Do Not Feed The Troll

This weekend, I had my first experience with a real-life troll commenting on my blog. They picked on everything from spelling mistakes I had made to the way I marked out sponsored posts. Although I do put my posts through a spellcheck, I am fully aware that my blog isn’t perfect. There are always going to be little things I miss because I am human. I don’t believe that I should stop doing something I love just because I am not perfect at it. Maybe my posts are not to everyone’s taste and are not as “polished” as they should be – but I enjoy writing more than anything and I would probably still keep doing it if no one read my blog.

Not satisfied with their first two comments, this person actually ACTIVELY used another IP address to send a third, because I had blocked them. I honestly do not know how people find the time. If you don’t like someone’s blog surely you would just move on and read another one that you do like? Anyway, thankfully, at the age of 30 I am quite thick skinned. Despite suffering from anxiety I rarely let things like this bother me. But the one thing that made me sad about the entire situation was that were this a younger, newer blogger, it could have put them off for life. I’d like to think that there are only a handful of people sad enough to dedicate this much time to be mean to someone else – but the fact that they know how to use a different IP to still get a comment through speaks volumes. There are obviously people out there who do this at a professional level just because their own lives are so unsatisfying, so I wanted to put something together for my fellow bloggers on how to deal with trolls.

How to deal with trolls on my blog

As my personal troll demonstrated – if someone REALLY wants to leave a negative comment on your blog they will find a way. But there are things you can do that minimise this and control what is actually seen by other people.

Make sure to moderate your comments

Moderating your comments is one of the quickest and easiest ways to deal with people intentionally stirring up negativity on your blog. Although you will, unfortunately, have to still read what they have written – no one else will. It isn’t the biggest help if someone has so much time on their hands they are leaving comment after comment – but moderating is a good start if you find yourself on the receiving end of some hate.

Block them from commenting

If someone is a repeat offender there are ways to block them from commenting. On WordPress, you can find the IP and the email address of the person commenting in the comments section, then go to settings -> discussion and add these pieces of information to a comment blacklist. It doesn’t sound incredibly helpful if your troll uses different IP’s and emails like mine did, but if you just keep adding to that blacklist they will soon move on to the next sad little thing they do to make themselves feel better about being a complete loser.

Ignore them

It can be frustrating not to be able to get your point across, but trolls absolutely thrive off of any attention you give them. Even if they have made a claim that is completely incorrect and you want to put your point across just don’t bother. These people have nothing better to do and obviously, have insecurities that mean they feel the need to put others down to look good. Tempting as it is to respond, this is what they are DYING for you to do, so just don’t bother.

Focus on the positives

After I received my first troll comment from this person saying I “couldn’t write for toffee”, I ended up posting one of my blogs on a Facebook page it was really relevant to at that time and also on LinkedIn. It got loads of really positive comments and I mentioned that this week I had someone tell me I couldn’t write and loads of people commented on how stupid this was and how much they enjoyed the post. The post was “How To Survive The Commute” if you fancy a read.

Take yourself away from the situation

One of the things I find most upsetting about someone trolling me is that they hide behind a screen and have no idea who the person is that they are targeting. How do they know the person does not have fragile mental health? Or isn’t going through some sort of family issue? Or is having a bad time with their physical health? If you have a persistent troll, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take yourself away from the situation. Go and do something you love, get outdoors, see your friends, anything that falls outside of the online community.

For no particular reason, here is a picture of me living my best life going to my friends to sit in the sun yesterday while my troll was on their computer picking at every single spelling mistake I had made, ever.

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