Everyone’s suffering! Trolls seem to be everywhere. Even Twitter’s complaining about the loss of its customers due to trolling.
So What Went Wrong?
Short answer is nothing, long answer is ‘human nature’. Everyone wants to ‘be somebody’. This means diminishing other people so you can feel better about yourself. In what form? Many forms, including making others feel bad.
Trolls can be people who deliberately pick on someone solely with the aim of upsetting them and creating an emotional outburst. These types are usually juveniles – they are either young, or emotionally stunted.
Other trolls simply walk all over you – they won’t let you get ‘your say’ in and whether it’s in text or voice, they belittle you to make themselves feel better. They may ridicule you while they’re talking too. Avoid them, they’re bad news.
The third troll-type is the bigot. If you’re not a clone of them or their friends, they will pick on you with racial, political, national, gender etc abuse. Calling names is a classic example of these types.
Wikipedia defines trolls as people ‘starting arguments or upsetting people’. This means we are all trolls at times. Have you never disagreed with someone online? We all have at some time, but does that mean we’re all trolls?
So where do I fit into all of this you may be asking yourself? Getting angry and abusive makes you a troll too. When you’re angry just log off from that social media – Facebook, Twitter, Second Life etc. Don’t try to force your point across too or it will become a ‘battle of the trolls’ which no one wins and could very well see your precious account deleted.
Then how do I deal with Trolls?
Ignore them. That’s the short answer. Call them out if you feel a need to. ‘Name and shame’ – tell them publicly that they’re cyber-bullying or trolling you and let them know you will not respond to their drama. Then (toughest of all!) – log off! Get yourself a coffee, look at the view or go for a walk in the real world. In some way reward yourself for your own strength.
You’ve now shown you’re strong! You’ve done it once, so you can do it again, and again, and again. The only way to beat these people is to not let them get to you. Mute then, ignore them and report them – then walk away and forget them!
Each community has its own set of rules, so you always need to find out what these are before you join that community. If you violate a rule without knowing about it, you only have yourself to blame. Every community is a group of like-minded people who enjoy each other’s company because it’s mutually reinforcing. Become part of it – and follow the rules. From zombies and trolls (yes surprisingly, they do have their own code of conduct!) to fairies and fawns, each community has rules in how to respect one another.
If people step out of line, most communities have moderators. In Second Life London there’s a team of moderators who manage the chat and voice for over 50,000 people in both Sims and groups. These people have been trained to deal with all sorts of nasty situations and simple misunderstandings.
If your community has no moderators, get some – and fast. No one is easy with an unmoderated group. This is why Twitter is currently suffering. Facebook on the other hand, allows you to create groups and choose your own moderators. Usually you will pick people with a similar belief system who will use the same guidelines as you do yourself.
What ME! A Troll?
Internet Rage is a common part of being online, either being at the end of it or giving it. There’s a term known as a ‘keyboard warrior’. This is someone who is a well-adjusted person in normal life, but who becomes a raving maniac behind a keyboard. Somehow that anonymity allows them to vent over cyber-space. They may have had an argument with a parent or partner, so log in out of frustration and vent on the first person that comes online. – What? Is this you?
It’s something many people do, so you’re not alone.
What Am I Doing To Make Myself a Troll?
Take a look at how you are behaving when challenged, because you may not be coming across well. Emotions are dangerous, both in the real world and online. Get out of hand in either place or you cause damage. When communicating try to put yourself in the other person’s place – would you really like what you’re saying if you were that person? If not, rethink.
What if I’m called a Troll and I don’t mean to be one?
If you’re angry about something, log out and log into a game like H1Z1 – the new zombie hunting game on Steam. There are loads of games out there especially built for you to rip people apart. In games like that, everyone’s looking for a fight.
Forget social media if you’re angry – go play a ‘shoot-em-up’ game instead. You’ll feel a lot better and cause yourself a lot less grief in the long run.
Good Luck – have a happy Troll-Free online and gaming life!