Surviving Internet Trolls

Daniel Vergara and Ivan Ledgard, Staff Writers

The Internet is addicting. Let’s face it; how many of us have spent time on social media outlets minding our own business, when suddenly a stranger who seeks conflict emerges in your notifications? As old as the concept of  trolling may be, people all around the world still manage to get fooled over the Internet.

Who better to tell you how to avoid trolls than a couple of these dirtbags themselves, right?

Trolls on the Internet are savages who specialize in making innocent Internet users miserable because they have nothing better to do with their time.

To capture the attention of innocent virtual bystanders, a troll uses “bait”- a silly comment or post that lures you into an argument that lacks any notion of rhetoric in order to initiate the altercation. The “bait” of a common troll is usually poorly constructed banter with no logic.

Responding to a troll and trying to reason with him is known as “feeding the troll”. By doing this, you are giving in to his meticulously-constructed plot; once you hit that “send” button, you have allowed the troll to manipulate your emotions. “Feeding the troll” will only make him want to continue. He will not stop;instead, he will see how long you can last without relent until you give up.

Another type of troll takes advantage of their writing and argumentative skills and defends stupidity and illogical statements. This type of troll often demonstrates a low level of cunning that should not be mistaken for intelligence.

The most important tip to know is that if you ever receive an argumentative or aggressive comment the first thing you must do is identify the suspected troll. Go through the suspect’s account; if most of his posts consist of unintelligent arguments or posts, do not reply at all. Simply block this person. He or she is obviously a troll. If not, then it is your choice to either engage the argument or not.

 Trolls tend to attack sensitive topics like personal beliefs because they know that their comments will catch your attention and make you feel compelled to reply.

Posting a status about something you are passionate about makes you vulnerable. For example, feminist pages were bombarded by many “meninist” trolls who argued the complete opposite of feminist ideals even though some points were completely illogical and meant exclusively for ridicule.

We are not saying “do not post your opinion”, we simply seek to make you a better deconstructionist of troll arguments. It is your right to post what you would like, but ask yourself before you do: “Who cares about my opinion?”

If you do feel the need to post a status about a subject that is near-and-dear to you, anticipate the unwelcome arrival of trolls and brace yourself for their unintelligent virtual onslaught.

The greatest way to prevent trolls from contacting you ever, is by making use of private profiles, however, this requires a lot of effort on your part.

If you realize you are being trolled mid-argument, simply agree with your opponent and create illogical statements yourself. This will throw them off and eliminate their urge to continue. We have provided you with a well developed response of this nature: “Hey, wow you have helped me see the light of day! Blenders are better for drying your hair than blow-dryers. Now that I think of it, maybe adding ketchup into your shampoo bottle will make the process even speedier.” This tactic should work on the troll’s initial comment as well.