Cyberbullies, Trolls, Mobs & Haters—How to Protect Yourself & Others in a Dangerous World

Image via "The Terminator."

Image via “The Terminator.”

As the WANA Mama, I am fiercely protective of my writer peeps…like Giant Kodiak Mother Bear Protective. I will and have gone to the mattresses for fellow writers who’ve found themselves under senseless attack.

Yet, as a counterpoint, I choose my battles. I love Sun Tzu, and have read his Art of War until the pages were falling out. When it comes to dealing with a formidable enemy, Sun Tzu is the master tactician. One of my favorite quotes?

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. ~Sun Tzu

A few days ago Psychology Today posted an article I found interesting in that 1) this article gives data to support what we all know deep down but 2) don’t want to believe. We know there is something different about trolls. They exhibit what is called The Dark Tetrad Personality—Machiavellianism, narcissism, sadism, and psychopathy.

Yet, this is where we can get in BIG trouble. We often try to deal with trolls the way we would rational people who are not deeply disturbed. Trolls remind me of the Terminator, and the hero (Kyle Reese) has the best explanation of what an Internet Troll truly is.

Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Kristen Lamb: Listen, and understand. Trolls are out there. They cannot be bargained with. They cannot be reasoned with. They do not feel pity, remorse or fear. They take tremendous joy in our suffering. Suffering and pain is their subsistence, the very thing they LIVE to create so they can FEED. They will not stop ever until we are dead (spiritually/emotionally/professionally)…unless we take a stand.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.05.59 PM

This blog is called Warrior Writers for good reason. We are in a multi-front war. War with our bad habits, our fears, our insecurities, our family or friend’s disapproval. We are fighting and training to grow to be better writers than the day before. Battling to become better business people (yes, writing IS a business).

We also must appreciate we are targets. We can believe the enemy isn’t coming, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. Preparation is paramount.

To be clear. Everyone has a bad day. Some people might strongly disagree with us and might not use the best words because they’re emotional. Or they might disagree respectfully and that’s okay. I don’t want Pod People Commenters. I don’t have to agree with others to support their freedom to have opinions.

Some people might believe (have the opinion) I don’t know what I’m talking about and have the intellect of a brain-damaged garden slug.

They have the right to be wrong😀 .

THESE ARE NOT TROLLS. Trolls are a unique life form with a VERY different psychological makeup. Trolls feed off pain and strife. They seek it. They create it. They need it and they CRAVE it. They are addicts who also need higher and higher doses of suffering to get the same high. KNOW THIS.

Know Thy Enemy—Levels of Trolls

Image via the movie "The Purge"

Image via the movie “The Purge”

Not all tactics will work equally because not every enemy is the same. There are little trolls and often they’re the “easiest” to deal with by simply setting a boundary and refusing to budge. Recently, I had a guest post about grammar, thus I wrote a funny intro for my guest. I used the term Grammar Nazi, which is a common term and a humorous one, likely inspired by the Jewish comedian Jerry Seinfeld in the episode with the Soup Nazi.

One commenter scope-locked on that single term and razed me. He informed me that using the word “Nazi” was never funny and that I needed to take down my post and write a public apology. I replied with a professional version of, “Pound sand.”

I informed him that I refused to be PC or let one commenter dictate how I wrote my blog. If he didn’t like my blogs, there was the digital door and don’t let him hit it in his digital @$$.

There was a time I would have apologized for offending him and tried to reason and explain and that is BUNK.

POUND SAND.

If I’d catered to his bullying, I assure you that would have emboldened this person to only become a more powerful troll because his comment would have been enough to make me rewrite, revise, and cater to what HE wanted. Oh the surge of god-like powers he could have felt, but I denied him what he wanted.

When we appreciate that trolls are wired differently this makes early intervention make more sense. Serial killers don’t start out kidnapping, torturing then butchering people. Research has shown these “creatures” begin small with tormenting animals then escalate. If early deviant behavior is not recognized, dealt with or cut off, it then will continue to grow into a malignant evil with a body count.

Trolls aren’t after your flesh, they want your soul. They collect broken dreams and broken hearts. Trolls often hunt in packs because bullies are small insignificant people who need cronies to help them do their dirty work. But, hopefully this post will train you. If you are attacked? It will be instantly and painfully clear they picked the wrong writer to mess with.

The following tips will help handle even the most sadistic and highly motivated trolls.

What To Do—Writers and READERS

Go Sherlock—Scrutinize and Discern

Image via "Sherlock Holmes" with Robert Downey Jr.

Image via “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr.

If a book catches your attention and you think you might want to read it, take the ratings at face value. If there are a gazillion one-star reviews, take a moment to look at them. Troll swarms are fairly easy to spot because of all the fecal matter they leave behind.

Other signs?

One-star reviews with no commentary, no picture, a moniker, etc. Reviews with ad hominem personal attacks. Reviews that are psycho-emotional. Often trolls will have their reviews hidden. If they don’t, and you’re uncertain if this person is a troll, look at their other reviews. Does this individual ever give a good review?

Then, ignore the reviews and look to the sample pages and use those to make your decision. Later, if you LIKE the book, leave a good review and then go back to the one-star reviews that are clearly trolls, and, when Amazon asks if the review is helpful? Do a BLAST NO BLITZKRIEG. If Amazon gets enough of those on certain profiles, these folks will be banned from reviewing. On Goodreads, hit the dislike button. Same deal.

Refuse to tolerate bullying. When we do nothing, we are enabling.

What to Do—Writers

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Be YOU—Don’t Let Trolls Steal Your Peace or Your Book Sales

First of all, use the name printed on your books. A moniker or a pen name won’t stop the hate. It’s still you. If someone called me names and ruthlessly attacked my character it wouldn’t matter if it was Kristen Lamb’s Blog or Penelope Fluffernutter’s Blog. It’s still me behind the computer. When we try to hide behind a moniker to protect against the inevitable, all we do is make it harder to sell books.

The bullies win. They can steal your peace and maybe even success. If they take your NAME, they can steal your book sales.

When we get off the Internet because of these cretins, they win. It’s a “blaming the victim” mentality. If your skirt wasn’t so short blog wasn’t there, you wouldn’t be raped harassed by trolls. This is why I DO recommend a WP based site. There is this marvelous TRASH function.

Illegitimi non carborundum…

I’m not naive. I KNOW these comments hurt. I’ve had comments that reduced me to tears. But we have control how much power we give these thugs and for how long. It isn’t easy, but it is reality.

Keep Records

If you get hateful, threatening messages take screenshots. Save e-mails. If the troll is motivated enough they can easily slip into an area that can give you power legally. But, proof is what will help your case.

Manage Your Blog

I don’t allow hate. I am always open for respectful disagreement, but if someone gets out of control? I politely pop them on the snoot and remind them to behave or delete their comments. You guys need to feel safe to comment on my blog (others need to feel safe to comment on yours). Trolls will shred the fabric of your community. It’s our job to keep them in check. Set boundaries and refuse to tolerate abuse.

NEVER hide your blog or shut down comments. It’s what they want. The trash function is your friend and you can block them from commenting.

Stand Up for Friends

If you have a writer friend who’s being bullied, gather together and, when Amazon asks if a review is helpful? Click NO. The WANA Community is massive. Let us know. We are happy to stick up for you, and a troll might be able to harass one or two pals who come to your aid, but a few thousand is a tougher challenge. Bullying is something that can only be beaten with the power of friends and community. Trolls have their gang? Bring it. We’ll be your Huckleberry😉 .

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Report and Block

Report abusers on Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook since 2005 and only had to block three people. These trolls weren’t just harassing me, they were harassing all my friends who commented on my wall. They were PSYCHO. I went to Facebook and had them banned. I blocked their comments and profiles (until FB could take them down).

DO NOT ENGAGE

Don’t feed the trolls. Negative attention is still attention. Often trolls will leave seething comments to upset people SO much that they HAVE to go to their blog/website to see WHO this JERK IS. It’s the only way they can get hits and comments and they feed on negativity. Starve them.

