Online Trolls! We have an army!

Guy and ScobleIn Karate students learn that holding an opponent is giving them power and access.  Real power is channeling the energy of your enemy away from you.

I have a great many friends who are prolific writers, bloggers and opinionated individuals.  I adore them and the risks they take. Do I always agree?  No.  Do I sometimes question how anyone could come to such divergent and sometimes disagreeable positions?  Yes.  How can I do that without being a Troll?  Here is the answer:  Don’t be a dick!

Ok, that was not it… but here it is.

Don’t go off topic and make is personal!

Simple right? You bet!  Unless of course  you are a dick, which is a precursor to being a Troll.  Once you are a Troll, you live on the Internet validating your isolation and contempt of humanity through your isolated and often insular experience.  Trolls have, or had, a grasp on  reality and set of topics but got lost themselves the dark arts of comments losing any trace of good judgement or soul.  As with “The One Ring”  Trolls say a similar refrain.

One Internet to rule them all, one Internet to find them,
One Internet to bring them all and in the comments bind them.

Why does this keep happening and how do we stop it?

First, Don’t rely on the technology that enables it to be the sole solution.  You can’t stop Trolls who have a mission or core belief they are doing battle to correct, shame, or get the attention of pundits from around the world.  Often it’s much more sublime.  They are Seagulls and have to shit on something or someone.  The Huff post is out to change the world by eliminating anonymous comments.  Good idea, won’t work.

I follow Robert Scoble.  I like him, and often agree with him.  He, like Guy Kawasaki, face Trolls much like the Hobbits fighting to free mankind of Sauron.  Chris Shipley is another who dared hoards of evil Trolls in person at Demo.  Ok, not Hobbits… they don’t have cool gadgets like you peeps do.  They have each addressed Trolls in the past in various ways.  Articles, replies, books and sometimes, by calling them out in public.   It’s a frustrating and tedious quest but they keep going.  Trolls come in droves and are free to strike from the shadows of the internet forcing everyone to witness the pain they deal out like the Dark Riders themselves.  The one thing this demonstrates is this attach can wear down even a true professionals.  Trolls do it knowing there is no recourse, no consequence, no true authority to silence them.  Or is there?

We all can help and here is my advice.  Channel the energy of our opponents into positive change!

  1. Let technology do what it can, but know it’s not enough
  2. When Trolls  go off the topic at hand, shame them with a simple and clear message
    • (Name) don’t go off topic and become a Troll
    • (Name) is off topic and is now a Troll
  3. Rinse wash repeat!

Gandalf:  “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…”

As of late, some of my favorite writers / online contributors have been reacting to Trolls and confronting them out of frustration.  This dialog has even devolved into a spat about They said, I said.  In some cases, it’s raged on and on, which left the topic so badly damaged it was useless reading the content.  The real problem is getting off topic.  Responding off topic is also off topic.  So contributors, here is my message to you:

Don’t go off topic and make is personal!

Let’s all band as a team and support the people who put themselves out sharing insights, ideas, information and sometimes TMI with us all.  When a Troll rises up to attack.  Simple say the magic words over and over and help keep this insanity from going on and on.

  1. (Name) don’t go off topic and become a Troll
  2. (Name) is off topic and is now a Troll

Even if it’s the (Name) of a contributor.  We need to stop Trolls, and frankly it takes a village.  Team up and call out. It’s the only way to stop Trolls.




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