All serious writers eventually hit a threshold when we know we are now doing something right. We break the gravitational pull of our family and friends who tell us we’re crazy and hit the Trollosphere. The Trollosphere is an invisible layer filled with noxious gas that most of us cannot detect with the naked eye until it manifests in our comments section (or book reviews). The Trollosphere is something we all must get through on our way to the stars and, if we smell the stink, we know we are doing something remarkable. The key is to get through the Trollosphere without contributing to it.
There are many levels of Internet Trolls, each imbued with distinctive qualities.
This guy just makes no sense. You post something about gardening and he claims that all gardeners are women and all women are soul-sucking incubus—incubi?—who are only out to lure men into bed so they can marry them, then divorce them and take all their money to buy more tomato plants and meth.
Just send this guy to the trash bin and, if possible, report him. Obviously he has issues with a divorce, custody battle, or very teeny male body part, and he is a ticking time bomb. Of course, when you delete this type of troll, fully expect him to start a blog about you.
Kristen Lamb–The Face of Puppy Punching
Crazy Troll is the worst of the bunch and report him if you can. Just don’t engage. Hit delete.
Ranting troll has an ax to grind and his preferred place to do this is on your blog or in a review of your book. Like Crazy Troll, Ranting Troll kind of makes some sense, though his argument might be very tangential.
This is one of the reasons I plead with writers to NOT blog about anything political or religious unless you happen to be a faith or political writer. The infestation of Crazy Trolls and Ranting Trolls will be almost impossible to eradicate, and, instead of writing more brilliant novels, you will spend that time apologizing to friends who have become the collateral damage of Ranting Troll. Ranting Troll won’t stop at hating you. He will send e-mails to you, your friends, your mother, and your editor.
I’m Better Than You and You’re a Moron Troll
This type of troll isn’t out-of-control-crazy, just more condescending and smug. This troll looks for picky things to criticize as justification for why you are an idiot with the mental capacity of a sea cucumber. These trolls will also take time to spell out specific reasons why they are too good/talented/smart to listen to you.
They will ignore the 1200 words of well-crafted or thoughtful FREE advice and focus on one misspelled word or typo. I’m Better Than You Troll likely doesn’t have her own blog because creating would take time away from tearing others down.
Why is I’m Better Than You Troll Dangerous?
I’m Better Than You Troll is the most dangerous because:
It is easy to become one.
It is easy to have a bad day and take it out on-line. If we see something that rubs us the wrong way? Just move on. Trust me.
It is short-sighted and unprofessional.
It is easy to have a bad day and snap on-line, but here’s the thing. That is a luxury only afforded to amateurs. If we are serious about being successful writers then we know that publishing/the blogosphere are small worlds. People who blog and take time to serve other writers are generally viewed in high regard, because let’s be honest. They don’t have to help other writers.
NYTBSA Bob Mayer, Candy Havens, James Scott Bell, and Jody Hedlund etc. could use that time to just keep writing more awesome best-selling books. They really don’t have to help the new kids. So being a jerk in their comments section is just disrespectful and dumb if we hope to make a career as an author.
Here is the thing. If we don’t like a blog? We can move on. The blog was FREE! It isn’t as if we spent six bucks on a magazine for it to be riddled with typos. Bloggers have taken their time and energy to create something that is fun, entertaining, enlightening or educational and they often do it multiple times a week. They don’t have a month to revise and edit and make it spiffy perfect. We need to remember that before we get too huffy.
I blog in a very conversational style, because I teach using humor. NOT a style for everyone. If you want to read posts from someone who sounds like they should be writing for The Harvard Review or Smithsonian Magazine? This ain’t the blog for you. Yes, I used ain’t and I also use um and like and @$$clown. The above image is an actual commenter on this blog. Notice I didn’t include her name…cuz I’m classy like that :D.
Most bloggers who are professional don’t even mind respectful disagreement. I’ve actually learned a lot from people who respectfully disagreed with me. A time or two I even changed my position on a subject. We are all friends, here. We can even agree to disagree. It’s what friends DO.
It is dumb and is forever.
When we comment, we can’t take it back… EVER. Short of writing to the blogger and begging for mercy, our comment is as trapped as a prehistoric dragonfly in sediment. It is there for all of posterity.
One of the wonderful aspects of a blog, unlike other social media, is that blogs have a permanence that no other site can offer. The blogs will be there until the Internet collapses or the author decides to take it down. I still get comments on blogs that are two years old, because search engines will drop tourists by my place. Seriously, Google Falcor the Luck Dragon and see whose blog is STILL on the first page. Search engines are great at delivering new fans.
So if we act like an @$$clown in the comments…it is there for good. Agents and editors regularly follow some of the top writing blogs and they remember names. Also, on a lot of the more popular blogs, readers read the comments too, so forget about getting buried in anonymity.
It’s a good way to get pounded by the loyal commenters.
Last fall, unbeknownst to my followers, my great aunt slipped into a coma and died. I blog no matter what. I’d been up all night by her bed, and, when I blogged the next day, I had two fairly bad typos that I didn’t catch. Anyway, an I’m Better Than You Troll absolutely slayed me in the comments. Even though many people had enjoyed the post and learned a lot, this fellow had to write a long dissertation about why I was a moron and why he would never listen to me.
…and that’s when you guys stepped in and it was EPIC.
Here’s the deal. If a blog is written properly, there is a reason for the large numbers of comments. It is often because the blogger has successfully created a community. Pick on one of our peeps and GAME ON. You might as well try to bully our little brother or one of our kids.