Hire a Professional

If you’re worried about your safety or your family’s safety because someone has gone THAT nutso? Contact Jay Donovan at TechSurgeons. Jay is an amazing human being, a tireless champion for writers and he IS The Digital Dark Knight. He’s a computer genius who can have said troll chasing his own @$$ down a hole of frustrated nothing.

There are ways to protect yourself digitally and Jay is a master of security. Even if you want to take some preventative measures, talk to Jay.

Many of you know I am NOT a fan of pen names. What you may not understand is I’m not a fan of pen names, because a different name alone isn’t enough. Worse, it can provide a false sense of security. Writers are locking the screen door thinking that’s going to keep out the motivated ax murderer.

There are sound reasons for having a pen name. I advise against it most of the time because friends, schoolmates and family can be powerful mouthpieces and very helpful. A pen name limits how much of that energy we can harness and dilutes focus. BUT, if you DO need a pen name for safety, security, etc. TALK TO JAY. Again, a different name alone isn’t enough. An eight-year-old with decent Google skills can find who you are without the skills of someone like Jay helping you.

Speak Up

Image via Demi-Brooke Flickr Creative Commons

Image via Demi-Brooke Flickr Creative Commons

In the end, trolls (sad to say) are often a sign we are doing something right. Get ten trolls and I think we are officially a celebrity. Learn to un-see. Focus on those who love you. Join our WANA Community (WANA stands for We Are Not Alone, information here). We are a great refuge and support system. You can join us on Twitter at#MyWANA, on Facebook or even WANATribe (a social network for creatives). I have ZERO tolerance for trolls and have smiting powers.

I know it can feel very defeating sometimes, but a great circle of loving friends who have your back is a great start. Refuse to feed the trolls your peace, success and happiness. They exist, but together we are stronger.

Trying to reason with trolls is wasted energy. Trolls need professional help and we aren’t being paid NEAR the kind of money to required treat these kinds of people. We’re writers, not shrinks and not the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.

And just remember…WE ARE NOT ALONE.

What about you? Have you been bullied? Did you find any tactics that were effective? What are your thoughts? Do you check the one-star reviews to make sure they are legitimate? I am no expert, so I would LOVE any suggestions.

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of SEPTEMBER, 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. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. 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).

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by Nancy LiPetri on September 24, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    Great post–I will keep these tips!

    • #2 by gilliansnotebook on September 24, 2014 - 2:52 pm

      A few years ago, I was hassled on Facebook by this…. troll. I never even tried to talk to him/her…whatever, but this individual always found something wrong with whatever I said. So, I removed myself from the group and blocked the idiot’s name. I pretty much do that whenever someone is overtly foul-mouthed and returns an honest opinion with utter rancor and hatred! They just aren’t worth the time. BLOCK ‘EM! Don’t give the trolls, morons and outright RUDE persons your time. They don’t deserve it! 😡

  2. #3 by Les Edgerton on September 24, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    Good on you, Kristen! Anyone who calls out these PC morons is a hero to me. PCism is the single biggest threat to freedom of thought and speech ever invented. It’s a philosophy invented by retards… and yep, I know that’s a word PC’ers don’t like–more reason to use it…

  3. #4 by The Story Reading Ape on September 24, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    I’m with Kirsten 200% on her article – I’ve seen many friends hurt by Trollism and as a reviewer who posts in Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble and Smashwords – I detest Troll Reviews and have no hesitation in pressing the NOT HELPFUL button and stating my reasons for doing so!
    I also reinforce the advice to authors – DO NOT ENGAGE!
    Treat them like the pariahs they are!

  4. #5 by Elisa Nuckle on September 24, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    This is great. Your passion and caring is so clear here. Keep up the great work!

  5. #6 by Lelia Rose Foreman (@LeliaForeman) on September 24, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    Another great article. Thank you.
    I’m trying to think how to keep copies of threats and simultaneously delete them.

  6. #8 by R. A. Meenan on September 24, 2014 - 12:57 pm

    Wow, powerful post today! I’ve always heard the “don’t feed the trolls” suggestion, but many of these others are new to me. It’s good to have.

    I’ve never been bullied for a story, but I was bullied for a book review I did for the first Ranger’s Apprentice book. I felt it was a weak book and so I did a blog review of it, pointing out the weaknesses and even making suggestions.

    A bunch of the book’s fans found my post and went completely crazy in the comments section, telling me I was a horrible person and a bad writer and how could I ever hate on their precious, precious book?

    I removed the review shortly after that. Perhaps I should have kept it up.

  7. #10 by Cheryl Ammeter on September 24, 2014 - 1:06 pm

    Excellent post, Kristen. I felt empowered just reading it! I’ve been lucky so far, but if I’m ever set upon by a troll brigade, I’d be happy to have a Huckleberry like you and team WANA at my back – plus an airship, a dart gun and a lizard beast. I like to think I can write my way out of anything.😉

  8. #11 by Jack Eason on September 24, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    I read and posted that article you speak of on my own blog Kristen, a few days ago. I couldn’t agree more with what she said and what you say here. Trolls are to be avoided at all costs if you are a writer. Never, ever engage with them…

  9. #12 by Jack Eason on September 24, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Kristen Lamb on Trolls…

  10. #13 by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. on September 24, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    An excellent post and one that offers commonsense advice regarding those few individuals who feel that they have a right to ride roughshod over you or someone you support and believe in, because you share a blog, comment, review or opinion they dislike or disagree with.Thanks Kristen Lamb.

  11. #14 by lindarigsbee on September 24, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    Interesting article. I liked your rendition of Kyle Reese. lol I ignore trolls. Responding gives them steam. I usually read through their piece and glean anything worthwhile. If they persist, I simply delete their post. Wouldn’t have a blog where you couldn’t delete a post.

  12. #15 by Catherine Johnson on September 24, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    It’s probably a lot easier to deal with trolls who are strangers than people who are jealous having a dig. But I’m not even bothered by that these days. I can’t handle humans acting like robots or expecting friends to act like robots and nudging us every two mins. Especially when we are trying to cut back during the summer for example. The like function on comments can be greatly misused by people not wanting to come to your blog to hint to promote their stuff. I suppose it serves me right for tweeting so many links. Thinking of going cold turkey on that one. Anyway pulling back seems to be helping. Off to have the most awesome week ever. Thanks for always having our backs!

  13. #16 by Leah on September 24, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    How timely for me. I just saw my first self-published book on Amazon. It didn’t occur to me that I might have haters, but I now understand how to handle them. Thank you dear.

  14. #17 by myieshaspeight on September 24, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    Greetings, I want to thank you so much for your advice. My first self-published book is coming out November 14 and I actually feel prepared for it thanks to your helpful posts. I admit to being worried about the trolls and what people might say about my book. You’ve definitely put my mind at ease because I feel that I am now equipped to handle every situation. Thanks again.

  15. #18 by harperlaurieb on September 24, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    Thank you, Kristen–this is helpful to authors. Much more helpful than all the twittering and blogging in a freak-out WHAT DO I DO??!! when it happens to the author. I will happily share this with authors.

  16. #19 by emilymullaswilson on September 24, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    It’s amazing to me how empowered trolls feel by the use of a medium that feels “impersonal” and often completely anonymous. Under the guise of anonymity, they feel freed from the confines of normal civilized behavior and say things that they might never dream of saying in real life. Trolling is a pastime for cowards.

  17. #20 by Bethany A. Jennings on September 24, 2014 - 1:53 pm

    Great post. Thank you for the advice to not back down and give the troll what they want (via deleting posts and such)!

  18. #21 by Going Gentle Into That Good Night on September 24, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    Great post…good reminders. Thanks, Kristin!

  19. #22 by christicorbett on September 24, 2014 - 2:03 pm

    Love this post, and the WANA community!

    Christi

  20. #23 by annerallen on September 24, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    Top-notch advice on a very real problem. You’re right that a troll visit is usually a sign of success. Only my bestselling books have had troll-swarm attack “reviews” and I didn’t start getting them on my blog until my Alexa rating was under 500K. Trolls hate successful people, because they know they will never be successful. They also have lots of time on their hands because they don’t have any friends. (Cue tiny violins.)

