Here There Be Blog Trolls–How to Spot Them & What To Do

 

I know you guys think we are in the 21st century and that we are far too sophisticated to believe in mythical creatures, but I am here to share a real threat. Lurking beneath the digital highway?

There be trolls.

Trolls? Yep. Trolls. Not the cute fuzzy ones with twirly hair that go on the end of a pencil, either. I am talking mean, nasty, ugly, “take a bite out of your billy-goat @$$” TROLLS.  BLOG TROLLS. Most writers have a fear of trolls. It is embedded deep within the collective subconscious to fear these nasty creatures of spite and hate. But, I hope, with some proper preparation, you can resume zipping down the digital highway unafraid…though I do advise you to stop at a later point to hose the trolls out of your grill.

Leave them there and they stink up the place.

Before we talk about how to handle trolls, I think we first need to discuss exactly what a Blog Troll is.

What is a Blog Troll?

Many writers believe that we should all live in a pink fluffy land of cuddles where everyone thinks our words are golden nuggets of sunshine. Our comments section is not a place of debate *GASP!*Au gauche! The comments section is a perk for our peeps…to make is easier for them to declare, far and wide, our unrivaled awesomeness.

Duh. Everyone knows that.

You might be thinking. Kristen! Why are you blogging about this? It’s easy to spot trolls. They are the only ones who disagree with me, the only ones who doesn’t affirm how I’m the best thing since kitten calendars.

Yeah. I do agree that all of you are the best thing since kitten calendars, but we need to put on our Big Blogger pants and be professionals. Just because someone disagrees or has a different point of view does not automatically make the commenter a troll. It is HOW the person comments. Disagreement is fine, but it should be respectful.

Just Because Someone Disagrees, Does Not Automatically Make this Person a Blog Troll

I know that, as an expert, it can be tough to teach without speaking in general terms. There are ALWAYS exceptions to just about everything. Thus, when I blog about how heavy use of flashbacks can make readers have epileptic seizures, I KNOW I am going to get the standard, “But la la la used flashbacks and she is now a bazillionaire who regularly bathes in diamonds and stacks of crisp Benjamins.”

Yep, got it.

And, truth be told, I don’t mind those comments because I do feel that part of honing our craft is to not just learn the standard, but then to go and study the exceptions as well. Why DID that writer get away with nine thousand adverbs when the rest of us would have been egged and stripped of our Word privileges until we’d read Strunk & White? Looking to anomalies is useful. So when readers politely point out exceptions? No problemo.

We Should Be Secure Enough to Defend Our Position as Needed

If we are blogging on factual things, we do not need to be omnipotent, but we should be competent. This really applies to a lot of the NF authors out there. For instance, I am not the Oracle of All Things Writing, but if I am going to blog about the craft??? Yeah, I should know it well to defend my position should I need to. I generally don’t defend unless I think a commenter has made a point that might confuse readers.

For instance, I had a blog about hooking readers and how passive goals like “staying alive” or “running away” were a tough sell. It is better to have an active goal and will make plotting far easier. A commenter chirped in that I was wrong, and that “The Great Escape” was a classic and an exception. “The Great Escape” actually wasn’t an exception, so I made sure to address that comment. (For those who are curious, the story goal of “The Great Escape” was not to escape or to run away, but rather to create a diversion to reroute the Germans away from the Allied forces–tangible and active).

Debate is Healthy

Now, I don’t consider that commenter a troll and am happy he took time to bring up that example. It made me think and I do believe it was a great example that helped those who were following the comment thread. There are some movies and books that seem like they might be “getting away with” passive plot goals, loads of flashbacks, or any some other literary faux pas, but if we look closer, we often see the screenwriter/writer is not as big of a rule-breaker as we might have first thought. OR, if the screenwriter/writer DID break some rules, often I can take a moment to explain HOW the writer broke the rule and WHY he got away with it.

I have had a lot of commenters bring up points that made me think, and the good debate actually made me stronger. There have even been times I have changed my position or opinion due to a commenter. If we aren’t learning we’re dying.

All blogs can benefit from debate. If a commenter disagrees, take a moment to really understand what he is saying. Sometimes you might be surprised. Blogs thrive and die every day due to the blogger’s relationship (or lack thereof) with readers.

So now that we have established that disagreement is good, even healthy…what IS a Blog Troll.

 

Your blog sucks and you should DIEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Blog Trolls are Disrespectful

We can disagree without being an equestrian derierre. Bloggers are human and make mistakes. We all have bad days. I recall a commenter back a few months ago just absolutely razed me for a handful of typos. Little did that person know that my aunt had slipped into a coma and died over the weekend. I was exhausted and distracted and honestly didn’t see the mistakes. Yet, there was nothing in my five typos that warranted the reaction, which brings me to my next point…

Blog Trolls are Often Emotional

We all get emotional, but Blog Trolls? They get PSYCHO emotional. I once wrote a really funny blog that posited the question, “Are we being responsible novel parents or dead-beat book daddies?” The blog was about WRITING. It was a HUMOR post, not a commentary on separation and child-custody issues. Aside from the use of “dead-beat book daddies” I talked about BOOKS and WRITING.

Anyway, out of nowhere I had a commenter morph into a LUNATIC. He ranted that I was a man-hater, then proceeded to insult every other person who’d commented and even hunted me to Facebook and insulted every person who talked to me on Facebook. Then, when I deleted his comments and booted him from my Facebook, he started his own blog—I KID you NOT—Kristen Lamb the Face of Misandry (which means man-hating, btw. I had to look it up, too).

I wish I were kidding.

What to Do About a Troll?

Don’t take it personally. The world is full of jerks. Look at the bright side. You could be them ;).

Accept that Not Everyone Will Love You

Awww. *sniff* I KNOW! This almost makes me cry. To think that not everyone thinks I am awesome? Well they must be sick, right?

Yeah, I hate to say it, but there is no law of the universe that dictates everyone must love us. No matter how hard we try, there will always be a percentage of people who just don’t like us. For me, it is a far, far, far, almost statistically meaningless percentage…like a mere .000000009%….okay, yeah. I know I can’t please everyone.

For you NF people establishing expertise, just expect the commenter who tells you that you have the brain of a monkey and that you are a loser poseur fake. My favorite comment like this? Kristen, you have to actually BE an expert at something before you can claim to be an expert. Yeah. OUCH. Oh well. It happens *shrugs*

But, how do you handle a Blog Troll?

Start with being kind. Few things diffuse someone who has blown an emotional fuse quicker than a dose of kindness. Just like that guy had no idea I’d had a death in the family, I have no idea what might have been falling apart in his life. This is one of the reasons we shouldn’t take things personally. It really isn’t about us. That nasty rant likely has more to do with the pile of bills, sucky job, or nasty divorce than it has to do with us or our content. All of us have shown our @$$ at one time or another. If we want grace from others, we should be quick to offer forgiveness and patience.

If you make a mistake, be quick to admit it. We are bloggers not God. Yes, being writers make us feel a lot like The Big Guy, but unlike Him, we screw up. If someone points out where we are wrong…and they are correct? It is a bit embarrassing, but not the end of the world. Just politely thank the commenter and take the mea culpa. Most people won’t remember if we screwed up. They will, however, remember if we screwed up and then spent three weeks arguing and trying to cover our mistake.

