Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dealing With Blogging Trolls

(Wiki) In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

At some point, we're going to run into trolls. These are those nasty negative folks who believe that the party should end, the lights should go out and the neighbors should be quiet. They like to often times snipe you with some expertise and tell you why what you said was wrong.

My favorite way to deal with these is not to go on the defensive because then your own stand you just made in the post looks weak and you look like you're scrambling to defend it. Instead, do a quick search for blogs on that subject and redirect him to, "Thanks for you insight and I hope you're enjoying the blog world. Here's a blog I think you might really like that's right in line with what you're saying--" and then give him the blog address. It seems terrible to pawn them off on someone else, but sometimes your blog is not a good fit for someone and it's better to send him to a blog that caters to his version of the world.

There is also a desire at times to trash can the comment, but that sometimes ignites a backlash from the "troll-ster." It's better to show your readers how you handle haters. The only time I've had to trash can someone was when someone comes on to make a comment that has nothing to do with the post and leaves their address to their own blog. That kind of spamming--not cool.

Invariably, people are not going to agree with what you say. There are those who crumble under such "hating," and some of us who smile slyly because we know we struck a chord with someone. If you feel secure in what you're saying, you should have two reactions:

1. It's okay for someone else to have a different motivation, experience and conclusion and they should not take yours, yours was developed by your own voyage in life.
2. You know what you know and no one can change that.

You want the key to a happy life and a happy blog? Here it is: Cognitive distortions will give you emotions that are way out of proportion and way over-the-top than they should be if you were thinking logically.

What are cognitive distortions?

They are asinine beliefs that are not based in reality. For example:

Everyone should have my belief system
Everyone should be nice to me
Everyone should support my stands on issues
Everyone should be kind to others

There are only a few examples of illogical distortions that make no sense. Everyone is different and everyone should have a different idea of what is nice, what is right, what is important. These sorts of distortions are the very reason we still have hate and prejudice in the world and people noticing their differences instead of embracing them.

That probably sounded a bit new-age for most folks, but it's a fact of life: Paris Hilton's life trek makes her priorities and people skills very different than say an inner city kid who lived on welfare and had a mother who smoked crack. So, let's get over ourselves. The world does not accommodate your beliefs, your ideals or your "should's," "must's" and "ought to's."

All of that being said, smile at the trolls on your blog, redirect them appropriately and for gosh sake's don't take them personally. You truly can't know what provokes others, what factors are in line or why they are such a cranky ass, but you can just be thankful you're not married to them and move on.


  1. I've seen people leave blogging just because of one bad comment and it breaks my heart because if you consider that 99.9% of your followers are positive people and that tiny percentage are nasty ass, you have to figure the majority is delighted with you. I also think that, to take any stand, you make enemies, but you get an awesome view from the peak, but to make no stand is to be safe but have no view.

  2. What annoys me is when I facilitate a discussion and all I get from some is "lol" or worse, "i like your blog!" Look at my recent post on racism as a perfect example on that.

    There are a lot that go around saying "Following" or "Supporting." That's nice. How about participating?

    I'd rather receive a little bit of hate or pot-stirring, than having all these dead fish around.

  3. L.I.I.;
    You walk the same line I do, buddy. We both have a good deal of sarcasm and silliness and then we also have some in-depth discussions. I think some folks want you to know they went on and read you and so they just leave something rather than nothing. Then, you get the ones who are afraid to voice an opinion even in the comments section. I've had others jump on me for my responses even though they were in favor of the writer. It's pretty funny, actually. I wonder just how tight someone's sphincter has to be to not understand the difference between being sarcastic and taking a stand. I feel like saying, "hey, buddy, you might want to loosen those shorts a bit or buy the next size up cause they seem to be pinching you in all the wrong places." Honestly, I don't mind if people leave nonsensical comments, so long as they're not trying to advertise their own site. That's kinda cheap-o. If they're interesting enough people would look at their witty comments and follow them back home to their blog. That's how the majority of my blog followers happened. I didn't go out advertising, they just liked what I had to say and came to visit me at my blog.

  4. As I see it, that's why we have a delete comment button. I mean, really, who wants to be that guy who farts at the party. Some do, I guess.

