Internet Etiquette: Dealing with Trolls

It’s easy: Don’t reply. I get that a lot of people, particularly youthful in experience, have impulse-control problems. Yet in my experience, there are only two directions a troll will take a thread on a forum:

  1. Community-induced Streisand Effect *]Nowhere, because no one gives a crap

From my observations, the trolls in recent months have been particularly happy with the attention they get because the same subset of CDenizens keep replying with accusatory “proof”. This effectively validates the existence of the troll. These are (typically, in my experience) the same users who are most likely to de-rail a thread which has tangible information of interest to those of us who actually value our time in the summer.

Thus, the best way to deal with a troll is to let the troll beat its own drum on deaf ears. If we don’t pay it any mind, like the tantrum of a toddler, its own irrelevancy will be its undoing. Acknowledgement and attention gives confidence to the troll (or toddler, if you’ve got one…).

If you’d like to point out that someone is giving a genuine reply to what you believe is a trolling thread, it’s probably best to do so through PM’s.

Happy Posting!

In all honesty, the advice given above is sound. Growing thicker skin and ignoring nay-sayers is part of interacting with others on the Internet.

I’ve always noticed that no matter how many ways a poster’s comment can be taken, it is always taken in the most insulting way possible, even if it was sarcastic or meant as a joke.

The ability to accurately communicate emotion and body language in a written medium is tough.

No one can see me smile as I craft a particularly witty response to a post… and then it usually goes bad from there.