Another dot in the blogosphere?

(Not) Responding to a troll

Posted on: August 12, 2015

Trolls say things online to feed their egos and lure emotional responses. If you respond, it will enable the cycle and likely escalate. If you do not, it looks as if the troll wins.

I do not often get trolled, but when I do, I remind myself what to do and not do.

T minus 14 days by TimOve, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  TimOve 

I asked my telco on Twitter if it was going to provide free voice, SMS, and data over the long National Day weekend like the other telcos were doing.

The telco said they had other offers. Eventually they got round to the issue after I repeated my question more directly.

That should have ended the matter, but a troll decided to weigh in.

What are the signs of a Twitter troll? Let us use my troll as an example.

It hides its ugliness behind a fake face and name. It leaves a trail of evidence in the language and content of its timeline.

A troll lacks empathy and sees things only from its point of view. In this case, it did not see how I need mobile data as I work on-the-move.

A troll seeks to draw argument for argument’s sake instead of serving a larger purpose. That is why it chose not to see my chiding of StarHub for not joining the party and providing goodwill to its customer base.

This example of trolling is mild. It has not wandered into the territory of harassment. But like any instance of trolling, it provides teaching and learning moments if we take them.

Resist the urge to respond to the troll. If you must respond, do not walk over the troll’s bridge. Fight the troll and trolling on your own terms.


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