How to defeat an Internet troll?

3 min read
9 June 2018

When the Internet appeared, trolls stopped existing only in fairy tales and cartoons and moved to Internet forums and social networks. What do Internet trolls do? The answer is painfully obvious – they troll, write purposely provoking comments making people they talk to experience negative emotions.

Trolling is a form of provocation or mockery on the Internet which is usually used by people seeking more recognition or publicity, as well as anonymous users. Why do people do that?

According to the research of Jesse Fox, a professor of psychology at Ohio University, people troll for different reasons: for some of them, it is an outlet for blowing off steam mocking at other people which they will most likely not ever meet in person. Some people troll just because they have fun this way. And, of course, there are paid trolls which write taunting or even nasty comments to provoke the account owner to react negatively.

How to spot a troll, how to communicate with him and help yourself from being provoked? We are going to tell you about this right now.

  1. Make sure this is a real troll, not an offended follower or emotional customer. Ask for details if necessary and try to clarify the situation which urged him to write rude comments. Meanwhile, the communication with a displeased person is somehow possible, a troll will anyway ignore polite questions and will most likely move on to insults.

  2. Look at the profile of the person who made the comments. If the account is private or contains just a couple of random pictures, and a photo of a famous person is on the avatar (or there is no avatar at all), you are dealing with a troll.

  1. If possible, use humor or a fitting joke to ease the tension and gloss over the situation. Or be extremely polite and if the reason is you and your post, take steps to resolve the conflict. If it doesn’t work, you are communicating with a provoker.

  2. Being an account owner, you have every right to warn the commenting person – at least for using profanity. It doesn’t work? Go on to the next step.

  3. Block the user and delete negative comments. Sure, you should not take advantage of the situation deleting all the comments you do not like. You should be able to tell trolling from impulse comments or constructive criticism.

Trolls bring much trouble not only to public figures but to common users, as well. Cyberbullying has become a rather acute problem on the Internet and especially on social media. But the authorities of networks do not stand by idly. Very recently Instagram has launched a new feature – the comment filter. The filter can be customized even by keywords you do not want to see on your page:

Generally, defeating a troll is not difficult: the main thing is to handle and clear out the situation before jumping to conclusions and coming into the conflict. As soon as you understand that you have come across a troll, there is an easy way out – block the troublemaker once and for good, he will bring nothing but negativity to your brand. Don’t waste your nerves, customize the comment filter and communicate with your real followers.