During the month of April, Bulldog Solution is launching our Community Outreach Initiative to help bring our online and local community resources, strategies, and tools to reduce conflict, bullying, and violence. Usually, I talk about how to protect your children and teens from bullying and keeping your home safe. This time, I want to talk about adults in social media and online “trolling”.
As someone who has an active presence online, I have faced my good share of conflict and misunderstandings. It is so difficult to get an idea out in 150 characters and short bursts of words. Things get miscommunicated, tone is difficult to read, and feelings get hurt. We get into these wars of quick exchanges of words with someone we might have never met. It can be time consuming and emotionally draining. There are also those people that enjoy “trolling” others online. They are purposefully attacking bloggers with the intent to aggravate and get some drama going. Below are some ideas from bloggers and online research to help you overcome trolling drama.
- Be proactive with facts and use twitter and social media sites as a posting tool to overcome false information and rumors.
- Be kind with the anonymous blogger attacking you. Here is a tip Patrick O'Hara uses: "Killing them with kindness and sarcasm."
- Use humor when responding to his/her attacks. Step back and plan: come up with something clever that might add humor or diffuse the situation.
- Don't feed the troll... According to Tim Falleti: " Whenever someone trolls me, I know it's because they read my post and are knee-jerking reacting to it. It's best not to feed into right away. So when someone calls me a name or insults me, I just try to play it cool and not respond right away and if I do, I will gently reply back." The troll is looking for a response so it is best to ignore it, delete it, and forget about it!
- Have a policy on your blog or website. For example: If you write mean or inappropriate comments on my blog, I will have to call the troll police and report you. Your comments will be deleted and I will band you from my site. I don't want to do this but according to the trolling law, I have to do it to keep the peace. If you have constructive or positive feedback, I welcome the response.
- Respond appropriately. When people write mean comments I reply, " I seem to have upset you and I don't want to add to the drama. I teach people about bullying and I don't think this is a good platform for you to share stuff like that."
- Don't waste your time. Use the anger or the rise you got from the troll and write your heart out for your next post.
- Look up your troll if you have their info. You can do some investigation or look up the person. See what is going on and if they react to other bloggers similarly. That is a strategy Jenna Karvunidis often uses. Find out about your trolls to see what you are facing.
- Use products or services such as http://regainyourname.com that can assist in clearing up your name in popular search engines. If there is a troll stalking you online and posting inappropriate comments about you, these tools can change the order of what others see first when they look you up online or they can ask the sites to remove the postings.
Managing conflict and your reputation online can be challenging. By stepping back and taking in the perspective of the situation, we can take a huge step in dealing with the issue effectively. Be sure to think about these tips the next time you get into an online confrontation.
Until Next Time...
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