    Thanks much for the encouragement to REPORT ABUSE. Goodreads has improved in dealing with trolls, but I think Amazon is overwhelmed, so they need TONS of reports before they’ll check anything out, so if you see any kind of personal attacks in a “review” anywhere report it. The next victim could be you.

    Great piece on a tough subject, Kristen!

  21. #24 by Ruth Hartman Berge on September 24, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    I haven’t personally been bullied, but I have had to block people on Facebook. I totally agree that we have to band together to defeat the trolls (feels like a warped fairy tale). I’ll be happy to raise my sword with my comrades.

    Excellent post on a topic people don’t seem to talk about too much.

  22. #25 by ramblingsfromtheleft on September 24, 2014 - 2:18 pm

    Thanks, Kristen … they are everywhere. As writers and readers we need to protect our own. Great tips. Wish I had these when I did not-for-profit … which is as cut throat as academia where trolls drill holes in your head and make a happy home🙂

  23. #26 by Jeffrey A. Gartshore on September 24, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    Well done. So often, we creative types are very much caught up in our created world that the Negatives catch us by surprise. Your advice is sound, and it echos what is being taught in the schools with regards to the Bullying Issue. (At least here in Southern Ontario, Canada)
    I raise my (insert image of the drinking vessel of your choice here) to you.
    Xxoo

  24. #27 by Brea Brown on September 24, 2014 - 2:27 pm

    Wonderful advice. Thanks for this post!

  25. #28 by Liz Crowe on September 24, 2014 - 2:33 pm

    great stuff. My personal experience once (out of twice I had a “flamer outbreak”) was when Good Faith, the final novel of a fairly successful series was releasing. It had a couple of MAJOR spoiler issues that were revealed by a hater who left the only 1-star review (so far, the rest of them are 4 and 5-stars), using personal slurs against me on the book’s page the day it was released. Not only was I betrayed by formerly trusted ARC readers (I know who they are. They have been culled from the flock) by the giveaway of the ending (as I said, it has a double whammy) it came within a scathing, nasty “review” within 5 minutes of the book being live. Not only did this person (who refused to listen when I told her that when I deleted my original Facebook personal profile EVERYONE got “unfriended”) have nothing better to do with her time than to wait until the book hit the stores, she spent a long time crafting her nastiness. My fans flew to my side and if you go to this book’s Amazon page you will see their responses. Ignoring the trolls is one of the hardest things in the world for me, as you and I have discussed Kristen. It’s not in me to turn the other cheek. I’m too much a Southern, type-A hothead artists. But it has to be done. It will fade and the less attention YOU pay to it (your fans, of course, can do whatever they want. It’s a free country) the better. THere is nothing more hurtful (except perhaps sunburn on your privates) than a person once a fan who feels “slighted” by you as an author and who turns on you. Trust me. I have several of them out there for some reason.

    love ya
    Liz

  26. #29 by Daven Anderson on September 24, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    People need to be very discerning about book reviews. Genuine one-star reviews where the reviewer has obviously taken the time to thoroughly dissect the book and offer only valid, well thought out, reasonably objective debate points; these are the sort of reviews that are rare beasts and should be admired, even if you’re the author of the book.

  27. #30 by Kylie Betzner on September 24, 2014 - 3:04 pm

    So true. I think too many of us feed the trolls because we don’t understand their needs. Denying them the reaction they desire is the perfect attack.

  28. #31 by Ann Bracken on September 24, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    One of the authors in my area has been attacked by a plagiarizer and needs WANA help. You can read her story here::

    http://rachelannnunes.blogspot.com/2014/08/standing-against-plagarism.html?showComment=1407602270437#c7707385399075098658

    Someone stole one of her books, altered it and published it under her own pen name. After the plagiarism was proven, the thief then started attacking under many different pen names. It’s gone beyond insane, and has hurt this author immeasurably. If nothing else, please read her story and spread the word so this doesn’t happen to others.

    Thanks, Kristen, for this post. We have to band together against the trolls!

  29. #32 by drewdog2060drewdog2060 on September 24, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    Trolls are sad individuals in need of psychological assistance. As the post rightly says, the best policy is to not engage with them (don’t feed the trolls).

  30. #33 by tracikenworth on September 24, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    Very helpful advice, Kristen!!

  31. #34 by K. Caffee on September 24, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Pukah Works and commented:
    Thank you, thank you for this post. As I am new to publishing, and still completley hidden due to not having any kind of big following (tiny blog, smaller readership, and almost no presence on other media… yet) I haven’t been hit by trolls. However, I am actively trying to learn about them NOW, before I have to actually face one down. I know they are insidious, which may be my downfall. I love a good, polite, argument or honest critiques. Helps things get better. But, from what I’ve read, this is exactly how trolls appear to start.

    Great post, and one I am super glad to have stumbled over.

  32. #35 by mariahhealey55 on September 24, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    Great post – I’ve always wondered about those (jerks) people who seem to completely lack boundaries. Now I know how to deal with them in the future. Thank you so much!

  33. #36 by drewdog2060drewdog2060 on September 24, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    One of my collections of short stories received a 1 star rating minus a review of any description. On checking the profile of the reviewer I ascertained that the overwhelming majority of their reviews where 1 star. Many of the reviews where accompanied by vitriolic, personal attacks on the author and other trolls delighted in attacking the author (as an individual) with the content of the book being of only secondary importance. Anyone who dared to stand up for the authors was subjected to abuse.
    As I say, the reviewer had left a 1 star rating for my book without bothering to leave a review. Indeed I very much doubt that he (or she) had even read it. I didn’t engage with this person as this is, I suspect precisely what they wished me to do. Kevin

  34. #37 by Stella on September 24, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. As an avid book buyer, I read reviews before buying. I do read one-star reviews, and if it’s a crummy, trollish review, I always mark it as unhelpful. What I look for in reviews are patterns – does it all boil down to basically the same complaint (a boring start, undeveloped characters, an anti-climatic ending, etc)? There are some common complaints in reviews I can easily forgive in a story and still purchase (like, secondary characters are not fully developed), but there are others I have to think twice about (like, main character is completely unlikeable). Anyway, all that to say, I think book buyers are smart and savvy and won’t let bad reviews completely dictate their book-buying decisions.

  35. #38 by lalouziane on September 24, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    Excellent article. I am in a writer’s group. We talk on one of Amazon’s MOA threads and we have a troll. So much so that it has almost completely killed what once was an informative and supportive thread for authors.

    This is a very timely article.

  36. #39 by robin witt on September 24, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Thanks for a great post! I have recently been brave enough to start commenting on a few writer blog sites because the hosts of those sites, like you, seem to have made a real effort to keep the discourse civil.🙂

  37. #40 by danniehill on September 24, 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Thank you, Kristen. Writers supporting writers is so important in today’s world of media and crazies!

  38. #41 by Carrie Kwiatkowski on September 24, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    Thank you! I have to admit the trolls have me a wee bit scared. Not that it will stop me from pursuing what I love, but now I feel like I have a big sister looking out for me…with an army of kind intellects.🙂

  39. #42 by Will on September 24, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Ms. Lamb, thanks for putting the right tone on this philosophy. I’ve seen many of these ideas expressed before, but so passively it made my hands clench. A little spice, as you’ve given it here, and now we can think of ourselves as FIGHTING for what’s right, instead of trying to throw the internet equivalent of a curveball (or maybe a substance pitch!). Put me in for the reserves in case I can help.

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 24, 2014 - 5:55 pm

      Thanks! There is a fine line between being a pushover who’s an apologist and that crap just feeds these nut jobs or baiting and going all teeth bared, which (AGAIN) feeds what they want. But band together in a wall of positivity and love? Be calm but firm> Refuse to relinquish your peace? Make them sizzle like a gremlin in a microwave.

