As the owner of a somewhat popular photography blog with millions of page-views annually, it should come as no surprise that I see a lot of internet trolls. I delete a lot of these comments, because their only purpose is to stir up trouble by being purposefully mean-spirited and unreasonable. These comments literally have zero value, and if a value was assigned to such comments, it would be a negative number. The world would be a better place without these people, which is a really sad reality. I mean, what kind of legacy is that? The world is better without you? Who wants to be that person? It would seem like nobody, yet there are so many examples all over the place where that’s exactly the case. If you are a troll, stop what you are doing, and instead spend your time and energy doing something good, something that has a positive effect on those you encounter.
According to Wikipedia, an internet troll is “a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as social media, newsgroup, forum, chat room, online video game, or blog), with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others’ perception. This is typically for the troll’s amusement, or to achieve a specific result such as disrupting a rival’s online activities or manipulating a political process. Even so, Internet trolling can also be defined as purposefully causing confusion or harm to other users online, for no reason at all.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “to antagonize others online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content,” and, “to harass, criticize, or antagonize someone especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts.”
Unfortunately, trolls aren’t going away. This post won’t stop them. All I can do is spare you from them as much as practical. However, what I can tell you is that the number of troll comments has been increasing on this website. Also, sometimes trolls can come across initially as genuine, and, like a wolf in sheep’s clothes, only after a level of trust has been established do they reveal their true colors.
What is the best way to deal with trolls?
– Heed the sign: don’t feed the trolls. That simply means don’t take the bait—they’re desperately hoping for your response, so don’t give it to them. Don’t even respond to their comments—ignore them. This is the best strategy.
– Call them out. If you do find yourself in a back-and-forth with a troll, call them out. State in your response that you know they are a troll. Oftentimes, for some reason that I don’t understand, calling a troll a troll is like pouring water on the Wicked Witch of the West. I think this works because they often take the angle of being the superior person, so shedding light on their charade takes away that false position they’re hiding behind.
– Block them. I try to; however, some get through, either because they took the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothes approach, or because I let them so as to prove a point, or because their initial comment was borderline trollish, and I erred on the wrong side. Troll’s comments add no value whatsoever, so blocking these comments is a gain and not a loss.
Today, a troll left a nasty comment on this blog (I blocked it… it was never published). The person had a unique name, so I wondered what would turn up if I Googled them. As it turns out, this person just goes around saying hateful things across the internet. That’s all they do. Literally, the only online records of this person are troll comments, mostly of the worst kind (and often repeating the same words). Likely the identity they use for these comments isn’t their real name, and perhaps they have many aliases. I took screenshots of these comments, and I was going to include them in this post, but I think it’s counterintuitive to give the person the satisfaction of that, so I’m not going to do it—I’d rather them think that they wasted their time (which they did).
Trolls are internet parasites. They suck the fun and life out of it for no reason other than they get some weird jollies from it. If you are a troll, I implore you: stop being a part of what’s wrong with the world, and instead give your life some much needed meaning by saying words of kindness and encouragement. We could all use more of that—a lot more—and a whole lot less of unnecessary spitefulness.
The Fujifilm community is absolutely wonderful! There are so many kind and helpful people who make it great, and I appreciate all you guys a heck-of-a-lot. My hope for this website has always been for it to be a positive resource for the community, and I hope that you find it to be that way. I try not to let the trolls ruin it (like they do on so many other websites), and if one does, I apologize for their awful behavior. If you have a concern about this, feel free to reach out to me anytime.