The Brief: Keyboard Warriors are people who aggressively spread their beliefs and politics online, but not offline.


The term “keyboard warrior” is used to characterize someone who sends out brutal attacks on the internet but doesn’t do much in real life. It usually refers to someone who is “all bark but no bite,” who trolls, harasses, or is outspoken online, but is weak and unassertive IRL.

Urban Dictionary’s top definition of the phrase is “A Person who, being unable to express his anger through physical violence (owning to their physical weakness, lack of bravery and/or conviction in real life), instead manifests said emotions through the text-based medium of the internet, usually in the form of aggressive writing that the Keyboard Warrior would not (for reasons previously mentioned) be able to give form to in real life.”

On May 14, 2020, President Donald Trump tweeted “Thank you to all of my great Keyboard Warriors. You are better, and far more brilliant, than anyone on Madison Avenue (Ad Agencies). There is nobody like you!” In the replies, many people cited this as a misuse of the term “keyboard warriors,” which is usually meant derogatorily rather than as a compliment.