The Troll who ranted about my five typos? He did have a legitimate complaint, kind of. The blog was about editing and I had several glaring typos (granted the post was actually NOT about line-editing, but rather content editing). But, I corrected the oopses and thanked him for his diligence…and then watched with a huge grin as a handful of you pounced on him, slapped him around and made him mind his manners.

Y’all ARE the best thing since kitten calendars.

Don’t feel the need to approve haters. If someone is emotionally out of control and disrespectful, don’t feel the need to let them in. Commenters need to feel safe to voice an opinion and Trolls can make people afraid to comment. Relationships are about setting boundaries. I know Piper Bayard e-mails Trolls and tells them she has trashed their comment, but then tells them that if they will voice their disagreement in a more respectful way, she’d be happy to approve them.

Good fences make good neighbors.

Don’t Defend Unless You Need To

I have a saying. “People have the right to be wrong.” Sometimes a commenter is way off base or rude. Just move on. Many times your loyal commenters will pop the offending troll on the snoot and remind them that piddling in the comments section is rude.

Focus on the Positive

Trolls offer us perspective and humilty. Like leeches, turkey buzzards and lice all serve a viable part of the Earth’s ecosystem, Blog Trolls offer balance to the blog ecosystem (like scaring away the uncommitted). But, just because Tazmanian Devils serve a purpose in the Circle of Life doesn’t mean we should include them in the petting zoo. Same with Trolls. Focus on all the kind and supportive people. They deserve our attention more anyway ;).

So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with my definition of a “blog troll?” Have you had an experience you’d like to share? Any tips for handling these beasties of the web?

I LOVE hearing from you guys!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of January, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of January I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books!

Happy writing!


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  1. #1 by Catherine Johnson on January 11, 2012 - 9:35 am

    That’s so awesome, Kristen! I merely cannot tell the difference sometimes between a trendy new spam comment doing the rounds and a genuine troll who hates my blog. The spammers are getting so clever, but that is digressing. I am happy to report I have not seen any trools and will pretend they are all spammers if one shows up. :)

  2. #2 by Jodi Lobozzo Aman on January 11, 2012 - 9:42 am

    I haven’t the luck to have a troll, yet! But this is the second post today I read about them. Hmmm. If I read a third, then I know the Universe is trying to tell me something!

  3. #3 by TL Jeffcoat on January 11, 2012 - 9:47 am

    Misandry. Wow, that’s actually pretty funny that someone made a Blog to hate you. I would probably blush from all the attention if that happened to me. Great tips for dealing with trolls. They aren’t just on blog comments either, they are everywhere. I used to battle them on message boards years ago before I learned the more you fight them, the more they rant.

  4. #4 by Helen Hollick on January 11, 2012 - 9:58 am

    Coincidence: I have something similar on my blog this week – A New Sport? Author Bashing.

    http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for this really useful article Kristen. I think we all fall prey to the trolls and answer their rudeness because they touch a nerve (done it myself :-(
    Your tips have been taken on board though – thank you!

  5. #5 by Marcy Kennedy on January 11, 2012 - 10:01 am

    I haven’t encountered a troll yet, but I’d be naive to think I never will. I love what Piper does. I’ve filed that away in the “how to deal with trolls” section of my brain in case I need it for future use.

    I’m also glad you pointed out that not everyone who disagrees is a troll. I actually love a hearty discussion between people who see a topic differently. I think it helps us all grow. But that discussion needs to stay focused on the issue and never degrade into personal attacks, undue sarcasm (as opposed to humorous sarcasm), or just plain rudeness.

  6. #6 by Jill Kemerer on January 11, 2012 - 10:08 am

    Just last week I encountered a Troll, and it made me laugh. It was very passive aggressive, with digs at how a “real writer” would “know the facts,” etc… although I’d included a link to the NYTimes article I was discussing. The best part? The comment was anonymous. I approved it. Like you said, don’t take it personally! People can be strange!

  7. #7 by Sue on January 11, 2012 - 10:09 am

    I haven’t had any trolls on my blog, yet. Lot’s of spamers that WordPress filters out! Having a blog made to hate you? That sucks, but it puts you right up with The Pioneer Woman. (She has a real hater making a very nasty blog just to disrespect her.)

  8. #8 by April Plummer (@April_Plummer) on January 11, 2012 - 10:10 am

    It’s funny that you mention how we don’t know what’s going on in their lives. I had a hard time as a kid. HARD. Girls in middle school were very, very cruel to me. My mom always told me to be kind – I don’t know what’s going on in their lives that make them the way they are. She told me to always remember that, and I do. My husband teases me for my optimism, for looking for the good in everyone.

    But, I’m also learning my limits. No time for poison in your life – and that goes for so-called friends, family, and trolls. Great post! Your posts always get me smiling.

    BTW – I can’t believe someone had so little to do with his time that he made up an entire blog against you. Sheesh!

  9. #9 by Tom Gold on January 11, 2012 - 10:13 am

    Kristen, I’m new to blogging and social media in general but I have to agree with TL Jeffcoat. If somebody dislikes me enough to set up a website I’ll be flattered.

  10. #10 by Darlene Steelman on January 11, 2012 - 10:14 am

    I haven’t encountered a troll yet, either. Unless, like Catherine, I would include the witty spam comments with fluffy language that get caught in the snare.

    Someone dedicated an entire blog to you… awesome! Did you frame the header and hang it on your wall?. ;) I would!

    Great post.

  11. #11 by K.B. Owen on January 11, 2012 - 10:20 am

    Wow, Kristen – the guy actually set up a HATE blog? That’s just nuts, and scary. Fortunately, I’ve never had something that bad happen, but a guy got really rude about a post I did where I used “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” as a metaphor for writing tactics. You should have seen Jenny Hansen jump all over the dude. It was a joy to watch. Thanks again, Jenny! :)

  12. #12 by kristin nador on January 11, 2012 - 10:23 am

    Thank you Kristen for the in-depth troll analysis.This is timely for me as I’ve been getting a steadily increasing stream of commenters. I haven’t had to deal with a blatant troll on my blog, but I’m wondering if certain types of commenters would be considered trollish. I recently had a commenter who, although politely contributed to the conversation and politely disagreed with some of the points I had made (yay! discussion!), seemed to dominate it (with over 4 comments in one blog – each almost as long as the original blog post) and steer it in directions that made it seem reasonable to include 2 to 3 links to his/her own blog in each comment to demonstrate expertise. Am I a control freak blog master or is this an example of passive-agressive trollery? Is there such a thing? Help, oh Wise One.

  13. #13 by Paul Welch on January 11, 2012 - 10:26 am

    A very important post and a wonderful reminder. The internet often distances us from personal accountability. It wouldn’t surprize me if one day we see a psychology study released to suggest that people’s brains view social media/ internet usage in the same way we relate to inanimate objects or “game” like activities. Rather than understanding, at a biochemical level, that there are real human beings with flesh and bone on the other side of the words, our brains likely interpret it as “[inanimate object] that (emotionally) stubs our toe.”

    There’s also a dissolution of responsibility and consequence, which can lead to dangerous things. Add to that the fact that people seldom filter themselves and often reply in the heat of the moment, and things can get pretty nasty!

    Online professionalism is probably something that’s going to be taught in schools one day, beginning in kindergarten. If, that is, it’s not already being taught!

    Thanks for the post!

