Internet Troll – someone who posts inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community just to provoke an emotional response from others.
Even if you’re not familiar with the term “troll” in relation to the internet, surely you’re familiar with the annoying antics that have birthed this term. Everyone has encountered these dastardly little creatures, but as a blogger and website owner you must deal with and diffuse trolling to maintain positive dialogue on your site.
6 Steps to Stave Off Internet Trolls
1) Don’t Feed the Trolls
Most trolls thrive on confrontation and negative feedback; this is chicken soup for the troll soul. Commenting to “set the record straight” may be tempting, but you will just be calling attention to their hateful message. Ignoring these online pariahs is sometimes the easiest and best way to be rid of them.
2) Moderate Quickly and Regularly
Check the comments’ section of your blog regularly before an Internet Troll takes over and sets up camp. It’s a shame to let your latest blog post masterpiece be overtaken by negative comments and abusive troll-ish vernacular.
3) Recruit Other Skilled Moderators
When your blog gets to the place that it has regular readership, recruit your loyal readers to fight back against the toxicity of “Troll-dom”. Overcoming negativity with a barrage of positivity is the equivalent of kryptonite for an Internet Troll.
4) Don’t Foster a Troll-Friendly Environment
If you find an outpouring of abusive threads on your website’s comments, take an assessment of the content you are publishing and if it’s possible that you are inviting these internet slugs indirectly. If some of your content is damaging or inflammatory . . . you might want to rethink your strategy.
5) Separate Constructive Criticism from Trolling
Writers by nature are sensitive, that’s what nurtures the creativity necessary to come up with exciting blog topics day after day. Not every comment that feels like a punch to the gut is from Trollville. Sometimes honest criticism can be mistaken as trolling, take a step back and see if there’s anything positive you can glean from it and don’t take it personally.
6) Learn to Laugh
Trolls are funny little creatures aren’t they? Sometimes it’s best just to find humor in the situation and understand they are probably writing to you from their grandma’s basement in their underwear, eating Cheetos, covered in orange powder. Laugh it off and move on.