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How do you deal with trolls?

The vast majority of people I've come into contact with online are decent, well-mannered folks. Even though I disagree with some folks on certain things, and have completely opposing views on others, I've never had any problems with anyone, until today, when I met my first Troll.

To me, a Troll (or as my old gran would have put it: 'A beligerent git') is someone who posts antagonistic, often insulting, comments with the sole aim of provoking a reaction. This particular troll posted a comment after I linked to my 'Picks of the week' list from one of the writing communities I'm in.

'You're a damn liar,' he/she said, 'those weren't interesting at all,'

My first reaction was to laugh. I don''t know this person, and although it bothers me to think I might have upset someone, I've long since learned that some folks just like to confront others, for no other reason than it makes them feel good. 

I thought about simply ignoring or deleting the comment. My inner gran suggested a sarcastic reply, perhaps including a promise to try to include posts with more pictures in next time, but in the end I settled for a 'sorry you feel that way' response.

How about you?

What do you do when confronted with a Troll online?

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( 70 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 19th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
if you don't feed them, they get bored and will eventually go away!
Mar. 19th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
Lol, exactly :)
Mar. 19th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
I'm always tempted to ask if they have bleeding hemorrhoids,
or just think belligerence is the ultimate babe magnet,
but never have.
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
The subtle approach, as always ;)
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Feed em to the gators.

Well, actually, I haven't really run across that problem, yet, I think.
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
Risk a cruelty to animals charge?
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Mar. 19th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Mar. 19th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Totally ignore. Delete their comment if possible. Do not feed the Trolls.
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
Do not feed the Trolls

I wonder if there's an icon for that somewhere :)
(no subject) - cloudscudding - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 19th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
i have one particular one who posts anonymous insulting comments to me, often going months back to fora where i've posted where anonymous responses are allowed. stuff like that, you send to /dev/null.

other times i argue for the sake of presenting the argument to the wider readership, esp if troll has any remotely rhetorical point.

"those weren't interesting at all" could probably garner mild sarcasm, such as a pointer to /dev/random ;) -- but that would depend more on my mood than anything.
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
In this particular instance,
jon's probably right to see if this becomes a pattern.

I hope I don't sound like a troll, arguing like this...
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
If I'm busy, I delete their stupidity (if it's in my blog) and move on with life. They usually go away if they aren't getting fed.

If I'm bored or in a mood to get someone, I out troll them with surface polite calling out. I know very well I'm better than any barely literate troglodyte. My vocabulary and snark skill level leaves them baffled at what happened and every time when I'm done they just disappear. >:)

I took on a whole bb over at [redacted] one time, and won. Don't mess with me, I'll verbally cut you into tiny little pieces.
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
More digestable for the gators that way, too...
(no subject) - slweippert - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - slweippert - Mar. 19th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 19th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
My first response is a kind of shocked laugh. You just don't expect rudeness when you're making an effort to share something that's not intended to hurt anyone. It always sets me back. If I responded immediately, it would be a gaping mouth. If I smartly held off and gathered my thoughts I might say that I hope they're more interesting to someone else. Or just choose to ignore them. Attention-seekers?
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
When I was younger, this sort of thing would have bothered me for days afterwards, but these days I can't be bothered with it. I guess that's one of the many advantages of getting old :)
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
This is LJ, the land where trolling is, for some, a hobby. Or maybe even a life's calling.

Mostly, I ignore them, like I ignore most rude gits and get along my way.

BTW, there are entire communities on LJ dedicated to making fun of trolls. Sometimes, they can be amusing.
Mar. 19th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
I remember there were a few trolls on the forum for Joss Whedon's Serenity. They posted spoilers the day the movie came out and ranted about how Firefly was crap compared to Battlestar Gallactica. I remember wondering if they were also posting on the BSG forums, saying the exact opposite.

Today was the first time I had a Troll come at me personally though.
Mar. 19th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
I don't I've got a big enough following to attract live trolls, only spammers. I think faced with a "you lied; it's not interesting," comment I would be tempted to go all fake-polite on the troll and offer to refund their money, and then suddenly remember that they hadn't paid anything to read my blog.

I think that basically, trolls are desperate for attention. I can't help but believe in the deepest recesses of their being they know they look like total [body part of your choosing]s when they are so rude and confrontational. But they would rather look that way and get attention than be ignored. Which certainly supports the ignoring them method, I suppose.

Great graphic, BTW.
Mar. 19th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Great, isn't it? Woody Hearn at GUComics.com drew it :)
Mar. 19th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
I've found that the only way to deal with them is to ignore them. They're looking for a reaction, so if you don't give them one, they eventually go away.
Mar. 19th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
That seems to be the general consensus :)
Mar. 19th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I had a troll-like response to a post last year (one that you featured in your picks, about rock concerts and interacting with people), and after a fight-or-flight reaction that I kept to myself, I opted to engage in a moderate tone - and the guy actually apologized and kept reading my blog. Weird but true.
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
So long as one party stays civil, there's always a chance things can end well :)
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Mar. 20th, 2011 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 20th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - slweippert - Mar. 20th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
It's hard, but it's best to ignore them.
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for the input, Aaron :)
Mar. 19th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
if they're a poor troll, call them out with 'obvious troll is obvious'

if they're just being rude/attacking you personally, ignore it. only delete if necessary.

*says this as someone who does troll for fun on occasion. but there's trolling, and then there's trolling*
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
I think I'd only delete it if the comment contained swearwords.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
I don't think disagreeing counts as Trolling. For example, if today's Troll had simply said they didn't think I'd picked very good posts, that would have been fine, but when you start a comment with "You're a damned liar"...
(no subject) - bondo_ba - Mar. 21st, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
I come here and cry on your shoulders. Sigh. I think you're stronger and healthier. Wit is always a good answer. May I "borrow" your troll pic?
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
It's a great picture, isn't it? I found it on photoshop :)
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