Psychology of the Internet Troll

This page (a) shows a video on the psychology of the internet troll and (b) provides a list of the identifying details used by Woodsman, the arch troller of cat websites.

If you have time, try and play this video twice to allow yourself time to digest it. It is a good video and it explains the mentality behind trolling. For me, trolling is a cowardly and sordid human activity based on a destructive mentality. It is based on anonymity which is why it is cowardly. PoC gets some trolling. Woody is the classic case.

I dislike a lot about the world. People know that. However, in response to that emotion I try and make things better rather than mess around, insult people and make things worse, which is what trolls do.

Created by

If you own a website about cats and are fed up with Woodsman (Woody) or someone else trolling, the software on your site may allow you to block trolling by listing these parameters:

  • IP address (the number identifying your computer).
  • Email address.
  • Username (the name you chose to represent yourself online on some websites).

If you can block trolls on your site and want to block Woody here is a list of the above parameters used by this nasty person and/or his associates (we don’t know if Woody is more than one person):
Dale Carnagy
Bob Smith
Reality Bytes
Bob Smith

All you have to do is copy these en masse and paste them into your application. You can then either block Woodsman completely and make all his submissions “spam” or hold them for moderation (you’ll have to do lots of moderation like deleting a lot of it!).

Good luck.

Associated: Cat haters on the internet.

Note: there may be one or two IP addresses etc. that belong to other trolls in the above list but 99% are/were used by Woodsman.


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Psychology of the Internet Troll — 35 Comments

  1. Too too f****’ funny! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I didn’t even use even 1/10th of those.


    MORON much? ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks Woody, I thought I would at least publish one of your trolling comments just to remind us what you are like. Don’t bother making anymore though because I’ll just delete them.

    • lol – isn’t it funny how he just has to prove to everyone that he is literally nothing more than a troll by commenting on which IDs he has or hasnt used – nothing but a troll. I don’t even think he really finds it funny.

  2. Interesting video, thank you Michael. Trolls are annoying, irritating and pathetic, they must feel as pointless as they actually are and must be desperate for someone to notice them, they don’t care if they are noticed in a bad way rather than a good way as long as they get the longed for attention, mongrels of the human race hanging about on the edges of civilised behaviour they try lobbing missiles made of words to annoy decent people then chortle and dance happily when they get attention, get a life Woody, you poor pathetic creature.

    • Thanks Babara. Trolls are cowards. They hide behind anonymity. They are angry. They need anger management therapy. They are biased and unpleasant. The big internet companies should do something about them because they debase society and make life worse for decent people.

      Just so you know. Woody is very annoyed at what I did 😉 I have just deleted one of his rants against me.

      I believe in giving people a voice. We have to prove through argument that trolls are no good. We don’t have to live with their sick comments. Super large websites such as YouTube (owned by Google) accept them in their billions. I think it is wrong. Google hates any form of censorship. I dislike censorship but a little bit is good. People are not yet well behaved enough to do as they please and say what they wish.

      • You are so right, Michael. But I think this rudeness that is tolerated on the Internet is spilling over into everyday life also. People are very rude to each other. My friends and I were almost hit in the crosswalk on the east side of Milwaukee by a woman who then yelled at us. We had two kids with us, crossing within the cross walk legally, and we were walking fairly fast– not dawdling like some do. She cussed out kids after nearly injuring them.
        I just applied for a job giving piano lessons to kids and when I said I played church organ the father got very rude, insinuating I couldn’t even read music and probably can’t play piano at all. This is after I told him I’m a couple credits shy of a BA in music, and took four semesters of applied piano in college. I think he just wanted to take a dig at a Christian. He told me to prepare an audition so I could show that I can play music that’s idiomatic to piano, with correct piano technique, claiming he’d call back to set up the interview/audition in a couple days. He never called. He made me prepare for an audition he knew darn well would never happen. Did people feel so emboldened to treat each other this way in decades past? I just don’t remember the world being so rude.
        We used to call our President by his title only: ex: President Carter or Mr. President. Now the press routinely says Mr. Obama or Mr. Bush. It’s disrespectful. In the 1970’s and ’80s everybody knew that was disrespectful. Now no one cares, and don’t even get me started on how no one can write properly or spell!

