10 Effective Strategies to Defeat Internet Trolls

Trolls have moved out of their caves and onto the Internet.

Unlike the mythical creatures of early Scandinavian folklore, online trolls are real, and dealing with them is never a fun experience.

Internet trolls, as defined by Wikipedia, are:

A person who posts provocative, frivolous, funny, external, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) intends to provoke readers to react emotionally. From, or manipulating the impressions of others

Simply put, Internet trolls are the ones who take great pleasure in jerking off online.

The more people they tick, the better. Satire thrives on sarcasm and insults, and as long as the Internet exists, they are everywhere.

Unfortunately, today’s trolls have grown into a much more malicious force of hatred than the real jokes that were prevalent in the 90’s. Now, 41% of Americans have experienced some form of online harassment.

Furthermore, the number of violent encounters such as cyber bullying, physical threats, stalking, sexual harassment has sadly become more common.

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So today’s topic is important.

In this post, you’ll see how to deal with Internet trolls, and find a list of tips to add to your arsenal so you can handle nonsense right away and protect your peace of mind.

Warning signs that you are dealing with internet trolls.

Some of the warning signs you are dealing with trolls include:

  • Blindness in evidence: Trolls are notorious for ignoring the facts and either doubling their position or turning to a completely new topic.
  • To be called: Internet trolls are not known for their creativity. They often cling to the latest trending insults and use it in every situation. Hello, “Karen.”
  • Subject redirects: This is an old school trolling technique that is still present in chats and forums today. Trolls enjoy removing posters from discussions and off-topic comments. They will also post irrelevant photos or memes.
  • Embarrassing tone: “Why are you crazy, brother?” “Trolls like to start a fire and then when people get angry they get fired, which only leads to more frustration. And they know it.
  • Exaggeration: Although most people use words that are not absolute, there is no middle ground for trolls. Everything should be at the extreme end of the spectrum. Instead of saying “often” or “sometimes”, they will say “always” or “never”.

There is something about the anonymity of the internet that brings out the worst in trolls.

Most of them will not dare to confront directly. But through the computer screen, there are no real results that make them think twice about getting their inner dirt out.

Beat Internet Trolls With These 10 Techniques

Trolls are not selective – they will target individuals, businesses, celebrities, politicians; you name them. If you’re on the Internet, you’re a fair game for trolls.

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Here’s how you can turn them off.

1. Don’t feed trolls.

The classic Internet proverb still holds true. Trolls thrive on an emotional response to their provocation.

It can be hard to stop yourself but don’t add fuel to the fire.

If you do not find what you are looking for then just ask.

2. Be the boss! Troll is not allowed.

If you’re in charge of a platform – whether it’s your social media profile, discussion forum, blog, etc. – you need a list of clear instructions, including a “no trolling” policy.

Implementing these rules establishes impartiality. If someone is angry that their comment has been deleted, you can point to your policy and state the reason for removing the violation.

For example, see how the Library of Congress has set clear guidelines in its comments and posting policy:

Screenshot from Loc.gov, September 2021.

3. Add moderators to your roster.

Managing a small, small blog or social media profile is one thing, but if you have hundreds or thousands of posts and a large number of trolls, it’s time to call backup!

A team of moderators is a valuable investment if you are not able to sustain the troll attack yourself.

They can verify comments and deal with policy violators so you can focus on other things.

If you do not have the resources or funds to hire moderators, check out some of the tools available on different platforms:

4. If you can’t ignore trolls, call their BS.

Trolls are not interested in polite, rational conversation. Their arguments are not logical, and they are certainly not strong arguments.

Stay calm and ask the facts and sources to support their unauthentic claims.

Chances are, they won’t have anything, and they’ll throw it away in silence. They just wanted a heated, passionate discussion, and you refused.

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Whenever he makes a wild statement, confront him with a polite request for proof.

5. Kill them kindly.

It is difficult to respond to hatred with kindness. But since trolls are usually on the lookout for fights, reacting from the opposite direction often gets in their way.