  40. #44 by donaldkennethwalker on September 24, 2014 - 5:01 pm

    Good Post Kristen; and better yet, great advice. I guess you can say you have arrived once you’ve been targeted by trolls, one star clickers, and bad review leavers. The bigger you are, the better chances you will of this happening to you. Attention seekers in dire need of a hug, but can also be a threat if they are really 51 cards short in a 52 card deck. Kristen gave great advice in dealing with trolls and the like no matter the severity of their deviancy. Granted we can’t and shouldn’t chalk every faceless bad one star review as the act of trolling. In some cases a person just may not have the courage to stand behind their review, but if you see a pattern of this then it’s really safe to say someone thinks the world of you, just not in the most pleasant way. So when, not if the day comes when you are under attack just remember all the great advice Kristen gave you, because authors/writers have enough opposition in their way save for the faceless bullies dying to be seen in the most meekest of ways.

  41. #45 by Debra Desselle on September 24, 2014 - 5:33 pm

    Thanks for being such a strong defender!

  42. #46 by johnfindley on September 24, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    Hello Kristen
    I read your blog with much interest; I am very new at all this new at Facebook and twitter. The other day there was a negative religious posting posted by a new “Friend?” I thought about what I could add, but finally decided the best course of action was to take no action. I would be interested in any comments about this, if we don’t react to this type of posting will it die a natural death?
    I can see a difference with a blog posting, unless we delete it stays there on your website and I would be more likely to remove a hurtful posting if it was directed to someone young and upset by it.
    The cyberbullies you speak of have caused a lot of heartache, and laws have been put in place to fight it here in Australia. Though it need reporting to the correct authorises.
    Regards John

    • #47 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 24, 2014 - 5:53 pm

      I see stuff on FB that riles me all the time. Unless a person just posts that stuff non-stop? I ignore. If it gets too bad, I might hide them from my feed. A person has to be pretty whackadoodle or SERIOUSLY out of line for my to unfriend. I just tell myself, I AM NOT the jackass whisperer. Then move on.”

      In martial arts we have a saying. Best way to win a fight? Don’t be in one to begin with.

  43. #48 by d20girl on September 24, 2014 - 5:43 pm

    Great and logical advice. I have had the worst experiences with trolls on reddit and I’m not sure why that site has so many negative, angry people. It’s good to know I’m not alone. Don’t feed the trolls!

  44. #49 by Michelle Morrison on September 24, 2014 - 5:43 pm

    Great post. I’ve discovered that most of the time when someone is being rude, simply not responding to it will do the trick. It’s good to have tips for when things get more serious than that. Fortunately I have not had a great deal of trouble on Facebook…Maybe the trolls haven’t found me? 😀 Myspace was another story, I ran into quite a few trolls there, and I did make use of the delete and block buttons. I no longer have a Myspace account though so that is water under the bridge.

  45. #50 by Michelle Morrison on September 24, 2014 - 5:50 pm

    Oh, and yes, and I do agree that there are lots of trolls on Amazon and Goodreads. Amazon and Goodreads are worlds unto themselves, and the jerks do comes out from under the rocks. :-p Just thought I’d throw that in. 😀 I normally don’t engage with them, but of course there reaches a point they have to be told that behavior won’t be tolerated.

    • #51 by Michelle Morrison on September 24, 2014 - 5:54 pm

      Hahaha, that should be “come out from under the rocks”. I’m tired today, and I am picky about good grammar. 🙂

  46. #52 by Michelle Morrison on September 24, 2014 - 5:58 pm

    Reblogged this on mchllmdm and commented:
    Good thoughts about cyberbullying.

  47. #53 by prudencemacleod on September 24, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    Great post, Kristen. I agree, never feed the trolls. I made that mistake once, never again. Oh, and I will admit prudence MacLeod is a pen name, but not for security reasons, I just like it. Most of my friends call me Pru now anyway.🙂

  48. #54 by skburki on September 24, 2014 - 6:07 pm

    Thanks Kristen. I think serious writers abhor the publicity. We’d love to have our work read and that we could somehow hide our identities/privacy. Just be judged by our work. As someone who’s received threats just for writing an op ed, I refuse to be cowed. Just published my first novel in my own name –albeit using my initials– on Amazon after saying to self “damn the torpedoes…full speed ahead.” To h–l w/a pen name. Bring it on. And, BTW, “pound sand” is one of my favorite expressions🙂

    Love your blog. Thanks for sharing so much.

    ~Shireen

  49. #55 by Joe Bruno's Blogs on September 24, 2014 - 6:11 pm

    Last month, in one day, the same troll gave six of my books horrible 1-star ratings (if you hate one of my books, why would anyone buy five more?) But he (she) was not finished. They found 75 reviews that I wrote on books and other Amazon items, and left 75 disparaging comments under my reviews about me personally, and my integrity and writing ability, specifically. After I complained to Amazon, four of the six five star ratings were removed and all 75 remarks under the review that I wrote.

    First, trolls have no guts. They, anonymously(because they have not guts), like to hurt writer’s careers. But if anyone believes in karma, these trolls will get theirs at the worst possible time in their lives.

    Me, I could care less, one way or another. I write, and maybe I make a few bucks. Trolls are not going to change my life one iota.

    But I invite all trolls, and they know who they are, to meet me any place, anytime, to discuss my writing and personality deficiencies.

    And they can bring a baseball bat with them😉

  50. #56 by Karen Dent on September 24, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    Awesome blog! Thanks🙂

  51. #57 by Margaret Taylor on September 24, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    HI Kristen,

    Lovely blog, as usual.

    I’ve not had any bullies as of yet. All four of my 1 star reviews, out of 83, are legit. Well, unless you count the one that said, “Juice Inspiring was used and I couldn’t finish after that…” IN MY DEFENSE: I used it ONE time in 225 pages, so I had to laugh.

    I’m heading over to talk to Jay right now, mainly because I do use a pen name and with the success of my Dragons series, I probably should beef up security just a touch.

    Thanks, as always, for being here for us!!! We love you!

  52. #58 by Deborah Makarios on September 24, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    Reminds me of something Agatha Christie wrote: “Evil isn’t something superhuman, it’s something less than human. A criminal is someone who wants to be important, but who never will be, because he’ll always be less than a man.”

  53. #59 by Mira Prabhu on September 24, 2014 - 9:45 pm

    Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    On Cyberbullies, Trolls, Mobs & Haters — here’s Kristen Lamb’s hard-hitting defense strategy against these draining life-forms…as she says: “Refuse to tolerate bullying. When we do nothing, we are enabling.” Brava!

  54. #60 by katkent2014 on September 24, 2014 - 10:05 pm

    I was bullied on twitter because I didn’t follow someone right away. It wasn’t that I wasn’t going to follow him; I just don’t live on twitter, I’m busy writing. He put me on a list, called me names and tweeted it out to the universe. So much hateful energy for no reason. You’re right, cyber-bullies, trolls, mobs, haters have a twist in them that no one can fix. I neither obsessed over the presence of an enemy nor did I ignore it; I directly dealt with it, reported and blocked the person and then I moved on. Period. This was such a great article, Kristen. I do have a pen name because my real name was taken. But its close. Kat Kent instead of Kathleen Kent. Thanks again for the great article. I will follow your twitter page; strength in numbers.

  55. #61 by Heather Heitz (@HeatherHeitz2) on September 24, 2014 - 10:54 pm

    This was a great post! So much niceness only goes so far. I understand the mentality of trolls slightly. (Just to be clear, not because I am one but because I have a brother that does not have the ability to reason. I’m sure he’s bi-polar.) These people DO have to be handled differently. You told it like it is. Thanks for the info. We need to be able to stand up to them as we encounter them. Thanks!

