If you are on the Internet, you have probably dealt with trolls during your experience. Blogging is no exception to attracting trolls sometimes. In my experience, most commenters are lovely and there’s a pretty low percentage of trolls on WordPress in general. Sometimes people have a different thought process or a different value system from you and that doesn’t make them a troll. While not every disagreement or weird comment is necessarily troll-ish, there are comments that serve no purpose other than to sow discord or make the original poster feel strange or downright confused. Please note that this post is for entertainment purposes – if you’re a regular commenter here, this post is 100% not about you. I’ll also post some helpful tips on how to deal with trolls if they pop up in your comments section since we can all get them from time to time.
If you don’t want to look like a troll, here’s what not to do:
#1 Nitpicking On Individual Sentences Rather Than Focusing On The Overall Point
Trolls by definition love to sow discord. They use straw man arguments and nit pick certain sentences to try and make it sound like you’re saying something you’re not. This could also be a sign that they’re just skimming through the article rather than reading the whole thing through, but comments that don’t address the actual topic of the blog post are annoying. They’re taking a “gotcha!” stance, as though they were searching just to find an error or a point to pick apart. They are probably debaters in real life as well. It’s funny because I recently wrote a post about big picture thinking and I got a few comments from people who were referring to artwork – they didn’t, er, seem to get the big picture of what I was writing about. Whatever the motive might be, this type of comment makes the commenter look like a troll.
#2 Not Empathizing With The Authenticity/Vulnerability Of The Poster
I’ve noticed the few times I’ve been more vulnerable on the Internet, this is when the judgements and unsolicited advice stormed in. When someone posts about their personal journey or about something they’ve overcome, they deserve empathy and understanding. If someone doesn’t like those types of posts, they shouldn’t read them.
All in all, a good blogger can take different opinions and suggestions as long as they are done so without facetiousness. Understanding and appreciating someone’s vulnerability will stop you from looking like a troll.
#3 Personal Attacks
I have to say that WordPress is so awesome, I’ve only had one person actually attack me personally. Basically, she started off saying that my blog posts don’t seem like me. I told her that was a strange thing to say since she doesn’t know me, but thanks for her comment. She said she definitely wouldn’t be back and I said that’s okay I won’t miss her with the types of comments she’s been making. She went to calling me an idiot and other quite nasty things – which startled me as they seemed to come out of nowhere. Maybe it was a spam bot? I blocked her and reported her, because name calling and hateful remarks are not tolerated on this blog – toward me or other commenters. If anyone ever attacks you in my comments section, I’ve got your back no matter who they are. They’ll be reported and blocked pronto. Case in point: If you really dislike someone’s blog that much, be a decent human and leave them alone. Don’t harass them and call them names. Don’t create a bad situation where there doesn’t need to be one.
#4 Acting Like A Know-It All
My blog is generally meant to be about fun, learning, and books. I try not to make anything too serious here, but if I do post something educational, I make sure it’s rooted in evidence-based research. If someone wants to challenge something that has been heavily researched and proven, they had better be able to back their claim up with reputable research as well. If someone is posting about something personal or subjective, it makes no sense for someone to try and debate that with “logic”. It’s okay to disagree with someone’s stance on life; you don’t need to try and use logic or some other tactic to scold someone for having a different opinion from you. In certain contexts, such as science or technology blogs, it makes sense to suggest other alternatives to the point using backed up evidence. However, when someone has a personal blog, it’s not a good use of one’s time to suggest better life choices.
How To Handle Trolls
I have a rule with troll-ish comments. One weird comment means it could be a mistake or they had a bad day. I usually let it slide if it’s an isolated occurrence. Twice means they probably aren’t connecting well with my blog or they are naturally a disruptive person. Three times is a pattern and I have to cut it off. Block and move on. You only have so much time and energy in the day. If someone clearly isn’t enjoying your blog’s content, you might as well do you both a favour and block them so a) they can make better use of their time and b) you don’t need to keep seeing their argumentative or disruptive comments. If you think some of those comments could be spam, make sure your spam filters are enabled.
Try to look at the situation as light-heartedly as possible. I picture these types of people to have really goofy smiles and throwing a tantrum on the floor. They’re literally just there to create unneeded conflict.
If you are constantly being stalked and monitored by a specific person online, you can report them on all the mediums they’re harassing you on. If it doesn’t stop, you can get the law involved. Harassment and bullying are not okay even if it’s online.
Thank you so much for reading today! I hope you enjoyed my post.