Trolls are an unavoidable part of the internet culture. Whether you are a blogger, social media influencer, or just a user – you’ve probably come across them several times. They can be found in the comment section of news, blogs, and any other posts. The main goal of a blog troll is to cause mayhem and provoke a negative response.
As bloggers, we need to accept the fact that one-day trolls may come for us. You do not even have to do anything controversial. Some people just like to be jerks for the sake of it. So the only reasonable thing a blogger can do is to prepare for such situations.
Who are blogging trolls and why do they do that?
First of all, it is crucial to understand that not every negative comment is a troll. After all, there can be a reasonable critique or general disagreement with opinions. It is completely natural as everyone is entitled to their ideas. Comments that are elaborative and discuss the post’s topic are not trolling, even if they disagree with you.
Trolls are users that want to cause arguments for its sake. They won’t any type of attention or hurt one’s feelings. They post something offensive and controversial just to offend people. Trolls generally show deceptive, anti-social, and disruptive behavior online. They are internet bullies that enjoy bullying people for no reason whatsoever.
Trolls have a long and quite interesting history on the internet. They go back almost to the earliest days of this technology and the first mention of “troll” in modern context happened in 1992.
Why do they do that? Well, the anti-social behavior itself existed always, but the internet gave it more power. According to psychologists, they tend to be male and show some psychopathy traits, like lower affective empathy, sadism, and enjoyment from causing pain to other people.
The recent experiment also proved that people are more likely to engage in trolling behavior based on the previous comments on the topic (if they are also offensive or trolling) and the general discussion. But the first thing that influences such behavior is the mood of a person. Basically, trolls might usually feel unhappy, unsatisfied, and deeply insecure.
There are several reasons why people are more prone to act this way online rather than in real life:
- Feeling of anonymity. Users can hind behind their screens and user names. This is the main factor why such behaviors come to the surface. It reduces the fear of consequences. If no one knows it is you, it is like it doesn’t matter for such people.
- Obscurity. Of course, if one writes a long hateful post on Facebook, their friends, family, and colleagues will see it. But if one writes a hateful comment somewhere in a blog, they feel like no one will ever find it from their surroundings. So they think that there will be no consequences in real life.
- Some people tend to create other identities online or behave in a completely different way.
- Some trolls feel like they are surrounded by like-minded people. It is a bit like a mob mentality. If they see three hateful comments, it gives them more internal justification to do the same. Everybody does that, so it is ok.
- And some people are just mean because they are mean. They truly enjoy seeing someone upset and hurt.
Whatever reasons guide trolls, they want your reaction. This is what fuels them. So let’s talk about the ways to deal with them.
How to deal with trolling internally
Even if you know they are just troll, those comments can hurt and impact one’s mental health. Especially if they hit some insecurities or there are just too many of them.
It is important to deal with them correctly, mentally.
First of all, you’ll have to make a cup of cacao, cover yourself with plaid and cry for several minutes. Afterward, you can follow the directions mentioned below.
Here are the tips that work for me:
- Remember that they don’t know you. They are here to cause trouble. And their attacks do not define you as an author and content creator. Not everyone will like your blog and it is fine. Remain personal integrity and focus on why you do this.
- Laugh about it. It might be hard, but try to make jokes about them with your friends or family. Point out the stupidity of these comments.
- Keep the positive feedback close. If those negative comments start to impact you, go and read something positive. Good comments from genuine people, reviews from the loyal audience, or just friends’ encouragement.
- Take time to decompress and process your emotions. Do not react immediately, just do something else. Preferably something that brings you joy.
- And my number ONE tip – stop feeding trolls! Do not react! Sometimes it’s easier to ignore and blacklist them.
How to react to troll in blog comments
So you decided to make your blog a better place. You work hard on your content, creating an awesome structure of posts that includes up to date info with awesome insights.
But here comes some troll. And starts ruining your plans in comments. What to do with those troll blogs?
There are several measures you can take to make your comment section and community safer.
1. Post Community Policy
As the practice shows, the more people engage in disruptive behavior, the more will join them. To make your comment section a welcoming place, write a commenting policy, and make it visible. Pin it somewhere noticeable, make sure that the audience knows about it. Of course, it won’t stop the trolls, but it might prevent mob mentality.
2. Moderate Comment Section
If the comments are rude, offensive, or straight-up spam, you can moderate them. Many social media and blogging platforms, like WordPress, have moderating bots. You can use them, or do it personally if there are not too many responses. Some bloggers hire moderators for bigger communities, as it becomes a necessity. The bigger your audience is, the more trolls will be attracted to your platform. They want attention, so do not give them a chance.
3. Report, block, delete
You can choose not to interact with them at all. Just report those who are persistent or block them right away. This way, you can also secure your audience from hurting their feelings.
4. Ignore Them
People always say “do not feed the trolls”. All they want is a reaction. They want you to get angry and defensive. So the worst thing you can do for them is just to ignore them. And it is the most effective way to react to them according to science. Even if you choose to reply, never show them your emotions or anger. That’s what they’ve come for.
5. Stick to Facts
If you need to respond, stick to a neutral tone, professionalism, and facts. Prove that they are wrong in what they claim. It is especially great if their comment might impact your professional reputation. Answer them in the most professional way to establish your expertise.
6. Be Kind
They want to see one hurt and the least response trolls expect is kindness. It is the opposite of what they want. For example “Thank you for your input” or “Thank you! Every comment adds to engagement”.
It is probably the hardest option and does not work for everyone. But making them a punch line is the most powerful comeback. If you can make a sarcastic or ironic joke at the expense of the troll without hurting anyone else – go for it! Your community will like it. And the troll will not.
GOOD BYE, TROLLOLOLOLS!
Like one of my old friend Andrew says: “Ariviadroci”
Remember one important thing – if trolls are coming for you, it means that you are succeeding. They won’t be looking for attention in the desert.
So just be ready for them, establish community guidelines, find internal resources, and react in a way that is comfortable for you.
Let me know if you make war with blog trolls or simply using the ignoring method? Share your ideas in the comments section?
And yes, waiting for some professional trolls in the comments section. HAHA! I’m ready for war 😉
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