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“Dealing with Trolls” - by AnaLeigh**Please comment wi

kisobel's picture
[-710850]

“Dealing with Trolls” - by AnaLeigh
**Please comment with ways you've dealt with internet trolls down below*
Anyone who has used the internet for any length of time has, no doubt, encountered the morally bankrupt and bewildering behavior of the "online troll." These are some of the most infuriating interactions you will ever have in your life.... unless you know how to properly counter them. As a moderator, I've had to deal with trolls here on SG; really, no online atmosphere is without them. Here are some tactics I've learned that have helped me counter their toxicity, so please keep them in mind if you ever encounter a troll here or elsewhere.

1) DON'T LET YOURSELF GET ANGRY/HURT
Making other people lose their cool is the whole point of trolling. Refrain from reactionary comments, as it's like candy to them. It lets them know they're starting to get to you.

2) REMEMBER IT’S A GAME
Trolling is a pastime. People do it to amuse themselves. Sometimes they don't even believe the ridiculous things they say and are just aiming for the most incendiary, offensive statements possible.

3) HUMOR/MOCKING
If there's one thing trolls can't stand, it's being mocked. The reason most people troll is because it makes them feel better about themselves, albeit at the expense of others, and depriving them of the joy of your misery is infuriating to them. Don't stoop to their level and openly insult the troll, but instead use things like "LOL" and ;) accompanied by little comments showing you’re on to what they’re trying to do. Most effective when used with #4 which is:

4) ACKNOWLEDGE LACK OF LOGIC
Typically trolls make comments that reflect none or very little of the given topic. Point this out, and throw in some humor. Example: "LOL what are you even talking about? That has nothing to do with anything. Nice try, though ;)"

5) DON’T WASTE TIME PRESENTING FACTS
One way trolls like to wrap people up in their game is in the guise of discussion, even though they aren’t at all interested in intellectual debate. They'll ask for proof, for information, for quotes, etc to back up your knowledge. The aim is to make you waste your time looking for information in order to counter them. It brings them satisfaction.

6) DON’T RESPOND TO QUESTIONS
Incendiary questions/statements are meant to make you feel like you're being attacked. The instinctual response is to defend yourself, and they are counting on it. "Are you stupid?" "You're an idiot if you think that!" "It's clear you don't know anything about this." Respond to this with flippancy. Don't get into a "Yes I do!/No you don't!" exchange because they never end. If you must answer, answer once and once only. “Lol. Actually I do, but okay ;)”

7) RESPOND WITH HUMANITY, UNDERSTANDING, AND LOVE
Trolls are people too, immature and mean as they are. Somewhere in the troll’s ranting is a grain of truth about them as a person. Acknowledge it with understanding and diplomacy. Even if they don’t respond positively, it can diffuse the attack and the troll will move on in search of a more amusing victim. You never know, they may even become your friend!

8) DON’T RESPOND AT ALL/BLOCK
If your debate skills aren’t that great, there’s always the option of “starving the troll.” No matter what you say, you give them some ammunition every time you respond. This is best if you’re dealing with a troll who is particularly malicious. These are the ones who just let out insult after insult. No matter how thick your skin is, that kind of thing can get to you after a while. Block them, don’t read their replies, report them if necessary.

These are just a few tactics I’ve found useful in dealing with trolls on different venues. Please share some ways you’ve dealt with these individuals.

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Haunted2's picture
[68355]
Oct 16

kisbol:
Excellent advice.
Thanks for sharing...

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catcondo's picture
[2715]
Oct 17

I deleted 98% of social media 10 years ago best decision I ever made. It was wierd at first but worth it never looked back. No more trolls no paying attention to mean people it's very liberating.

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CKBlossom's picture
[485965]
Oct 19

@kisobel Big hugs back!

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