We will CUT you.
So remember, we can all have bad days, but the power of the pen is mighty. It can take us to new heights and make for a successful career, or it can forever taint how people view us and make people not want to work with us. Most of us, God willing, will never become a Crazy Troll or a Ranting Troll. We are writers and so we can deal with most of our anger issues by creatively killing people in our fiction. Yet, we should be ever-vigilant of ego. We can disagree, but we at least owe others basic respect.
For more about trolls, my earlier post Here There Be Trolls–How to Spot Them and What to Do might help. Trolls, Sockpuppets and Cyberbullies by the wonderful and brilliant Anne R. Allen is another fantastic resource. Also, since it is a holiday and you might just want a laugh, The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, posted a quiz How To Tell If You’re a Troll.
Any thoughts about trolls? Have you encountered a Crazy, Ranting or I’m Better Than You Troll? What is your experience in the Trollosphere? And congrats about your newfound fame. Eleven trolls= Internet Celebrity.
I love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of July, 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.
***Changing the contest.
It is a lot of work to pick the winners each week. Not that you guys aren’t totally worth it, but with the launch of WANA International and WANATribe I need to streamline. So I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners will now have one business week (5 days) to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
I will announce the June winner on Friday. Need time to tally the names. THANK YOU.
At the end of July I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. 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 . 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.
#1 by Ruby Barnes on July 4, 2012 - 9:33 am
You’re so right with this post, Kristen. Crazy trolls are a curse of chat forums on peer review websites, KDP etc. being a bit of a wannabe have-a-go hero, I’ve made the mistake of engaging and trying to psychotherapize(?!) them. A lot of energy can be wasted. Good warnings, we need to heed and remember.
#2 by koco on July 4, 2012 - 9:41 am
Don’t forget Jealous Troll. Second cousin twice removed to Moron Troll.
#3 by Ken E Baker on July 6, 2012 - 2:32 pm
Jealous Troll sounds like one of my relatives, Competitive Troll..
#4 by Patricia Anne Pierce-garcia Schaack on July 4, 2012 - 9:42 am
Thank you. This blog posting was very helpful to me. I must admit I haven’t bought your book about the writer and social media yet, but I plan to buy it, if I can read it on my iPad. The good news, though, is that I am in WANA and plan to visit often.
#5 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 9:48 am
Hey Patricia, I appreciate that and I hope you will take time to hang out with us at WANATribe. Yes, my book is like $4.99 and I think it is available for the iPad. But you will get to it when you get to it :D. So happy to see you here and meet you.
#6 by Brigitte on July 4, 2012 - 9:47 am
I too have taken your stance and apply the above rules. Not sure if I’d call anyone trolls; some comments I don’t understand, but my philosophy has always been to play nice, write positive things and stay away from the negative. I was Freshly Pressed for a blog I wrote about “Benevolent Blogging” and was astounded by the response! I think there are many bloggers/writers out there that apply these great tips you’ve mentioned here. I think if one does, it will draw those like-minded bloggers to your blog. A few “trolls” may slip in from time to time, but that’s the way life is, so thank you for this great advice. Great, great post!
#7 by prudencemacleod on July 4, 2012 - 9:48 am
Hi Kristen, great post. I read your blog faithfully although I don’t often comment. (The line up of the faithful is pretty long and I get lost reading those.) Having said that, I must chime in. People, listen to here, please, heed Kristen’s words. Years ago I made the mistake of getting into it with a real life troll. I ended up with a violent stalker who haunted my family for nearly two years. Just ignore the trolls and move on.
#8 by Catherine Johnson on July 4, 2012 - 9:52 am
Super post! I wish I’d have read it two years ago. You know when bloggers engage conversation by trying to make you whine and you just can’t delete the dumb comment. I have been so good since remembering our little footprints in the snow. Everyone starting out should read this.
#9 by B. Murphy on July 4, 2012 - 9:53 am
Well said as always. I agree taking the high road is always the way to go.
#10 by Sharon Hughson on July 4, 2012 - 9:54 am
Do you think the troll might be having a bad day? Maybe they’re closet critics who have to take it from everyone in their own life. They feel empowered when they can hide behind anonymity or the less confrontational forum that a blog provides.
Here I am trying to give someone the benefit of the doubt when we know that in real life those who troll other people’s blogs are embittered and unhappy. That’s one of those things it’s completely OK to keep to themselves.
Happy Independence Day! What a timely post celebrating the freedom of speech everyone has in America. Too bad we aren’t as free to muzzle the negative, judgmental ones who like to be up in everyone’s face flaunting their inalienable rights.
#11 by Pauline Baird Jones on July 4, 2012 - 9:58 am
There are also trolls who try to get a rise out of authors. They like watching people implode. Don’t give them the satisfaction. I have, OTOH, seen some call people trolls for comments that aren’t that trollish. One writer on a loop I’m on got testy about a review on Amazon. Her friends chimed in with “troll.” I read the review and it seemed an honest review, not trollish at all. I really liked a blog post about dealing with negative reviews a week or so ago? We all know we can’t please all the people ever, but when face to face with someone who we haven’t please, it is easy to forget. The blogger really put it in perspective. She suggested you write down your five, all time favorite books, then go see how many one star reviews those books have collected. There are people who don’t like chocolate and bacon! LOL! It was a great way to really highlight the concept.
Great blog post and wise! I’ve seen some people really tank themselves by getting into troll fights. Have been jumped by trolls. Not fun. Thanks!
