Social media is all pomp and glamour until that one nasty comment shows up on your notification panel. If you are an influencer, your business is dependent on creating good content and attracting new followers through intelligent marketing. A lot of determination, time and money go into elevating the value of your brand. So, if trolls on social media tarnish your image using hurtful comments, it can be a big blow to your credibility. Not to mention, it also affects you on a personal level which is never desirable.
But What Exactly is a Troll?
Well, as per Scandinavian folklore, trolls are angry, ugly little monsters hiding under bridges or caves, waiting to make a meal out of unsuspecting people passing by. The 21st century’s version of internet trolls is not very different from mythology.
Hiding behind computer screens, trolls slide into comment sections and use sarcastic, snarky remarks that are often personal attacks to basically stir up controversies that hurt your business.
How to Identify an Internet Troll
Not everybody who disagrees with you or your type of content is a troll. Your followers might have genuine complaints or positive criticisms and ideas to share. While analyzing negative comments, be mindful of its language and subject. Look out for petty and provocative personal attacks. If it has a lot of typos, errors and is written in some form of abusive or derogatory language, it is definitely a troll.
How to Deal With Trolls on Social Media
Blocking trolls may be the easiest solution you can find but it only works for a while. As your followers keep growing, this might just be a herculean task. What are the best approaches to handle trolls on social media? How do celebrities do it?
1. Moderate or Filter Comments on your Social Platforms
Facebook allows you to moderate a comment before it is posted on the public platform whereas Twitter has recently launched a feature that lets you hide replies to your tweets. Even though your followers cannot see the bad remarks, the troll can achieve half of his purpose by spoiling your mood. But it is a great way to discourage them as they will never find their comment posted. Instagram, on the other hand, has a Comment Filtering option that lets you permanently block malicious comments.
2. Make Use of Community Policies to Handle Trolls on Social Media
All major social media platforms have strict anti-harassment strategies. Instagram recently announced a new policy against online bullying that does not tolerate trolls of any kind. While dealing with a troll, you can remind them of these guidelines and report them immediately. The recent update also restricts trolls from posting hate comments by asking them to review it.
3. Don’t Feed Attention-Hungry Trolls on the Internet
Trolls on social media are attention-mongers and the best way to deal with them is by simply ignoring them. Don’t take hurtful comments personally, shake it off and move on with your day. Staying professional is your best bet. Over time, the trolling will stop when they realize that you are not affected in any way.
5. Use Humor and Sarcasm While Replying to Trolls on Social Media
If you do have to deal with trolls, in case they get excessively rude, use witty humor and get creative. That way, your loyal followers will have a good laugh and it will be an apt way to own the conversation. There are several instances of celebrities tearing apart trolls with their funny but thoughtful responses. Here are Gigi Hadid and Lisa Haydon slamming misogynist trolls with blatant sarcasm.
Olivia Wilde putting a stop to trolls on Twitter with her amazing sense of humor.
Hahaaaa I just heard someone say I looked like a giant, walking pickle last night at the Globes. As a pickle enthusiast, I thank you.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) January 14, 2014
6. Slam Trolls on Social Media by Killing Them with Kindness
Spreading positivity while dealing with negative comments can be a good show of moral strength. It will also inspire your followers who will definitely come forward to support you. Take the higher ground, educate and motivate, instead of stooping down to their level.
Saina Nehwal took the moral high ground and replied in a dignified way when a troll on Twitter tried to demean her by comparing her with fellow badminton player, P.V. Sindhu.
Hollywood star, Ariel Winter, responded to trolls who resorted to body-shaming her, asking her to use makeup to cover up her scars. She responded powerfully that led to many other celebrities coming out to encourage and stand by her in support.
Guys there is a reason I didn't make an effort to cover up my scars! They are part of me and I'm not ashamed of them at all. 🙂
— Ariel Winter (@arielwinter1) January 31, 2016
7. Have Faith in your Followers to Come Out in your Support
More often then not, your loyal followers, friends, and family come out in support when situations get tricky on social media. If you are facing social media trolling, then chances are that your well-wishers outnumber these trolls. In that case, just sit back and wait for them to jump in your defense.
8. When Things get Ugly, Set the Facts Straight
If trolls on social media are claiming to know certain facts about you that are untrue and it is, in turn, confusing your followers, then it is always necessary to set the records straight. Shut down trolls politely and professionally by posting legitimate proofs in public platforms for everybody to see it.
Ananya Pandey took to Instagram to share proof when trolls bullied her, accusing her of lying about her college admissions.
Trolls are probably the worst side-effect about being active on social media. Their job is to start rumors, spread hatred and malign the image that you have worked hard to create. Follow these amazing and effective techniques to get rid of trolls and enjoy social media in a stress-free way.
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