How to Kill a Troll

Fri, Oct 16, 2009, by cybertruth

Web Talk

Why do we make this so complicated?

     Trolls are an inevitable aspect of today’s internet.  They are disruptive, and can at times be downright offensive.  Fortunately, if there is any real communication that occurs in a forum, they are also relatively easy to dispense with.  Let’s go over how.

     First, we need to understand what a troll is (and isn’t) because there are some misconceptions in this area.  A troll is an individual whos purpose is to create mayhem in some form or another.  They tend to be disruptive and crude, depending on how hard it is for them to garner the desired reaction.

     They can take a number of forms;  some operate exclusively in forums.  Others can go to one extreme or another; larger (one group orchestrated the delivery of images with flashing lights to the epilepsy foundation’s website) on down to the little ones (leaving unpleasant comments on an article.

     Someone who speaks in a manner you do not approve of, or who says something to you you don’t like is not a troll;  a good number of people have somehow that a troll is the same thing as a jerk, and it simply isn’t.

     That being said, there is one very simple way to weed out trolls…

     It really is this simple.   The trolls you find everywhere are, as a whole, garden variety everyday trolls.  They do what they do for attention, in the same way a 6 year old does.  And they should be treated accordingly.  Do not engage the troll;  as a general rule the guilty parties aren’t all that bright, and as such can’t be bargained with. (and won’t realize it if they’ve been out smarted).

     Ignore them!  It isn’t this complicated!  If you cut off that which they crave, they will leave for greener pastures.  Yes, they may throw insults.  Be aware of the rules of the site, and if they violate them, report it.  They will continue to cause trouble just as long as they get attention.  Communicate with each other.  If you see someone buying in, explain to them.  It works.  We are making this so much harder than it has to be; crying for moderators and such.

     Keep it simple;  trolls really do shrivel up and disappear if treated so. 

Liked it
69 Comments For This Post
  1. Teves Says:

    Nice one…Thanks for sharing this good article.

  2. R J Evans Says:

    Spot on advice. Ignore them as you would a child and they will soon go away.

  3. athena goodlight Says:

    “Do not feed the trolls-management.” I like this. You’re so right, they’re just there for attention. When it is given them, they bask in the glory. So, it’s good to just carry on and just ignore them, as RJ says.

  4. Jeffrey B. Merrow Says:


  5. Darla Beck Says:

    Yes, ignoring them is the best way to get rid of them.

  6. Renee Hendricks Says:

    They are a blight and I agree that most of the time ignoring them makes them go away. Not always, though.

    Good article.

  7. Payge Says:

    `I stopped going into the forum due to them and all the trouble it has.But yes,knows a troll when i see one and has no real use for them.

  8. hfj Says:

    Nice article. Better to ignore than argue with them, because there is no reasoning with them at all. Ignore, don’t explore. Good advice.

  9. LoveDoctor Says:

    Great article. I have written two articles on bullies of the internet as well. Ignoring them is good but confronting them works best.

  10. Drew Diligence Says:

    … Well you can try that…

    … However I think some sort of sword, or gun; may do a better job.

  11. Olivia Reason Says:

    Trolls are so provoking. Sometimes, it is hard to ignore them…

  12. keyboardologist Says:

    Good write. Some of them are fun to toy with.

  13. emmahaynes Says:

    I enjoy toying with trolls too Sharazad :) It is probably better to ignore them but I can’t help pointing out that they are in fact illiterate scum.
    …we all have our cross to bear

  14. Eric Goode Says:

    Everyone has a right to their opinion but no one should force their opinion on anyone.

  15. Seth Heartnett Says:

    We had alot on the forums.

  16. Vikram Chhabra Says:

    Thanks for the tip!

  17. Kaz M Says:

    Its almost fun to watch trolls have a complete and total mental breakdown. And sad too.

  18. dawngordon Says:

    does a troll follow you forum to forum and make fun of your grammar when you are bilingual, is that a troll to you? I know for a fact that not only do I let the troll go, I also let go of the ones who support those sort of trolls by further conversation with them

  19. Dreyan Says:

    I expected more.

  20. keyboardologist Says:

    One way to kill a troll, is to sneak up behind them when they are taking a drink of water, and slam the toilet seat on their head.

  21. Shamanz Says:

    really run stuff!

  22. goindia Says:

    Nice stuff. A good informative article.

  23. Lucas Dié Says:

    good advice given here

    and always remember to take it as a compliment that your article is good enough to attract a troll ;)

  24. electroman360 Says:

    i hate trolls, good they don’t exist

  25. Joe Dorish Says:

    Exactly right just ignore them. Trolls are easy to goad but not worth the time.