#12 by Bri Clark on July 4, 2012 - 10:01 am
I love how you totally avoided the envy troll. Very classy
#13 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 10:04 am
Hmmm, I don’t know if I have gotten an Envy Troll. I usually attract the Crazy Troll or the Let Me Tell You Why You Are Stupid Troll. But classy? I’ll take it :D.
#14 by Chihuahua Zero on July 4, 2012 - 10:09 am
Oh trolls. Fortunately, one is yet to land on my blog, and I’m not sure what form he or she will take. Most likely, he’ll be attacking my merit as a blogger. (I have a writer’s blog, and I try to give advice that I can give despite not being published).
I mostly hang out at a writer’s forum, which has a scrict policy against trolls, so they’re a rare occurance that often get stomped out by the moderation within minutes.
#15 by ralfast on July 4, 2012 - 10:09 am
This post has earned my “Tweet of the Day” spot on my blog. Congrats! Also, don’t forget your flamethrowers.
#16 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:30 am
#17 by MonaKarel on July 4, 2012 - 10:13 am
Kristen, great post.
Unfortunately Trolls exist to disrupt lives outside of our writing. As you pointed out they are sad little people who would rather take pot shots at someone doing something, than do it themselves. If we let them, they can make our lives miserable. Or we can ignore them, and make their lives miserable.
#18 by Mikalee Byerman on July 4, 2012 - 10:13 am
Um, great post. And yes, I did that just so your I’m Better Than You Troll takes offense. I hope he’s vocal about it. Bring it, I’m Better Thank You Troll…BRING IT!
Of course, I had the New Wife of My Ex-Husband Troll. This was a special kind of crazy, because she was the only negative responder among boatloads of support. She left six comments on six different posts under six different names, all ending in a perky “-ee” sound (Dee, Sally, Kelly, etc.).
The ultimate irony? At the time, she (and my ex) were suing me to stop my blog, First Amendment notwithstanding. So she was suing me to stop my blog — while simultaneously trying to use my blog to plant insidious messages to undermine my self-confidence! Awesome…
Let us proclaim independence henceforth from all the trolls of the world. Ignoring them does make them go away, after all — because it is a spotlight (rather, YOUR spotlight) they crave. Or your ex-husband. But whatever…
#19 by Heather Hawke on July 4, 2012 - 10:14 am
I’ll take trolling as a sign of success then!
One additional type of trolling is by folks who probably don’t realize they’re doing it: the pile-on troller. I see this occasionally when a commenter is nasty, then gets castigated over, and over, and over again in a public stoning. So – I like your advice not to respond in kind.
If you haven’t seen it, this “Thank You Hater” video is hilarious.
#20 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:29 am
Yay! Thanks. First time I got a video in my comments. AWESOME.
#21 by Sonia G Medeiros on July 5, 2012 - 5:44 pm
Omigosh, that’s hysterical!
#22 by ChipperMuse (Michele) on July 4, 2012 - 10:20 am
Great post as always. And I like “um.” It conveys a certain pause born of incredulity and awkwardness that no other word or phrase quite hits on. I’ve always liked the tone of your posts. Funny, yes, but not demeaning or mean-spirited. Always positive even in dealing with the negative. It’s a pleasure to read.
#23 by Christy Farmer on July 4, 2012 - 10:28 am
Well said, Kristen! That’s what I love about communities and tribes. It’s real people who do look out for and support each other. That’s what makes having a blog awesome.
Somehow, I suspect the “I’m Better Than You Troll” from last fall never tried that again on your blog. Ha! Ha! Happy Independence Day to you and yours. 😉
#24 by Amelia Loken on July 4, 2012 - 10:31 am
I try to go by the golden rule of online manners, “If you aren’t willing to say this face-to-face in a room full of your friends/peers, then don’t say it.”
Love this post!
#25 by Lisha @ The Lucky Mom on July 4, 2012 - 10:34 am
I had my first troll this week. Does that mean I’ve hit the next level? 😉
#26 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:27 am
Ten more and you will officially be a celebrity :D.
#27 by Carey Baldwin on July 4, 2012 - 10:34 am
Thanks Kristin. A blog that hits home. I especially loved this: “The Trollosphere is something we all must get through on our way to the stars and, if we smell the stink, we know we are doing something remarkable. The key is to get through the Trollosphere without contributing to it.”
Really, thanks again!
#28 by Alison DeLuca (@AlisonDeLuca) on July 4, 2012 - 10:39 am
Thanks so much for this blogpost!
#29 by jolenenavarro on July 4, 2012 - 10:42 am
I shared this with all of my writing groups. Great advice. I dropped one of my favorite authors after time and time again she would get snarky with others. Even accusing another author of something she didn’t do. She came back and apologized but It was just ugly. I didn’t make a big announcement I just slipped away unfollowed and no longer buy her books. People form opinions of us by how we treat others, in person or online. Thanks Kristen for sharing your wisdom.
#30 by Meredith Morgan on July 4, 2012 - 10:44 am
Teachers like you, Kristen, who are sincerely trying to help people (and mostly for FREE, for Pete’s sake!) should not have to put up with the bully in the back row trying to make trouble. Personally I like learning from teachers who make me laugh! I agree with you that the best way to handle trolls, troublemakers and other negative people is to ignore them, and to keep to the high road at least as much as possible. (With occasional detours for raving and beating your head against a tree now and then.)
