If I was responsible for marketing internet trolling as a product I’d be pretty happy with the growth I’ve seen. I’d be looking at a product that started as the preserve of usenet posts and bulletin boards, spread to social media and is now dominating the news every day. When the topic of conversation isn’t online trolls, it’s professional trolls masquerading as journalists, bloggers or presidential candidates. Trolling is a profession now. It’s possible for someone whose only skill is a unique insight into being annoying to “annoy upwards”, generating more career success the more awful they become.
I manage online communities professionally. It’s my whole gig. Anyone who works in online communities knows how you’re supposed to deal with trolls. You’ve probably heard it too, whether you currently work with communities or not.
Don’t Feed The Troll.
Don’t give them what they want. They want attention, and if they’re starved of attention they’ll go somewhere else. Does it work? Yes, absolutely. Every time. It’s almost impossible to continue a campaign of annoyance against someone who refuses to acknowledge that you’re there. So why does nobody do it? Why, when we have more things to look at than ever, do we continue to feed the trolls?