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Be Ready to Deal with Online Trolling

Hater cartoon character writing bad comments on social media. Cyberbullying, cyberhate, cyberharrasment. Internet trolling, hate speech. Vector isolated concept metaphor illustration

Be Ready to Deal with Online Trolling :

  • Social media and online engagement have become critical success factors for all of us Online. Online trolling (abuse) has both short and long-term effects on freedom of expression. Online abuse may result in emotional and physical stress, erosion of individual and brand identity, credibility, financial and other repercussions. In the recent past, technological abuse (satirical) by bots is happening through replies and comments.
  • A troll is usually done by an individual with the intention to create conflicts and controversies to Generate Provocative Debates, Use Insults, Send Offensive Messages and do Character Assassination.
  • They abuse on blogging sites, social media platforms, or on any other online format. Trolls adopt fake identities that make them feel at ease on social platforms. They know or even might not know their victims directly, like in cyberbullying, and they can act at any moment and Trolling happens on Social Media Platforms, Internet Chat Rooms, WhatsApp Groups, Discussion Forums and Blogs.

How to Identify a Troller :

  • They have an ambiguous bio, name, and picture and it is unclear, who trolled, where they are from, and what they do. It’s also observed that the majority of the cases have fewer followers. Most of their posts doesn’t seem to engage in a conversation and dialogue and you will also notice very few people tweet at them.
  • They post angry or provocative comments, tagging in many organisations or people who are not at all connected to the current issue and they use offensive and abusive language. They often post floods of comments and then switch topic, tack or focus. They rarely post on issues related to your work, but they take a strong opinion on the topic that you have posted.

Pest Control for Trolling :

  • Always remember if you’re going to be on social, you need to be social, which means you’re going to need to interact with all your audiences. However, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Avoiding social media does not mean you avoid negative comments and ignoring negative comments can have a negative business / personal impact. But careful management of negative comments can actually add value. Failing to prepare is preparing to #fail and therefore Plan ahead don’t wait until something goes wrong.

From an Organisational Perspective :

  • Define your community ‘house rules’ first
  • Select the right listening tools
  • Identify the people responsible for monitoring
  • Identify and engage your emergency contacts
  • Agree what to monitor for and which channels to monitor
  • Understand legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements
  • Create your severity framework and its classification
  • Define your incident logging process and protocols
  • Define best practices based on past experiences

From an Individual Perspective :

  • Establish a Policy of what kind of comments are allowed and not allowed.
  • Ignoring a troll could be a good tactic because when they don’t get a response, they’ll most likely stay silent.
  • Engage in a light-hearted manner, especially when you are on the wrong side.
  • Get the Identity of the troller by doing a basic social profile check and decide how to progress further.
  • If it’s your platform (Website / social media) You can also delete those comments or ban members.
  • Use a moderator or buy a simple online tool to monitor activity on your sites, just in case you have a huge follower list.
  • Create a like-minded follower community around you and ensure key followers are well trained in managing the trolls.
  • Sometimes people just want to be heard, Hear them and they’ll instantly thank you.
  • Reply back with factual data, so that you are able to stop any further controversy.
  • Say Sorry if there was a mistake, Most times you’ll be appreciated and the troll ends.