I am really chiming in here, however, because of your reference to the Luck Dragon. I agree with you about the use of a Luck Dragon being a bad story technique as well as the rather unlikeable-ness of Atreyu. However, “The Never Ending Story” will always be one of my favorite movies because of Bastian’s part of the story. He reads by inhabiting the story. I identify with that. Perhaps it’s a cautionary tale for a writer: readers who are willing to step into our story-world deserve the best we can give them. No cheating allowed. (Except for those times when a Luck Dragon is absolutely necessary.)
#31 by Emmie Mears on July 4, 2012 - 10:45 am
I got my first troll a couple months ago. Thank goodness for block IP. 🙂
#32 by dave tracy on July 4, 2012 - 10:46 am
So funny and so true, really reminds all of us that help from people like you is out there, that We are Not Alone, We are Not Alone, We are Not Alone, my new mantra……mmmmmmmmm.
#33 by Mishell Baker on July 4, 2012 - 10:50 am
Who are you calling a troll??? I would sooner dive into a festering pile of meerkat corpses than take the time to read this drivel I am commenting on! Also, anyone who would capitalize Troll is obviously an illiterate communist agent of the apocalypse here to poison our children’s minds and turn them into badly-groomed heathen puppets for the leftist media. Are you sure you’re not my ex-husband in disguise? I know it’s you; you follow me everywhere, I saw you at the bus stop day before yesterday PRETENDING TO READ A NEWSPAPER. I’m ON TO YOU.
Cornelia Cranny, Werewolf Hunter
#34 by Mishell Baker (@mishellbaker) on July 4, 2012 - 11:21 am
(Because I’m apparently not very good at satire, I’ll just mention here that my previous comment was an attempt at satire.)
#35 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:23 am
:D…yeah, we are pretty sharp. Granted, sharp like Crayons not knives. They won’t let us have those in here.
#36 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:26 am
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! You fit in perfectly here. I’m not sure if that is a compliment. Cookie?
#37 by tomburkhalter on July 4, 2012 - 10:53 am
Disagreements are one thing. Discourtesy and lack of professionalism are entirely different matters. Personally, I like your style. It isn’t what I’d write, but if we all wrote the same way how much fun would that be?
BTW…I used to be a proofreader… 😉
#38 by Tara Sheets on July 4, 2012 - 10:56 am
I haven’t had the good fortune (??) of having a troll yet, but my blog is very young. I finally started one two months ago, and I’m really enjoying it. Thanks for this great post– I will keep it in mind when I finally get that popular 🙂 I just finished reading Are You There Blog, It’s Me, Writer? and I love how you say that people don’t want to be “preached” at. They don’t want to read an article or an essay, it’s more affective if you *talk* to them through your blog. That really hit home for me, and I’m going to try and make my blogs more personal now. One of the things I love about your writing style is that I feel like you are right in the room, talking to me as a friend would. I am actually really glad you use words like “um” and all that. It makes me feel like the conversation is real. So thanks for another great post! And here’s to ignoring the trolls and staying on the bridge. One foot in front of the other. . .don’t look down 🙂
#39 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:26 am
Thanks Tara. that is actually one of the best compliments I’ve gotten when people meet me. When they say, “OMG, you sound just like your blog!” I know I have done my work well. We get lectured enough in life. Most of the time we just need a friend. Thanks for taking the time to write such a lovely compliment. Actually, bloggers DO remember the kid people, too and we are a very supportive bunch :D.
#40 by Greg Camp on July 4, 2012 - 10:57 am
My experience with trolls is that they are most often like tactical bombers from WW II. They sneak in, drop their load–often way off target–and run away. I’m willing to discuss things with commentors, even those who disagree with me, but that requires the person to return for the next round. Of course, I’m a much more contentious person than you appear to be, and I enjoy arguing.
#41 by Marcy Kennedy on July 4, 2012 - 11:38 am
So true 🙂 I actually love a good discussion and welcome people to disagree with me on my blog. But the people who genuinely want to discuss leave a comment that doesn’t attack me as a person, and they come back and continue the discussion. We can talk respectfully. That’s one of the ways I can tell people who genuinely differ in opinion from trolls. The trolls are just mean, and they run away, never to be seen again until it’s time for another nasty comment.
#42 by Stephanie Romero on July 4, 2012 - 10:58 am
I used to write for a political site. Although I knew to expect trolling, I wasn’t prepared for some of what I got. The thing that got me was the site clearly indicated the “fan base,” yet opposing sides would still come on and try to totally tear me and my work down. The worst was when I got an apparent KKK member who tried to recruit me.
#43 by Tiffany Ems Pitts on July 4, 2012 - 11:05 am
Thanks for this. It’s hard to remember not to respond to trolls. It’s like high school all over again.
#44 by Daphne Shadows on July 5, 2012 - 4:23 pm
My thoughts exactly! 😉
#45 by broadsideblog on July 4, 2012 - 11:07 am
There is also the “I know what you need better than you do” troll. I had a young woman show up and leave a lot of way-too-long comments that, very quickly, went from lovin’ the blog to borderline bitchy/rude. I was glad to see her go when she decided to tell me that memoir is not my genre. Haven’t heard from her in months.
#46 by Marcy Kennedy on July 4, 2012 - 11:33 am
I had the worst time when I started to get trolls (rather than just spam). I knew they were real people, and at the time, it made me feel like I’d done something wrong. Maybe everyone else was just being nice, and these were the only people who dared to be honest with me and tell me how stupid I was. Until I got one troll that finally smartened me up. I’d done a post on “Yoda was Wrong,” and was having the most fun in the comments with both nerd and non-nerds chiming in and taking sides (all in the spirit of a friendly discussion). This troll came along and told me how stupid I was. Clearly I meant that the writer was wrong because Yoda wasn’t a real person and hadn’t actually said anything. That was the moment I realized this was my blog (and my social media streams where he also decided to be a troll), and I didn’t have to stand for trolls. I blocked him and went back to enjoying myself. The last time a new troll came along on Google+ and tried to be mean, I think one of the people I regularly chat with there must have reported him because, by the time I got there to block him, the comment was already gone 🙂 We get by with a little help from our friends.