  56. #62 by gilliansnotebook on September 25, 2014 - 1:38 am

    Bravo Katkent2014 ! Those people have NO life! They’re miserable and they don’t want anyone to be happy. They’re like the proverbial wasps, who buzz around, looking for someone to sting. I remember one time, I was on a bus where there was a wasp. I didn’t care for bus protocol, I just took off my runner and whapped it as soon as it landed on a window! Smooshed it real good! 🙂 Everyone on the bus applauded. 😀

    Well, that’s kind of the way we should look at these creeps on the net. Instead of running in fear of them, we need to use every means at our disposal, depending on the site. Places like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook have REPORT buttons, let’s put those to use and keep those slugs away. HOPEFULLY, they will get the hint, eventually, and leave people alone. Most places delete a person’s account if they get too many reports against them, and how many accounts can these nutzoids make up? They need an address. Do they piggy back on someone else’s address?

    MAN! A good shrink could make a small fortune off some of these people! I recall making an innocent comment (by way of opinion) about someone, and called some pretty dirty names for it. YIKES! I just don’t get these creatures! :/

  57. #63 by TP Hogan on September 25, 2014 - 3:14 am

    Thank you.
    Sometimes you do feel alone when you face something like this. It’s fantastic to know that you’re not.

  58. #64 by Richard A Snow on September 25, 2014 - 3:26 am

    Never been trolled, but i’ll call jay if I am. Thanks for the post.

  59. #65 by authorbrandonhill on September 25, 2014 - 5:26 am

    Great article! Fortunately, I’ve never run into trolls in regards to my published books; rather, they tend to frequent my videos on YouTube. But the same rules do apply. Myself, I just take the “ain’t nobody got time for that” approach, meaning, I leave a snarky reply and promptly ban them. Too many people nowadays waste their time with these whackadoos and give trolls the one thing they crave: attention. There’s a reason for the Internet rule of thumb that says, ” don’t feed the trolls. “

  60. #66 by umashankar on September 25, 2014 - 5:31 am

    Hi Kristen!

    I have no published book, digital or otherwise, at least not at the moment. But I do have a blog. It has seen ups and downs, tasted both bouquets and brickbats over time, and it has been under a massive, concerted attack by trolls a couple of years back; perhaps the pack is still out there somewhere. My fault? I refused to be their pupil. They did their best to reduce me to a fossil but here I am, not a milligram lighter than I ever was. I stood my ground and gave them a mighty taste of their own poison. I am heartily grateful to my friends who stood by me in the avalanche.

    Yes, I fully agree with what you have powerfully said. And I just loved these words:

    “Trolls aren’t after your flesh, they want your soul. They collect broken dreams and broken hearts. Trolls often hunt in packs because bullies are small insignificant people who need cronies to help them do their dirty work.

  61. #67 by serins on September 25, 2014 - 5:33 am

    This is an excellent post and very well put.

  62. #68 by Pamela Beckford on September 25, 2014 - 6:16 am

    Reblogged this on Poetry by Pamela and commented:
    I can’t add anything to this. Just read it

  63. #69 by Suzanne Dome on September 25, 2014 - 7:12 am

    Thank you dear for your support. I fell into the troll nest last May, as an indie with a small local following, and this GR group was using one of my videos as ammunition, because I said pretty much what you said about checking the star ratings and looking at the gobelty-gook in the bad reviews before taking them seriously. A lot of friends/other writers I know reported these negative situations on their facebook pages. I still use my story to talk to new authors who are just starting out, I’ve had authors I’ve met desperately want to know what was going on and why GR was carpet bombing them with 1 stars. In the hours after I discovered what had happened to me, I did a lot of research, and hid and watched, and I did document (they came after a special ed para, bad move–I document everything). The infighting in the troll group after me was like a bunch of cheesy comic book villains, and your Joker reference wasn’t too far off. I can’t give them that much credit though😉
    They lost–I’m still writing, my readers are super supportive, and they[trolls] inadvertently got my trilogy some attention for a few weeks. IT backfired on them a little.
    That doesn’t mean it didn’t stress me out. I have some medical conditions that react to stress, so yes–it was a tough month, and I still refuse to give GR my internet time until they clean that mess up. On all my other sites, when I see an author struggling with this, I make sure to let them know they aren’t alone, tell them my story, hear their story, and I refer them to blogs like this, because it was someone like you who helped me get past the trolls I encountered, so I could move on.

    • #70 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 25, 2014 - 7:25 am

      GO YOU! We have to work together. Trolls are dangerous to fight alone.

  64. #71 by Susan P on September 25, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Reblogged this on The Curious Introvert and commented:
    Dealing with internet trolls. Very helpful post.

  65. #72 by mystiparker on September 25, 2014 - 9:37 am

    What do I do? Block idiots on social media pages. Moderate every comment on my blog. Report every instance of bullying when I can. Don’t give them the satisfaction of ever engaging with their ridiculousness. Support my friends and vice versa. Great article Kristen!

    • #73 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 25, 2014 - 3:10 pm

      I only block if they escalate to the point of bullying. Often I will send a polite private message and ask them nicely to ratchet it down. As far as blogs, I moderate all comments. I have trashed comments. If it’s a regular who got emotional, I will e-mail and ask if they will rephrase because THEY can become troll bait. I’ve done that a couple of times and the commenters were SO grateful I stepped in before they posted something that could go sideways. But those are people just having a bad day. Trolls? ZERO tolerance.

  66. #74 by suecoletta on September 25, 2014 - 11:01 am

    On an unrelated matter, I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I enjoy your blog so much. If you choose to accept please check out my blog today for instructions.

  67. #75 by Christina Ochs on September 25, 2014 - 11:53 am

    Reblogged this on The Rolling Writer and commented:
    Some good advice on dealing with trolls.

  68. #76 by Rii the Wordsmith on September 25, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    I don’t have enough of anything yet to really attract trolls, but because I suck at brushing off even unkind words, the thought of that even being a possibility is scary to me. I have good support but…I really appreciate the blog post because it’s like knowing what armor to get to wear to a specific battle and it’s a little less scary now.

  69. #77 by bhbranham on September 25, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Brad H Branham, Author and commented:
    Just a useful article for not only writers, but for models, musicians, graphic illustrators, any creative soul.

  70. #78 by Elise K. Ra'sha on September 25, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    I wish this had been published two years ago or had my best friend tag me then. Writing groups can be brutal.

  71. #79 by Tom Barczak on September 25, 2014 - 4:14 pm

    Keep up the great work, Kristen. You’re one of the good ones.

  72. #80 by oddlynn3 on September 25, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    Great post…then again…I’d expect nothing less from you. Thanks for all the information. I’m sure that I will need to use it sometime.

  73. #81 by thepaperbutterfly on September 25, 2014 - 4:36 pm

    Thank you for talking about this. I was the victim of a bad cyberbullying incident earlier this year. Another fanfic author wanted to destroy me. I don’t want to go into what she did publicly because she’s stalking me. The mods on Fanfiction.net did nothing, but I saved all of her messages and such in case I needed it. In the end I just deleted all of my stories and left the fandom, which I had been involved in for several years. I had one of the most popular stories for the pairing I wrote, and was in several prominent communities. But the anger, fear, and sadness crept into my story. It wasn’t fun anymore, and I was at risk of relapsing into anorexia when I decided I had to leave. Fanfiction was not worth my mental health. I have PTSD from the incident. The flashbacks have stopped for the most part, until something reminds me of the incident, and then I start getting really anxious. They stopped me from writing my fanfic, but they can’t stop me from writing. I switched over to original fiction because of it, which is more fulfilling, so I guess things worked out for the best. They even made up new identities to get my new pen name. She also made up several identities to get around my multiple blocks. That’s when she started talking to my friends to convince them what a horrible person I was. My friends wanted to tell her to F*** off, but I told them that would only make it worse. I have no doubt if she finds out I have published something she will flame the hell out of it on Amazon, making up several identities to do so. She fed off my terror and despair. The sad thing is that she will probably find a new victim. I don’t even know how to avoid someone like her in the future. I’m too naive and trusting, and I think she knew that and took advantage of it.

  74. #82 by Raani York on September 25, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    This is such an important post. I really do thank you for sharing it. I hope that something like this will never happen to me. But should it… I know where to read how I can find help. Thanks so much!

