Don't Feed the Trolls! How to Deal with Them Effectively
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
What is a Troll
The definition of a troll, according to Wikipedia, is someone who "posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."
The act of trolling refers to the intentional actions and harassment created by the troll, which are directed towards others in an attempt to bring other people down.
However nice and cute a troll may appear to be, do not trust the troll. They are self-serving and do not care if their online words tear other people's lives apart.
Identifying a Troll
Trolling is an annoying action developed by people who feel the need to argue, bully, and stalk others online. Trolling is a serious problem and causes people to debate and argue over the simplest topics imaginable.
The most serious form of trolling I have witnessed is a Web site that was designed by a man who has a personal interest in my friend's criminal case. It is believed the charges are a result of corruption in the system and the fact his children are worth quite a bit of money to a foster family who would keep them together. We have enough evidence to establish some of the illegal actions taken by the state and county, and even more that shows the malicious power that the government truly has over us as Americans.
This troll's Web site has several pages dedicated to individuals who have dared to defend my friend. I am one of the lucky people who has had the privilege of having my name slandered on his site, complete with some of my life history. Much of the information on the troll's site is twisted, alleged, and fabricated.
I believe the troll has several people posting under different screen names, but we believe some of them are all him because the IP addresses come back the same from some of the comments that are posted. A final answer to this theory is in the works, as we speak.
Have you ever dealt with an internet troll?
The Other Writer...
Communicating with a Troll
Talking to a troll is nearly impossible, not to mention aggravating. If you ever have the misfortune of dealing with a troll, you will severely hurt your desk from banging your head onto it in frustration. Trolls cannot be impartial, and they have no respect for others. Other noticeable traits of a troll include:
- Dishonesty - they cannot tell the truth, as it is. They twist and manipulate facts so the story fits their version of the truth.
- Disrespectful - they are rude and obnoxious. Their main goal is to do whatever they have to do get what they want.
- Bullying - if you do not agree with a troll's opinion, he or she will become extremely rude and verbally abusive and attack everything you say online.
- Stalking - the worst types of trolls may become cyber-stalkers and may stalk you on social networks and interfere with your friends and followers at these sites.
- Narcissistic - trolls expect everything to be all about them. If you take the spotlight off a troll, they become annoyingly obtrusive and throw tantrums.
- Multiple screen names - trolls sometimes use different screen names to post comments. They do this as a weak attempt to appear to have support in their fight so they do not feel lonely.
My Personal Experience
My experience with the troll who stalks me has been stressful, to say the least. He had a page in his Web site dedicated to me and even includes my maiden name. He knows where my last job was, my criminal record, and has went as far as to post my psychiatric history. He twists facts and allows his "supporters" to verbally abuse people on his site.
He has also stolen personal images from my friends' Facebook profiles and has posted them on his site without permission, as well as pictures of their news feeds.
This troll has stalked me (and others who have been targeted on his site) on YouTube, MLive, and WWMT. He also stalked some of my followers at HubPages and tried to discredit me as an author and advocate. One of the victims of his site is also an author here at HubPages and is known as Sweetsusieg. Susie also has a page dedicated to her at this troll's site.
As you can see from the above picture, this troll stalks our Facebook news feeds. I have my privacy settings completely enforced, so luckily, not much of my Facebook is on his site. The troll is stalking various people to the point that he appears to be operating a full-time business, with the sole purpose of trolling the people involved in this criminal case. Trolling seems to be his favorite hobby.
Here is an example of the types of abusive comments that can be made by trolls and their supporters. This example is mild compared to some of the other comments they have made.
Getting Rid of the Riff-Raff
It is pointless to carry on conversations with a troll, but sometimes, it is unavoidable. Trolls can provoke a great deal of anger in others, and they know this, so do not let them win their game by getting angry at them. Fighting back on their level will only give them a feeling of satisfaction and superiority.
Remember these following tips if you have to deal with a troll:
- If you can avoid the troll, do so. Block them on your social networks and instruct your friends to do the same (if your troll is as ruthless as mine).
- You can prove them wrong in one comment, but they will find another way to come back with more comments and will never stop.
- No matter how honest and positive you are, trolls will be consumed with negativity and will do whatever they can do to drag others down around them, even if they have to abuse and lie.
- Because of their obsession, trolls will dominate a great deal of your time arguing. Don't give them the time.
Good luck on your adventures with trolls. They can only be as bothersome as you allow them to be. My examples are somewhat broader because of his ties in the case. He is a malignant troll, one that is not operable.