We’ve all seen their comments, on our social media posts, customer reviews, or following an on-line news story. I’m talking about the people who leave comments that either demean, insult, or attack people for their political views, sexual orientation, race and religious views. It appears as if many may do it simply for the shock value. Some may have extremist views, and the intent of many others will always be a mystery.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an internet troll is defined as “to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content”.
So, what is the best way to respond to a troll’s comment on our social media posts? And, can anything positive come out of it? I believe this decision can make or break the mission of your social media site because a response is a reflection of the social brand. Here are a few of my suggestions:
Sometimes the best action is no action at all, since it may make the situation worst. However, if this is done too often, the posts will come across as not being personal and real enough.
Consider Thanking Them
No matter how bad the comment, thank them for visiting your site…. However, some situations may require a tad more finesse.
Just the Facts
If available and necessary, just give them information that is factual, so they’ll have nothing to argue back.
Find Common Ground
If there if something you agree on, point it out and maybe this will allow you to divert the real issue that was addressed.
Laugh It Out
If appropriate, jokingly admit that he is right.
If All Else Fails
If the comments seem too severe and the troll truly scares you, don’t take chances and block the troll from your site. Many platforms provide easy to use instructions on how to do this. you are using.
By not shying away and responding to the troll in a non-condescending manner, something good may happen. We have to remember that there is a real person typing the comments. Just as we can’t tell what is in the mind of people we see in person, we can much less on the internet. It is possible that they may have been triggered by a word on a post which led to them ranting. Or, maybe it’s a child, or someone with mental health issues.
By using whatever strategy works for you, if you end the rant, receive a respectful comment at the end, or simply receive a like from the troll, this is a major win for you. Not only will you earn the respect of others who have seen the comments and your response, but you will feel awesome.
Do you agree? Have you ever had to deal with a troll on one of your social media sites? If so, how did that end?
Image retrieved from http://bit.ly/32hPlXr
Read how this guy deals with trolls and actually has fun with it.
Image retrieved from http://bit.ly/2T0AqMK
The Twitter hashtag #trolls provides several troll stories. Maybe we can learn a few tricks by seeing how other people deal with trolls.