  75. #83 by Julia on September 25, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    Thanks so much for the great advice, Kristen! I’m keeping it close by – in case I ever need it!

  76. #84 by Elena Linville on September 26, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Wonderful post, Kristen! I have been a gamer for much longer than I have been a writer, so I had my fair share of experience with Trolls. The best advice to give about those is “Don’t feed the trolls.” Ignore them. These are not people you can have a decent conversation with. They are not here for a discussion, they are here to cause pain. So yeah, ignore, ban, block, move on with your life.

  77. #85 by Heather Sunseri on September 26, 2014 - 9:33 am

    This is most awesome, Kristen!! When I get a troll review, I like to go to other authors of books I like or to the other books that that troll has left personal and mean reviews for, and I mark every mean reviews “unhelpful.” Not necessarily the 1-star reviews, because readers are completely allowed to not like a book, but the ones that attack authors, personally, I like to attack back, because it’s NOT OKAY.

    Thank you for encouraging this stand against bullies!

  78. #86 by mjtedin on September 26, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    This is useful information not just for writers, but for anyone who has a web presence, including small businesses who use Facebook and other social media.

  79. #87 by P.S. Bartlett on September 26, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Author P.S. Bartlett and commented:
    Having dealt with this issue in the past, I am proud to share such helpful advice.

  80. #88 by Elizabeth cooper on September 27, 2014 - 3:15 am

    This is great info. As someone just starting out in this industry I’m glad to have a heads up before it happens.

  81. #89 by bardotbarbiturate on September 27, 2014 - 11:33 am

    I’ve not had any experience with trolls as yet and will definitely be taking your advice when they inevitably appear. I completely agree about taking screenshots and saving e-mails, years ago I took screenshots of comments made by my boyfriend’s insane ex when she was posting all kinds of crap under different usernames. I never did anything about it though as at the time I don’t believe there was any legal recourse. If she hadn’t knocked it off I would most certainly have made her shenanigans public knowledge.

    I don’t intend to use my real name as it’s a bit of an issue. For a start, my first name is Lolita. It frequently gets bandied about in the media and whenever a teenage girl runs off with an older man, out it comes; when an article comes out on the over sexualisation of pre-pubescent girls, there it is again. Last year here in the UK it was revealed that back in the seventies, some high ranking politicians were involved in an attempt to reduce the age of consent to 10 years old. This was dubbed the Lolita charter. Sometimes when I try to register for things online it’s immediately flagged up as a name ‘not allowed’. According to Facebook, names are not allowed when they “contain symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, repeating characters or punctuation; characters from multiple languages; titles of any kind (ex: professional, religious, etc); words, phrases, or nicknames in place of a middle name or names that are offensive or contain suggestive content of any kind”. The first four are clearly not applicable. After I got narky with them, Facebook did allow me to use my real name but almost immediately a creepy weirdo crawled from beneath his rock. It probably wasn’t a great idea to use a photo of me when I was 4 though. This is why I avoid using my real name where possible in social media, it’s just too much hassle. Given its association with paedophilia and porn stars dressed up as schoolgirls, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to not want to use my real first name. I’d curse Nabakov if the book wasn’t so good.

    I know that many people would argue I could use my initials with my surname but that’s a whole different issue. Initially I maintained that I find it too formal for me, which is true, but to be honest looking at it makes me cringe. It wasn’t until I was rooting through my childhood things in the loft recently that I realised why I loathed the sight of it. My dad has always had this obsession of putting my name on things in that particular format. Where possible he would scratch it onto things or write it with permanent marker. He also did this to stuff he bought for my sister and on his own things. It’s not that I don’t get why, he was one of twelve children and putting his name on things prevented his siblings from pinching them, but his compulsion drives me crazy. I don’t want to look at my book, website or social media, and see my father’s obsession emblazoned across it.

    I know that for a lot people seeing their name on the cover of their book is something they look forward to but for me it’s not a big deal. I’ll know I’ve written it and I’ll be the one receiving the money for it. There are some people who I would prefer didn’t know, like my boyfriend’s crazy ex, but I’m not going to go out of my way to conceal my identity.

  82. #90 by Author Mandy White on September 27, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Mandy White and commented:
    An outstanding article with a lot of sound advice for readers and writers alike.

  83. #91 by David J Delaney on September 27, 2014 - 6:48 pm

    Great advice. It’s something more and more prevalent in today’s society.

  84. #92 by Teresa Cypher (@Teresa_Cypher) on September 28, 2014 - 12:54 am

    This is an outstanding post, Kristen. Perhaps, my favorite of yours so far. Thank you for this!

  85. #93 by Author Mandy White on September 28, 2014 - 2:00 am

    I admit I gravitate to the negative reviews when considering buying a book. Often it is the less-than stellar reviews that influence my decision to buy. While some critical reviews are helpful, my snidey-sense will tingle at the first sign of trollery. I always vote down and report abuse when I see it.

  86. #94 by 1WriteWay on September 28, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    Best line in your post: “Troll swarms are fairly easy to spot because of all the fecal matter they leave behind.” Perfect. Your advice is spot-on, particularly about flagging one-star reviews as not helpful. I’ve done that. For what it’s worth, the reviewer knows that at least one person is not falling for his/her shite. Even if the reviewer isn’t a troll and truly didn’t like the book, one-star reviews usually are not helpful unless the book under review was really just a ream of paper glued together.

    • #95 by gilliansnotebook on September 28, 2014 - 5:34 pm

      I’ve decided that the best course of action is to either ignore or block super-nasty people in general. Whether the person is a troll or has no sense of humor or patience, if the person responds to an opinion with four letter insults, I simply report and/or block the nut.

      I have no problem with accepting honest criticism (i.e. “Maybe you should change or omit part of….” ) is something I can consider. But “That S*^%$# T must’ve been written on f’ *&^%^&*ing toilet paper!” is the sort of ‘comment’ I can do without.

      • #96 by 1WriteWay on September 28, 2014 - 8:42 pm

        Indeed, attention only encourages them, but I do like noting when a review is not “helpful.” As a reader, it frustrates me to see one-star reviews that offer little to no explanation for the low rating. I can understand that someone might have valid reasons, but it only helps if those reasons are civilly and clearly explained.

        • #97 by gilliansnotebook on September 28, 2014 - 9:04 pm

          Too right! Usually, if someone has issues with someone’s work, they’ll spell it out. “The characters are so one-sided, they wouldn’t even make a good sandwich meat.” or “You have your lead character getting ready to board the Titanic in 1917. A bit of a trick, since the Titanic sunk five years earlier (1912). ” An explanation like that would at least give credence to the low rating. Trolls or haters… they don’t have any valid reason for loathing a novel to the extent they do, except for maybe…jealousy. Or they’re completely unbalanced. Best to avoid them, either way. 😀

  87. #98 by Cate Russell-Cole on September 28, 2014 - 9:34 pm

    I have thought long and hard about this. I agree, the comment was extreme, but is anyone else aware that this may have been someone who has been impacted by WWII or that may have mental illness issues? There is also a Neo Nazi movement which could have harmed them or their family.

    Kristen, repeat offender trolls do need a swift kick, but we may all do well to keep an open mind on some issues and walk away quietly lest a cycle of aggression kick in.

    • #99 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 29, 2014 - 6:51 am

      I agree with you. But, I’m not rearranging my vocabulary for a war that happened almost 70 years ago. If I did that, can you imagine all the words I would have to redact? And I would have had more of an open mind if 1) the commenter at least acknowledged context—the post had to do with GRAMMAR or 2) didn’t immediately demand I remove the post and write another one to publicly apologize for being a horrible person.

      Feel free to say something hurts, you don’t care for it, and I will generally work to accommodate. But when a commenter starts making ad hominem attacks and ridiculous demands about how I need to write MY blog? Find another blog. I am not revising my content to never offend anyone ever. That goes against all it means to be a writer.

      And I feel the aggression usually grows when these types are NOT held accountable early. I was professional and basically said, “Find another blog that suits your needs. I am not PC here.” I didn’t attack, but I DID put a boundary that those sorts of comments are unacceptable.

