The internet is an excellent tool that has assisted with many ground-breaking discoveries. However, there are also many hazards associated with using the internet, such as the potential for stolen information, viruses infecting the computer, and cyberbullying. One particular form of cyberbullying comes from internet trolls. Read on to find out what an internet troll is and how to prevent them from causing trouble.
What Is an Internet Troll?
An internet troll is a person who spreads cruelty and hatred online. They use the cloak of anonymity to hide their identities not to be held accountable for their actions. Internet trolls have the purpose of upsetting as many people as they possibly can by being rude, hurtful, deceitful, and accusatory, among other things. Typically, internet trolls do not target one particular person.
Where are Internet Trolls Found?
Unfortunately, internet trolls can be found everywhere. They are particularly common in places that offer the user the ability to post messages anonymously. This could include online forums, comment sections of websites, and Twitter. They can also make fake accounts on other social media platforms such as Facebook and troll others. They thrive off controversial topics that involve people getting into heated debates.
How to Tell When Someone is Trolling?
Sometimes it can be challenging to determine if you are speaking with a perturbed client or being trolled. If a customer is unhappy with a service, they might write a poor online review and give the business a low rating. This can be disheartening, but it needs to be addressed if the client had a bad experience.
A representative of the company needs to read and respond to the complaint. By solving the issue, they will repair the damaged relationship that they had with the client.
There are specific behaviors that can distinguish an internet troll. A sign to look for is that the user is continuously posting comments about the same topic, despite being already proved wrong. They will refuse to acknowledge the evidence given to them, and they will often answer with aggression.
When other users start to get upset, the troll will become dismissive, usually causing more anger. A troll is not trying to correct a bad experience; they are simply causing as much trouble as they can get away with.
Dealing with Trolls
If trolls are starting to negatively affect the business, an action of some sort must be taken to stop them. There are a few different ways of doing so, some of which will be discussed below.
The best way to get rid of a troll is to ignore them. In this case, it is always better not to add fuel to the fire because trolls want to get attention. By taking away all of that attention, the troll has no other purpose of being there. Do not respond to their comments. Simply delete them and move on.
Create a Policy
A community policy can be helpful when it comes to keeping trolls off a particular website. Make the policy very clear and underline what happens if the users don’t follow the rules. It could include a guideline about allowing no derogatory, racist, or disrespectful content. If possible, allow other visitors to ‘flag’ the troll’s comments if they do not follow the policies. This will make it easier to identify the troll and give them warnings. After repeated warnings, remove the troll from the site.
Use a Moderator
Running an online platform can be a lot of work, particularly if trolls are bothering legitimate customers. It can be very time-consuming to comb through all the website sections that may harbor an internet troll. Eliminate some of the stress out of a job by hiring a moderator. This person will be able to dedicate their time to frequently checking the comment sections. If they find someone who is not following the website’s policies, the moderator can ban them.
Make Social Media Accounts Private
If a troll targets an individual’s account, they have more options for getting rid of them. The individual could block the troll or make their account friends-only. No matter which social media platform is being used, the instructions for making the profile private should be easily available. In general, having a hidden social media account is safer for many reasons, and it will prevent a troll from ever coming across the profile at all.
Rise Above the Troll
The worst thing to do is respond in kind when a troll makes a hurtful comment. That is exactly what they want to see happen so that the interaction can continue. Instead, answer back with either kindness or humor. Being kind will confuse the troll and make them unlikely to continue commenting. Another method is using humor to rebuke the troll and stop them in their tracks subtly. Anyone else who is browsing the comment section will see the interaction and be impressed that the troll was stopped so effectively.
Don’t Let the Comments Stick
An important thing to remember is that the troll’s nasty comments should not be listened to. They are not telling the truth, and they are only planting seeds of the doubt wherever they can. It can be challenging to read something so hurtful and then let it roll off, but this is what must be done. Otherwise, the nasty interaction will take root in your mind, which may cause lasting damage in the years to come.
Online bullying is a real and terrifying experience. Internet trolls are taking advantage of people online and spreading their discouraging slander. Keep an eye out and report or delete any comments that seem to have been left by a troll. Build a strong following of supporters who will help get rid of pesky internet trolls. By everyone working together, little by little, the internet can eventually become a safer place again.
About the Author:
Megan Green has an interesting experience: she has been the editor of a fashion magazine, an educator, mom, and even a baker. Now, Megan shares her unique view on usual things through delivering top-notch content on HowSociable.
Not only is she outgoing and optimistic, but Megan is also keen on working with brands and lifestyle products.