#47 by Cheryl Ammeter on July 4, 2012 - 11:39 am
Kristen, you may be the Mother Theresa of bloggers. Bless you for your wit, generosity, and willingness to teach those who need to learn how to survive in the wilderness of social media. Proud to know you – and um . . . got any spare beef jerky?!
#48 by Cheryl Ammeter on July 4, 2012 - 11:41 am
And yes, I misspelled Mother Teresa – save your time “I’m better than you Trolls”!
#49 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:45 am
I go by Mamma T for short. Don’t mess with my WANAs. I need more gold chains.
#50 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 11:46 am
Thanks for always being so generous with your praise. It is REALLY appreciated. Even though we all know these people are jerks, it still stings. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel at least a little hurt. So the good stuff certainly helps us keep positive.
#51 by KM Huber on July 4, 2012 - 11:43 am
Kristen Lamb: “we should be ever-vigilant of ego”–completely brilliant, Kristen–if all of us remembered this one sentence all the time, what “a wonderful world it would be.” Thanks for all you give, post by post.
#52 by annerallen on July 4, 2012 - 11:48 am
What a great post, Kristen, and thanks for the shout-out for my trolls and cyberbullies post. This is hilarious. (And so is that video–thanks Heather!)
I always picture a troll sitting in his/her Mom’s basement, where he’s been living since he dropped out of college because the teacher didn’t recognize his genius. That night-security job isn’t really paying the bills and he hasn’t actually seen daylight since his 42nd birthday two years ago, when Mom took him to Chuck-E-Cheese and he tried to strangle a three-year-old for cutting ahead of him in line. Yeah. Makes it easier to deal with.
My most unfavorite kind is the politically correctibot– the kind who chastises me for being insensitive to persons of size because I use the word “fatuous,” or tells me I’m ageist because I call myself a “geezerette.” (They never belong to the demographic they think is being maligned, of course.)
But when the death threats come, it’s not all that funny. I had one find out where I lived and tell me he was watching me and had a gun–all because I wrote a post encouraging seniors to learn to write Amazon reviews. Yeah. That’s when you call local law enforcement. Crazy people can be dangerous.
Some trolls are just overgrown infants throwing the contents of their diapers, but others are actually criminally insane, so take care of yourself.
#53 by amyshojai on July 4, 2012 - 11:55 am
Ya know, in the “pet world” there are some very well-known Trolls and if a blog is on a given topic, you can time a watch (oh…maybe 38 seconds) before they find that blog and attempt to hijack it. Religion? Light weight…Politics? no problem. These folks take furr-ocious bite-and-claw to new levels, LOL! and they get blocked very very quickly. Wonder if we could put together a private Troll-icity Hall of Shame?
Naw, that would just feed the fire.
Great post, Kristen.
#54 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 12:00 pm
Man you aren’t lying. I STILL remember those crazy trolls that went after you on that cat blog. WTH? Get cable. Seriously.
#55 by MonaKarel on July 4, 2012 - 12:06 pm
I was thinking more about trolls in my “other” world of breeding and showing dogs when I posted earlier. OMG you’d think they were discussing Armageddon when they “express an opinion”
#56 by Cathy Ulrich on July 4, 2012 - 12:36 pm
Great post, Kristen. The Trollosphere feels like a form of Road Rage. People do things in their car that they wouldn’t normally do in any other setting because, somehow, they think they’re able to be anonymous. They’re angry people looking for somewhere to vent. Your advice is well taken, here.
#57 by riverpearl on July 4, 2012 - 1:02 pm
This is awesome! Great post!
#58 by Candy Lynn Fite (@Candylynnfite) on July 4, 2012 - 1:20 pm
Like, um, you nailed it, Kristen! To all the nasty trolls out there, get back under the bridge!
Btw, I think I’ve finally figured out how to comment here. I follow your blog by email, but usually, because I’m a Blogspot babe, it doesn’t work. I can comment through Twitter. 🙂
Love this post & thank you TONS for ALL of your advice. You rock!! I recently joined WANA. 🙂
#59 by Staci Troilo on July 4, 2012 - 1:28 pm
They say even negative press is good press, but not having had any trolls on my blog, and listening to your horror stories, I think I’ll stick with just the positive ones. Thanks for the reminder to avoid at all costs!
#60 by miriamapace on July 4, 2012 - 2:00 pm
Great post on trolls. I’ve had my share of disagreeable people which I called DP, but I like troll better. I was going to make a comment about Jealous Trolls, but someone above already did. So I’m going to add, in my opinion Jealous Trolls are the worst because they frequently encompass all the other attributes into one.
#61 by corajramos on July 4, 2012 - 2:02 pm
The Trollosphere–Love it!
#62 by just another s-a-h-mother on July 4, 2012 - 2:47 pm
Ummm … thanks for making me laugh. 🙂 And I’m pretty sure there is a polite way and an impolite way to pick your nose, so your little troll should be careful.
#63 by Kelly O'Sullivan (HILWD) on July 4, 2012 - 2:55 pm
I have been lucky to have a troll-free blog so far (though my low readership may be playing a part ;)). I do touch on political issues but I have tried to encourage and support discussions. So far so good, but I suppose I will hit someone’s nerve someday. I’ll tuck this post in my files so I’ll know what to do should I ever meet a troll.
