7 Ways to Deal with Internet Trolls

There are times when I sit in front of my computer screen and wonder why I write. I wonder why I feel the need to share what I think, and why I feel others should read it. When I started writing, I knew that it wasn’t a one way street, especially on the blogging and social media platforms. I knew there would be feedback in the form of comments, retweets and shares. I also know that they would be mostly positive, and I was also very aware and sensitive to those people who would feel the need to provoke, bash and otherwise try to get me to “feel some type of way” as my stepdaughter would say (she’s so funny).

Knowing that equation, I wrote anyway. Granted at the time, I didn’t know there was a name for the negative side of feedback received on the internet. My friends, I introduce to you, the Internet troll.

7 Ways to Deal with Internet Trolls @fillpraycloset
“Duty Calls” a comic by xkcd

What are Internet Trolls?

Much like the fictitious characters they are meant to represent, Internet Trolls lurk and wait for their shining moment to comment on something expressed without first-hand knowledge of the writer, or even with the goal of trying to illicit constructive engagement. Usually they use bad grammar, ALL CAPS, or tend to grand stand. No matter how kind and charitable your response, the Internet Troll will always, always find a perceived loophole in a vain attempt to make you, dear writer, second guess your intentions. They swim in a sea of right, and no matter what you say, they will call you a salmon (get it? They swim upstream?).

Don’t fall prey to it!

7 Ways to Deal with Internet Trolls via @fillpraycloset #bloghack #writinghack #tips

 

What can I do about Internet Trolls?

  1. Moderate Comments. If you’re on Blogger, don’t use Captcha, please. That’s annoying. Do moderate comments. This means, that whenever you receive a comment, you have the option to publish, delete or send to spam.
  2. Block their email address (if you’re on WordPress) from commenting. On the Blogger platform, there’s a neat little bookmark for Chrome appropriately named Nuke Comments. This little tool will delete the commenter and block the user, in two clicks.
  3. Block the IP address. When you receive a comment, there is an IP address associated with the email address, copy and paste right into your Blacklist (on WordPress)
  4. Block them on Social Media. If you’re blog is like mine, you have social media buttons located in a few places, because you genuinely want to connect with your readers. If you find an Internet Troll lurking, search for them on those social media platforms and block them there too. The Internet is free, yes, but your writing space is your house, and you can keep it clean.
  5. Use a Virtual Punching Bag. Should you get a comment or message that really upsets you, head over to a word processing program, like Word, or Notepad and copy the comment. I know, just bear with me. Copy the comment, and then, write the response you wish you could. I will even go so far as to say you can swear there. Why? Because after you get it all out, you’re going to delete it. Then get back to your happy place. Writing, reading, mothering, you know, being you.
  6. Delete it. Just because an Internet Troll comments, doesn’t mean it has to stay in your queue. There’s help available in the form of the delete button. Use that to your hearts content! Out of sight, out of mind, I always say.
  7. Pray for them.  I’m Catholic. It’s just what I do. A bead for every Internet Troll. If you feel more comfortable putting it out into the universe, do that. If Karma is your cuppa, then do something nice for someone else and offer that as your token, on the side of paying it forward.

How do I keep from becoming an Internet Troll?

Focus on your writing, or passion and let the Internet Trolls move on. They eventually will, and if you’re writing honest and compassionate stuff, they may, no, they will be back. Probably because they subscribe to your blog and follow anything you do. They just can’t help themselves. Because what the Internet Troll eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Jealousy. They snack on the color green. Sad, isn’t it?

There, I said it.

And I am still eating a sandwich.

You’re turn. Is there another way to avoid the Internet Troll? Share them here so we can all benefit. 

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22 thoughts on “7 Ways to Deal with Internet Trolls

  1. I get them all the time. Especially anti-Catholics, especially this one guy. But I think one of my followers shut him up because he hasn’t commented since. Both me and my other follower called him out and told him to get his facts straight and then told him that he was a troll. It shut him up. At least for now. If he comes back I will definately block their email address. Calling them out is one way to deal with them.

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  2. Good advice, and funny cartoon.

    I haven’t encountered many people trolling me. I think that means I’m not important. Or maybe oblivious. *shrug*

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      1. My blog dashboard says:

        Akismet has protected your site from 22,207 spam comments already.
        There are 92 comments in your spam queue right now.

        I guess you’re right. :)

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      2. Just for fun, I checked how much spam I’ve received since starting this blog. You sitting down? 53,191 total spam. Crazy!

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  3. I love this! Fortunately I have not encountered any trolls…yet. Maybe when I’m big time. I will definitely tuck away the advice of responding to the comment in Word and then deleting it. Perfect!

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  4. Internet Trolls are pains in the rear. I always suggest a good study in logical fallacy, they are excellent at using fallacy in their arguments. Also, be careful about blocking IP addresses. It’s the VID or cookie you want to block. An IP can be shared by many people, however a visitor ID or cookie is specific to a computer. If you block some IP’s you may be blocking everyone who is using a shared IP which could reduce legit comments as well.

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  5. In WordPress, you can actually edit the comment to say exactly the opposite of what they originally said!! Haven’t had the need to do it yet but I find that piece of information hilarious and thrilling!!!

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