Monday, December 18

Successfully Dealing With Trolls

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You’ve encountered them; they pop up on messages boards, disrupting conversations with their nasty attacks. They inhabit fora where they insure that nothing resembling intelligent discourse occurs.

Many Moderators will ban them after the first post, unmoderated MBs or Fora turn into Troll Towns and only a few hapless Newbies might stumble in.

The Troll who usually escapes detection is the ‘Comment’ Troll. This is a character who allegedly read the item and is now giving feedback.

If the Troll is good at what he does, you might think the comment has some substance. You might puzzle at his remarks, for he’s criticised everything from the grammar to the content, and you see nothing wrong with the grammar, nor is the content so odious it deserves this pan. But you assume, (and here is where you get it totally wrong) that if someone took the time and trouble to comment there must be a reason. After all, would the average person bother?

This is not an average person. This is a Troll. This is someone who lives to make other people unhappy. Someone who is dying for a response. He didn’t take any time, because he has no life. He squats on the Internet like a constipated hippo, waiting for someone to post something so he can crap all over it. It isn’t any trouble for him to cut and paste his usual; “This article is one of the worst written pieces I’ve read for a long time.” And why he is doing it, is because this is where he gets pleasure.

There are a number of methods that have been used over the decade. Some people respond; the worst mistake you can make. For any response is a response. Understand that slogan; for a troll any notice of their existence is a win.

Once you find a comment troll lurking somewhere, set him up. Find a particularly stellar piece, one that has googals of hits and comments and post it. After he tears it apart, mention the facts. “This item was originally published on Triond. It garned 35,000 hits and 149 comments.” Oh, of course he will attack that statement, but you make no further. No matter what everyone who reads that item will see his attacks, see your remark, and know he’s an idiot.

With some comment trolls all you have to do is write an article and leave out attribution. For example, Einstein’s logic puzzle; “This must have been designed by an idiot”, one of Freud’s analysis methods; “This is like no psychology I ever hear of.” One of Hawking’s therories; “This is pure crap!”

After a time admit that this is Einstein’s puzzle, or Freud’s method or Hawking’s therory. And leave it. Everyone will read the comments of the Troll, and the remark, and again, know the Troll for what he is.

You can expect a bit of Troll Free Zoning, but like Cabbage, Trolls keep coming back for more

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