The internet is a great opportunity for people to interact and share their thoughts. However, it is not always fun and games. You or your brand may become a target for online trolls and bullies who wish to inflict pain, ridicule, and humiliate you.
Whether you are a creator, influencer, or anyone who actively uses social media platforms, you could become a victim of trolling. Such social media trolls wreak havoc and aim to tarnish your reputation or brand.
Thus, if you wish to keep your online reputation or brand’s image intact and have a thriving online community that isn’t just friendly but engaging, you will have to learn to handle trolls effectively. Among several methods, content moderation is an effective way of dealing with trolls and bullies. Learn more about content moderation now.
Read on the effective ways to keep trolls out of your comments section.
What Are Social Media Trolls?
Social media trolls are people who inflict deliberate inflammatory speech or offensive words intended to provoke a targeted user. They post death threats, spew hate speech, and rant. They focus on things to aggravate the user’s feelings rather than intellect, thus, attacking your character.
It means they are foes and not friends of your business. So, never confuse social media trolls with angry customers. While the angry customers state their opinions and share their negative feedback, it isn’t the case with digital devils.
Social media trolls, when simply put, are online bullies who don’t believe anything they comment on your post but still write to tarnish your image. These online bullies lurk almost everywhere on online platforms where users post, share or comment with others. These spaces include:
- Social media
- Internet chat room
- Email group
- Discussion forum
Online bullies are nasty. They won’t stop until either they get bored or are forced out. They simply intend to cause sleepless nights for you. They are not looking out for resolutions. They just wish to engage in a battle that nobody can win.
How To Reduce Trolling On Your Online Space?
Honestly, there isn’t much to do to have a completely troll-free online space. Of course, you can completely turn off the comment section, but as a blogger, influencer, or content creator, turning off a way for your followers to engage and interact with you and each other is probably the last thing you would want to do.
Instead, it would be best to focus on fostering engagement and community building rather than shutting it out. So, while it is nearly impossible to keep all trolls away, you can definitely mitigate them to minimize the damage.
Establish A Commenting And Community Policy
The foremost step is to develop community guidelines and then share them with your online community. These community guidelines should outline the comment types that aren’t allowed and the outcomes when someone posts negative or uncivil comments.
A solid policy does not completely deter trolling. But, it intends to set up the tone for engagement in your online community. Lastly, you need to abide by this policy as outlined when responding to trolls.
Don’t allow disrespectful and attacking comments in the first place. Thus, when you moderate comments before posting, it is enough to take the wind of a bully’s sail; why comment on something that won’t even be seen? Of course, you will still come across negative comments, but the comment moderation tools can slow down a troll train significantly.
Take this route only when you face a serious infestation. Otherwise, it does more harm than good discouraging your online community to comment; when they can’t add their voice instantly to the conversation.
The appropriate approach is to hire a comment moderator for your social accounts. That way, your users will post legit comments more frequently than not. Ensure that the moderators stick to community guidelines and that the comment moderation policy is clearly stated.
Consider letting the offensive posters know that their comments haven’t been approved. You may send them an invite to resubmit a more civil comment for consideration.
Delete, Block, Or Report Trolls
Social media users need to beware. Trolls, more sinister than ghosts, are haunting the web. Sooner or later, they will come prowling after your social accounts. So, it is best to immediately delete negative comments, block haters, or report them.
In persuasion, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and different other social media platforms have come up with an option to report for abusive posts, similar to unfollowing the user who posted it in the first place.
Dealing with trolls is quite tricky. All the emotional toll of low-hitting criticism could potentially wear a person down. But, this shouldn’t have to be the case. You could significantly minimize the damage when you troll-proof your social media platforms in the right way.
How To Respond To Trolling Comments?
Keep in mind these strategies to create replies to trolls.
Ignore The Troll
An old adage says, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Trolls feed on your attention. They want to see people respond angrily to their comments. Contrarily, when you decide to ignore or move forward with your day, you might discourage them.
Let The Community Take Care Of It
When you have a big audience that attracts trolls, you certainly have a loyal fan following that outnumbers those haters. So, when your online haters come lumbering, you can rely on your community to outline negativity and report troll behaviour so your moderators can quickly respond.
Stick To Facts And Ensure To Make Corrections
When comments are based on faulty facts concerning your brand, personal, and professional image, correct the records straight. Always use facts to avoid confusion and not emotions. However, avoid any sort of argument or engagement with the trolls.
Trolls are no doubt the worst part of the internet. But don’t let them ruin your day or silence your voice. They are only as big as we unintentionally make them. To put it simply, trolls thrive on drama. The more you respond angrily, passionately, and stoop to their levels, the more are the chances of them winning.
You need to keep in mind it’s not about who is right or wrong. The moment you stop engagements of all sorts, you take away oxygen from their fire. Follow the above-mentioned effective tips to mitigate troll attacks. Take the high road to leave the nasty trolls far below.