Your advice is, as always, fantastic. You always treat each of us like writers, even if we just write in the shower. Writing always sounds better in the shower. 😉
#64 by April Brown (@AprilBrownWrite) on July 4, 2012 - 3:02 pm
Thanks so much!
After a troll attack I truly felt I didn’t want to help anyone anymore.
I let one of my writer friends know that I felt that way, and he reminded me why I help others. So instead, I asked him to be sure sure and tell me if I ever get too big for my britches. Ya know what? He would! He’d let the all of Twitter know if I didn’t change my tune in a hurry!
Thanks for this post!
#65 by shankarkashyap on July 4, 2012 - 3:12 pm
Great post again, Kristen. I took the liberty of re-posting your blog on my Blogsite (www.shankarkashyap.wordpress.com). Such a Blog Troll can be a terminal blow for novice Bloggers like me. I have my first “I am better than you” troll very early and put me off writing completely for several weeks. I was scared to write anything that may be read by public. The second one was not so painful. Your post made me feel much better knowing that I am not alone in this!
Thanks you again for such a great work
#66 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 4, 2012 - 4:25 pm
I never know what is going to bait a troll. Who would have though a blog with 4 tips for cleaner writing would be such a pot-stirrer? LOL. They just come with the territory and I am sure it only gets worse the bigger we get. Bob Mayer has talked about getting some horrific e-mail over his books and Candy Havens once had a reviewer on Amazon act so badly she was in tears and Bob and Candy are as tough and professional as they come. So if they got stuff that could rattle them then it seems it is just the nature of the beast. Bigger success = Bigger target. Sorry you had that experience, but true. You most certainly are no alone :D.
#67 by Margaret on July 4, 2012 - 4:54 pm
This is so good Kristen, thank you.
#68 by Wo3lf on July 4, 2012 - 5:37 pm
Thanks for the article. It’s insightful, as always. I’ve been active online for about 6 months now and it is sad to see how critical people can be of others, looking for even the tiniest of missteps to lambaste. It’s sad because it’s so unnecessary and such conduct only reflects the troll’s own inner turmoil. But what compacts it even more is the selfishness of the act, projecting it on others as if they are responsible for the troll’s unhappiness. I’ve seen this in life many times, but it is more rampant online.
I’ve been a litigator for 10 years and had my fill of confrontation. I can’t be bothered to take part in an online fight. I agree with you here. Nothing is to be gained by participating in a fight with a troll. It’s not about ego and it certainly doesn’t improve anyone’s quality of life. The best way to deal with a troll is to either ignore, delete, block or report. For someone who gets his rocks off from upsetting other people, the most frustrating/frightening thing is for people to press the ignore button.
#69 by donnajeanmcdunn on July 4, 2012 - 5:42 pm
Hi Kristen, I loved your post as usual and I loved the video. That’s the kind of attitude we all should have. I for one can’t wait to get my first troll, that means I’m in the same company with you and so many other wonderful writers who are also wonderful people. My blog is pretty new also and so is my presence on the social media sites and so far I’ve seen some trolls on some of them, not for me, but others on the sites. I can’t believe those trolls could be a writer even though they had claimed to be. I don’t understand how people can be so mean to another for such stupid reasons. No one can force anyone else to read their blogs or books, so if they hate it, then never go back or buy another one from that author. I love the way you write. I feel I know you because of the way you write. You make me laugh. It’s to bad the trolls don’t spend a little time laughing, maybe they wouldn’t be trolls then.
#70 by lazycatfish on July 4, 2012 - 5:46 pm
Thank you Kristen. I am new to blogging. I only started last week. It all began when I put a review on Amazon UK for 50 Shades of Grey. It was a light hearted but scathing piece and, to my surprise, around 1,700 (so far) have read it and I got over 250 comments. I was overwhelmed. Of the comments 99% of them were lovely with many of them asking me to start a blog/write a book.. This did not however, prevent me from being absolutely terrified every time I checked them! I fully expected Christian Grey fans to be on the rampage but so far I have been lucky! I have, so far, only had one “crazy”. It was a lady who obviously seemed to think that Christian Grey was real and that I was “cruel” for not recognising how damaging his childhood had been and how ignorant I was for not recognising how Ana’s true love could help him! I didn’t have the heart to ‘approve’ it as she was clearly insane however, I must confess that I had a little smile to myself! Anyway, thank you so much for your blog. I don’t feel so alone now and a little more prepared for the characters that you have mentioned!
#71 by Karin Cox on July 4, 2012 - 6:12 pm
I so needed to read this today, Kristen. Thank you.
I am just *this* close to launching the Indie Review Tracker website (aiming for Friday) and although I’ve been over the post copy a gazillion times (or so it feels), as an editor I know that there WILL be some tiny little thing I’ve missed, and that some troll will fixate on it. Trolls particularly love to magnify typos for some reason. It’s quite nerve-wracking, but you’ve convinced me that the best approach is to ignore any trolls and focus on the positives.
In many ways, I think it is harder for editors to blog because people expect us to be perfect—and yet we know that is impossible, strive as we might for perfection. And I love your chatty style. I lurk here often just for that. It makes me feel like I’m with friends, not just being “informed” but being included, and I think that is important.
#72 by Sanna on July 4, 2012 - 6:48 pm
Community is incredibly important.
