How to Deal with Internet Trolls | Social Buzz Pros
Internet Troll: Someone who submits a deliberately provocative posting to an online message board with the aim of inciting angry responses.
The development of the Internet troll has been a slow one. They started as computer users began to more widely accept the Internet. At first, the term was used for individuals who were “trolling” the Internet for a response or opinion. Then it changed to someone who was purposefully aggressive and irritating to online communities, celebrities, professionals, individuals, businesses and more.
Common wisdom says that the “anonymity of the Internet lets people behave in ways they would never behave in real life, or online if their identity was known.” However, a study was released that showed that Internet trolls are behaving exactly like they would in real life. The study revealed that trolling has correlated positively with psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and most closely with sadism. Each of these terms relates deliberate cruelty.
There are various types of online trolls, but in most cases they irritate an online community for weeks, posting contradictory opinions or statements in an attempt to stimulate a response. This, clearly, correlates to the study that shows that Cyber-Trolls are sadists online and in real life.
One of the Most Well-Known Trolls is Found Dead in Hotel Room
An example of one of the most famous online trolls was Brenda Leyland, who was recently found dead in a hotel room. She posted hate messages aimed at the parents of Madeleine McCann. Madeleine McCann was three years old when she disappeared from her family’s vacation apartment in Portugal. Her parents, Kate and Gerry, were initially under suspicion until police ruled them out as suspects. It has been seven years since Madeleine disappeared, and since then, her parents and the police have been pursuing other suspects.
More recently, the police were looking into reports of Internet abuse targeting the McCanns with more than 80 pages of Tweets and Facebook posts from online forums harassing the couple. Brenda Leyland was one of the “trolls” who attacked the couple calling them “evil” and “criminals.” She wrote under the name @Sweepyface.
Dealing with Internet Trolls
Left unchecked trolls can destroy a community. They can be extremely frustrating and aggravating. But, there are ways to deal with them. If you are a site manager, try IP blocking or reporting them to the authorities if they threaten any of your users. If you are a user, the best practice is to ignore them. Internet trolls feed on attention. If you take that away from they, they should disappear.
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