The Internet troll.

From what retched part of the Web has this creature formed? What compels them to waste their time starting arguments and trying to get a rise?

Most do it for fun. They get a kick out of seeing people get disgruntled. Others see their actions as a form of archaic activism.

When you’re trying to run a business it gets annoying … really annoying.

They disrupt your work. They create bad vibes. They can even cause financial damage to the business depending on the severity of their trolling.

Without a doubt – you’re going to deal with trolls at one point or another in your work. That’s a given.

Here’s what I’d suggest for dealing with them.

Best Tactic: Ignore Them

Get a thick set of skin.

Trolls are going to go after your weakest flaw and hound it until they get you to break. This can be something as stupid as a grammar mistake or something dastardly like exposing your personal information for extortion (though this is often a bluff).

Your best defense against the trolls is to just ignore them.

Don’t bother entertaining them. They’ll usually quit if you don’t give a response and even if they do keep hounding you they’ll eventually get disgruntled and take their activities elsewhere.

  • Ignore
  • Ban them
  • Delete their comments

Don’t let them steal the attention and don’t let it disrupt your own.

Risky Tactic: Play Their Game

Turn the tables.

This one is risky but you could play their game and troll the troll.

  • Put them out front and center and let the community have at them
  • Back up your information with hard facts which generally destroys their general assumptions
  • Lurk their activity and troll them as an anonymous user (eye for an eye)
  • Expose their information (they definitely won’t like that)

Sometimes this will back fire but if you’ve got the time and not much to risk then it can be quite a fun game seeing who will bow out in the end. What’s interesting is that you might come to a truce and actually identify with the person. At that point they’d let off and you might get a few tid-bit pieces of information about your work that could actually be helpful for improvement (since they’re not really sugar coating it like what you’d get from fans in the community).

Worst Tactic: Get Trolled

Give into their trolling and look stupid.

They’re just trying to get a rise out of you. If you come back at them irate and disgruntled they have won and others will see this. The longer the back-and-forth goes on the more they win because they’re successfully wasting your time.

If you fell for it just suck it up and go about your day. Delete the conversation if you want. Ban them from the site. You got burned and you have to deal with it which is why you probably should have taken the first approach (ignoring them) in the first place.