Trolls will troll. They make good sandwich-meat, if beaten tender. 😉
#73 by jbw0123 on July 4, 2012 - 7:01 pm
Baiting trolls are a sign of success? Well I never. Here’s Big Billy Goat Gruff giving fair warning to the troll under the bridge:
“Well, come along! I’ve got two spears,
And I’ll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I’ve got besides two curling-stones,
And I’ll crush you to bits, body and bones.”
There (brushing off hands). Thank you, as always!
#74 by crubin on July 4, 2012 - 7:08 pm
Great post. I haven’t had to deal with this yet, but you’ve given me words of wisdom should the unfortunate occasion arise.
#75 by Dienna on July 4, 2012 - 7:10 pm
Another reason is because they lack ideas that are worth sharing, and are too craven to start their own blogs. Trolls are really something else.
#76 by amyskennedy on July 4, 2012 - 7:57 pm
I was part of a community of a Romance review (plus a whole lot more) site, a positive place and a tight knit community. It was literally hijacked one day by anonymous postings, scathing remarks– not only about the blog, the writer, but also about the community. It felt so violating — it really did. So, I can only imagine what it feels like as the author, to have someone malign you and your writing.
You are awesome, and never boring and I always learn something.
#77 by Marie Gilbert on July 4, 2012 - 8:23 pm
I really learned a lot from this blog, thank you. I never did understand why some people like to make nasty remarks on some of the blogs that I follow. There are “Emotional Vampires” in this world and they get their kicks from bringing others down. Your advice on how to handle these trolls, is very helpful.
#78 by denissea on July 4, 2012 - 8:34 pm
Love your post! People can be mean sometimes. I’ve dealt with this personally and in the writing world. I think you are an amazing writer and supporter of writers. I love your blog and am part of the WANA tribe myself.
#79 by Tahlia Newland on July 4, 2012 - 9:27 pm
A great post – as usual. I love your humour. It really does help to laugh at this sort of thing. The Historical fiction world apparently has a bad infestation of Trolls. I was shocked when I found out. The author concerned wrote a post about it and it’s on my blog today. http://tahlianewland.com/2012/07/04/bullies-on-the-web/
My latest book has a bullying theme, so I’ve done a bit of reserach and my suggestions for handling internet trolls are here. Ignore and don’t engage are the main things. Deleting comments is also our right and the sensible thing to do sometimes. http://happyhonkers.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/how-to-deal-with-internet-trolls/
#80 by Turndog Millionaire (@turndog_million) on July 5, 2012 - 12:40 am
Those darn trolls. I had my first bout of Twitter hate the other week, and although it made me feel rather small, it also made me somewhat invigorated.
It’s a step I know you have to go through. It felt like I had earned stripe number 1 🙂
Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)
#81 by Gyula on July 5, 2012 - 2:22 am
There is another type: the Hate Troll. He posts hate comments, not related to your post at all. He says rude things about your family, your abilities, your race, about any subject related to you.
We came across a few of them on our family blog. How to deal with them?
1. Delete the comment. We moderate all new commenters, so Hate Troll doesn’t appear on the blog. He is disappointed, and after a few attempt leaves us. But still, there is the anger and sad feeling inside you, it takes some time to cool down.
2. Edit the comment. As administrator you can do anything with it, so why not edit it, and make it a nice one. Replace the hate words with love words and praise. Then imagine the face of the Hate Troll realising he was tricked. Laugh at it, and have a good day.
#82 by Katje on July 5, 2012 - 3:44 am
I have yet to really get a troll on my blog! I guess I’m not being controversial enough.
I did get one comment from someone who was very upset that I didn’t like a book and and had said so. My response was basically “Cool story, bro,” and honestly if I do get any more troll-ish responses I’ll probably just post that in response.
#83 by Alison on July 5, 2012 - 7:15 am
I am troll-less at the moment 🙂 but I can see how it can be a pain in the you-know-what!! I see them on youtube and at the end of news articles – they are just plain ignorant and I tend to gasp and then ignore. A great post with good advice. Thanks!
#84 by Lisa Myer (@La_Raconteur) on July 5, 2012 - 3:02 pm
Falling under the category of crazy trolls are crazy trolls-with-a-personal-grudge. I actually had to close down a rather popular (humor) blog several years ago because a guy I dated right after high school for about a minute (okay, so that’s an understatement — it was slightly longer than that) and subsequently dumped found my blog and trolled it mercilessly, posting personal information about me and my family. I could mull over the many psychological reasons someone I hadn’t had any contact with for more than 20 years would do this, but … nah. I won’t. He was just plain batsh*t. Even a new domain name and blogging anonymously wasn’t enough to shake him off my tail. Now that I’m starting a new blog, I do worry about him resurfacing. I worry about it a lot, actually.
#85 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 5, 2012 - 6:44 pm
Use WordPress because then you can edit his comments. So when he types that “Lisa is a heartless slut.” You can just edit it to say, “Lisa dumped me because of my desperately small man part and my love of inflatable animals. She is actually awesome and way better off without me :D.” Just drop him in the trash bin. WP gives us a lot of control of shutting down trolls.
#86 by Daphne Shadows on July 5, 2012 - 4:22 pm
One of the blogs I follow encountered a crazy troll recently. Large comment about animal abuse that made me want to vomit. How on earth do these people think being so negative will get them anywhere?
Thanks for the post! It’s always nice to know that other bloggers get angry people spewing on their page too! I haven’t had one yet (thankfully) but I only just started blogging in May so I shouldn’t keep my hopes up on staying troll free.