        • Ruth I would be furious and I would respectfully but very firmly tell the man to leave and take his auditioning ideas and shove them, respectfully, where the sun doesn’t shine. How dare he – I wonder if he even knows much about it or it’s just, as you say, a prejudice which he is subjecting you to.

          • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Marc!
            Some people choose a teacher for their kid based on how well the teacher plays instead of how well he can teach. When I interviewed to give music lessons at a music store back in 1990 I brought my instruments expecting an audition. John (the owner) didn’t even have me play. He said he knew I could play, but could I teach? He was interested in my education courses and told me I would be using what I learned. Then he taught me how to teach– a process that continued the whole time I worked for him. He used to be a teacher, so he knew.
            It’s fine to say “piano major preferred”– but this family was really insulting. Even if they change their mind I won’t work for them.
            Their loss! I started a with flute student a couple months ago, and the transformation in her playing has been remarkable.
            What these rude jerks don’t realize is that their behavior ends up costing them the most.

        • Absolutely correct. The world has lost respect and politeness. It is terrible. I am not sure what is behind it. Probably stress due to increased competition and population growth compounded by greed and capitalism. It has gone wrong. Is the rudeness and lack of respect a symptom of something bigger that is going wrong?

          • I think it is a part of something bigger and it is growing. Certain individuals in society seem to thrive on being gross, threatening, rude and uncooperative. Lack of manners and respect in some sadly seems to be slithering through generations……….

            • Yes, I agree that there is a general degradation of standards in society. A lack of manners and respect. I don’t know if the internet is partly to blame or a breakdown in family and generally added stresses due to increased competition (more people).

              • I think government benefits that don’t require any work or responsibility on the part of the recipients are bad. People have too much time on their hands. They see no value in an education or in working hard– why bother if you get paid no matter what you do? Sure, we can help the poor, but what would be wrong with expecting something in return? People feel entitled to things without earning them. They start to see other people in terms of how they can use them. It’s not the only cause, but it’s part of the problem. We have generations now who have only lived off benefits and never held a job. But how will they get jobs? I have two degrees and need a new job because of changes in Medicare reimbursements– nothing has turned up yet. It will. I have skills and professionalism. These people with hardly any education, rude manners, and no work ethic– who is going to hire them? We created this mess, but it’s hard to see a way out of it.

        • Ruth, I don’t think Michael cares about them take a dig at you about your beliefs. I can only assume this is true based on the following quote:

          Michael on June 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm said:
          Oh my God, You are not one those are you? Please don’t quote text that was written 1200- 1500 years ago. This is the modern world not the world from which you have quoted. Please, Ben, live in today’s world. The Bible was written hundreds of years after the death of Jesus. It is 90% fiction for heaven’s sakes. Christianity is one of the world’s biggest poisons. All religions are dangerous and create problems. They are truly the opium of the masses and the are the cause of so much ridiculous conflict. Sorry if that is hard to digest but sadly it is true. Just look at history.

          • I have an enormous amount of respect for Ruth (Monty’s Mom). I have different beliefs on religion, however. We should all respect each other if we don’t hurt people or animals. I always respect everyone’s beliefs and views that is one reason why you are allowed to comment here. However, when those views are known to have caused so many problems and when they are used to justify hunting I too have a right to be respected in stating my dislike of those views. Ben, you are a self confessed shooter. You like to kill wild animals and want to shoot at feral cats. That is totally against the ethos of the Christian religion in my opinion. You are quoting the Old Testament. Ancient barbaric stuff. Are you a creationist? I think you need to wake up and stop being so self-indulgent.

            Please purchase and read: All in the Mind: A Farewell to God by Ludovic Kennedy (ISBN 0340680644)

            Also read: The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine – you can buy it on Amazon (ISBN-13: 978-1603863414).


            • Michael and I agree that man does not have dominion over animals, for different reasons, of course. I think we both believe man sinned, which I do find strange because without a belief in God I don’t know where a moral code would come from. Yet I have known atheists with a stricter moral code for their own lives than I have. Strictly from an evolutionary sense there is no right and wrong only survival of the fittest.