  14. #14 by artfulhelix on January 11, 2012 - 10:39 am

    I always enjoy reading your blogs. As a new writer I find your wisdom a great help. You have such a way with words that inspires me.
    I can say I have never had a blog troll, but I find they pop up in many other places. I posted a portion of my ruff draft of my prologue and first chapter on a writers forum hoping to get good constructive feedback. unforchantly I had circumstances in my life that cosed me to miss a lot of school growing up, to say the least I can’t spell my way out of a paper bag. This commenter riped me a new one, telling me I should not post a thing without knowing what I am doing, he of cores wasn’t that nice righting three paragraphs about how I suck. I rely a lot on my spell check, which doesn’t always understand me. I didn’t have to say a word. Another commenter pointed out I didn’t misspell a thing, merely used a different spelling. So I left the troll alone and went about my writing, after thanking those who gave the feedback I was looking for.
    Thank you for all the wonderful and informative posts!

    Maria A W :D

  15. #15 by Leanne Shirtliffe on January 11, 2012 - 10:40 am

    I’ve had a couple scathing comments about how I’m a horrible mother. Mostly, they’ve made me laugh, because the commenters have missed my tone, making them look not-so-intelligent. This makes it easier to take. Another way to deal with it is to let your loyal peeps come to your defense. If you read the comments on my about page, you’ll see how Clay Morgan and others gave one of my trolls a firm “talking to.” It was fun to watch, actually.

  16. #16 by Angela Wallace on January 11, 2012 - 10:44 am

    Great advice, Kristen. I’ve never had a troll on my blog, but a friend of mine has had one or two. They make me mad, and I’m always ready to leap to her defense, but I’m not sure if that is my place, since it’s her blog. But you’re saying if we’re loyal fans of a blog and see blog trolls, we should pounce on them? (With kindness, of course. :-) )

  17. #17 by Julie Farrar on January 11, 2012 - 10:52 am

    Hmmmm . . . new measure of success for writing self: grow enough followers so that I actually ATTRACT trolls. Heck, right now I don’t even seem to be spam worthy since I don’t even see them tucked away in my google blog spam filter.

  18. #18 by Catie Rhodes on January 11, 2012 - 10:53 am

    I appreciate what you’ve said here. Since I started blogging in May (best thing I ever did, and I did it because of you, Kristen), I’ve had a few comments where I wondered what I should do. Since none of them were truly disrespectful, I approved them, put on my flame retardent undies and politely dealt with it. I was glad I did in every case. I really like that you had suggestions for judging when commenters have crossed the line into trolldom. Sometimes, I am so close to my writing that I am not a good judge.

  19. #19 by sarahnsh on January 11, 2012 - 10:54 am

    I get a lot of spam comments that make absolutely no sense. I’ve had a spam comment complaining I don’t have any pictures, so I put them up, and then another saying how the pictures aren’t enough and so after that I kind of keep it as is. It’s more of the random stuff that doesn’t make any sense that gets filtered into my spam box on WordPress.

  20. #20 by Piper Bayard on January 11, 2012 - 11:08 am

    Excellent definition of a troll, and excellent advice on how to handle them. I think some people move around the internet as if they were moving around inside their own heads, completely unaware that there actually are people on the other side of those blogs. When I have emailed people offering them an opportunity to restate themselves in a way that shows respect for themselves and for other readers, not one has answered.

    Thank you for the shout out. And remember. You’re not a blogging celebrity until you’ve gotten at least a dozen trolls. :)

  21. #21 by vanillamom on January 11, 2012 - 11:08 am

    Kristen, this was really a great “how to”…I’ve kind of felt my way along…I’ve not had too many dust-ups with commenters, although there was that one guy who kept telling me what the characters should do next…according to his way of thinking…

    and I did wind up emailing him privately and handled it politely…and he repented… :)…

    internet and etiquette should not be mutually exclusive terms…thanks for pointing out some valuable options!

    nilla

  22. #22 by Graeme Smith on January 11, 2012 - 11:36 am

    Lady Kristin

    I confess. I sort of disagreed with you recently.
    Yes – I’m a pansy :-P.
    But that doesn’t mean I don’t think you’re awesome. Heck, I _know_ you’re awesome. I, like, quote you and _everything_! (and yes, I do. And I attribute. And link. And just in case anybody mis-interprets, I genuinely do think Lady K is in fact severely awesome :-) ).
    But I’d almost disagree again. Not about trolls. Trolls are nastry. Trolls are…
    No. Not about trolls :-).
    I’d sort of disagree about, um disagreeable people. As in, people who don’t agree with us, not people who are…
    Perhaps I should start again :-). Or go away, but I’ll start again instead :-) :-).
    I don’t just think we should be OK with people who disagree with us. I’d rather say, it is in general the people who disagree with us who are are our greatest opportunities. Opportunities for one of the most valuable things a blog (or forum) can generate. And that’s a conversation. Not to necessarily convert them to our view, but just to, like, talk. In words and, like, stuff :-P. Because if I say “All crows are black”, and you say “Yup, you’re right” – then the conversation pretty much stops there. But (without either side being trollish), if I say “All crows are black”, and you say “Well hell, boy. I don’t want to be ornery, but you’re just plain dumb. I saw me a white one yesterday.”, and I say “Are you sure it wasn’t a dove?”, and you say “Darn tootin’! I been raised in these woods gender-specific old person and gender-specific young person, and I know my doves from my crows!”, and I say…
    Well, we talk.
    So I like people who disagree with me. Even if I don’t like trolls. But I guess I have to ask myself – well, and you too – am I just Trollicus-Idiotus, and don’t recognise it? :-)

    The Idiot
    or
    UNSCM

    • #23 by gilliansnotebook on September 3, 2014 - 2:50 pm

      Hi Graeme: :D Nope. I don’t find you the least bit trollish. People can have honest disagreements and either agree to disagree on whatever the topic is or find a middle ground and move on. Normal people do this. Trolls…. they’re just simple folk. The common clay of the new west. You know….morons. :)

      (Thank you Gene Wilder).

      But seriously, folks, people like that, who go around just HATING everything about everybody. You gotta wonder. Do they still live in the basement of their childhood home, while collecting disability social assistance? Did they have a touch childhood and have gone one to take out their hatred on random targets who might remind them, albeit generally, on their childhood abuser?

      What IS THEIR PROBLEM????

      Whatever is the root of their issues, it’s just plain sad :'( that they have so little in the way of an actual LIFE that they have to find people to HATE for no REAL reason.

      • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 3, 2014 - 2:53 pm

        Our job is to leave it THEIR problem and not make it OURS. Granted this is far easier said than done…

        • #25 by gilliansnotebook on September 3, 2014 - 2:57 pm

          Agreed. “Consider the source” and move on. Saying anything to these people usually just adds fuel to their fire. There’s a good youtube movie, “I can make you love me.” with Richard Thomas and Brooke Shields, where he plays a stalker. NO matter WHAT she says, he takes it the way HE wants. In todays world, he is probably what a troll would be. A cyber stalker.

      • #26 by gilliansnotebook on September 3, 2014 - 2:55 pm

        One line…that should be TOUGH childhood. They need to add editing features to these pages. Gggrrrr

  23. #27 by Donna Brown on January 11, 2012 - 11:37 am

    I agree with everything you’re saying here, Kristen. In fact, I like Trolls. In the entertainment business there is a saying: “Even bad publicity is good publicity.” the fact that person is on your blog and making a statement is a sign that someone cares about what you’re saying, even if they don’t agree, and even if they make an @55 of themselves. “Thank you Troll for coming to my blog and saying that what I have said struck a nerve with you. I’m sorry for you that you don’t know how to express yourself like a human being, but I do appreciate that you care.