  5. MM;
    I have to admit, I've only had maybe 2-3 trolls on my blog before and if you leave up their comments, your followers go after them like rabid pack dogs. Farting at parties...your references are priceless, buddy!

  6. i am chiming in... i get more porn invites, penis enlargement or something for the blog administrator... than i need to. most my comments are nice and from friends or new followers telling me they like my post. i never want to be offensive, i am a honest guy and which most of you are very cool. i like comments, wait i love them... it gives me a great feeling to know people are here. sharon you have a lot of great things here and your other sites... i feel like i learn something about something, that you are wonderful and well versed... except tuesdays wink! i am afraid of tuesday... heck on my site i don't even like zombies. lol

    we all do a great job and service to the blog community and if there are trolls... meet my bridge and stay under it.

  7. It's a pretty funny term, isn't it, Jeremy? I adore trolls in the monster world, don't appreciate them in the blog world. Still, I remember one time I did a newspaper interview and the reporter sent over a short Asian man to photograph me and he found I was too tall, so he made me squat on the ground and then told me to tilt my head down but look at him kind of up through my eyebrows. The pose was very weird and awkward and when it made it to the paper, I looked like some kind of monster and the shot was down my shirt. So, every troll in the world decided to go online and say horrid things about me and my looks and my boobs. I was pretty devastated until the next day. I read the comments on the women photographed on a cheerleading squad and they were the same men saying even worse things about them. I think they all had some kind of dehydrated man parts and were just cranky as hell. I like to call them the jerky balls men.

  8. But wait! Everyone SHOULD have my belief system and be nice to me...right?

    Great post... Yeah, there's no pleasing everyone so you can't take things personally. I totally agree! If I tried to please everyone, I wouldn't have a blog. I've gotten lots of those types of people over the years.

  9. Hey Doc;
    Ironically, I mentioned you in a post today on Hug-A-Blogger

    You have a great attitude. It's critical when you do humor. Some people get me poking fun at ghost hunting shows, others think I'm messing with the gods.

  10. When I came face to face with trolls, 90% of the time I just ignore them or delete the comments. Obviously I haven't been trolled here as of yet, but generally else where that is what I do. Cause I don't have the time nor patience to deal with trolls and their erratic behavior.

    Any way, I do think those are helpful tips and thank you for posting such. It is definitely a different alternative than the "trash can" as you put it. =]

  11. TCD;
    Love your name! Yes, trolls leave a residue. I kind of like their asinine comments to stay up because it sort of is a running ad for not going to their blog. It works against them. I don't expect everyone to agree with what I say and I really love to hear all the different takes people have on things, but sometimes I just get someone one who wants to be cranky and critical and not at all sharing an opinion but going on the attack. That's when I let it sit there and attract flies and really stink. The other readers just skirt around the dump they left behind.

  12. Lately I haven't had too many trolls. Blogger is staying on top of most of them. If they get through, "delete".

  13. you are right, i don't like haters either. i prefer my ass kissed too.

  14. L.I.I. is right, I would rather deal with a hundred trolls than get another dead fish comment. Especially after you pour your heart out into a post and expect it to be a bit controversial and get "nice post" or for the more creative, "hahaha great post".

    Hopefully I don't ever come across as too cranky...

  15. Aaron;
    Yeah, you're a real grumpy pants--not. You are real and honest and up front and that can put some people off. Hey, I know that myself--run into people kind of going "did she have to put it that way?" No apologies. Some folks are uncomfortable with exposure. It's a lot like that syndrome when someone loses a loved one and you don't know whether to say something trite like, "he lived a long happy life" or "at least you got to be with him for 45 years" or "At least he's not suffering any longer" or the favorite, "if you need anything, please tell me." Occasionally, it's better if they say nothing, I suppose.

  16. And they always seem to hide behind "annon"

  17. Oh great, so my method of spending weeks and weeks on finding out the identity and location of someone that said something irreverent to me, and then stalking them and figuring out what food they eat so that I can poison their local are telling me that there is a BETTER way to handle them?

  18. Scots;
    Yes, they do, don't they?

    Your way is less precise and more messy, buddy.