      Remember, being nice often feeds abuse. Always be nice, until it is time to NOT be nice. That is a tough line to see, but after a thousand or so posts? I am pretty good at spotting it😉. And remember, this affects you guys too. If I turn the world upside down to make all my vocabulary PC to avoid attack, how free will YOU GUYS feel to comment, lest you be called out by the Thought Police?

      • #100 by Cate Russell-Cole on September 29, 2014 - 7:34 pm

        I agree Kristen, common useage terms are harmless, and as someone said about Mel Brook’s The Producers, the best way to get back at him was to make fun of him, in the same way he made fun of the Jewish people. Don’t make the rat notorious, that is powerful, make him a laughing stock.

        Though please, do take a small step back, pound sand is not like you. You’re an incredibly warm, generous person. It came across very badly.

        Best wishes.

  88. #101 by Doug Walker on September 29, 2014 - 5:52 am

    This is probably the most important article we will ever see on the Internet, hope this can be used as a guideline for all upcoming internet personalities, and we can avoid having to suffer another loss like HaiLedaBear ever again.

  89. #102 by Christine Hayton on September 29, 2014 - 6:58 am

    Great article, Kristen. I am a regular follower of your blog and know this is a very important issue. I spend some of my time trying to enlighten readers on the presence of bogus reviews and other unethical practices in the literary industry – not just trolls, but also writers using fraud to sell books. I am an aspiring author, and active on several different literary sites as a reader and advocate of ethical practices.

    I had a rather interesting encounter with a writer on one site. I expressed my opinion on a specific topic and disagreed with her. This writer accused me of being intentionally unpleasant, told me I should leave the group and referred me to this blog. She implied I was being a troll or cyberbully. I can assure you I was polite and did nothing to cause her reaction, except my disagreement.

    Her comment bothered me, but at that point I had not read this blog in its entirety. I did that this morning (my Monday morning blog catchup session) and realized her comment was way out of line – not only in regard to her accusation about me – but also because she used an excellent article as a weapon to discredit someone who disagreed with her. I have no doubt, should anyone else disagree with her, she’ll use this blog again as her personal weapon. I’m sure there is little you or I can do about this situation, but I thought you should know.

    You are a very valuable asset to the writing community. I always enjoy reading your articles and know you take the time to research, enlighten, and educate. Thank you, Kristen – great work as always.

    • #103 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 29, 2014 - 7:24 am

      Well, that kind of backfired on her, LOL. I am always open to respectful disagreement and those arguments have actually reversed my thinking on certain issues. I don’t know everything and I am not omnipotent. I embrace criticism, critique and other POVs. Bullying people to believe what I’m blogging about makes ME the troll.

      I do NOT tolerate Thought Police. And I damn sure won’t be badge-carrying member. The person who didn’t like the term “Nazi” even though WWII had NOTHING remotely to do with context crossed a line when he demanded I rewrite my blog and then write an apology. He was free to have an opinion, but not a list of demands.

      Whatever course inspired you to comment, I am happy we got to meet😀 . And THANK YOU for following my blog. I do work very hard and you guys make it worth it.

  90. #104 by Christine Hayton on September 29, 2014 - 7:02 am

    Reblogged this on Christine Hayton – A Writing Adventure and commented:
    I thought this article had enormous importance to anyone with an online presence and who can be subjected to abuse by these internet bullies.

  91. #105 by LillianC on September 29, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons and commented:
    The WANA blog is a great resource for writers. This particular post is of value to everybody. Please pass it on.

  92. #106 by manchesterflickchick on September 29, 2014 - 4:56 pm

    I’ve been bitchy (too honest) on a bad day but you are right this is very different from trolls and abusers. Unfortunately in my personal life I have had to deal with unstable, narcissistic and even psychotic people and (which your post makes clear) they do not follow logic or reasoning.

  93. #107 by Andrea Fingerson on September 29, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Andrea Fingerson and commented:
    This is soo true.

    I recently started leading a few creative writing workshops. We started by talking about our “Writing Serial Killers.” All the responsibilities and distractions that get in the way of writing. I will have to make sure I include “trolls” to my list. They have to be stopped.

    With that in mind, I loved this quote from your post: “Serial killers don’t start out kidnapping, torturing then butchering people. Research has shown these “creatures” begin small with tormenting animals then escalate. If early deviant behavior is not recognized, dealt with or cut off, it then will continue to grow into a malignant evil with a body count.”

    Whatever your writing serial killers are (an evil troll harassing you, a favoirte tv show you’re addicted to, genuine responsibilities like family and work that deserve your attention) their ability to stop you from writing starts small. You have to identify them and stop them from adding to their body count.

    Thanks for the advice Kristen.

  94. #108 by Andrea Fingerson on September 29, 2014 - 11:00 pm

    Sorry, Kristen. I thought I was reblogging this to my afingerson.blogspot.com page. Instead it went to a wordpress blog page I only used once for a blogging workshop. I am new to the world of blogging, but I loved your post.

  95. #109 by moirainori77 on September 30, 2014 - 3:58 am

    Reblogged this on Sunflowers for Moira and commented:
    This is for my writer- and social-media friends. Read and be forewarned. And let’s watch each other’s back.

  96. #110 by Icy Sedgwick (@IcySedgwick) on September 30, 2014 - 6:33 am

    I only ever had one guy leaving me idiotic comments, but he was masquerading as someone else, and attacking my content in order to make the other guy look bad. I turned comment moderation on, got a couple of “How dare you censor my posts? Who do you think you are?” posts, then he realised I wasn’t going to make his rantings public any more and he moved on. I like to hope he grew up eventually but I also like to hope that if I wish hard enough I’ll get a Time Turner for Christmas :p

    I’ve also had a one star review off someone on Amazon who never left a review for anything else. No idea who it was, and there does exist the possibility that they really just hated my book so much they wanted to warn others off, but I try not to let it bother me. It’s just a shame that people exist who want to tear others down. What did they do before the internet? Inundate newspaper letter pages with bile?

  97. #111 by cestgigi2014 on October 5, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    The Haters and Deniers actually did me a favor- I was banned from a forum of former colleagues. As a ‘good girl’, I felt like Lenny Bruce without the famous seven words. I was pumped!

    I flew for Pan Am for twelve years and on a private FBook page, I reminisced about an incident I had found funny, on a flight with an airline which has been defunct for more than twenty years, but with which I had had nothing to do. One woman took exception-I was messin’ with World Peace-and started harassing me in private messages. When she wouldn’t stop, I threatened to make her comments public, and the upshot was me being banned. So, I started writing my stories about flying and posting them on my blog, and created a small book out of it. I hadn’t thought of doing that before.

    After the Banning, (reminds me of a song) two other FAs sent me nasty messages when I wrote a post about flight attendants who had wrought revenge on captains, who could be very Bligh. They told me to take down my ‘Lies and crazy stories’, so I made sure the post was expanded and re-posted. (There’s something about being told what I can and can’t write that has the opposite effect on me. It may be the latent seventh-grader, but I hate hypocrisy and the poisonous pedagogy of ‘That never happened’, or ‘It only happened this way.’)

    One complete stranger on FBook destroyed my belief that education should be for the betterment of people, and to edify. What I thought was a polite discussion between two people on someone’s wall about voting, quickly became vitriolic. The other person was a former professor at Arizona State. She found out my areas of ignorance and used them to belittle me (she thought) in public. I don’t belittle, because I have no problem admitting I don’t know something. My master’s just didn’t measure up to her doctorate, or her experience and knowledge in education, so how dare I even broach an opinion. She started cyber-stalking me. I wrote a post about the experience. That’s what a writer does, and the Pen really is mightier than the Troll.