  24. #28 by Gloria Richard Author on January 11, 2012 - 11:37 am

    I have (thankfully) had no trolls yet.

    I had one blogger wax not-so-poetic about what was wrong with statements in one of my posts. I don’t even remember the topic. I simply remember that I responded with an apology if I offended, but felt she misunderstood my meaning. I had simply stated my PERSONAL preference/opinion. Thanked her for her visit and went on.

    You’re right, Kristen, You never know what kind of day (or what baggage) the insulted reader brought to the party.

    True trolls? I haven’t yet had one on my site. There is someone who hits spam regularly, anxious to sell UGG knock-offs. Let me know if you’d like some UGGS. I’ll send them your way.

    Love the way our 2012 Presidential Team (Bayard/Lamb) handle the trolls.

  25. #29 by Tameri Etherton on January 11, 2012 - 11:57 am

    Fortunately, I’ve never had a troll, possibly because most of my readers and commenters are the golden and beautiful WANA peeps. They are all too well-behaved to leave scathing remarks. I did have one negative comment way back when I first started and I handled it like you suggest, with kindness. I happened to know the circumstances behind the negative comment and didn’t take it personally.

    I remember that guy who slammed you for the typos. Hey, we’re all human and make mistakes. Did I see the typos on your post? You betcha. Did they bother me? Nope, because I got the gist of your post without focusing on the minutiae. I didn’t know what was going on with your aunt until later when I read some of the comments defending you. It made me sad and feel sorry for the guy. If that’s all he has to do in his day, that’s pretty lame.

    Thanks for the advice on how to handle the trolls out there. Not only do you give great advice, you lead by example. A fabulous display of grace and dignity.

  26. #30 by Tiffany White on January 11, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    I’ve had one bad troll, but then he emailed me apologizing and asking me to retract his comment – one of those “not thinking before speaking” type moments. I gave him huge props for admitting that, considering I had no idea who he was, and I did as he wished – removed his comment.

  27. #31 by Joe Iriarte on January 11, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    Good post on this topic–thanks for writing about it!

    I can’t tell you how tempted I am to set up a quick Blogspot devoted to calling TL Jeffcoat and Tom Gold doodyheads, but it probably wouldn’t be as funny in the execution as it is in my head, alas. *grin*

  28. #33 by Carolyn Nicander Mohr on January 11, 2012 - 12:26 pm

    Great post, Kristen. I’m impressed someone dedicated an entire blog to you. What’s the expression – I don’t care what you say about me as long as you spell my name correctly…

    You’re a great sport to handle the trolls so well. The worst I ever saw was when a blogger wrote about a fellow blogger XXXX XXXX is a Serial Killer. Her fans were much more upset than she was.

    I haven’t had many trolls. One I can think of accused me of getting bribes from Apple for writing positively about the new iPhone. I was actually flattered that someone would think Apple cared enough about my blog to try to bribe me. But I did just as you said and responded kindly. The troll was convinced but then he and one of my readers got into a dispute in my comments section. Not pretty.

    May your 2012 be Troll Free! :-)

  29. #34 by Julie Glover on January 11, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    In another context from my author blog, I had a commenter rant about something I had written and tell me I was completely out of line. I thought for awhile before approving her comment and responding; however, I tried to recognize how she might have seen my post that way, respond to the content of her concerns, and stay respectful and positive throughout. A day later, she messaged me and asked me to remove her original comment because something else had happened in her life that day that had made my blog post hit her the wrong way. She apologized, and we had a nice email chat.

    I’m so glad I didn’t react with my original feelings of hurt. Lesson learned.

    Great stuff, Kristen. (As always.)

  30. #35 by deanne wilsted on January 11, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    Hi Kristen… what a fantastic image. We need a coat check for senstivity as writers! I got my first difficult review and had to spend half of what should have been my writing time re-reading the kinder reviews. Anyway… my blog today was about the dangers of facebook and dovetailed nicely, so look fr the link in it: http://www.deannewilsted.com/my-world—blog.html And thanks, as always, for the great content.

  31. #36 by Mandy Allen on January 11, 2012 - 1:09 pm

    WOW… I think the Rose-Colored-Holiday-Glases must be coming off everyones eyes this week, because this is the second article about dealing with “difficult people” and negativity that I’ve read today… and I just posted my own take last night…

    http://www.readmandyland.blogspot.com/2012/01/personal-psa.html

    Thank you so much for your amazingly positive outlook on all things. I stumbled apon your blog before Christmas and I’m so glad I did!

  32. #37 by Author Shelly Goodman-Wright on January 11, 2012 - 1:32 pm

    I just love your posts. Although very true, they make me laugh! :-)

  33. #38 by EllieAnn on January 11, 2012 - 2:14 pm

    Blog trolls are all drunken scientists on their downtime from studying octopus excrement or measuring how fast swamp moss grows. I think … maybe that’s a stereotype, though.
    I’ve had to erase a couple trollish comments of my own, some blogs I’ve read have got me so riled up. There was one post about the stupidness of NaNoWriMo that was a bit ridiculous, I still cringe when I think about it…
    I like your advice about being kind in return, besides…it’s always the person who punches back that gets in trouble.
    Unless, of course, it’s a cave troll. Then you just have to hold your nose and delete it! LoL

    • #39 by gilliansnotebook on September 3, 2014 - 2:51 pm

      +EllieAnn LOVE your profile pic. Wonder what he’s reading?

  34. #40 by Eliza Green on January 11, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    I don’t mind if people challenge something in my blog because it means they’re reading it. I have had some good debates with others and learnt from them. I don’t ever want to be one of those serial agreers (probably not a word I know) who go against their beliefs for a happy shiny outcome. I’ve yet to meet the blog trolls. Can’t wait!

  35. #41 by MaLinda Johnson on January 11, 2012 - 3:06 pm

    DFTT! Usually, if you starve a troll of the attention it craves, it will find its meal elsewhere.

  36. #42 by August McLaughlin on January 11, 2012 - 3:48 pm

    Fab post, Kristen! Some of my favorite blog friendships came from (non-troll) debate. I’ve also had readers attack diet-related articles (topic attracts trolls) via comments.

    My most read article to date was on animal loving omnivores. I swear some veggies wanted to eat ME (hypocritical, right?).

    I now pause, breathe & often sleep before replying – if I do at all. Easy to focus on loud troll voices, but doing so gives them power & swallows up the warm fuzzies.

    PS I’m writing an in-person troll into a thriller. Lemonade…

  37. #43 by neyska on January 11, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    I think your definition of blog troll is spot on. People who want to create an intellectual debate over something or politely point out when you are wrong are just tools to grow. People who can’t bother to be civil to others are the ones you want to watch out for. Remembering not to fly off the handle at them is also important.

