing? Is the intent for them to starve? And what is troll food historically?

  • 2
    To feed the trolls probably means to contribute to irrelevant or endless internet discussion.
    – Graffito
    Jun 28, 2023 at 22:33
  • A little more context would help most readers of the question.
    – Anton
    Jun 28, 2023 at 22:33
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because I see no point in asking a question that you immediately answer yourself.
    – Anton
    Jun 28, 2023 at 22:35
  • 2
  • @Anton that behavior is encouraged, stackoverflow.com/help/self-answer fyi Jun 29, 2023 at 6:14

3 Answers 3


This is informal slang.

A troll is someone on the internet who posts something to provoke reactions, not for information or any other legitimate reason.

To feed a troll is to give this person the desired reaction, and attention, instead of ignoring them.


The word "Feed" has many uses, not all related to food. For example you can:

  • feed your desires
  • feed a fire
  • feed someone information

Oxford Languages.com has the following definition amongst many others;

encourage the growth of.

"I could feed my melancholy by reading Romantic poetry"

And if you look up some of some of these definitions, you will see that feed can have similar meanings to "supply" or "provide".

So "Don't feed the trolls" means something like "Don't provide the trolls with the responses/comments they need to troll you with", similar to what this wiki entry says.


According to wikipedia, in Scandinavian folklore,

[trolls] are at times described as man-eaters and as turning to stone upon contact with sunlight.

To feed a troll, means to offer to one of them a man as food. This is why you don't want to feed a troll, because they eat people. However if there is vegetarian troll or one that has a more varied diet that isn't exclusive to men then it's probably a non-issue.

  • 1
    This is entirely the wrong kind of troll.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2, 2023 at 14:37

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