    She turned tail and ran to her lawyer, who tried to make me take the post down. I had done my research on freedom of speech and copyright laws, and because I had told the truth and hadn’t libeled her, I refused. She had thought she could say what she liked publicly about me on a FBook page and I could not use her comments as my defense. I told her attorney that her comments were as public as if she had shouted them from the courthouse steps, and she could sue me until the Cows Came Home. They could move into that empty barn whose door she locked when the horse vacated it. She still tries her moves on other people, but I just refer them to my post for how to deal with her.

    I like Galaxy Quest: ‘Never give up! Never surrender!’

  98. #112 by Anna Todaro on October 17, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    When I found out the Anti RACC Troll in Portland was someone I knew, it put everything into perspective. Such a sad person. So much jealousy.

  99. #113 by vsvevg on October 22, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    Thank you for this Kristen, I haven’t had problems(not popular enough : ) but a women I follow is, and I was really grateful to have this resource to send to her. I don’t comment much(live in Timbuktu with no internet) but I love you blog, I really enjoyed and benefitted from your latest book, and I spread the word when I can. peace to you, Abby

  100. #114 by ┌∩┐(-_-)┌∩┐ (@lyecdevf) on October 31, 2014 - 4:00 am

    Cyber bulling for me started a few years ago when I was a member of a forum called elitehackers.info which now no longer exists. Yeah, this saga has lasted a while and these cyber bullies that are after me refuse to leave me a lone. Back then I wanted to learn about computer security, infosec,…but I was not doing any thing bad on line and had no bad intentions but some one got a different idea when I changed my nick to, “cy83r7r0n.”
    At that point I was contacted by this low life called, *NAME REMOVED*. I guess it appeared like I was too hungry and really eager to get into black hat sort of stuff but she was wrong so when requested to crack into some ICQ e-mails I refused eventually out right and instead posted the entire conversation that took place on that forum on my site and later on my blog that is where the abuse started.
    Now I refer to her as a non-entity. Not just because I am pissed at her but that is how she referred to her self in one of the e-mails that she sent me over the years trying to confuse me and get me to believe that she was some outside observer I guess to start up a conversation but that would be difficult to do with her any how since I believe that she has mental issues as all e-mails that I have received from her show that she has an enormous problem writing any thing with a head and a tail. It always comes in rambling sentences with grammatical errors. In fact I believe she is an individual who has been coerced into the abusive world of these cyber bullies who are using her as a proxy to as they are involved in various cyber crimes such as cracking into peoples e-mail accounts, harassment and they even put peoples personal information on the doxbin site that is hosted on the tor network and once there it can not be taken down (last year three Finish teens were arrested in relation to that:
    So when the initial phase was over two hate blogs were on line and are still on line to date, two abuse reports were made to Google, and I received a whole bunch of e-mails full of confusion and statements that angered me. So if any one is wondering why I am writing this it has in part to do with *NAME REMOVED* as well who writes to me in a way that equates me with some low life and I can not accept this type of attitude.
    She was trying to shut me up her self for a while but she could not get Google to delete my account but then others steeped in. Who ever was behind all this wanted to shut me up. These cyber bullies do not want to see me post on line the conversation where I was asked over and over again to crack into an account by *NAME REMOVED* because that is illegal as it is a solicitation to commit a hacker crime but it goes beyond that. They do not want to hear any one talk about there techniques, e-mails,…in fact they try to censor all posts including this one. So I would ask the admin already at this point in time to take note of that as this page is going to experience a lot of heat and I do not blame any admin who feels the need to remove this post.
    Nevertheless as I am going to continue my campaign to shed light on these cyber bullies in spite of being aware that they are going to try and censor me and fill my e-mail in box with abrasive messages. I believe that I need to do so as they keep a very low profile so some one has to do some thing other wise they are just going to go around hurting people unhampered as too little is being done to stop cyber bullies as such but especially against an organized group who may use proxies to log in to there e-mails and stay in general clear of social media sites. In fact I have been active on twitter no one dared to attack me there as they stick to shadows instead and lurk on those stolen e-mail accounts.
    Shawn is another non-entity who after *NAME REMOVED* tried to shut me up and to intimidate me even further by threatening me in an e-mail where a picture of a dead snake and a picture of who he believes is me were included. His e-mail account he was using ended in “ucide.” It was all so clear to me and in my abuse report to google regarding the threatening e-mail I wrote that he may want me to commit suicide. Google seemed to respond quickly but after he received the message directly from the abuse department he wrote from the same e-mail account again to me the following, “I am cheering for you to commit suicide.” Apparently what ever google abuse department had to say to him did not hamper him a whole lot and that is why in part I need to take things into my own hands as to me this non-entity has proven beyond doubt that he is the lowest scum who has anger management issues and the only thing out of his mouth is disdain and rage.
    Many times I have received e-mails from these non-entities who seem to believe that they can trick me some how to stop exposing them down to outright threatening me. All this time they acted like was the bad party and called me every thing from spamer, trol, creep,…They even forwarded to me an e-mail with a generic answer to an abuse complaint from the police department where they believe I live. The attitude is really some thing from some middle schoolers when in reality it is a whole lot different and I feel that I need to bring to light this group that not only cyber bully and crack into e-mail accounts but they solicit other people into doing this for them by using other coerced individuals as proxies so that that coward can feel safe and I have to say again that not enough is being done against cyber bullies and I am infuriated that I am on my own. For now they are attacking my on line personality but they are determined to figure out who I am in real life.

  101. #116 by AnonaBeau on January 5, 2015 - 9:12 am

    If only I had heard about you and this was written a few years ago, I would’ve felt more confident in putting my name out there. Instead (because of real life bullying) I coward in fear, worried they would look me up and relentlessly harass me digitally as well (despite being out of school).
    I wanted to build a small fan base at the beginning by doing reviews of products while I finished writing and editing my manuscripts and try to get them published. But that went down the hole when I let fear win. Now i’m anonymous and when I do finish writing I will have a fan base of 0 when I start with my real name.
    But I do appreciate your post, this has given me that courage to possibly try and be more active using my real name for twitter, and a blog and worry a little less about past bullies or future trolls pouncing.
    Thank you Kristen, and I hope you keep this post up. I have a feeling I may need to re-read it on the days I lose that gained confidence.

  102. #117 by LBJ on February 21, 2015 - 8:49 am

    Thank you for this even if I’m a bit late. When my biography hit #1 I got my first two really negative reviews – both simply complaining that (1) it was a biography and not what they expected and (2) the author talked about herself (that’s what I thought a bio was). Reading some of the stories of others that got such comments made me finish book #2. Thanks.

  103. #118 by Bonita Gutierrez on November 4, 2015 - 9:51 pm

    My writing partner and I got our first troll on Goodreads. Now, I’m not terribly affected by criticism and I welcome constructive criticism, but this “review” took sh@t slinging to a whole other level. This troll equated – not the writing – but me and my co-author to Hitler. This is no small offense as my writing partner is born/raised in Germany. Complaints were made. Flagging the troll was done. But Goodreads turns a blind eye. They do not even uphold their own guidelines. It’s frustrating as hell. But F the troll. She (yep my troll is a she) is messing with the wrong Mexican.

    • #119 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 5, 2015 - 8:27 am

      You know, it is a sign you are THAT much closer to being a celebrity😉 . You have to have at least one troll or you aren’t yet famous.

  104. #120 by L. Sydney Fisher on December 13, 2015 - 8:45 pm

    I wish I had found your post months ago! I am now pursuing legal action against a nasty reviewer who has resorted to cyber bullying. I just don’t understand people. Thanks so much for a great article!

  105. #121 by Steven Dunmore on February 12, 2016 - 4:54 pm

    It’s OK to say report the troll to Facebook, but why haven’t facebook and youtube got a simple button then when pressed takes you quickly to a page where you can leave the name and write a description of the abuse taken place and have them taking action. Facebook and the pitiful you tube make it increasingly hard to inform on trolls. I was accused of being a paedophile the only to stop it was for me to delete my account. Why should have to leave from social networking it wasn’t me who had done anything wrong apart from befriending some nut who pretended to be a 26 year old lady, who had just been single for six months and it was her who requested my friend.

    It’s wrong and social media sites need to change.

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