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.