cyber troll

10 Ways to Trash Trolls

Have you ever seen a comedian silence a heckler? It is a lovely sight. The drunken heckler has no idea what he's up against. This is a professional who has dealt with drunken audiences for hundreds of hours. You know that heckler will be destroyed the moment they open their mouths.

Milton Jones, a comic for most of his life, has only been heckled twice. The first time was when someone yelled “These are just words!”.

Umm… yeah.

The second was alarming. “What is this?” someone exclaimed mid-performance. He couldn't figure out what they meant in the silence that followed. The longer he left it, the more reasonable question it seemed.

When a troll slams us online, marketers have an advantage – time. We can think about our response for a few moments before publishing it for all to see.

What is a troll?

It’s both a mythological creature and a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community. The first type of troll wants to scare kids into bed. The second type of troll we're dealing with wants to elicit emotional responses or influence others' perceptions. (Wikipedia came in handy here.)

A troll is an online jerk who will steal your time, annoy you, confuse your readers, and generally ruin your life if you let them.

Trolls bully, threaten, and stalk. Online, seemingly normal people become butthats. But you can fight back and win without even firing a shot.

First, how to spot a troll:

  • They ignore evidence, ignore facts, and continue to spew nonsense no matter what you say.
  • When cornered, they switch topics.
  • They sneer and aren't very inventive.
  • They divert attention away from the topic at hand. They talk about online scams or sleeping with redheads if you're talking about how  to get traffic.
  • If you get angry, they dismiss you as the problem, not them. Their goal is to make you enraged with their tone.
  • They exaggerate a lot. They'll say ‘always' and ‘never' instead of ‘often'.

These 10 Techniques Will Destroy Your Trolls

1. Don't feed them. You've heard it before because it works. Trolls get bored if no one responds to them. Presume they don't exist. They'll spend the next few hours checking for your response, before giving up and moving on to another target.

2: Demand proof. When a troll makes wild accusations, remain calm and ask for the facts, sources, and evidence. They'll probably fade away and leave you alone.

3: Be extremely kind. They'll likely either disappear or calm down and start acting rationally if you respond with kindness to trolls. Fire cannot be extinguished by fire, nor can anger be subdued. But kindness can sometimes kill anger. Regardless of the troll's reaction, your social media followers will be impressed.

4: Use humor. Trolls don't know what to do when you use humor to defuse a situation. Just be careful not to offend those watching.

5: Ban trolling. If you run a social media profile, a blog, or a discussion forum, post guidelines that prohibit trolling. If someone complains that their comment was deleted, point to the policy and cite the violation.

6. Add Moderators: You can manage a small blog or social media profile alone. But if you get thousands of posts, you need help. Form a team of moderators to check comments and enforce rules.

7: Apply moderating tools. If you can't afford moderators, use a tool. For example:

  • Facebook has a comment moderation plugin
  • YouTube has automatic moderation settings
  • Twitter and Instagram have reporting options for policy violations
  • WordPress offers comment moderation plugins.

8: Report and block trolls. If a troll won't stop, report them as being abusive. Also, unfollow and report the person.

9: Have ‘friends only.' A business can't do this. But if it's a personal account, don't allow random trolls to comment.

10: Breath first. Don't react to a troll. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, and relax before responding. Even if your immediate response is perfect, DO NOT POST IT until you've calmed down. Trust me or you'll regret it.

10.5: Be professional. Hold your ground. Check to see if it's an actual customer. Consider how a professional would react. Then redirect them to a private channel for further communication.

Remember that your words are public and others are watching. People are usually more interested in how you solve a problem than the problem itself. Angry customers and trolls can be an opportunity to gain or lose business.

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About Kavi

I've been living the online solopreneur lifestyle for over 20 years. I began as a freelancer back in 2000 and have since created my own software company, hosting service, produced information products, and engaged in affiliate marketing.

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