  38. #44 by Tamara LeBlanc on January 11, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    I haven’t encountered a blog troll yet, but I did have a run in this afternoon with another species, the gym troll. You know, one of those muscle heads who constantly flexes in the mirror and has more bloated veins on his overly tanned skin than brain cells in his head. He had 6, 45 pound plates on EACH side of the leg press and 3 stacked on top. I asked him how many sets he had left, he growled, “one” and then proceeded to grunt out his last ten reps. When he finished he got up, walked right past me and in his caveman voice said, “all yours babe.” No lie, he actually said babe.
    So not only did he leave 675 pounds for me to re-rack, but he had excreted a shiny pool of sweat on the seat as well, and he didn’t appear embarrassed in the least.
    Now, I’m perfectly capable of unloading all that weight (one plate at a time), but the guy was a troll and needed to be put in his place. I tapped his arm and said, “Hey, if you’re strong enough to load all that weight to begin with, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to put it all back when you’re through.” Before he could reply I added, “And it would be nice if you would wipe down the seat while you’re at it.”
    He looked like he wanted to tear my head off until an even bigger guy (a sweet heart I know who happens to be a professional wrestler) said to him, “Dude, she told you. Better get to work.”
    I assume I didn’t make a new friend today, but at least now I’m aware that there are trolls everywhere, in gyms, on the highway, and even on social media. And with your help I’ve learned the best way to confront the blog beasties!
    Excellent advice.
    Sorry about your run-in with the LUNATIC commentor…sounds like he’d get along just fine with Captain caveman:)
    Have a great evening!!
    Tamara

  39. #45 by Natalie Wright (@NatalieWright_) on January 11, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    Thank you for another funny post. All points are excellent and duly noted. So sorry you had such a horrible troll. Even though you know that the person is crazy and out of control, it never feels good to have to deal with someone like that. Here’s hoping you have no more trolls lurking around.

  40. #46 by Anne R. Allen on January 11, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    I’m glad you’ve addressed this topic, Kristen. I’ve been through very similar stuff. I got cyberstalked for a while by a guy who hates a certain agent–just because I’d been a commenter on the agent’s blog. He called me a sadist because I told writers to “be mean to your characters” in order to create conflict. But I figured he was just a lone, lonely, mentally disturbed person.

    Then in November I wrote a (rather bland) blogpost that got an unprecedented number of angry comments from a particular group. They called me all sorts of names. (Not as colorful as “misandrist” though–I think that might get a prize..) I left up most the angry rants on my blog, except the ones that attacked other commenters. I figured mostly the ranters made themselves look silly, since they were so obviously misinterpreting what I said. A few of them had good points and I agreed with them. (Which made them even more furious. They’d intended to set me up as a hate object and I refused to play villain.)

    A few of them sent death threats in emails. That was scary. But I think I might have got more if I hadn’t left up the rants.

    Yes, there are trolls out there. Sometimes they swarm. They are generally incapable of understanding humor or irony and are high on their own self righteous rage. I think they’re already angry and just looking for a place to pin the rage at the moment. If you haven’t said anything to make them angry, they’ll twist something innocuous and use that for rage-fuel. The important thing, as you say, is not to feed them. Don’t argue and never go on a counter attack.

    Yes, there are creatures whose mission in life seems to be to throw poo, but if you don’t engage with them, everybody will know whose poo it is.

  41. #47 by Ken Morselander on January 11, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    Here’s my take on it. You may tell me anything you want if your doing it for my benefit. If you are doing it for your benefit…I reserve the right to give you credence or not.

  42. #48 by Peter DeHaan on January 11, 2012 - 5:22 pm

    I’ve yet to encounter a blog troll, or at least a bad blog troll, but I did have some trolls pop up in response to a humorous piece I wrote about perfectionism. One was ready to hold an intervention for me, another surmised it was an ethnic trait (apparently she had a bad marriage to someone sharing my surname), and a third express sincere compassion for my aliment. (Interestingly, the piece was a repurposed article, which garnered no negativity in its first iteration.)

    Another time I posted a podcast interview with someone providing training and gainful employment opportunities to disabled veterans — only to be lambasted by someone who chose to attack me because this organization was not doing enough. That one still stings.

  43. #49 by tomwisk on January 11, 2012 - 5:24 pm

    Okay, sometimes a blogger posts something I don’t agree with. I don’t scream, bad mouth or any of those things that would make me look like a horse’s patootie. I read it and try to take away something that I can use (This rule doesn’t apply to politicians of any stripe.) In a world where almost everyone is looking for a little love and attention we’ve got to allow for some who haven’t learned how to stop jumping up and down and stomping on people’s toes. As for looking like a horse’s hind end, I can do it in other places, like in traffic. Thanks.

  44. #50 by Linda Adams on January 11, 2012 - 5:28 pm

    I actually had a troll do something similar to me with a blog. She actually came from a message board, asked for a private critique of a query, then had a meltdown after Miss Snark blasted the query (mind you, she didn’t change the query). She started by sending me nasty emails, and I had to pull it off my website. Before I got her emails filtered by Outlook rules, she sent me one that gave me a blog address where she had apparently spent time ranting against me. I did not respond to her emails, and I did not look at the blog. Since she couldn’t get me engaged, she eventually went away.

    Think carefully about deleting comments of disagreement though. I’ve had my comments deleted off a blog because I disagreed with him. The writer in question has a huge following, but he also has the attitude “my way is the only right way.” I was very polite and used his own example as a segue into how what worked for him didn’t work for me. Comment was gone the next day. I also have never visited his blog again. He gets recommended everywhere, and I will never look it.

  45. #51 by Debbie Morella on January 11, 2012 - 8:53 pm

    Is that what they’re called? My stomach turns when I see them on other people’s blogs being just plain mean. I wondered how I would respond if/when they come to mine. It’s one of my fears actually because I don’t do mean. I can do ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘turn things in a positive direction’ but I get like a mother hen protecting her chicks when it comes to my readers, most of whom will be restaurant employees. (I’ve seen them take quite a beating on some threads out there). Thank you all for showing me different experiences and perspectives and thanks Kristen & Piper for showing me the tools to go with them.

  46. #52 by E.B. Black on January 11, 2012 - 9:41 pm

    Honestly, I have a lot to say on this subject because I have a lot of experience with it. Not with people trolling my blog in particular (people don’t read my blog enough to even comment at all for the most part, but I keep writing anyway), but with trolling in general. I’ve been on the internet on forums and other sites for a long time, so I’ve had plenty of experience with being attacked and I’m readily able to tell the difference at this point.

    I’ve even been a troll before and you’re right. From the other side of things, sometimes trolls act that way because they had a bad day themselves or are going through something hard. I used to be in a very abusive relationship. I don’t want to get into the details of it, but one time, my ex abused me because of something he saw in an episode of that Penn and Teller show about whether various things are true or not (the name of the show is a swear word, so I don’t think I can post it here.) And my ex tormented me in a variety of ways for months because he saw it and it had something to do with a fight we were currently having. Eventually, it got to the point where I despised Penn and Teller & went to web-sites about them and watched videos on them online and mocked everyone who liked them. It was because I was hurting inside and angry and had started blaming them (the wrong set of people) for my ex’s constant abuse. Of course, everyone else was upset by it and had no idea why I would act so crazy and a part of me knew I was behaving irrationally, but I had trouble stopping myself because I couldn’t fight my ex (the source) directly. He had too much control over me.

    And just so everyone knows, trolls aren’t actually that scary. Yea, it hurts when they say cruel things to you, but if you act calm and professional about it, your fans are very likely to rally around you and support you and feel that much more loyalty to you because of it. And it builds excitement. This is bad, but people actually enjoy drama more than they care to admit and sometimes it can cause more people to read your blog because a troll made it suddenly controversial. Notice that this blog has gotten attacked by a troll and isn’t dying because of it. I see all these comments and I can tell it’s thriving!