              As concerns our relationship to animals most Christians are wrong. Only Jesus Christ has dominion anymore. If a tiger will eat you, you don’t have dominion. Yet Christ could tell hundreds of fish to swim into a net and they did it without question. He is the same God who had dominion over the lions which would surely have destroyed Daniel.

              I also believe humans will do anything to be god, which is why we spout off about “dominion” but never look to the example of the One who has dominion, the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for His sheep.

              We are the lost sheep, the only thing in all of creation giving the God any trouble right now. So yes, He has left the other 99 (the rest of creation itself, the animals) to seek and save what was lost. He has allowed all creation to be frustrated, subjected to sin and death to save us.
              In the beginning no animals ate other animals. After the flood that changed for our benefit. Not so we could eat something tasty, but to point us to the Lamb of God who would be sacrificed for us, the One who as Luther says, “Is our meat and drink indeed.” Each innocent animal killed symbolizes Christ. We never were meant to eat meat every day. We never were meant to eat meat killed by someone else, an animal we did not lovingly raise. We are too divorced from it now, so we learn nothing, get coronary artery disease and cause animals to suffer in deplorable conditions in huge corporate farms. I actually support hunting, because you do have to see the actual death of the animal and a Christian will then reflect upon the One who died giving us His Body and Blood. An animal killed through hunting lived a normal life for an animal until the end. An animal in many farms today suffers horrendously.

              If Christians lived as they believe we would draw more to Christ, but we argue that sinful man has dominion (impossible) and we use that argument to justify cruelty to animals (horrible conditions in farms or causing suffering through trapping animals) because it is “just” an animal.

              Why aren’t evolutionists arguing “it’s just an animal” since “we are the higher species?” How could Christians make such an argument when we know that God loves His whole creation and knows when even a sparrow falls?
              It was Christians who started the idea that animals have no souls when that isn’t in the Bible anywhere. (I found the contrary position stated by Solomon.) When humans really want to hurt other human beings they start off denying that man has an immortal soul. Somehow that opens the door to all kinds of atrocities. Christians opened that door as to animals. As soon as we said they have no souls we doomed them to all kinds of abuse. Yet they were created from the dust of the earth and given the breath of life, just like Adam. The only difference is their souls are innocent.

              I think Michael and I can talk easily because I see the ways that most Christians are just off in what they believe, so that they aren’t representing the Christian religion, but just quoting scripture to justify them doing whatever they want. Michael thinks religion is the problem, but I think we both know human beings are the real problem. He believes there is hope that through evolution we might get better or perhaps simply be wiped from the planet as an evolutionary side track gone horribly wrong. We both agree there is something horribly wrong in the human condition.

              I believe there is hope because God is good and present in all things, even when this fallen creation seems to tell us He is absent or hates us.

              • Michael, I do feel compelled to point out that the New Testament was written in large part by those who actually knew Christ (Peter) or interviewed eye witnesses of Christ (Luke) and of course Saul’s sudden reversal to become St. Paul would have been impossible had he not met Christ on the road to Damascus.

                Yes, the Old Testament is brutal. Just as human rebellion and sin is a brutal, horrible thing. The Bible is not a book of heroes to emulate. It recounts one big screw up after another by God’s “holy” people.

                But Christ says the Old Testament is about Him. That is the way it must be read, the only way it makes any sense. If Christ is the living God from eternity, what does it matter how old His book is?

                Human sin is the problem, not religion. If there were no human sin there would be no need for religion. But as I see the world become less and less religious I see more and more evil. Religion can at least put a brake on evil, by reminding people that they are accountable to their creator.

                But only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change hearts and do any good, and even then, most of that change happens after we are dead.

                Christianity almost does not exist today, because how many churches even teach about sin or the fallen nature of all creation? They turn Jesus into a “warm fuzzy” and make God into nothing but a big Santa Claus in the sky. No one looks to Christ on the cross anymore.

                I initially turned down the job I have now playing organ because the pastor is opposed to a crucifix being in the sanctuary– an empty cross is ok, but no corpus on it. I took the job a year later but put a crucifix up on the organ. If he says anything about it he’ll be looking for a new organist.

