Do not feed the trolls.
It’s rule No. 1 of any Internet forum or comment thread, and yet Internet trolls still live and breathe. I have a checklist I follow to make sure I do my part in starving those pesky trolls dwelling under the bridge of the Internet.
According to the Urban Dictionary, the definition of trolling is “trying to get a rise out of someone. Forcing them to respond to you either through wise-crackery, posting incorrect information, asking blatantly stupid questions or other foolishness.”
The first thing I always check is originality. It may take a few minutes of comment reading, but if it’s been said before, it probably doesn’t need to be said again. Repeating comments not only makes you sound like the troll, but it also opens you up to a whole new level of trolls.
It’s like you are challenging others to a duel. Only they are bringing guns to your knife fight.
Second on my checklist is a simple question: Is it grammatically sound? You are asking to be trolled on if you just post without proofreading. It’s like talking without thinking about what you say first. People are going to give you crap. If you don’t know then from than, since from cents and, of course, your from you’re, you’re a prime candidate for the firestorm.
If you happen to get caught by the trolls, there are ways to cut their fun short.
Sometimes you’ll get people who disagree with you for the sake of disagreeing. They’ll try to sway people with statistics or figures to gather a following against you. The easiest thing to do with this type of troll is ask where he or she got his or her information. One does not usually have accurate statistics for every subject in mind. Because of that fact, it’s easy to take the wind right out of your troll’s sails.
The absolute best way you can kill trolls on your posts is just to ignore them. Don’t delete their posts or tell them to stop posting. It’s best to just ignore them. This does take some correlation with the other posters to make sure they ignore the troll as well. Sooner or later the trolls on the post will die of starvation and move on to the next victim.
It’s important, no matter what approach you take, to stay calm. The more frustrated you get, the less likely you are to pay attention to what you are saying. That takes us right back to my checklist. Your anger is fuel on their fire, and if you don’t check yourself, they will burn down your whole village and the one next to it.