    Not to mention that I love the Twilight movies and books and used to post on forums all the time for them and there would be so many trolls on those places. When you got to talk to a lot of them, they would talk about how they saw all the movies and read all the books. And you think,”Why would you do that if you hate them so much?” It’s simple. They love to hate. Whether someone loves to love you or loves to hate you, they still love you and are still a fan, even if it’s in a sick and twisted way. They will still buy your books and talk about you all the time. You’ll still probably make money off of them and get a ton of free advertising as they complain to everyone they know about you. I honestly don’t think Twilight would be nearly this popular if it wasn’t for all the people constantly complaining about it (some of which are secretly watching it as well.)

    • #53 by Debbie Morella on January 13, 2012 - 4:20 pm

      It takes a lot to share a story like yours, on a blog about this topic and say, “I’ve even been a troll before”. Thanks for reminding us that we’re all human, sometimes we do things we aren’t proud of, and if we’re self-aware, we’ll learn from it and help others by sharing our story. Thank you! I will think of you when/if I get a visit from a troll and try to exercise a bit more understanding and compassion than I might otherwise have done :)

  47. #54 by suzannesan on January 11, 2012 - 9:44 pm

    And the Three Billy Goats Gruff thought they had problems! I fully anticipate that once people really start reading my blog, the trolls will come out from under their bridges and start nibbling at me. I’m cocked and ready for them; a pretty good shot too! The truth is the truth, no matter how ugly it may be.
    When my girls were small and afraid that there might be something under the bed or in the closet, we made up a concoction that smelled awful, placed it in a spray bottle and labeled it, “Monster Spray.” It worked very well. I’m not thinking it will work with Blog Trolls though. Part of the freedom of speech act. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.
    Thanks for your perspective and a good laugh :)

  48. #55 by suzannesan on January 11, 2012 - 9:47 pm

    Oh yes, We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer are awesome books. I Pressed it on my blog, 1+ it, tweeted it and placed it on my FB fan page as well.

  49. #56 by educlaytion on January 11, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    Ahh, so great. Loving this post. I’ve had a couple psychos in my day but none for a while. Great advice through and through. You can’t let it get to you though, and as much as we say it doesn’t, it can. What’s that quote about 1,000 compliments are erased by 1 insult? No, you can’t please everybody, especially if you’re writing something that is going to make an impact.

  50. #57 by Lynn Kelley on January 11, 2012 - 11:07 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on how to deal with trolls, Kristen. I haven’t dealt with any–yet. Now I’ll know how to handle it. That one guy who flipped out and went to such extremes to do ruin your reputation, well, that’s just plain freaky. I’m glad it’s behind you and I hope it doesn’t happen again.

  51. #58 by Barbara Forte Abate on January 11, 2012 - 11:11 pm

    I’m not gonna lie, this post has me a little bummed for lack of my own troll action. (Doesn’t that mean that no one is even reading my blog?!). I’ve only ever had one troll who came skipping down the path to call me an “idiot writer” and then promptly leave. And it was just random enough to leave me laughing.

  52. #59 by Team Oyeniyi on January 12, 2012 - 1:52 am

    I’m with Barbara, I don’t have any trolls either! Bugger! :lol:

    I’m stunned that this sort of thing goes on.

    I believe I would be exercising my right to use the TRASH button immediately. Heavens, no, I actually expect some people to disagree with my view of the world – we don’t all marry asylum seekers, we don’t all marry “out” so I expect the odd ruffled feather – but what you describe is not acceptable.

  53. #60 by Barbara McDowell on January 12, 2012 - 5:50 am

    Thanks for this, Kristen. Like others said, I’m going to file it away and hope it is never needed. I haven’t dealt with nasty trolls yet. I have seen some negative-toned comments or “blogjacking” tirades on a few other blogs. The telltale sign always seems to be a person operatig with amped up emotions. I’ve always figured is someone said something truly nasty, I’d just erase it or not approve it in the first place. I see the good and bad in that now. Not posting someone’s comment could amp them up more. Posting it allows us to respond in a civil manner and possibliy clear up a misunderstanding or at least have the person know they’ve been heard.

  54. #61 by Augie on January 12, 2012 - 6:14 am

    Thanks Kristen, great post. Augie

  55. #62 by Maryann Miller on January 12, 2012 - 9:39 am

    Thanks for the helpful info. I did not know about trolls. Spammers I do know. We have some that hit The Blood Red Pencil regularly, leaving generic comments like, “Love this article.” They don’t say what was helpful about it and they are usually offering some kind of service.

  56. #63 by Donna Martin on January 12, 2012 - 11:27 am

    Kristen, I LOVE this post! I always find your blog so informative as well as humorous. I also wanted to let you know that I gave a shout out to your blog in my post today (http://www.donasdays.blogspot.com/2012/01/eeny-meeny-minywhoa.html) as one of my blogs I follow every day…;0)

  57. #64 by Michele Shaw on January 12, 2012 - 12:27 pm

    I know I am jinxing myself and asking for a plague on my blog, but I’ve yet to get a blog troll. As someone stated above, this could be due to low readership or it may be because my posts tend to be humorous (to me). Then again, humor landed you a troll, so there must be no specific reasoning behind it! Probably whoever lands where on a given day. But you make excellent points on how to handle it, and I thank you as I’ve been mentally preparing for it to happen any time. My only experience is with Twitter staIkers and that is another problem altogether! Thanks for always providing helpful posts!

  58. #65 by Debra Burroughs on January 12, 2012 - 1:11 pm

    I’m glad to say I haven’t had a troll yet, but I get several people a day who make some nonsensical vague comment and try to link my blog back to their business site. I guess that’s a troll of a different color.

  59. #66 by Joe Iriarte on January 12, 2012 - 1:46 pm

    FWIW, those people with the nonsensical or generic comments (“Tihs is a raelly thoght provoking commentaryu but I disagreed a little bit”) aren’t actually visiting your blog page at all. If you look at the IP recorded with the comment and compare it to your actual logs, you won’t find that IP there. Instead, what they’re doing is submitting directly to your comment.php form (I think that’s the filename . . . I’m not actually looking right now) which on most WordPress blogs has the same filename. They just get names of WordPress sites and automatically generate comments to random pages.

    So they waste your time spent clearing out the spam, but they don’t even waste any of their own time having to load your page at all. For some reason that bothers me more . . .

  60. #67 by Debra Burroughs on January 12, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    Joe, you are so right. What you said makes sense, and the comment in parenthesis is so very spot on. Every day I clear out about 5 or 6 of them. Thanks, Joe, for the explanation.

  61. #68 by lanceschaubert on January 12, 2012 - 6:18 pm

    Good word. Back when I played RPGs, it was always funny when a troll’s avatar was a troll.

  62. #69 by Jess Witkins on January 12, 2012 - 11:50 pm

    I haven’t had any hurtful trolls, but I was very cautious when I did write two political pieces during the union strikes in my state. It was a heated issue when it involved so many of my family. I normally would not post politically because it can negatively impact relationships with people you otherwise shared respect and common ground with.

    Good advice for how to handle the situation and I almost spit my drink out with that troll photo and the “you must die” comment. Where do you find this stuff?

    Hope you’re getting time to enjoy with family and learning the Dragon speak program quickly!

  63. #70 by Laura Hoopes on January 13, 2012 - 12:12 am

    I haven’t had any trolls but Korean and Chinese porn pushers, yes, so I moderate comments. Wish it were not necessary. That’s for my writing blog, http://www.westcoastwriters.blogspot.com however, I also do a women in science blog. Yah want trolls? Post something suggesting women should get more science prizes. If words would convince me I’m stupid, I wouldn’t dare blog about such things. But I’m a feisty old lady…nuff said.
    cheers,
    Laura Hoopes

  64. #71 by Patti Mallett on January 13, 2012 - 10:03 pm

    I do so enjoy your posts, Kristen. Tips, common sense, and wisdom, served up with a healthy dose of humor( in my key). There’s not much better than that. Thanks!!

