How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll
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Introduction

An overview and summary of the articles listed below

Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

It is very clear that internet trolls and other forms of cyber-bullying are a widespread problem nowadays. The numerous tragic stories about the effect trolling has had on individuals gives urgency to the fact that  this problem needs to be addressed. The articles below mainly address how an individual should respond when encountering a troll, but some articles also offer advice to websites and moderators for ways or preventing trolling.

 

From the articles I have read, the first step is to understand the motivation and reasoning behind trolling.  "The Psychology of the Internet Troll" explains why someone would become a troll.  This article, like may others I've found, referes to the Online Disinhibition Effect. In the "Malwebolence" it mentions the motivation for the trolls: lulz.  Basicically it describes the sadistic joy they recieve due to causing someone else emotional discomfort.  

 

This is the how and why of trolls.  With this in mind, what should a person's response be when encountering this type of behavior.  The article "Don't Let Trolls Get You Down" gives a good general structure for the success or failure of a troll.  It mentions that the ability to correctly interpret a troll's intent and respond in such a way that will take away their joy.  If they know you saw through their trolling attempt, and were not provoked by it, then they have failed.

 

 If it is important to recognize a troll, how would someone go about doing this?  How can a troll be distinguished from a sincere commenter who just may ere on the tactless side? The article "Recognizing and Dealing with Trolls" highlights different types of trolls.  

 

The rest of the articles give more opinions on the ways in which one should respond to a trolling attack.  The most common suggestion is to not respond at all.  By doing so, you end the game they were playing.  However this is not always possible. The next option is to see through their game, and respond in a way that lets them know they were uneffective.  To do this, someone must have a keen eye for trolling behavior.  Another option is to go striaght to moderators or administrators and petition to have the comments removed, or have future comments disabled.  If you are an administrator, or have some moderating power there are many more ways of preventing trolls.  Among them include  pre-screening users or comments and removing anonymity.

 

While we will never be completely rid of trolling, there are steps we can take, as both individuals and websites, to prevent trolling.  The more people that are informed about trolls, the less victims the trolls will have to feed on.

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Erik Marshall's comment, June 12, 2013 8:39 AM
This is a great collection to answer an important question. Short answer: Don't feed the trolls! But you also delve into the psychology of trolls. Nice.
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Malwebolence - The World of Web Trolling - NYTimes.com

Malwebolence - The World of Web Trolling - NYTimes.com | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it
A growing subculture has a fluid morality and a disdain for pretty much everyone else online.
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

What do the trolls say about their behavior? "I did it for the lulz". As Schwartz explains " “lulz” means the joy of disrupting another’s emotional equilibrium." As shown by this article, they are also not very remorseful of their behavior. If this is the motivation, and there is not a likely way of guilting a troll out of his behavior, then we need to deny them their precious lulz.  

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How to Stop Caring About Trolls and Get On With Your Life

How to Stop Caring About Trolls and Get On With Your Life | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it
You see them everywhere you go on the internet: anonymous users with nothing to say but rude, off-topic, or annoying comments aimed at making you angry.
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

The main point of this article is that trolls should just be ignored.  He explains that the term "trolling" comes from fishing.  He voices the opinion that if there is no one there to take the bait, they will move onto to the next victim.  He also gives advice on how to protect yourself emotionally when trolling does happen.  Since trolling is not sincere, you should not give it credibility to affect your emotional state.

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Tips for Handling Negative Comments and Trolls on Social Media

Tips for Handling Negative Comments and Trolls on Social Media | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it

Click here to edit the title

Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

This article presents ways to respond to trolls if you are an administator or in a business setting.  While this may not be relevant to everyone, it presents some useful tips. As a business responding to a troll, there still must be a lvel of respect and light-heartedness in the response.  From the other articles presented here, responding in this way may help more than just businesses though,  Such a comment does not show an emotional disturbance and would be altogether boring for the troll's game.

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Why People Troll and How to Stop Them

OSNews is Exploring the Future of Computing with news on desktop, server, mobile, and specialty operating systems and new computing technology.
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

This article presents several ways websites should respond to trolls.  of the ideas mentioned, here a few that stood out:  Pre-moderating comments.  Before a comment appears it most be approved by a moderator.  The moderator can then prevent trollish comments.  The mere fact of having comments pre-moderated would also deter trolls.  The other is to partially remove anonymity by requiring a qualification system; requiring a verifiable email and, as Amazon.com has done, a verifiable credit card.

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The Psychology of the Internet Troll - Academic Earth

The Psychology of the Internet Troll - Academic Earth | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it
What makes an Internet troll tick? In a word - disinhibition. Academic Earth illustrates how anonymity contributes to the online disinhibition effect, illuminating the psyche of the these anonymous troublemakers.
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

This article (or video) discusses the psychology behind trolls, and the way the internet enables them to do what they do.  It lists the six factors of what is known as the online disinhibiton effect.  In essence, this states that the medium of the internet allows for someone to disassociate themselves from their actions, and from the people they are hurting.  It also the mentions the fact that, becuase of this dissociation, online interactions can become a game.  From reading the other articles given here, that is actually what trolls view what they do: a mere game.

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Don't let the trolls get you down

Don't let the trolls get you down | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it
Internet trolls are maddening, but a lecturer has set up a guide to interacting with them
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

At the end of this article, Abrahams gives criteria to which a troll will judge their own success,  Success on a troll's part consists of the person being trolled responds sincerely, not recognizing the trolling behavior, and shows emotional disturbance in the reply.  Failure on a troll's part means that the victim recognizes insincere trolling behavior, and responds in a way that makes it clear that the trolling was uneffective.  Another form of failure of a troll is getting no response at all.  If someone can make a troll fail at what he/she does, the troll retreats.

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Recognising and Dealing with Trolls

Recognising and Dealing with Trolls | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it
A detailed analysis of different types of trolls, and the tactics to use when you encounter them.
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

This article presents ways to recognize trolls.  More specifically, it explains the different types of trolls and how to interact with each of them.  The "Playtime Trolls" are the easiest to do deal with, as they are less invested in their "game". However, the "Tactical Trolls" have to be dealt with differently.  They are more invested in what they do.  Trolling for them can mean long term, months or even years, of building trust, before ultimately trolling the victim.  If we can pinpoint trolls, and what they are after, we can be more effective in causing them to lose their game and preventing ourselves from being hurt in the process.  

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How Do You Respond to Trolls? You Don’t. - 10,000 Words

How Do You Respond to Trolls? You Don’t. - 10,000 Words | How Should Someone Respond if They Encounter an Internet Troll | Scoop.it
How Do You Respond to Trolls? You Don’t.
Jacob Grimaldo's insight:

This article again mentions the idea of simply not responding to trolls.    It also adds the suggestin of closing a thread or disabling comments, instead of deleting them.  If you are an adminstrator you can do this.  If you are not, you can appeal to an administrator to close the thread or disable comments.  Have the last word by making the last comment on the thread before it closes, something that not only calls out the trolling, but also points it its uneffectiveness.

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