Ambushing / Events / Media / Technology

World Cup Watching

Trolling

Professor Simon Chadwick

Posted: May 15, 2018

A SHORT GUIDE TO FOLLOWING – TROLLING

WHAT IT IS

Trolling is: “The art of deliberately, cleverly, and secretly pissing people off…a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players…playful mastery of Internet lore and practice that outstrips that of my target” (Sanfilippo, Yang and Kinchman, 2017)

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Trolling at sports mega-events has become increasingly prevalent, with some brands, political agitators and purveyors of fake news seeking to capitalise upon an event’s popularity. This summer, online trolling is set to be a hot topic: 1) because there is growing evidence that both political and commercial interests are utilising it as a means of disruption; and 2) because entities hostile to or afraid of Russia may seek to spread negative or counter information around or about the World Cup.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Brands, corporations, individuals using social media accounts (e.g. via hashtags on Twitter) to generate buzz, draw attention to themselves. This could be for various reasons e.g. because they are trying to promote products by connecting them via social media to the World Cup. Also likely that cause groups (e.g. those seeking to promote a political message unrelated to the tournament, which use the World Cup as a means through which to disseminate their communications on social media).

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK

Who will be trolling and why?

Will trolls be a distinctly political or a more commercial phenomenon?

What will be the consequences of trolling – both positive and negative – during this year’s tournament?

SOMETHING TO READ

‘Euro 2016 sponsors being ambushed on social media by ‘unofficial’ brands’ https://theconversation.com/euro-2016-sponsors-being-ambushed-on-social-media-by-unofficial-brands-61880

‘Super Bowl: how bots, brands and the alt-right highjacked the event on social media’ https://theconversation.com/super-bowl-how-bots-brands-and-the-alt-right-highjacked-the-event-on-social-media-91133

‘Trolls set to jump on mega sporting events of 2018′ http://www.ejinsight.com/20180103-trolls-set-to-jump-on-mega-sporting-events-of-2018/

SOMETHING TO WATCH

‘Russians Are Trolling Their Country’s Brand New World Cup Slogan’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqWvrkInkns

‘Russia’s Online Troll Army Is Huge, Hilarious & Already Everywhere’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CussBbmJHzI

About Professor Simon Chadwick

Simon is Professor of Sports Enterprise at Salford University in Manchester (UK), where he is also a Co-Director of the Centre for Sports Business. He is also a Founding Co-Director of the China Soccer Observatory and a Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham (UK). He has worked in football across the world, for various organisations including companies, federations, and governments. He tweets via @Prof_Chadwick