Dealing with Internet Harassment? Just Stop, Drop and (T)roll

In our polarized nation, Internet trolls can be a real problem, hijacking conversations and upsetting rational discourse. By definition, trolls exist to attack people and try to silence them by posting  inflammatory or off-topic messages in online communities.

Here are three simple steps for dealing with these bullies:

Step 1: STOP

When someone leaves a nasty or inflammatory comment, don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Instead, take a deep breath and STOP yourself from replying in anger. Beyond just ignoring the troll, you can try deleting or hiding the offensive post. You can also block that person from further comments.  And absolutely report any threats of violence to the appropriate authorities.

Step 2: DROP

Ignoring a troll often will be enough to get rid of them. But if the problem persists, DROP your official social media statement in a reply and link to your online codes of conduct. If your organization doesn’t have an online code of conduct, consider creating one. Check out a good example from the Smithsonian Institution here.

Step 3: (T)ROLL

When an individual sends hateful messages to your organization’s account, it’s hard to not take their comments personally. But, it’s important to ROLL with the situation and not let trolls get to you. Life is too short!

For more information on dealing with Internet trolls or writing an online code of conduct, get in touch.

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