I plan on just ignoring them and deleting their comments. Hopefully they’ll leave me alone…love how you categorized them! 😀
#87 by Lisa Myer (@La_Raconteur) on July 5, 2012 - 7:27 pm
Thanks for the heads up, Kristen — I actually am using WordPress this time so I can have more control. And your proposed edits? Epic WIN! I could have great fun with this guy if he dares tread on my virtual turf again.
All kidding aside, I do want to project a professional image to my readers. No room for trolls of any kind, and especially not *this* one! 😀
#88 by Roni Loren on July 5, 2012 - 5:30 pm
Love this. I’ve had them pop up occasionally on my blog. And this week I had one leave a Goodreads review–which instead of reviewing my book (which they didn’t read), they went on a rant about 9.99 ebooks and Penguin and told me I need to self-publish so they can buy my book. 0_0 I kinda wanted to reply and say–um, you know, there’s like a whole lawsuit out there about agency pricing. It is not under my control. And if you don’t like the price, then there are things like, you know, libraries where you can request a book and it will magically be ordered for you for free. But whatevs. I kept quiet. Never want to feed a troll. The internet can be a joy sometimes.
#89 by Sonia G Medeiros on July 5, 2012 - 5:46 pm
Seems I’m not quite cool enough for a troll on my blog yet. Sigh…just zombie gnomes.
#90 by Christine Macdonald on July 5, 2012 - 11:09 pm
LOVE it. So happy I found your blog. Here’s to you, sister. Thanks for rocking the writing family. xo
#91 by Matthew Wright on July 6, 2012 - 5:58 am
No trolls yet on my blog, but I used to get ‘letters to the editor’ from the last-gen version when I was a columnist. The internet version’s usually cruder. A friend of mine recommends playing them like fish. But maybe not feeding ’em’s best. Or sending them that video…
#92 by Lynn Kelley on July 6, 2012 - 12:25 pm
So sorry you’ve had to deal with trolls, Kristen, but you’ve handled them well and passed on your knowledge and superb advice to us. It’s so cool that your peeps had your back! Awesome. I haven’t had any trolls yet, just dirty spammers, so I had to change my comments settings. I’m not looking forward to dealing with trolls, and I appreciate the heads up! And your humor. I always appreciate your humor!
#93 by MonaKarel on July 6, 2012 - 12:28 pm
My blog stays on “moderate,” and WordPress blocks the most obvious spam. A few times I’ve let some spam through, but not the really odd posts.
#94 by christineardigo on July 8, 2012 - 9:30 am
I have loved everyone of your posts and never notice anything wrong with them because they are so informative and honest and grab me everytime. It’s sad people would take the time to write something mean and click POST. I talk about you all the time to my co-workers and they are not even writers. When i read your posts, its the big picture and i lean back when i am finished and take it all in. Keep doing what you’re doing. ❤
#95 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 8, 2012 - 6:45 pm
I don’t get some people, but whatever. There are people who never see the bad and those who never see the good. Thanks so much for the sweet comment :D.
#96 by nancyelizabethlauzon on July 9, 2012 - 8:50 am
LOL Kristen, I so enjoy your posts. Is it pathetic that I wish my blog could attract some Crazy Trollers? Oh well, I can only keep on hoping 😉
#97 by allanasscribbles on July 10, 2012 - 6:51 am
Trolls, rather than spammers, are the reason I always moderate comments on my blog and don’t allow comments at all on other blogs I own. Trolls I will read and then delete. Uncaught spammers I often laugh at and then press delete.
I cannot be doing with arguing in the comments with a troll. It simply wastes my time and the time of anyone kind enough to read my posts.
Let the trolls get their own blogs and argue with themselves. 🙂
#98 by kenebaker on July 10, 2012 - 8:01 am
Sound advice! I always perceived the ‘moderate comment’ function as more bureaucratic than adding real value – but your words changed my opinion that. Makes sense really, delete the troll comments that clog up your time and blog, and deliver better quality to the person reading it, and therefore a better experience 🙂 Good recommendation!
#99 by Whitney Rains on July 10, 2012 - 11:09 am
Great post! I am so fed up with people who act like trolls on the internet. People who really care about writing and other writers will support you, not tear you down!
#100 by Whitney Rains on July 10, 2012 - 11:10 am
Reblogged this on A Serendipitous Happenstance and commented:
Read and learn!!! Kristen Lamb gives some great advice on how to deal with the jerks of the internet.
#101 by Chad Carver on July 11, 2012 - 5:54 am
The very first comment I ever received on my blog mentioned spelling. Mortified, I combed through the piece, thinking a couple of errors must have slipped through, but was certain that it didn’t contain “multiple spelling errors,” which was the comment. I didn’t find any, but thought that this didn’t mean much. When I looked into who had said this, so that I could ask about the mistakes he had found, I discovered that it was merely a bot. And I thought I had a fan! *sigh* I’m over it 😉
#102 by Whitney Rains on July 11, 2012 - 9:39 pm
Yeah it’s so easy to get caught in the troll trap! I’ve learned its best to let them sail by. 🙂
#103 by m on February 16, 2014 - 2:06 am
The crazy troll is on to something.
#104 by Ensis on April 4, 2014 - 9:10 am
Had my first troll leave a lot of rude comments today and the first thing I thought of was this article.
So I came back to say, “Hi,” and, “Thanks!”
Strangely, I’m not even mad at the guy.
#105 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 4, 2014 - 12:41 pm
Good. Here to help your rhino skin and hey, you are now one step closer to being a CELEBRITY! GO YOU!
#106 by tech blog on December 27, 2014 - 1:24 am