                I know Christ crucified is incomprehensible to someone who does not believe, but that’s where it’s at for us, Christ suffering the wrath of a just God for all that we have done. If the Bible is false then we must all suffer that wrath, whether by accountability to whoever made everything that we so wantonly destroy, or through natural processes that cannot and will not tolerate humanity to continue to exist. Left to ourselves we would destroy ourselves so that not one would remain alive. The Bible agrees with that, but also says those days will be cut short and Christ will return. I look for that return because I see no hope in any other and I cannot live without hope.

                • You know I respect your views. My views on the Bible come from Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason written over 200 years ago. A great book and Ludovic Kennedy’s All In The Mind. It is just a personal view. I am able to criticise the Bible but still respect people who believe in it. It their right.

                  I cannot respect people who sport hunt and justify it by quoting the Old Testament as Ben did.

                  Thanks for taking the time to write such a full and useful comment.

              • I don’t believe that “dominion” is the correct term to use. I believe that we should be caretakers of the earth and all life upon it.

                Hunting in order to supply ourselves with what we need to survive is one thing, but hunting for “trophies” or just for the “pleasure” of killing another creature is, in my opinion, unconscionable.

                There are several Christian religions that espouse the idea that God is present in all creation–animals as well as man–and I do believe that that has merit and I find that that view resonates with me.

                I have a number of animals (cats, dogs, horses, chinchillas (as pets–not for fur) finches, and fish.) I have seen several of these animals (especially the horses) express empathy and grieve over the death of one of their companions. They are far from “dumb” creatures.

                Trolls like Woodsman001 are despicable whether they actually engage in the killing about which they brag or whether it is just mindless blathering in order to make themselves feel special and superior.

                The man is obviously knowledgeable about anonymous proxy servers and is probably in the IT field. I’m sure that his endless rants bring some sort of entertainment into his sordid little life, but it’s sad that his entertainment is intended to goad, hurt and provoke others.

                He is probably some fairly young grunge coding away mindlessly all day and the whole “expert marksman (Wow, the minute I picked up that dad-burned rifle, I discovered I am one HECK of a marksman killing cats…WOOHOO!!) cat killer” is his version of an online RPG (probably because he would always get eliminated on the first level and he is, therefore, in a funk because he just can’t handle those cyber-guns adequately.)

                Killing hundreds of cats over a 15-year period? Not likely, since he sounds like he is someone in his mid-twenties or early thirties…tops.

            • Maybe if more people read the Bible the world would a better place for all of us. Michael I don’t know what to think about where we all started. I admit its hard to ignore the science behind evolution. One thing I do know is all of this isn’t an accident. Everything in this world has an underlying purpose. (Except for ticks. I’m not sure what that’s all about.) Just looking at our own anatomy amazes me. I have had some unfortunate health problems lately that will most likely lead to my untimely exit from this world. But going through all those medical tests has given me an appreciation for complexity of our bodies. I think how we got to be who we are reamains a mystery. But I do believe we were designed. Everything about us seems to be logically put in place. The way one bodily system works the others is amazing. So yes I believe Gof had a hand in who we are today. Hunting and religion was something I struggled with for a time. Anytime I harvested a deer, I felt a certian amount of guilt. I never knew what to make of that. Then over time after some debate I came to a conclusion. While I justified in hunting, your supposed to have remorse when you take a life. So when I do harvest and animal I say small prayer and thank the animal for feeding my family. I never take more than I need from the woods and do my best to give back. The animals I have harvested have not only feed my family but also feed other families. We have a program locally where hunters can donate wild game to the food banks. So yes Michael I am a God fearing Christain and would never apologize for that.
              Please purchase and read.
              THE BIBLE.
              Sorry if this was in coherent at times. It’s hard to write anything more than a couple sentences on my phone.

              • Maybe if more people read the Bible the world would a better place for all of us

                If people just read the good bits about morals and decency (two sides of A4) and adhered to it, yes the world would be better but let’s put aside all the fiction please. The planet does not need “faith” in a God no one has seen. It needs a realistic and common sense approach to saving the planet and making it better.

