Have you ever had to deal with Trolls? Formally known as Flamers?
This is my story about becoming the victim of trolls, however, the solution is posted at the end.
Trolls or Flamers defined by Wikipedia: In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.
It was a tough decision whether to write this article. I don’t like to perpetuate negativity. When I shared my experience of being bullied on a Social Media Platform yesterday with a friend, she said I should write this and it needs to be shared. I then figured I must not be alone and the thought of helping someone far outweighed the feeling that I was complaining.
So there I was, minding my own business and posting my usual posts when all of a sudden, a comment came in that tugged at my strings as being unpleasant but tolerable. I thought I would respond with something light and even with a little pun. This comment triggered yet another comment from another person and the feeding frenzy began.
I must have responded a handful of times. I did not defend my product (I am purposely keeping the Social Platform and content of the post anonymous to avoid negative comments on each – because NOW I’m sensitive and perhaps a bit delicate)
After a few rounds of trying to lighten things up and then explaining why I do what I do, I could see I was only adding fuel to the fire.
You must know, I am in no way a fighter. I avoid sharing any feelings on my own platforms that could be misconstrued as controversial. And I certainly wouldn’t think of invading someone else’s post to opinionate all over them.
But, apparently, I drew attention as the meek and mild type and they chose to capitalize on that. If I were more aggressive would it have amplified faster? I think so.
After about a half hour of feeling like I had just been torn to shreds in spite of my trying to be sympathetic to others’ feelings and ‘wisdom’. I decided to step back. I even posted that I was stepping back. But no one seemed to care.
I proceeded to become the observer and witness a virus in the making. I watched as people shared each other’s posts and new people jumped on who had so much to say. It got meaner and nastier as time went on. This was my very first time experiencing such a thing. Have you ever had this happen?
I considered this an experiment in human behavior. Here, I was, completely removed as the ‘problem’ but the venom kept on poisoning more and more people. They loved the opportunity to trash, bash and become the expert on the topic at hand. I was completely dumbfounded by the level of toxicity being thrown out for all the reap.
After a few hours of checking back periodically to read the new bashes and bullying, I decided to pull the plug. I wasn’t present for the moment by moment blurbs, yet my day was so affected by it. My work suffered. My peace of mind suffered. I thought to myself, ‘why do I feel so badly? I know better. I know this happens.’ But when it’s your time, and you’re taken by surprise, I would think shock and the feeling of surrealism may be your first reactions as well.
I deleted the post. I blocked everyone involved – there were many. I haven’t heard a thing since. Yet, a day later, I still feel violated, in a way that has me checking for ‘meanies’ throughout my day. I know it will pass. I find that the negativity in this world is something I will have to learn to let roll off my back or it will own me. However, I keep thinking why? Why do people find pleasure in ganging up on people they’ve never met, just to stir the pot of anger and hatred? Please don’t answer that. I don’t want to create a hateful feed about hateful people.
The reason I shared all this is for cathartic reasons, and to help others who may need support. I found this article written about a former hater who provides ways to deal with Trolls. I thought it would help. That’s what I would want to hear about. Which of you have been helped or were able to turn this around because of this article or something similar. I also found an article about treating Trolls with their own tactics. I am not supporting that. I support cessation, not perpetuation.
I hope you never need this, but here is the article.
This Brilliant Confession by a Former Troll is a Perfect Outline for How to Deal With Online Haters
In his words: ‘To defeat the troll we must understand the troll.’ Read article here