Monday, May 25, 2009

How to Deal With Trolls

From time to time with certain articles, you're bound to find the odd troll or two. Sometimes they'll uncloak on one of your own pieces, sometimes you're able to sit back and watch the fireworks. Whatever the case, here's a method for dealing with them.

For the uninitiated, a troll is a person whose sole purpose is to get a rise from you by leaving comments on articles that are incendiary and designed to provoke a response.

You can always spot them; they're not hard to find.

As we're all fans on the site, we tend to take our own work maybe a little too seriously. So when someone seems to attack it, we feel provoked to fight fire with fire.

You've put a bit of effort into your article; you don't want someone taking the proverbial thunder out of it, do you?

On the outside looking in, these verbal contests can often be funny. Looking at someone who you may or may not respect lose their head into giving the troll exactly what they want, a response in kind, can leave you with a smirk.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, it's no laughing matter. Being degraded by an anonymous entity is not fun. And when you think about it, it can be ridiculous. But not responding can be really hard.

Sometimes the troll likes to let the line out, and leaves more bait...

Sometimes the troll likes to take the moral high ground, especially when you give a comment referring to something on another article.

Basically, this is what the troll wants. And they've already won. You've given the correct response and they have what they want. If they see that you are riled, they'll come back for more.

The easiest way to deal with a troll is just not to respond.

A simple story should illustrate this, (I hope).

Never wrestle with a pig.

Because if you do, you'll both get covered in mud.

The only difference between you and the pig?

The pig loves it.

Simple as that.

twitter / WillieGannon