What is Trolling?
According to the urban dictionary, trolling refers to a situation where a person decides to be a prick on the internet. Trolling involves the posting of one or more cynical or sarcastic comments about someone related to a post made earlier or video that was made in private. The objective of trolling in most cases is to either make the victims believe the comments regardless of how outrageous they may seem. Besides, trolling involves deceiving by way of providing malicious instruction in the form of help or answer.
A troll is considered successful and unsuccessful depending on the outcome it is bound to cause on their target victims. For instance, a successful troll is one that prompts an action such as a reply in caps, personal attack and making crude remarks and some lead to deactivating the account. On the other hand, unsuccessful trolling occurs when the victim identifies you as a troll, identifying yourself as a troll, relentless efforts that are being ignored and being counter-trolled.
People experience trolls on the internet almost on an occasional basis. If someone has never been trolled its either they are not on the internet, they know how to avoid trolls or maybe they will experience one in the future. A survey published by Ditch the Label suggested that 37% of internet users have been bullied at least once.
Trolling and cyber-bullying are two different but related words as they both deal with unethical behavior practiced in the social networks. Trolling, however, is bound to cause a negative impact on both the victim and the troll although in a different capacity.
Perhaps it is important to understanding the impacts of trolling before we can understand why it is significant to manage trolls on the internet. In 2012, a 15-year-old girl committed suicide after her private pictures went viral.
The psychological impacts experienced by victims include low self-esteem issues. Consequently, they fail to discuss such issues with their parents, teachers and their classmates. Cyberbullying and trolling is likely to traumatize an individual and make it hard for them to cope up with life. There are many victims who are scared of using the internet after they were trolled and they did not know what do or who to go to. Many of the victims who have been trolled suggest that they feel threatened, demoralized and scared about their lives. Some people have had to quit their jobs after compromising images of them found their way to the internet among many other examples of despicable circumstances that are directly linked to trolling on the internet
We cannot all decide to shun the internet so that we feel protected from trolls and bullies. However, we are going to be advantaged to deal with internet trolls after going through this guide.
- Develop a Communication Policy
The first and most effective way of dealing with trolls is to have a policy that guides your communication on social networking sites. It is important always to be mindful of the language that you use on the internet. Learn to criticize objectively and in a professional manner which will establish a basis of communication that your respondents can reciprocate.
- Do Not Feed Trolls
Most trolls are only interested in seeking attention online. Some trolls suffer as a result of trying to be influential online and then their plan fails and when they cannot handle their issues, they start seeking attention by directing that negative energy to someone else. Through avoiding such people on the internet, we absorb their energy which makes them calm and eventually disappears from your timeline.
- Create a Light Moment
Studies have shown that trolling has the potential to take both positive and negative direction depending on the replies after a troll post. In this case, humor is considered one of the best ways recommended for changing a troll to from negative to manageable. Making light moments out of such situations will always reduce the negative impact that would have been experienced if a troll was countered by another troll.
- Unmask the Trolls
Some trolls hide on the internet because they know their identity is not revealed. Unmasking such trolls by identifying them through their associations in the society makes them shy away from trolling other people.
- Use Facts to Argue
Whenever you find yourself in a heated debate about something, it is better to have the right facts so as to avoid the arguments degenerating into trolls. Most people often argue for the sake of arguing when you introduce crucial facts to the arguments such people calm down because they do not want to embarrass themselves.
- Avoid Trigger Messages
The internet allows you to publish any content which basically implies that you are left to judge the impact of your posting before it is published. This freedom does not mean that you go about provoking other users on the internet. Therefore, it is important that you select your words before publishing them in your posts.
- Be Considerate
Sometimes when we type online, we forget that we are interacting with real users on the other side who have feelings and emotions like any other normal person. We need to be always mindful of other people’s emotions and feelings before we post negative comments on their thread. The only rule i use is always to treat other people just as you would want them to treat you. Being considerate of others plays an important role in addressing the negative effects of trolling on social networks.