The 411 on social media trolls and how to deal with them

They are crawling everywhere you go on the Internet and social media, those anonymous users with nothing to say but rude, off-point, or annoying comments aimed at making you angry.

First things first. You’ve seen the term tossed back and forth social media, in the  comment section etc. but you still don’t have a clue, this is for you. What is this thing called a “troll”?

What is this thing called a “troll”?

A troll is one who deliberately provokes others online, typically through inflammatory, offensive or provocative comments. The intention is to upset and elicit an emotional response (preferably an angry one). The word “trolling” actually comes from a fishing technique in which one casts out bait to catch fish, and really that’s what these trolls do. They use rude statements and other techniques to try to “lure” you into getting angry or responding.

In dealing with these trolls, it is very important to be able to spot them from a mile off, these are some of the giveaways of most trolls we come across on social media;

  • They try to evoke an emotional response
  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Entitlement
  • They use web addresses or fictitious online identities that lead to dead ends.
  • Making it personal

You’ve identified that you’re dealing with a troll, waste no time, this is how to deal with these social media crawlers;

1. Avoidance is major key:  This is like the beginning and end of dealing with trolls, sight them, move on. Once they start shooting their mouths off, totally ignore , nothing hurts them more than no replies or response to their bulls**t (pardon my French). Engaging in conversation with them keeps them coming at you, so if you do get on a one-to-one with someone you suspect to be a troll, keep your remarks to an absolute minimum. State your facts and move on.

2. Block, report or ban

In the real sense, most trolls are harmless. Extremely annoying, but quite harmless, there is always an exception though. In some cases trolls have been known to take things too far, making threats or generally hate spewing hate. In cases like these, don’t think twice about blocking or banning the user. It may also be worthwhile to check social network standards for appropriate content, and, if the troll’s posts violate them, submit a report.

3. Learn to Laugh at the Situation

Adopting the route of humor is always a good option in these cases, avoiding aa troll is one thing while ignoring them is a different ball game, even if you take steps to de-troll your internet.  It might please you to know that if you’re getting trolled a lot, it’s most likely because they see you in a position of power, which means you’re really not on the same level as them.

4. Do NOT delete their posts

Deleting a troll’s post equals injecting an addict with heroin. A Study revealed that “given two users who initially write posts of similar quality, but where one user’s posts are then ‘unfairly’ deleted while the other user’s posts are not, the former is more likely to write worse in the future.” In plain English, deleting a troll’s post makes them even more hateful and determined to vex you.

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