Friday, December 8, 2017

What Exactly is a Troll?

Many people have a very mistaken idea about what an internet troll is. Often they call anybody who posts a contrary or opposing view a "troll."


Trolls post inflammatory remarks with the sole purpose of angering people and disrupting a conversation. They tend to hammer their opinion relentlessly.

Often, their first comment will seem civil, and just mildly know-it-all. But when you express yourself and say something the troll disagrees with, all hell suddenly breaks loose.

Anyone who tries to correct a troll,or share an idea that contradicts what the troll said, will get F bombs and words like "idiot", and filthy language insults. Personal attacks prove without a doubt that a troll is present.

Nobody "wins" a discussion that is attempting to clarify or discover truth. Each side learns a little, even if their opinion doesn't change. It's good to listen to opposition.

If nothing else is gained, you at least get better at understanding a different point of view and at advancing your own perspective. If all you do is hang around with those who always agree with you, you're going to be dumbed down and unfit to debate an opponent -- and not even realize what is happening to you.

Sometimes you may read a post and feel the viewpoint is missing a vital angle or some pertinent information. So you post a comment, politely and non-combatively, that conveys your understanding of an issue.

If some thin-skinned, intolerant, arrogant person then jumps in and accuses you of "trolling", just post a link to an article that documents and verifies your remark. Be nice, intelligent, and calm about it.

Often however, this won't solve much, because people don't like to appear wrong or misinformed. Few individuals are really open minded and fair about issues that are close to their heart.

But lurkers who stay out of the argument may appreciate your link and may learn something, even if they don't click Like on your comment.

Remember, trolls are defined by their attitude. Simply posting a contrary view is not trolling. Trolls are hateful troublemakers who enjoy stirring up hurt feelings and confusion.

I train CEOs and business managers in how to deal with negative comments and trolls. I've developed tactics and strategies that have proven to be very effective.

Need help with online reputation management or trolls? Contact me.

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