From the CoHost Blog:

How to Deal With Trolls

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People can be great. The public can be terrible. Give the public anonymity and a platform to express their views in real-time and you have a recipe for disaster.

No matter what platform you publish on, you have likely encountered a troll of some sort. Some are excessively malicious, sending death threats, whereas others are simply bored and looking to get a laugh by winding someone up. The big thing to remember is that all types of trolls are looking for one thing: a reaction.

The way you deal with these trolls will depend on the intensity and frequency of trolling that you are receiving. No one should have to suffer from trolls on their content, but you should deal with death threats differently to how you deal with an obviously inflammatory comment on your videos, designed to start an argument.

Trolls are primarily bored and looking for attention. If you don’t give them the attention they crave, eventually they will get bored and move away from your content. I’m certain that almost everyone has heard the saying “Don’t feed the troll”, there’s a reason for this. Acknowledging a troll lets them know that they are being noticed and gives them the attention they are looking for. The act of acknowledging a troll could be the beginning of something much, much more as they now know that you are seeing their comments.

Unfortunately it can be very difficult to identify a troll from a genuine viewer to begin with. Someone who is genuinely interested in your channel and content will likely ask a lot of questions to begin with. This is very similar to a technique that many trolls use. In order to get a rise out of people, they will often deliberately misunderstand questions and pretend not to understand responses, just to frustrate people reading these comments.

I’m not suggesting that everyone who asks questions about your content is a troll, but if you are engaging with a back and forth with someone who doesn’t seem to understand what you are saying, take a step back and don’t reply immediately.

You will always receive negative comments on your videos (thanks to the anonymity that YouTube provides), but there’s a difference between a one off negative comment and a constant barrage of negative comments from the same 3-4 accounts. If you see these negative comments, the best thing to do is to not engage with the users and report their comments as harassment.

Never take negative comments on your content personally. They will either be from genuine viewers who are highlighting potential areas of improvement, or from trolls who literally have nothing better to do because they are bored and need attention. The best thing to do is respond to negative comments gracefully and avoid any knee-jerk replies whilst remaining polite. If you get further negative comments, do not respond as it’s likely to be a troll trying to get a reaction.

Always remember that there are three main rules when dealing with trolls:

  • Ignore Them To Avoid Confrontations
  • Even Negative Comments Count as Engagement
  • Report Messages as Harassment

What tips do you have for people who may be suffering from an onslaught of trolls?

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