A particularly encouraging example was posted on Tumblr’s fan side. The exchange began with an angry mother who attacked someone to “make her child sick” as the young man searched for his gender identity.

Instead of responding angrily by being defensive, the user responded kindly, even complimented, and finally contacted the anxious mother and answered her questions.

What started was, “My baby is sick because of you!” He approached her, “Bless you, if I have more questions I can ask you.”

Tumblr users appreciate the way things are done:

Chat thread about kindness to spread trolls.Screenshot from Tumblr.com, September 2021.

Note that this should not be your expected result. In this case, the aggression comes from a place of fear and confusion, but in most other cases, the trolls are not coming around.

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Still, showing a little kindness doesn’t hurt. You can make a difference in someone’s life.

If this anger had been met with more anger, the conversation would have ended in a very different way.

6. Disarm them with humor.

Like, trolls aren’t usually equipped to respond to humor. Their purpose is to drive people crazy, not to make them laugh.

Laughter troll is cryptonite.

If you need some inspiration about fighting trolls with humor, check it out. Wendy’s Twitter..

Responding to trolls, the brand has become known for its gleeful humor in its own language.

Wendy even goes so far as to invite other brands to roast regularly.

The Twitter thread is responding to trolls with humor.Screenshot from Twitter.com, September 2021.

However, be careful with humor. It’s easy to cross the line and be aggressive in the eyes of your audience.

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7. Keep only friends’ social profiles.

This solution is quite cut and dry. If you don’t want random troll comments on your posts, keep them private.

Obviously, this won’t work if you’re a business, influential person, or someone who needs to reach out to the public, but it’s an easy way to keep your personal profile safe.

On Twitter, you can. Make your account private. By passing More> Settings & Privacy> Your Account (You will need to re-enter your password.)> Protected Tweets..

You can also update the photo tagging options.

How to make your Twitter account privateScreenshot from Twitter.com, September 2021.
How to protect your tweets.Screenshot from Twitter.com, September 2021.

On Facebook, you can run a privacy checkup to update your settings. Then click on the drop down arrow. Settings and Privacy> Privacy Checkup.

Facebook's privacy check-up featureScreenshot from Facebook.com, September 2021.

Remember that you can also arrange individual posts for private, friends, exceptional friends, specific friends, just you, or custom visibility.

Post visibility options on Facebook.Screenshot from Facebook.com, September 2021.

8. Block, ban, or report trolls.

Although this option is more painful, it is sometimes necessary if you have trolls that do not stop.

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most other social media platforms give you the option to report a post for abuse, among other options to follow the person who posted the post.

How to block and block profiles

9. Reduce before answering.

Remember – the purpose of a troll is to annoy you and others. Don’t let them achieve their goal.

Before typing the answer, try this:

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Walk for a few minutes (at least).
  • Remind yourself that it’s not personal, and it’s not worth worrying about.

When you are composed enough to come back and solve this problem, try to have a clear, open mind.

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Responding when you are angry does not end with a peaceful solution.

10. Be professional.

One of the worst mistakes you can make is to confuse an unhappy customer with a troll and respond unprofessionally. Be calm and realistic.

If someone is complaining about your business, apologize and try to send the conversation to a private channel so that issues can be resolved beyond public scrutiny.

If someone is pointing out a typing or other minor error, thank them for pointing out the error, fix it, and don’t get too busy.

Whether you’re responding to a troll or a real customer, remember that your comments are public, and the rest of the community is watching. In most cases, people are less worried about what the problem was and more about how you handled it.

Trolls are only as big as we make them.

Internet trolls thrive on drama.

If you let them down, they win.

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It’s not about being right or wrong. If you stop stopping the trolls, you are taking oxygen away from their fire.

Take the high road, and drop the trolls too low.

More resources:


Featured Image: Dell Carmat / Shutterstock.
Photo # 8: Created by the author, September 2021.

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