  26. Britany Kahle Says:

    Nice advice – thank you!

  27. dawngordon Says:

    the one thing though, which I will be writing about, some writers seem to believe it is better to leave up negative comments along with positive ones, I beg to differ because the negative editing might not be brought on by professionalism, something in the article can make them lash out, but they cover it up like a great edit

  28. dawngordon Says:

    an example would be

    you have written an article that tells others that chopping down a tree for two weeks is not really eco minded, so that person leaving a message uses those types of trees, so they have been pierced by your article, their conscious now knows it is not friendly to earth to do that, all of a sudden, it is grammar, it is your article not being right etc..making excuses for cutting down that tree, by blaming your article

    so I take the negative postings down, not from pride, but because it might be rooted to their own emotions brought on by what you have written

    keep this in mind when weeding out comments

  29. dawngordon Says:

    like I had one troll on my religion one on the tree, she complained that she has never met one Christian to complain about the jeremiah verse, and became nasty,

    it could be rooted to a variety of things

    1) she has not spoken to the type of Christians I have, scared of using a tree, that does not mean I am inaccurate

    2) she never knew about that verse in Jeremiah, and became flustered as a practicing Christian of 40 years not to know about it and was pierced by it

    3) she cuts down trees herself, and became upset by the knowledge it is not green

    renee made a good point, ONE, that if you used one in a pot, you can repot it, however how many do this? how many places sell a 4-6 ft tree with ROOTS, in a pot big enough to decorate in the winter time?

    any lists of these places?

  30. dawngordon Says:

    and you would have to keep it in that pot all winter long, because the soil is to hard to plant it,

    I have never heard of potted Christmas trees, or evergreens, it might be possible, but I do not see many do this

  31. DustinTheToucan Says:

    *ignores Jeff Merrow* Did it work? (Sorry, I had too.)

  32. MassterGee Says:

    I enjoy trolls and find them an engaging part of everyday activities on the internet.

  33. emmahaynes Says:

    Dawn, maybe she just disagreed with you? We are all entitled to our own opinions. If you take it to heart so much that you repeatedly post on another writer’s article about your own issues then maybe you’re in the wrong business.

    Writers are in a cut throat industry with people ready to tear your work to pieces in an instant. There are bad writers, good writers and tremendous writers. The lucky (or smart) amongst us will take the comments of others on board to better our abilities.

  34. James DeVere Says:

    It’s a symptom of a free society and I remember one commentor saying about Russia after the fall of Communism, “Before you couldn’t keep them quiet and now you can’t shut them up!”

    Thanks for the write . j

  35. willie wondka Says:

    i suppose you get trolls on most web sites like vultures hanging around for the kill.

  36. dawngordon Says:

    emma, no offense, she said Christians i mentioned did not exist? like i was lying about the ones about the trees?

  37. dawngordon Says:

    well if you feel it is lucky or smart go for it, I wrote an article on dark predators who leave comments, dark from the past in other circles or forums, problems you have had with others that have nothing to do with writing etc…

  38. Theresa Johnson Says:

    damn. I was hoping you were going to say just to make troll stew out of them…lol.. you advice is rather dead on…

  39. Edward Chan Says:

    this article is pretty much a troll LOL!

  40. IngridSengerPerkins Says:

    In my experience, trolls are nasty pieces of work. Having been a moderator I have seen a few! They generally make snide comments, then the recipient gets all upset, types a reply which has errors due to the emotions, which then gets picked on.

    Generally, a disagreement between two people is just that. Trolls will make personal attacks, and I have seen that trolls are always right!

    Of course they are…

    Trolls will spend their time waiting for the reply. Surely it is fun not replying and knowing that some idiot somewhere is wasting hours waiting for a reply.

    Topknotchwriter – How do we know you aren’t the troll? You have come here and been abusive. Who cares if the author is a troll? If they are, then they know better than most how to get rid of them. So take your nastiness elsewhere!

  41. dharokowns Says:

    Hmm, I know sometimes I leave bad comments, but that is when I know the person is either severely stupid or plainly wrong, but I don’t consider myself a troll. Nice article.

  42. thehumanmarshmellow Says:

    Yes, this does usually work, on our website though, if they dont go away we end up fighting back…

  43. cardy Says:

    A great article enjoyed the read as much as the comments lol nice work.

