The internet is a place for people to look up information, connect with others, and express their opinions. Internet forums, messaging boards, social networks, and other online communities are the most common places people talk about their opinions, likes, dislikes, and interests. However, some internet users inappropriately use these platforms just to post stupid, irrelevant, and controversial information that attempt to aggravate readers and prompt reaction. These users are known as internet trolls.
What Is An Internet Troll?
The act of trolling online involves a person posting content with the intent of provoking emotional responses in others. They post this content in order to upset people and illicit a response in retaliation. This often leads to a “Flame War”, which occurs when lengthy and aggressive messages are exchanged between users online. This typically takes place in an online chat room or a social media post comment section.
How To Spot An Online Troll
Post Off Topic Content
Trolls are known to post off-topic messages or content that will get a rise out of people. They don’t care if the site, post, or discussion is about another topic, they post the content they like where they believe it will get the most reaction and exposure.
All internet trolls are concerned about is posting they’re content, not about checking their grammar. Content posted by them often includes grammatical errors, swear words, words in full caps, and many punctuations.
Won’t Let The Conversation Drop
A troll’s worst nightmare is their conversation thread coming to an end. They will post and say what they can to get a response from other users to keep it going even if it’s stupid or irrelevant.
Don’t Share Anything of Value
The internet is all about providing information that is useful to others. However, trolls don’t care about this fact and share information that is of no value to anyone. They just want to feel the satisfaction of people paying attention to them and their content.
They Use Generic or Anonymous Names
To hide their true identity, trolls often use anonymous or generic handles/names on the websites they use. This is one of the key ways to identify a user is a troll and not an actual contributor.
How To Deal With An Internet Troll
The more you interact with trolls, the more likely they are to continue the conversation. They want to get the most exposure possible and lure other users into the conversation as well. Don’t feed into their tactics and stop posting.
Provide Facts & Evidence That Proves Them Wrong
On the opposite end of the spectrum, responding to trolls can stop them. If they are taking a specific side of an argument and are clearly wrong, reply back with fact-based evidence that proves they are incorrect.
Contact The Site Owners or Moderators
If the trolling is getting out of hand, contact the site owners or moderators regarding the situation. As administrators, they have the ability to delete the trolls comments, content, and even delete their account. However, it is still possible for them to create another account using a new email address and name.
Talk To Someone
If the trolling is targeting you to the point that it’s abuse or you are fearful, talk to a friend or family member. Tell and show them what has been happening, and listen to their opinion on the situation. Sometimes, an outsider’s opinion can help you make a logical decision.
Don’t let trolls ruin your online experience. Nip them in the bud by dealing with them properly and identifying them right away.
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