I went out on a limb again (hand, foot, leg and pinky this time) and asked some of my favourite bloggers if they might like to answer a few more of those burning questions we’re all thinking about. Because yes, the above question (and the others coming up in the next few weeks) were all sourced from you. So I must say, once again, thank you for the inspiration!
Today I’m bringing up the subject of trolling. You may have noticed there exists an online ‘code’ that dictates we should: never respond to the trolls ever!! EVER!! In some circumstances, yes, I completely agree (unless you enjoy a good verbal spar) but some people think you should also never even address the trolls.
Well… I decided to blog about trolling for three reasons, namely 1) to show other bloggers that they aren’t alone, 2) to let the trolls know they were providing me with awesome blog fodder, and 3) they lost any power they had over me the moment I blogged about them using cat gifs – (interesting thought, do you think trolls have cats? Or are they sad because they don’t have cats?)
But enough from me, let’s hear from the pros!
Trolls are looking for attention; I deal with trolls by not giving them any. I blog in part because I am interested in engaging in discourse and debate around passionate topics like racial justice and feminism, but productive discourse requires that both parties be interested in respecting one another and open to the discussion. Trolls, by definition, are only interested in aggravating and injuring the targets of their trolling. So, I ignore trolls; and funnily enough, the one thing trolls can’t ever seem to handle is when they make literally zero impact on their victim’s lives.
~ Jennifer Fang, creator of Reappropriate
I taunt them.
~ John Scalzi, creator of Whatever
To date, I have not had an issue with trolls on my blog, or across any other social media platforms I use(Twitter and Instagram). I have certainly had some forthright responses to my blog posts, but these have always been civil, even if disagreement persists after an exchange of views. I do make sure that no comments appear on my blog without me first approving them. In practice, I tend to approve 99% of all comments and only really end up excluding something that is clearly spam. Perhaps another way that I pre-empt trolls is to ensure that what I write is balanced; even where my view is clear, I do try to acknowledge alternative outlooks, and I generally provide links so people can see what I am basing my opinions on.
~ Benjamin Wild, creator of Benjamin Wild [Musings on Cultural History ~ Clothing, Chiefly]
Ignore them. I never get them on the Fears. When I see them elsewhere, I mute, block and ignore. Never respond to them.
~ Peter Edwards, creator of Little Fears
Luckily on the blog I have some practical control over trolls. Any comment has to be approved and if it’s inappropriate or offensive, I can delete it. In general, I don’t engage directly with trolls, but I often save their comments, tweets, and emails as data points. In many cases, their messages actually reinforce the arguments I’m making in my research on food, gender, and power.
~ Emily Contois, creator of Emily Contois
I can’t really say I’ve encountered trolls, personally. Sure, I’ve heard from people with critiques or critical comments, but I wouldn’t lump it all together as one. Generally, though, if someone is saying something critical of my work, I try to glean if that person is offering anything helpful for improvement, and if not, I move on. I try my best to remember that my craft isn’t me, just a product to be appreciated (or not appreciated).
~ Ryan Lanz, creator of A Writer’s Path
Related: Check out A Writer’s Path Writers Club for a list of over 160 book review bloggers, discounts on over 60 writing-related services, and free services, such as editing, book coaching, and book cover design.
I usually give them licquorice to avoid getting drenched…. but that depends really on which type you mean. Internet trolls are a different breed and usually best ignored. Without attention, they shrivel and fade away. On the blog, that’s what the ‘spam’ option is for, though I have been fortunate that I have seldom had to use it.
There was, however, one troll who pursued me via email… until I posted a public response…
~ Sue Vincent, creator of Daily Echo
Sometimes its hard to differentiate between actual trolls and people who are just unhappy with something you post. I think it’s therefore important to address the concerns / comments in a constructive and polite way because just ignoring or deleting them will make both groups become worse and continue to complain / moan / post. There as being transparent and polite shows your genuine followers that you care about opinions.
~ Marc-André Runcie-Unger, founder & blogger at Katzenworld
Ignore them. I’ve tried everything else in my time as a blogger. I’ve received threats, had my site modded, and even had the police come knocking. Through all that I’ve done everything you could possibly do wrong and then some. What have I learned? Ignore them.
~ Opinionated Man, creator of HarsH ReaLiTy
Easy – I simply ignore them. I have a saying – ‘Don’t feed the trolls.’ Feeding them with a response is something they dearly want. If you ignore them, they will soon get fed up and move on. Block them, if you can, and don’t be frightened in reporting them to the blogging platform you use. Delete all of their comments (even those directed at other commentators) or, better still, mark them as spam.
~ Hugh W. Roberts, creator of Hugh’s Views & News
I try to address each point logically, and I wish them the best. If there is any grain of truth to there statement, I will agree with them and actually amplify my agreement by providing an anecdote. Then I will logically point out if the statement is leading to a false conclusion.
~ Kent Wayne, creator of Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha
I pity them. What truly sad lives must they live.
~ Richard M. Ankers, creator of Richard M. Ankers
Well, either I’m really thick-skinned, naive, or lucky because I can’t think of more than a couple of instances where I’ve been trolled. I don’t mind dissent and dialog, but honest to goodness warty trolls who are irrelevant, rude and crude? I pop them in the WP trashcan and forget about them.
~ D. Wallace Peach, creator of Myths of the Mirror
If you have any other questions you would like answered by the bloggers, please shoot me an email, or alternatively, comment below!