  65. #72 by Kyla on January 14, 2012 - 8:29 pm

    Someone started an anti-Kristen Lamb blog? I’m sorry, that makes me laugh so hard, I cry. I mean, seriously? Who has the time or anger for something like that?

    Yikes. Anyway, I haven’t met a troll near my blog yet. But I did meet one once while posting some of my (very) early writings on the internet. This girl I didn’t know came upon my story by chance, and proceeded to rip it to shreds. I was about 13 years old at the time, so it made me bawl my eyes out and throw the story away altogether. I still can’t even think about that story without cringing.

    She flamed my butt off in that review. The biggest trouble for me? She was completely right in everything she said. My main character was something of a Mary Sue, and I spent far too much writing time describing places and things that had no relevance to the plot. But the way she said it…she seemed to truly believe that I should take my writing away from humanity and never attempt to write anything else ever again. It was both humiliating and painful, but it also was a unique learning experience. I do have a tendency toward Mary Sue characters that I must fight, and you can bet that troll’s review pops into my head every time I’m designing one that might be leaning a little too far in that direction.

    Trolls can be useful, little buggers, but, boy, oh boy, do they ever need a makeover! Their ugly print detracts from the internet scene we all know and love far too often for my liking.

    Have a great day, great post, and happy writing!

  66. #73 by Scrollwork: Quirkyisms from a Tropical Transplant on January 14, 2012 - 11:36 pm

    May I talk about the elephant in the room? The two trolls I’ve met were both male commenters, on widely read blogs authored by men. Aggressive, disrespectful replies to my (gentle) comments. In one of those cases, the blogger put an end to it by disabling comments to that particular post. In the second instance, the blogger must’ve privately communicated with the commenter because the latter apologized to me in his next comment.

    The existence of trolls is partly why I blog under a brand name and I don’t connect it to my personal Facebook account. It’s how I keep myself emotionally distanced from whatever might be said to me on my blog. I’m not an expert on anything but my own life experience and do not offer advice on my blog, so I don’t feel that my readers would dock me in credibility points for not putting my real name out there. Plus, I can be frank and raunchy if I choose (which so far I haven’t chosen to be, hehe) without embarrassing my very conservative family or offending my Catholic university friends.

  67. #74 by CF Winn on January 15, 2012 - 8:31 am

    Loved this! Haters beware! There’s a set of rules that apply not only to the haters but also to the hatees…and best of all, I’m the best thing since kitten calendars…

  68. #75 by michellekeyes on January 16, 2012 - 10:07 pm

    Oh I have had this happen to me! A few years ago I was blogging and sharing some deeply personal stuff that was going on during that time of my life. I had a very supportive audience and felt safe doing so until some whack job shows up and starts calling me all the foulest, nastiest things you can imagine then proceeded to create a blog about me and link to my blog. I tried not to be mortified but the things this person were saying were simply obscene. I will never understand why people think they can get nasty online with complete impunity and still sleep at night. Suffice to say, that blog is locked down tighter than Fort Knox! lol Awesome post – I can really identify with the points you make!

  69. #76 by Serena Dracis, Author on January 17, 2012 - 9:11 am

    Very helpful. I don’t have a troll, luckily, but I do have a ?non-fan? Since I write about the paranormal in my life, and he is a cynic, he publishes my blog in his cynical newsletter along with his own condescending comments. I say thank-you for the extra traffic to my blog. :-)

  70. #77 by the777man on January 17, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    Trolls! I love that term!!!! Well I have only been doing this really for about a week, so if I had already come across a troll that would be really weird! I guess it could happen. I have seen a few on others blogs though. My reaction was are we jealous? They were mad about a new blogger getting Freshly Pressed. I have met some trolls in my lifetime though. When I use to work in Retail just out of high school the troll would come in and crawl down my throat, because the store was not to their liking or the lines were too long.

    My most memorable troll though was a college professor! Yes, he was my first fashion illustration professor. (Still shaking my head) It was my first year of college, and this professor did not like my style or that I even had a style. He would constantly tell me that my fashion models had legs that looked like horses legs. Then he would go into this rant about how my “Style” was too whimsical! I was too young to have a “Style”, and that I needed to study for another 10 years to be good enough to have a “style”. What? Okay… This was a daily thing that went on everyday. Awe the worse part about this teacher was that he could never mark any of us tardy, because he was the last to show 10-45 minutes late for class, and you could often smell the alcohol on his breath, and there were times I could have sworn this man was on drugs. He tried really hard to convince us that he was the end all of illustration. My second class was with a completely different Professor, who was completely entranced with my whimsical “style”. When I told her about the other professor, she laughed and told me he was just jealous, because I was so young and talented. I hear he was eventually fired.

    I really believe that trolls have some serious personal problems in there life. Fortunately for me at that time I was strong in my sense of value of self at least when it came to art and did not give up because of him. That is the important thing don’t give up, because a troll crosses your path. I have friends who say if you aren’t offending someone, then you aren’t living right! Don’t know about that, but it is food for thought.

    Well I have to say I am finding your blog very interesting, and I am going to have to spend some more time over here exploring what you have to say. I would say you are the best thing since puppy calendars. (Sorry, I just am not a kitten or cat person).

    Peace and Harmony,
    Sallyjane
    Do you love to write? We are having a Murder Mystery contest on our blog, and the books proceeds will be given to charity. Contestants write the chapters, and readers vote. Come join in the fun! http://www.the777man.com
    .

  71. #78 by Kathryn Leigh on January 19, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    I REALLY like this post.

    I’ve sort of been thinking about the blog troll dilemma from the opposite side of the fence… I recently left a comment on a person’s blog, correcting him in a way that I think was very respectful. I used evidence and stated my case, then moved on.

    The blogger replied to the comment agreeing with me without ever admitting he was wrong (sorry – pet peeve of mine), then proceeded to send me an email accusing me of trying to pick a fight.

    I definitely don’t think I was being trollish. at. all. and I’m a little hurt that I was wrongfully accused.

    But hey – who really cares?

    Stuff like that is petty and silly and I now know never to comment on that blog again.

    Thanks for the post and for being so complete. I especially like the part where you point out that people who disagree with us aren’t necessarily trolls :)

  72. #79 by cosmicsilver on January 23, 2012 - 11:11 am

    I have my first blog troll, and at first I responded. For a short while, this person left me alone but is back in full force up to the same tricks. I have to moderate comments now thanks to this person. They’ve called me a lot of ugly things and usually stick to my being Black, fat, etc. I refuse to let garbage like that sit on my blog, so all I can do is moderate and wonder where this emotional nut has come from. It’s irritating and actually sad someone has to stoop that low to try and hurt me. In the end, it doesn’t hurt me because I feel inspired to write MORE. I just loathe getting those moderation alert emails with more of their evil hidden behind the “anonymous”. My humble, quiet blog doesn’t deserve that treatment. But like you said, there ARE jerks in this world.

  73. #80 by Jami Gold on January 23, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Ooo, I missed this one while I was traveling for my grandmother’s funeral. Great post, Kristen! You made a great point about how there’s a difference between disagreement and going ballistic.

