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.
I had a lot of troll comments when I had my Youtube channel. Well-said.
Yikes! I’m sorry to hear that. Did you discontinue the channel? It’s nice that most people on WordPress are nice and supportive, but every so often you’ll get a series of weird comments. I think sometimes it could be a bot.
I closed my channel because I was tired of it and I became bored. I have gotten some weird comments here before I changed my WordPress name.
I’m glad you are getting less now with the name change!
Glad I’ve not came across this personally. But I see so much of it on YouTube and tiktok.
Yikes you’re right. Youtube and tik tok can be crazy sometimes!
I’m glad you don’t see much of it here. 🙂
Lots of words of wisdom. I haven’t come across trolls on wordpress yet but I’ve come across plenty of them on Facebook. For a while I tried to argue with the troll as politely as I could, but I eventually realized that people who start out with nasty comments or who do not argue in good faith typically won’t listen to reason and will not change their tune and become polite just because you are. Furthermore, you will learn nothing useful from trolls and many of them are just Russian fake profiles or bots. So now a day I am using the Facebook block feature a lot. When a troll comments I block them. No need to engage. I don’t have time for it.
That’s a good point that some of those really argumentative trolls could be a bot or something who’s really bored with their day. I’m glad you haven’t experienced many trolls on WordPress. Thankfully most people are so cool – and if someone does start to get mean, at least there’s the block button.
Best just to block as you say!
I used to have a commenter who mostly nitpicked at my blog posts. It was her who cut me off and deleted all of my comments off my blog after she decided that she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore. She called me all kinds of nasty things in a rude email. I never did delete her comments off my blog because I don’t see the point of deleting all 70 of her comments.
Some people may even appear to be super kind and sweet but underneath the surface, they can be quite mean and nasty. I try to be respectful when I leave comments and if I do have an unpopular opinion or something to add/suggest, I try to do it respectfully.
Deleted all of my comments from her blog*
Yes that’s the best way to be! That’s definitely understandable you didn’t delete all her comments – it was her choice to make them anyway. I’m sorry that happened – it can be jarring when someone suddenly turns like that.
I left her comments on my blog b/c I thought it would teach her a lesson that she can’t just “erase” people, comments, etc. when things dont go her way. She erased every trace of any comment I ever left on her blog and this was after she sent me that nasty email.
When she told me we weren’t friends anymore in that email, she had already blocked me on every social media platform she knew I was on including WhatsApp and Telegram. I thought it was strange behavior. Deleting her comments from my blog would mean she got her way.
It kinda leaves you feeling defenseless and unarmed when someone pulls such a knee-jerk reaction like that. I didn’t reply to that email because she probably blocked my email too.
That is very strange and extreme. :S And good point, she likely blocked your email too after blocking you.
Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. Nothing surprises me anymore lol
At least she won’t bother you anymore. Hopefully nothing like that will happen again.
I’m still waiting for an apology from her which I know I’ll never get. You are totally right – she won’t bother me anymore.
It’s hard when someone won’t apologize that’s for sure. I wish everyone would at least apologize, but the main thing is you did nothing wrong. ❤
Thank you for your kind words. It’s very comforting. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to talk to me. I hope you have an a amazing day, Sara! 😊💕
Aw I hope it helped you feel better. 🥺 I’m definitely happy to chat with you here! 😊
I’m learning how to put boundaries around trolls. Some I’ve dealt with for years which makes it more difficult to let go, yet I know it’s necessary for my mental health. Great post, Sara!
Yeah it’s harder to let go if you knew them from before then they suddenly turned – in some cases you can even feel a connection with them. As weird as it sounds, in the past I used to feel a small comfort knowing the same person was keeping track of me until I realized how messed up that is. Their intentions toward you are selfish and not healthy – at best.
Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it. ❤
You’re so welcomed! I will only go to you for advice from now on 🙂
Oh my well I’ll do my best to write well-researched posts. I appreciate you reading me! 🙂
For me block is the solution in some cases.
❤ That's awesome!
KSGSJSHHD OH MY GOSH THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN TO READ?? IM IN LOVE WITH YOUR WRITING STYLE 😭❤️
I’ve personally never had to deal with personal attacks although the troll comments sound familiar?? I kind of have the “manually approve comments for first time readers” option enabled so I mostly just send all the unrelated-to-the-post/off topic right into spam.
I LOVE your discussion and cannot wait to read the rest of your posts!!!!!
Hey, that’s a great idea! It cuts down on all the unrelated replies. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by today.
Insightful post Sara. Not something I’ve had much experience of yet, but its good to know what to look out for and how to handle it.
I agree that bullying and harassment need to be dealt with firmly.
Thanks so much for reading! I appreciate it.
Wonderful blog Sara. Trolls are like the adversity and the enemy ready to attack your well written blog and in my experience since I began blogging 3 years ago is that they are usually jealous and they aim to attack your personality as you mentioned “Personal Attacks” and that is the major reason why there are trolls on the internet. In my view, just ignore them and don’t let them snaffle or steal your thunder.
Have a great weekend Sara✔
So true. That’s wonderful advice. 🤩
And have a nice weekend too!
Thank you my friend😊👏
The three main types of trolls are personal attacks, acting like a know-it-all, and trolling the blog author. 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.
Let me know if I missed the take aways please.
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