Blog Trolls

A blog troll is someone who makes negative comments on your blog. Do you know how to handle a blog comment troll when he arrives at your blog?

  • Before You Start: You have a business blog.
  • Learning Level: 3 | Building Skills
  • Article Last Updated:  Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blog Comment Trolls

Having a comment policy won't keep the trolls away, but helps you take action when they appear.

Some bloggers complain about comments left by trolls, people who take a negative view of the post and seem to overreact to the content. Trolls are out there, and may find their way to your blog.

Trolls are just one challenge you face when you allow the public to post on your blog. One of the smartest things you can do is create a blog comment policy that explains to your visitors what you expect from commenters, and what you do when they break the rules.

Identifying Trolls

Every blogger must develop a thick skin. You write your blog to express your opinion and describe the world as you see it. Not everyone will agree with you.

Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a troll, however. If you allow comments on your blog, you are going to get comments from people who don’t agree. Remember that variety of opinions is what makes the world so interesting. Embrace different opinions and your life as a blogger gets much easier.

Dealing With Trolls

When a troll shows up in your comments, it can be shock to your system. Don’t do anything if you don’t have cool head. You don’t have to rush to action. In fact, taking any action while your blood is hot is never a good idea.

Give yourself time to think about the situation. Has the troll really done anything more than disagree with you? If action is required, start by making an unemotional response. Thank the commenter for expressing her opinion. Did the troll make any valid points (even if you don’t agree)? Thank him for adding those points to the conversation. You can also make a statement about how people have different opinions and thank him for sharing.

Did the troll cross the line? Did she use profanity or abusive language? When a commenter crosses the line, you must decide if you are doing to edit their comment or delete it. It’s really important that you are clear about why you choose either option. You may be challenged to defend your choice later. It’s your blog, but if your community thinks you have overreacted or censored someone, you may lose your audience.

Avoiding Trolls

You can do a lot to avoid trolls by the way you set the tone for your blog. Do you love controversy and like to stir the pot with your posts? You are more likely to find trolls hanging out on your blog than someone who sticks to the middle of the road. That just means you need to develop a thicker skin about comments and get used to trolls.

Creating and publishing your blog comments policy is a smart thing. It gives you a way to explain your actions toward any troll. Be sure to post your comment policy with your comments form.

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Your turn: Have you encountered blog trolls? Have you seen blog trolls on other sites? Share what you learned from your experience.

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About author:

Charlene Kingston is the small business person behind the Social Media DIY Workshop.

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