Five Ways to Deal With A Troll
Anyone who has been on the internet has encountered one. Trolls most often frequent forums, but have been known to stray to comment posts and even the occasional review. They spew out their bile at anyone in range.
But, there are always ways of dealing with trolls.
Please note: I do often refer to trolls in the masculine. I do this because I have yet to meet a female troll on any message board. I gather they do exist, but the rarity of their sightings has to fall close to the rarity of seeing Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and Mothman playing poker while being served Coronas by a white elk (and we all know how rare that is… the Loch Ness Monster only drinks Guinness). Thus for this post, all trolls will be referred to as he, him, his, and the occasional jackass.
1) Ignore them
Granted, this is the least fun of all of the options. But, eventually, an ignored troll will move on, realizing that no one is taking his bitter bait.
2) Report them
This is slightly more fun than ignoring them, but it is effective. The only problem in reporting their hatred and getting them banned is that they can come back more powerful and hate filled than before. Sometimes you have to weight the options of reporting an Anakin troll on the off chance you could end up with a Vader troll.
3) Block Them
This is like ignoring them on steroids. The only problem with blocking them is that while you don’t directly interact with the troll, others who have not blocked him still do, and they may fall for his venomous diatribe. When that happens, you end up dealing with a troll by proxy.
4) Agree with them
I have to admit, I have engaged in this one personally… and boy was it fun. Trolls often will be contrary simply to push buttons and start an argument. When you agree with a troll, you take the wind out of his sails. Even you agree with him, he is now forced to either play nice, or change his stance to a differing opinion.
That’s where the fun really starts. For example:
Poster #1 – I really hated One More Day. It was the worst Spider-Man story ever.
Troll – One More Day was Awesome! How could your small mind even grasp the nuances of OMD???
Poster #2 – I agree, OMD was the best story ever
[long pause from the troll]
Troll – OMD sucked!!! How could you even think that was worthy of being a Spider-Man story???
Poster #1 – I agree. It is a slap in the face of Spidey fans everywhere
[another long pause from the troll]
Troll – OMD was the best story ever written!
Poster #2 – I agree… but didn’t you just say it sucked? Which is it?
5) Just Leave
Truth be known, trolls really are not worth your time and effort to deal with them. The best thing to do is to just leave the forum and return when you know the troll will not be lurking. Once the troll loses the audience for his hate, he will most likely declare himself the winner and move on, leaving the forums for those who really just want to have some fun.
- Beware the Trolls! (socialsolutionscollective.com)
- Research into Why People Troll on the Web (telegraph.co.uk)