What is a troll and how to handle a troll?

Amarnath Prabhakar November 28, 2008 Comments Off

What is a troll?

Anyone who has been a blogger for long would have come up with comments and remarks from people which are derogatory and don’t adhere to netiquette. These are trolls. A troll is an article or a comment on an article that is outrageously insulting gaining your attention and giving you the need to reply to it.

A troll would be from people who gain the confidence of a writer, in this case a blogger and then spew the website with comments that are personal, insulting and often abusive. This person who writes a troll is addressed as a flamer. With a simpler view a troll can also be considered a spam, but, is targeted on you or your work personally.

Handling a Troll

Do not react – The motive of a flamer is to ensure you react to the troll in anger. If you are to react, you allow the flamer to succeed. 

Take it private – The conversations with the flamer, if not heading anywhere take it offline. We don’t want the other readers be struck with surprise of a troll. 

Do not overreact – Although the first point mentioned you not to react, there are times when you would have to give your views on the troll. This should be carried out after weighing the reasons, whether the troll was just a flame or the flamer has genuine reasons. If there is to be a revert to the troll do so without overreaction. We need not speak the same rotten language used on the troll while replying. 

Taking onus- If the flamer has genuine reason for him to be spewing profanities, then take responsibility without pride affecting the decision. Accept the blame, apologise and offer to amend the writing (whereever possible). 

Censor – If a comment is truly unnecessary without any reasoning behind it, you can choose to censor the comment in the best interests of other readers. Ensure that the flamer isn’t triggered for more, this might happen if the comment has reasons. 

Ignore - Know when to ignore a troll, ensure that you have weighed the pros and cons of ignoring a troll. This act should not attract further reactions from a flamer. Ignoring a troll is the best act when there isn’t a base for flaming. 

Not always can we avoid reactions with our views on the Internet. We can be the best judge on how to handle the reactions. Any countering from our side should be considered only after understanding a few points

- There are always other readers who visit your blog, ensure their experience is good

- You will be viewed in a manner, based on your reactions. Never jeopardize your image while handling a troll.

- Be wary of the fact that the motive of a flamer is to irritate you, never succumb to it and let the flamer succeed.

Ensure you have a great blogging experience and succeed in the blogosphere with these troll not affecting your psyche.

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