  44. WonderWall Says:

    How does I troll

  45. MR AWESOME Says:

    nice work, doctor styles.
    *quote from trauma center, under the knife*

    i like it. i wish i got something in hot content :/
    you must have made a fortune with this :)

  46. AndAnotherThing Says:

    I\’ve seen people who take an opposing view called trolls on numerous occasions. It is a convenient defence for the stupid who publish rubbish and are unable to argue coherently. I\’ve also seen a writer who, when s/he was objected that a high and mighty self appointed site had plagiarised her work, was called a troll.

    I publish extensively on Xomba now. There you can flag rude remarks – that is sufficient.

    Trolls were once decent creatures and it is a pity that nerds have taken their name to attach to offensive behaviour

  47. sweetie1 Says:

    thats a very good blog..keep the good work up.

  48. LilRoastBeef Says:

    great job!! HC as well!!

  49. Isabella Wulf Says:

    “Do not engage the troll”
    I repeat, “Do not engage the troll”
    and that’s how it’s done. Nice write, Gramps.


  50. Snooky Says:

    Never knew about pc trolls until now. I just figured that there were a lot of mentally deficient people roaming the nets and let them go on there merry way.

  51. glamorousamanda Says:

    Wonderful article, kudos. In most cases ignoring the less fortunate troll will cease the disturbance; as all of these trolls crave attention. However, there are some extreme cases in which the troll will not leave; stalk pages, contact friends to find out personal information, act to steal your identity or work, and act like a toddler. I’ve had experience, being terminal, I was told that I should “die” and that she was “not going away until I killed myself”. It’s now in the hands of a lawyer and police because it got so bad; so I warn all that these people do have the standings to take it to a level beyond the simple bad comment or insult.

    Secondly, I would like to mention that a troll often leaves obsessive comments on articles that may hit home; as they say the truth hurts. These comments often are in no subject to the article, as the ones I read above; used to stir the pot. I would classify anyone who leaves a span of 3-4 or more comments in rapid succession to an article of this correctness as that of a troll; mentally ill and seeking attention. Or as I say, a glutton for punishment. Wouldn’t you agree? These trolls may often write articles in slander to others who refused to give the attention they sought out for.

    Great article.

  52. mystery writter Says:

    Wow!I just found your article and havent hjad a chance to check out the forum.It seems to have its fair share of different charactors.But your article was intersing and intends to ignore a troll if I see one.

  53. James DeVere Says:

    I think also you can go into the COMMENTS section somewhere and BLOCK SENDER.

    That works . Thanks for the stimulating discourse . j

  54. rbs612 Says:

    Why shouldn’t the trolls be utilized for the benefit of the Internet Users. The positive side of the trolls can be well understood, by going through the article, Beyond The Mirage of The Alluring Programs on The Internet, published at this very site.

  55. Ms Blond Girl Says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s good to inform the rest of the community of this reality.

  56. nastyhoe Says:

    you kill a troll by doing it all night,non-stop.i swear,it me…it’s been done ;)

  57. ManjeetSingh Says:

    Work with Go India and make money. Go for Go India and start making money from Online Business. If you are interested in earning Rs.10000/- and more by working at Home or Office, then visit No false commitments. Add money to your Bank Account. This is interesting and this is Easy. Start earning from the Internet. Make your life easy. No need to waste you time and money. Have you ever made and earning from the Internet.Join Now !! Real Online Ad Posting Job Work. No MLM. No Selling. We have got Overseas Project from UK. Ad ID : workfromhomejobs28

  58. ghdfans Says:

    GHD Straighteners is a well known brand in the world market. GHD Iv Styler has been highly praised by the customer. The gucci bags and birkenstock sandals got the warmly welcomed by the female from all over the world. The gucci outlet has the excellent appearance and structural durabilities.It’s easy for the newer to use the it.Believe me ,It’s time to change style by ourself.You are no longer to go to the barber shop. Because you are the Barber.

  59. Ben Johnsonnn Says:

    This is not a wildlife sanctuary ~ do not feed the trolls.

  60. Jackie B Says:

    Posted on Feb. 17, 2011 on my local area Topix forum:
    “I think Internet trolls believe themselves to be actual mythical trolls. There may be some truth to this. Since trolls live in their mothers’basements, eating hamburger, french fries and drinking Yoo-Hoos, their tendency to be basement-dwelling nerds approximates the living conditions found underneath a bridge. Furthermore, wouldn’t it be a hoot if “our” troll got amnesia? It would have roundrobin discussions among its various alter-egos, create utter confusion and chaos, ultimately driving him totally insane! Remember, fellow posters, do not feed the trolls.”

  61. JackieB Says:

    By the way, I enjoyed reading the article!

Leave a Reply
comments powered by Disqus