If you spend enough time on the Internet, you have likely encountered – or maybe even been the victim of – a troll.
Firstly, let’s go over the definition of a troll:
One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which [sic] attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. ‘you’re nothing but a fanboy’ is a popular phrase) with no substance or relevance to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.
As a social media management company, we’ve run into a couple as well. Here’s a set of rules to manage social media trolls if it ever happens to cross your path.
1. Don’t be afraid of banning a user.
You can ban people on Facebook, which is equivalent to blocking them from personal profile. This means that they will no longer be able to interact with your page
2. If it’s only one comment, respond to it in a polite manner.
Make it clear that their statement is not acceptable in your space. Do not delete the comment! That will only spur them on. Nothing angers a troll more than the perceived application of online censorship.
3. If there are many trolls
If it’s many users simultaneously attacking your site (for no good reason, other than trolling), ban the users causing the issue immediately so it doesn’t go viral.
4. Don’t waste your time.
If it’s a unproductive, negative, and offensive comment, delete it and move on! You have too many other things to worry about!
5. Keep the topic on track.
If it seems to be going in the wrong direction, let them know that this isn’t the space for that!
Remember, people tend to act differently online than they would in face-to-face communication. They can be really hurtful! So don’t take it to heart and deal with the situation as quickly and calmly as possible, then forget about them!
Do you have any unique ways that you handle trolls? Let me know in the comments!