Publication details [#64200]

Petykó, Márton. 2018. The motives attributed to trolls in metapragmatic comments on three Hungarian left-wing political blogs. Pragmatics 28 (3) : 391–416.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper investigates the linguistically marked motives that participants attribute to those they call trolls in 178 comment threads of three Hungarian left-wing political blogs. It is also concerned with how frequently these motives are mentioned and how they contribute to the discursive construction of trolling and trolls. Another goal of the paper is to examine whether the mainly emotional motives ascribed to trolls in the academic literature correspond with those that the participants attribute to the alleged trolls in the threads. The paper identifies five motives for trolling: emotional reasons, financial gain, political beliefs, being employed by Fidesz or the Hungarian government, and unspecified political affiliation. Depending on these motives, trolling and trolls are constructed in various ways. Furthermore, by suggesting that Fidesz or the Hungarian government employs trolls, the posters discursively construct Fidesz as an autocratic and corrupt state party that tries to manipulate the public.