Where do all these farging trolls come from? Robert Stacy McCain proposes an origin story for some of them:
[M]aybe the average cubicle-dweller lives such a dehumanizing existence — crunching code, responding to inter-office emails, attending pointless staff meetings, etc. — that when he finds an unrestricted Internet playpen where he can say whatever he wants behind the screen of a pseudonym, his inner adolescent inevitably emerges.
Eight hours a day, five days a week, the cubicle-dweller does whatever it is he does to pay the bills, and there are all these rules, see? The 21st-century office environment is quite hostile to free expression. The list of Things You Can’t Say grows longer every day, and the cubicle-dweller’s inner adolescent must be strenuously repressed, lest he accidentally say or do something “offensive” that will get him written up or fired for violating the human resources policy. This regime of repression, I suggest, is why so many guys delight in saying rude things in any Internet venue where anonymity protects them from consequences.
I have noticed that rather a lot of them make a point of misunderstanding the First Amendment; maybe Congress “shall make no law,” but reddit or Facebook or, yes, God help us, Yahoo! Answers can make whatever rules they like, and if you don’t like them, you can go fart up a flagpole.