    I did a post around the same time as this one about how we all need to come up with rules for what we allow or don’t allow on our blogs. I love seeing when we’re on similar wavelengths. :)

  74. #81 by mj monaghan on January 26, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    Great post. I have been fortunate not to have any “nasties” comment on my posts, but I’m not really controversial. Very thought-provoking!

  75. #82 by April Line Writing on January 26, 2012 - 1:03 pm

    I like that post. Good advice for people in real life, too. I have just one question: Why do you represent the word ass like this: @$$?

    I’ve noticed other bloggers who use symbols to represent naughty words.

    I swear in my blog. Just use the regular old words. Does that do something to my search engine popularity or something?

  76. #83 by Cecilia Marie Pulliam on January 26, 2012 - 11:52 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this, Kristen. I am fairly new to the blogging world, and while I knew not every comment would be in agreement, or praising my prose, I did not expect the emotional, personal blast from what I now know was a Troll. The man was way out of line. I deleted his comments, and he trashed me for being a coward, and then signed his comment as Anonymous. I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my chair.

    I have not had any other Trolls lurking around my blog, as of yet, but your suggestions are just what I needed to arm myself against another attack, gracefully, and safely. Reading your experiences was also very helpful. Thank you again, for a great post.

  77. #84 by Jane on January 29, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    I have not been a victim of a blog troll since I have not been blogging. But the truth applies to anything communicated in writing: announcements, email, notes posted to the fridge, comments made in passing when there seems to be no reason to think of how the message is delivered. I was in a meeting last week where the CEO mercilessly criticized my co-worker’s presentation – that was horrible enough. Then he proceede to say he didn’t care if anyone was happy or not,. We all have jobs and we better do them. Who cares if anyone is happy or not. He told me I give hime a diabetic attack (because I am always positive and try so hard to be that way in a negative world). So as you can see, some people are just cold, unfeeling, and don’t care if they crucify you or not – as long as they get to say what they want. The rest of us just get to go along behind and scrape up what little self esteem we have left and go back to work. Oh and by the way, we better do our miraculous best because that’s why we have a job. Those of us who are under that type of leadership, crave columns like yours where we can find encouragement and respite in a raging sea. I rest my case.

  78. #85 by Traci Douglass on February 3, 2012 - 2:41 pm

    I’ve made two blog posts so far **extreme newbie** and have only gotten the routine spam comments on them. But what really freaked me out was that each time I’ve posted I’ve gotten a junk tweet from what appears to be one of my followers (different each time) with a bogus link telling me that people are saying awful thing about me on twitter. When I first got this, I was mortified and considered pulling out of the whole thing. It was scary enough to blog the first time and now my worst nightmare was happening and I was being publicly mocked for it?! No way! It took me two hours to even click on the link in that first post and I though I was going to throw up all over my I-pad as I did it. But as you’ve said, put on your big girl panties and get on with it, so I did. Then the link didn’t work. I pushed it like 50 times and it kept saying it wasn’t valid. So I buried it and went on. When everyone continued to treat me normally on the boards I started to get suspicious. When I posted my second post today, sure enough a second hater message popped up in my inbox, from a different follower this time, but also with a bogus link. Not a troll, but something equally scaring and annoying, I think. My fear of blogging is gone though. :D

    • #86 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 3, 2012 - 2:45 pm

      Yeah the bots know the buttons to push. Change your passwords to twitter and your e-mail just in case.

  79. #87 by kizzia on February 6, 2012 - 3:53 pm

    Thanks for this post Kristen, very good advice. I’ve only had one troll who claimed, when I asked them why they had posted anonymously, that they had no internet presence. Given they’d used hashtags in their posst I didn’t believe them but I bother to call them out. Instead just told them, truthfully, that I hoped whatever was happening in their life to make them think is was ok to be rude to strangers passed soon. I didn’t hear from them again.

  80. #88 by Antonio on February 20, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    yeah the wise thing is that not EVRYBODY will like us just cuz were cool or something i mean i have lots of enemys but i have more friends becuse im not cool im nice.When nice to people you will have more prety much like karma (if you do good good comes back)

  81. #89 by Writerlious on April 12, 2012 - 10:03 am

    Eeep! I haven’t had any blog trolls yet. I’m probably not cool enough. One day, when my awesomeness approaches a mere hint of the Kristen Lamb awesomeness, I hope to have trolls. Then I can put your advice here to good use. ;)

  82. #90 by Angela Ackerman on April 12, 2012 - 11:08 am

    This is perfect timing, because I’ve been troll’d twice int he last two weeks! (Is it a full moon?)

    I’ve seen some bad stuff go down over the smallest things on blogs I visit. It seems to me that people who put themselves out there and gain a reputation as being ‘in the know’ on a certain topic are the most likely to draw the homicidal-crazies. People forget that bloggers are just people with opinions and ideas like anyone else, and gheez, sometimes they make mistakes or miss things. We’re all human. We’re all flawed. Mistakes happen, oversights happen. Some are too quick to jump to conclusions or judge, and others get their power by bringing others down.

    And Kristen! You referenced Army of Darkness! I may possibly love you even more now., lol

    Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart,

    Angela

  83. #91 by Rebecca Grace on May 30, 2012 - 8:07 am

    What a fabulous post! I’m sharing this with my 8 and 11 year old sons, who just started their own blogs (closed to family members and friends only). They shouldn’t have any troll comments show up on their blogs, but I thought it’s a good time to have the talk about Internet etiquette and respect. You’ve done such a great job of explaining the difference between acceptable criticism and civil debate versus hateful “troll” behavior that there isn’t much more for me to add. Thank you!

  84. #92 by A Far Side successor ? on August 9, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    Good day! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for the great information you have right here on this post. I’ll be returning to your site for more soon.

  85. #93 by Inatrolltrollworld on October 16, 2012 - 9:18 am

    Hi Kristen, I completley agree with what you have said about trolling in our internent community . It really is unfathomable why some people find joy in causing another human being such sustained humiliation and mental anguish .

    As a university student, who is currently working on a on-campus anti-trolling social media campaign, I was wondering what you think would serve as possible solution to the problem?

    Is it simply enough to have this issue highlighted in our schooling system, or should harsh legislative and policing polices be brought in the stem the tide of the troll? Would really love your insight!

    P.S. we would be honoured by a visit at http://inatrolltrollworld.wordpress.com/

    – J.Y

  86. #94 by Katherine on January 28, 2014 - 3:18 pm

    Reblogged this on How my heart speaks.

  87. #95 by Nicole Rogers on March 4, 2014 - 8:04 pm

    Thanks for your post on this. It was a wee while ago now I know but still very helpful indeed. I just experienced my first troll – must mean my blog is getting popular! Said troll sent me a really kinda crazy, rant email about me being a fraud and that I’m going to get found out some day.

    I just blocked and ignored. Who knows what’s going on with that particular person’s life but it’s clear he has issues! Good luck to him!

    Nicole

  88. #96 by Rebecca Meyer on March 9, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    This is a helpful post to read. I just recently encountered my first trolls. I deleted one blogger’s nasty comments, but then another blogger wrote an offensive post in response to a post I wrote, and linked to my blog. I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it, but now I know that as long as I don’t feed the trolls, hopefully they won’t come crawling back. ;)

  89. #97 by Vygintas Varnas on September 1, 2014 - 8:32 am

    Create a troll blog for troll commenters problem solved. How do people don’t get tired to read such long posts? I just can’t figure it out.

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