              • Ben, I think we have had some similar experiences and thoughts. Studying the human body has also made me see the folly of time and chance being responsible for us. It started with studying genetics in high school. DNA is a code, basically a language, and that made me really uncomfortable without being able to say why. The why is you can’t have a language without an intelligence. Why should those particular three bases on a DNA strand code for that, why do they mean this trait and not another, why do they mean anything at all? It’s terrifying to realize there is an intelligence behind creation, an intelligence that created the language of DNA and therefore everything else.
                Therefore, humans will always run from God, so you cannot fault Michael or anyone for being an atheist. It is our nature. Our fallen nature, anyway. We will always be like Adam hiding from God in the Garden. we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ. But Word that spoke the universe into being speaks faith into hearts that are dead. I never tell anyone to make a decision for Christ. They can’t. Just speak the Word and leave it at that.

                Sometimes, by a miracle people are able to allow you to speak that Word without hindering it or trying to silence you or cover it up, even though they don’t believe it. That’s an extraordinary thing, and Michael does this quite often with his website and he should be commended for that. He is able to allow people to speak of belief in God when he does not share that belief. That is why, among other ressons, I consider him a very dear friend, and recognize that he is an extraordinary human being. Though none of us is really good before God, falling short of the perfection we were created for, Michael is a very good man. A man much loved by God, even though he doesn’t believe it. Certainly much loved by the regulars here at PoC. Love for others is a good place to start, since God is love.

                I am sorry to hear, Ben that you may be soon to leave this world. We need thoughtful Christians who really care about the environment and animals and don’t see that concern as odds with the Bible. You will probably see the salvation promised before I do when you depart to be with Christ. Be faithful unto death and He will give you a crown of life. (Rev. 2:10) I’ll see you there in a little while.

                • Yes, we respect each other despite differences and that is how the world should live. I think you are great person, Ruth. Really. You are better than me. I just happen to have started this website and given it my best shot. I don’t pretend to be right all the time. I know I am not. I just do what I can and above all be true to myself. We can only do that at the end of the day.

  3. Yes a very interesting and well thought out article Michael.
    I often wonder how trolls have so much time on their hands, they must sit at their computer hour after hour looking for places to vent their bitterness.
    For example do they read everything written on PoC and pick out articles they can rant on? Does it make them feel better to do that?
    Do they not work? How do they exist without earning a living? I can only suppose they are unemployable because of their nasty manner and so live on benefits.
    They only harm themselves because a person full of hatred and spite must be rotten inside. If ever I have to be unpleasant to someone I know it churns me up, it feels horrible! How much better it feels to be pleasant than unpleasant.
    Trolls are pathetic and need to be pitied.

    • I can only suppose they are unemployable because of their nasty manner and so live on benefits.

      I tend to agree. I think they are not employed for one reason or another and have some sort of income.

      For me it is the anger that screams at me through their comments. Bitterness and anger. They have a very negative influence on society.

  4. Absolutely Michael, they insult most peoples decency with their vile behaviour. I remember wading around with some pond life Trolls ages ago after I stumbled on another blog through PoC and I was quite pleased when it became obvious that I had got their backs up big style 🙂 I’m going to be honest it was upsetting because they were talking about cat cruelty however I waded in and I was pleased with my work. They were just complete low life Morons just like Woody.

    • I feel decent people should confront trolls if the comment is posted. We need to embarrass them with sound argument if possible. That is the way I feel anyway. There is an argument that we should ignore them, as they like to wind up people, but I prefer to have my say.

  5. Hello Michael- new to your site when trying to find out who the nut job Woodsman was-!! Whew he is out there. I surely hope he gets put in jail soon with no computer access.

    A big thank you to everyone for outing him. Is there some way to get a weekly update on your discussions. If so please email me.

    Again thanks for all the work on this.

  6. I’ve found a few new aliases he uses. On the Disqus commenting system he uses the username “Nature Advocate” and “Nature_Advocate”.

    • Hi Kitty Purr. “Nature Proponent” is Woody aka Woodsman001 aka Jim Stephenson (an ornithologist). He hates cats 🙂 Because they kill birds.

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