However, in defense of trolls, the reality is, when any of us feel our principles have been violated, we all have the potential to turn into trolls. For example, after the nonsense with Facebook and fighting for the right to use my name, "Skip", I'm sure I'm on their "troll list".
The two posts I wrote are up over 5000 reads and based on all the stories I've heard, Facebook's policies continue to upset members whose names are different than John, Sally, Linda, Bob, and Larry! Think about it, based on their policy Cat Stevens and Tiger Woods would both have to fight for verification! Unfortunately, the challenge goes deeper than the name policy, and is fueled by the fact that it's so difficult to actually talk/connect with a live body!
Here are a few things to think about when you're under attack by a troll:
- Don't just write them off without first looking at what they're complaining about. Sometimes passion, if you don't understand the complaint, can be confused with irrational behavior.
- If their comment is legitimate, see what you can do to resolve the issue or address it with a quality of logic and professionalism.
- If you determine your "troll" is a whack-job, then don't engage, because you can never win. In fact, the only way to win is silence. Whack-job trolls hide behind the anonymity of their monitors.
- Last on the list, don't take it personally and just move on. Years ago, in the early days of the Internet, I had a consumer attack me and Hasselblad in a public forum with a series of outright lies. I let it eat away at me. I was actually losing sleep over the issues, until one day his friend called me. He confirmed the comments being made weren't true and his friend had "gone off the deep end." So, if you let it drag you down, it's a victory for the troll!
This is a short post and here's my point. We all have the potential to be trolls now and then. Listen/read before you respond and then take the appropriate action. Most important of all, ignore those trolls who think they have a right to your time. The only person truly entitled to 100% of your attention all the time is you!