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.
What’s the film sim for the hot dog picture? 🙂
That picture is probably 8 or 9 years old. Captured with a Sigma Merrill camera, and RAW edited using Sigma’s software plus Alien Skin Exposure (I don’t remember which preset). Probably took me 10-minutes in front of a computer to edit that one frame (mostly because that Sigma software was awfully slow). I used the picture to try and add a little comedy to an otherwise downer of a topic.
Keep on keepin’ on brother. You are one of the good guys.
I appreciate the encouragement! Thank you!
Oh, I can reply to this email . . . !
Yeah, I quit Fb because of trolls.
I’m one of your members on wordpress because you deserve that two bucks a month. I appreciate your work; I recognize it as work.
Thank you and keep posting.
This is a problem I want to solve as well
Look at it as a backhanded compliment 🙂 If you weren’t this valuable, popular, trusted (enough praise ?) ‘they’ wouldn’t be here..
P.S. I would like to subscribe to your Creative Collective (another feather in your cap) but I would rather not give out my CC over the internet .Do you perhaps have a PayPal account ?
I appreciate your kindness and encouragement!
The Creative Collective payments are handled through Stripe (stripe.com). It’s what WordPress has set up (some collaboration between the two companies). I encourage you to research Stripe and see if you find them to be trustworthy or not. I personally felt comfortable with it, but each person has their own feelings and opinions. Unfortunately, you cannot subscribe using PayPal (would be a nice option, though, that I wish was available).
I wish there was a good way to solve it, but there doesn’t seem to be. Maybe just the worldwide spread of kindness and love… the world seems to be moving in the opposite direction of that, sadly. I appreciate your encouragement and support!
To bad that you have to deel with trolls. It takes so mutch time for you to so what makes you happy and it takes the time from your wonderfull work that you are doing here.
Thank you for the work you do, keeping us from al that unnessesery stupidity of those trolls and the great community we got here.
It not only takes up a little of my time, but (worse) it takes up headspace. I try not to let it do that, but inevitably it does. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement!
Hi Ritchie, I understand how annoying this must be. Your site has become an invaluable source for the Fuji community and I think by now is has gained a lot of recognition, world-wide. That’s no mean achievement and something you can be really proud of; these things can only be accomplished by hard work and a lot of dedication. It’s totally beyond me why your content would ever attract trolls, but as you said: it is not going away. There always have been, and will be, mean-spirited and small people and the Internet provides them with a channel to vent their petty meanness in anonymity, showing that they are cowards as well. The sad truth is that humankind advances in technology but do not improve as a race; on the contrary, I would almost say. Having to deal with trolls on the web is now every bit as unavoidable as encountering petty thieves when you run a shop, or being tailgated by morons in traffic. I can only say: keep up the good work and, in the words of Neil Young: “Don’t let it bring you down”. These asswipes certainly do not deserve that.
It’s funny, sometimes a troll (such as the one mentioned in this article) will comment on a totally reasonable post—an article that should be without any controversy whatsoever. They literally are trying to stir the pot just to stir the pot—they get jollies from it somehow. I think it has to be some sort of mental issue, and they need counseling or medication or both. It might be true for those tailgaters, too. 😀 I appreciate your kindness and encouragement!
This is why it’s totally understandable when sites don’t allow comments. Keep up the good work.
It might eventually come to that, but I really hope not. Thanks for the encouragement!
Many of the trolls nowadays are just bots anyway (just why you would want to program one of those bots is beyond my comprehension), so don’t even let them take your headspace. As for the human ones, well, they may think they have a hand but the reality is that they are in a very dark place, which would seem to me as enough punishment for their lives already. Don’t give them this power on you, not even one minute, it’s a foolish thing to do. Thank you for all your efforts !
I wondered about this troll’s comments, because it seemed so out of place, and many of that “person’s” other comments on other websites were so similarly worded. I appreciate your encouragement!
Yeah I find the wolf in sheeps clothing ones are the most bizarre. Like, a lot of trolls are so blatantly rude that you just block them right away, but others you think “Wait am I being too sensitive? Maybe I’ll give them a chance.” then the next time you post … lo and behold they’ve taken it up a notch. I find imagining an actual troll rolling around laughing helps me get over the interaction faster. I look forward to checking out your blog.
It’s not only the most bizarre, but it is the least genuine, I think, because they’re being so fake to earn your trust (so that you don’t just block them). I need to imagine them as actual trolls, and see if that helps. 🤣
Thanks for the advice and encouragement!
Yes that’s true their attempt to seem kind or loving feels robotic sometimes. I hope it helps
It does, thanks!