Don’t be an internet troll victim

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Don’t be an internet troll victim

What is an internet troll?

We’ve all heard the term – internet troll. They’re the ones showing up on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feed starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages.

You know, to get a rise out of ya.

These provokers are different from cyberbullies, though.

Don't fall victim to an internet troll

Cyberbullying is just as hurtful and dangerous as any other type of bullying.

Where to find an internet troll

Cyberbullies use social media to attack an individual, whereas trolls get off just by provoking others.

We’re not saying trolls are good. In fact, they can be just as bad as cyberbullies. Following an accident in which an 18-year old fatally crashed her father’s car into a highway pylon; trolls emailed photos of her mutilated corpse to her grieving family.

Steps to avoid becoming an internet troll victim

  • Keep your sense of humor. You may be able to joke them out of their misbehaving.
  • Ignore them. Troll behavior directed at you will usually stop if you don’t add fuel for them to play with.
  • Report the troll to an administrator, or site owner. An administrator or site owner will know how to deal with the troll and will know whether to ban or kick them out.
  • Compliment the troll. Trolls will be thrown off balance if you give them a simple compliment, and may even stop trolling people.

Watch out for these terms

  • Flame war

A flame war results when multiple users engage in provocative responses to an original post. The original post is usually flamebait, but not always. Flame wars often draw in many users (including those trying to defuse the flame war) and can overshadow regular forum discussion if left unchecked.

  • Griefer

A griefer is a video gamer who deliberately irritates and harasses other players within an online game, using aspects of the game in unintended ways

  • Hit-and-run posting

These posts refer to a tactic a troll uses by entering an internet forum, making a post, only to disappear immediately after. Hit-and-run posting often follows the principle of “throw enough in and some will stick.”

Remember, if you’re ever faced with an internet troll, ignore rather than engage with them. In other words: “Please do not feed the trolls.”

Learn how to combat cyberbullying here.

About the author: Ian Skotte is the senior media specialist for Centerstone Prevention Services. 

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