Ask the blogger: how do you deal with the trolls?

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!

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Reappropriate

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


Whatever

I taunt them.

~ John Scalzi, creator of Whatever


Benjamin Wild

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]


Little Fears

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


Emily Contois

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


A Writer’s Path

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.


Daily Echo

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


Katzenworld

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


HarsH ReaLiTy

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


Hugh’s Views & News

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


Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

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


Richard Ankers

I pity them. What truly sad lives must they live.

~ Richard M. Ankers, creator of Richard M. Ankers


Myths of the Mirror

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


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If you have any other questions you would like answered by the bloggers, please shoot me an email, or alternatively, comment below! 

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47 thoughts

  1. Luckily, I haven’t had any problems with trolls (one of the benefits of not being popular I suppose 😀 ). I notice a lot of trolls on Youtube channels though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I get so many troll comments over on YouTube actually! For some reason they don’t sting as much, especially after I read this comment from one troll that told me: ‘they loved the video but they had to troll anyway because it was who they were’. I was like, really?? Whhhyyy?? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to actively work on not fighting with trolls on various forums, Youtube, and Facebook groups. It’s hard, but I found it making me bitter and I was wasting a lot of time and energy. And for what? Nothing. You can’t actually have a discussion with most of them. So, I found myself starting to troll the trolls — becoming what I hate. Sometimes I’ll start to type a response and then I think “What is this actually going to get me?” and I usually delete it. So now I hang out of Quora for interesting answers and because they have a BNBR policy (Be Nice Be Respectful) and if you violate it, you get the boot.

        Like

  2. Sorry I’m so late to read, Milly. I was on a technology vacation! It was interesting to read through the responses, and nice to hear that trolling isn’t too much of an issue on WP. It also seems that most bloggers look at trolls as nothing more than little nuisances that aren’t worth two seconds of attention. Thanks so much for including my response. It’s a delight to participate. Happy Writing!

    Like

  3. I’ve been trolled, too, by the same group of people on both my blog and Twitter. But blocking seems to have kept them mostly at bay. I also have an awesome spam blocker that can delete anything from them before I even see it, so they’ve probably sent me more messages than I’ve actually seen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve received troll-like comments all across my social media at times. I have sometimes responded in the past but now I realize most of the comments are from TROLL-BOTS and not actual humans at all. So I no longer waste my time on them.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So much good advice! Oddly, the only time I had a troll was when I had a guest post on someone else’s blog. It was so hard not to blast him into the stratosphere, but I had to remember that it was not my blog.

    If it had been my blog, I would have told him — in as humorous a way as possible — where to stick his opinion. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I speak like the majority… I ignore them… Though to be honest I haven’t remembered a trollish comment in my blog ..
    Thing is, I like to talk/interact, I probably end up befriending trolls!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, you don’t know my site and I’m just finding yours,,,,but I’ve never really had much to do with trolls because I’m my own worst enemy, usually cuss a bit to myself and I think folks know I’m a sailing redneck pirate anyways. I’d love some trolls to play with, send them my way!!! I also don’t have enough traffic for folks to get upset about much-

    Please send them my way- the site is http://www.LiveFree2SailFast.com and we write about sailing, boats and family adventure travel or whatever else my little demented mind makes up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Solid post. I’ve got the option set in which any new commenter must be approved before their comments show up. A few extra ones get caught in my spam filter by WP. But? As of today, I’ve yet to have an actual troll.

    I’m both relieved and…disappointed that I’m not big enough to have attracted the attention of trolls?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been reading a number of blogs and I found this post refreshing, primarily because I haven’t seen any other person write about this topic! Kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This post made me think again about having comments automatically approved on my blog, which I did recently. Any spam that comes in gets deleted once I see it, and thankfully I haven’t yet been trolled. If trolling does happen, I’ll take the advice given and just ignore it. I’ve been around enough that negative crap doesn’t bother me anyhow.

    Do you think auto-approving comments is a good idea?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I ignore comments or delete them depending on how bad they are. On Facebook I have deleted entire posts when its caused problems between friends of mine who have no connection except through me. Trolls are problematic and I wish they would go away.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hey, would appreciate if you do an “Ask The Blogger” post about ‘full-time bloggers-who-later-joined- workforce’ and how their ‘full-time blogging’ experience reflected on the CV.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I haven’t been trolled on my blog but someone recently came at me on Twitter. I felt the need to respond/defend myself which I soon discovered was a mistake. I’m now firmly in the Ignore Them camp.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unless you are posting comments with the sole purpose of causing a negative emotional reaction, you’re not a troll. If you are actually engaging with the content instead of hurling inaccurate insults/allegations, you’re not a troll. If you don’t enjoy upsetting people, you’re not a troll.
      If you’re not trying to be a troll, you’re not a troll.

      I had one person make a somewhat inappropriate comment on my blog. I let it pass, because it was the first comment from that person, and for all I knew that comment was at the crude end of his comment spectrum. But when the next comment was even more inappropriate, I deleted them both, and I never heard from him again.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I imagine becoming highly excited and going out for drinks to celebrate the first time I get trolled. I’m still waiting for that hideous creature to come out from under a bridge and let me know I’ve made it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I moderate new comments, check out (if I can, time permitting) who they are online. Obviously for people will thousands of followers this isn’t possible, but I’m just a little person so I can still do that.

    I’ve had one troll and it never got any attention from me, and the comment wasn’t approved, and they were deleted permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

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