General Question

gambitking's avatar

How do you deal with the trolls of the world, namely online?

Asked by gambitking (4151 points ) March 19th, 2013

It’s a fact that there is an uncanny abundance of jerks out there who are habitually rude, insulting, condescending and obnoxious. I’m not talking about bullies, but rather ‘trolls’ as we know them on the internet. Sure they appear in real life too, but they thrive in our forums and digital communities.

So how do you deal with these people?

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33 Answers

ucme's avatar

Point & laugh, works wonderfully.

keobooks's avatar

I dealt with a troll very well on a different forum. I used the forum’s built in killfile and put them in it. The killfile would basically cause my browser to automatically keep all her posts hidden unless I clicked on it to see it. Ignoring a troll is the best defense. They usually crave attention.

I needed to edit because I see you have a slightly different definition of troll than I do. To me a troll is someone who tries to lure people into a fight by placing “bait” out and waiting. It’s like trolling for fish—they post something they know is going to get people mad and then they just get the popcorn or fan the flames.

janbb's avatar

I try to unfriend them before they unfriend me but I don’t always get there fast enough.

glacial's avatar

There’s only one thing to do: stop feeding them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Ignoring them is the best way to deal with them.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I ignore them and avoid sites where they thrive because I find what they do and why they do it a waste time. But I don’t make the distinction between trolls and bullies as you do. They are all trolls and bullies are just the worst and most disturbing of the ilk. I believe their proliferation on the net is reflective of their presence in IRL, and that to me is depressing. Life is way too short to spend any time at all with cowards online or IRL.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Honestly, sometimes I encourage them and irritate them on purpose. It’s fun to mess with them between times spent ignoring them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL That explains a bit. I wondered why you kept it going at times with a troll.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe LOL, trolls are fun.

submariner's avatar

Do not feed them.

SamandMax's avatar

I tended to just ignore whatever they put and carry on regardless, but now…I just ignore whatever they put and carry on regardless. It’s easy enough to focus on far more important things….like getting my degree. I don’t have time to waste on people who are just going to be idiotic, obnoxious morons through and through.

zenvelo's avatar

I skip them too. But once in a while they get my goat enough that I respond (as @KNOWITALL does) with something to push their buttons, like “I ask you to learn how Jesus would respond.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@zenvelo That’s what I like about you, I can spot another smart-aleck across the globe…lol

SamandMax's avatar

Hmm…my question here is, if you’re trolling the troll, who is worse? The troll, or the troll, trolling the troll?

trolololol

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SamandMax It has to be the troll, because I’m perfectly content to ignore unless they’re super flame bait, then I’m really just giving them what they want. It usually gets them to move on, so really I’m doing a public service. Where’s my award?!

SamandMax's avatar

@KNOWITALL I don’t know, maybe they’re trying to weigh up whether you are doing a public service or not to warrant giving you an award. Although obviously that was rhetorical

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yeah, I’m just playin’ wich ya.

augustlan's avatar

Here, we end up banning them. Elsewhere, ignore.

Rarebear's avatar

I feed them until @augustlan bans them. :-)

Blondesjon's avatar

I just tell ‘em, “No way Jose” and go back to my lolcats.

snapdragon24's avatar

Sometimes I find them on Fluther…which is why sometimes I think twice before submitting a question.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I just ignore them. A response is just “taking the bait” and will only inspire them to do more trolling. They get very bored and frustrated, however, if nobody pays any attention.

AshlynM's avatar

I ignore them. As a couple of others have mentioned, once in a while, I like to have fun with them and egg them on just to see what they say but for the most part, at least I have satisfaction in knowing they’re only making themselves look stupid.

bookish1's avatar

You’re not supposed to feed ‘em, but sometimes I give in. Depends how close to home the topic is, maybe.
Reminds me, my first encounter with a troll was when I was very new to the Internet and had never heard of such a thing. I responded to him in righteous indignation because I didn’t realize that he was just there to bait people. Strangely enough, we ended up becoming friends for quite a while afterwards.

woodcutter's avatar

try to find out where they live

NostalgicChills's avatar

Mostly I just ignore them. Why give trolls the attention they seek? You’re only making problems worse and at the same time, giving them what they want. Once in a while though, if someone says something stupid enough and I feel that I can successfully retaliate in a way that they look even more unintelligent, then I’ll go for it.

Response moderated (Spam)
luvlucy's avatar

Their accounts should be withdrawn – If someone commits an offence there are penalties to pay. ASBO – Ignoring these people is giving in. Naughty children need reprimanding and toys taken away.

keobooks's avatar

I just saw a troll the other day who got swallowed up before they could really get going. They only had time to bump up another troll’s post to show the new icon the old troll had.

Odd because the old troll only asked one question….

But I think both users were the same person. I would have let the troll float around a bit so we could see all their personae. I bet if they had time, they would have bumped all their old threads up.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

It’s difficult to stay silent about hateful posts; any sense of conscience or righteousness tugs at the reader to fight back. But, a troll feeds on all the outrage that follows his/her flaming post. The person sits back, delighted about having caused an uproar, and laughs. It’s all for self-entertainment. The only thing to do is ignore and keep mute; the troll will move elsewhere.

keobooks's avatar

Not all trolls are hateful. The troll I was talking about seemed to have some sort of kinky fetish and pretended to be someone who matched his desires and posted—- most likely to get people talking about his fetish so he could fantasize about it.

Trolling is just being outrageous to get a response—it’s not always hateful. Sometimes it’s just over the top.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@keobooks Maybe “inflammatory” is a broader, and more useful, word than “hateful.” A troll is someone who tosses fire into a gas tank and waits for the explosion. Often, the posted words are, indeed, filled with contrived hate; what better way to get immediate attention? But, you’re right; sometimes the posts are just done to poke at peoples’ sensibilities.

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