Friday, 2 October 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Internet Trolls - A Rather Sarcastic Guide!

Everything You Need To Know About Internet Trolls - A Rather Sarcastic Guide!Remember back in the good old days when a troll was something that lived under a bridge bothering goats, or a Norwegian good luck ornament, or even a cute toy we collected? If you are too young to remember those days, seriously look up the cute toys!

These days, when we say troll we are mostly referring to those key board warriors who seemingly have a lot of spare time which they choose to dedicate to leaving needlessly inflammatory comments on other people's things on the internet.

There is a difference between a troll and someone who disagrees with you
 

Firstly, I would like to point out that if someone disagrees with you, that doesn't make them a troll. I've been lucky in that so far, I haven't encountered any trolls on my blog, but I have had people disagree with me. I'm fine with that, in fact I think it can keep things interesting, life would be pretty dull if we all thought the same things.

For a silly example, say you post a review of a movie you just watched. You loved it and its now in your all time top ten movies. You write a review raving about how great it was, how it changed your life etc. You get a comment saying "I wasn't keen on the movie, because of XYZ". That's someone disagreeing. You get a comment saying "You're an idiot, the movie was rubbish, you're rubbish". that's probably a troll.

I say a silly example because generally trolls like to pounce on pieces where you give an opinion about something that people feel strongly about like breast vs bottle for example. After all, there's no point in being a troll if you still don't get noticed right!

Pity the trolls
 

I know a lot of bloggers seem to get quite upset about trolls. Try to turn it around and think of it as a compliment: trolls crave attention, therefore they obviously think your post is going to get a lot of views!

Everything You Need To Know About Internet Trolls - A Rather Sarcastic Guide!


Try to also remember that these trolls deserve our pity rather than our hatred:

Imagine living a life so empty you have literally nothing better to do than scour the internet for hours at a time looking for something you can criticise.

Imagine being uncreative to the point where you can't think of a way to fill an hour or two, without resorting to this. Seriously, get a Netflix account or something!

Imagine being so bitter and lonely that you fill your time trying to bring others down to your level.

When I think of a troll, they always fall into one of two categories:

1. The social reject
Usually a teenager, although not always, this person is shunned by society and exacts the ultimate revenge by leaving unoriginal insults on other people's websites in the hope it will make them popular.

2. The bitter old-timer
This person is a 50 something virgin that is jealous of anyone that has the tiniest spark of life in them, rejected by the opposite (or same) sex, they somehow feel that spreading their empty messages will make them seem intelligent.

Disclaimer: For anyone who doesn't understand sarcasm I am in no way suggesting everyone who falls into the above categories is a troll or a sad case!

Let's take a moment to feel sorry for these pathetic creatures. Maybe someone should set up a support group or something!

Types of trolls
 
1. The Obvious Troll
Social media, particularly Facebook is their hunting ground. These trolls generally have no profile picture and no friends. They stand out like a sore thumb. They are often someone known to the prey and are use a fake account to say the things they daren't say under their own name.
 
2. The I-Just-Want-To-Argue Troll
These trolls hang out anywhere they suspect there will be an opinion - blogs, social media, news sites etc. They will often comment on multiple posts, sometimes on different sides. They have no real opinion, they just like to argue. The subject matter is of little relevance and these are the trolls that often resort to personal insults.
 
3. The Stealth Troll
This troll is my own personal favourite type of troll, at least they put a little imagination into their trolling. Their MO could be either of the above, but they put in a little work. They make a seemingly innocent comment with a reasonable disagreement. Momentarily, you think they might engage in intelligent debate. You respond and BANG, the troll in them comes out. These guys take their trolling very seriously, and actively search out places that they expect a response.

A brief message to trolls
 
Go outside, talk to people, soak up the sunshine and live a little!

Find something useful to do with your trolling time - volunteer for a charity, write a novel or your own blog, do a bit of gardening or baking. Literally anything will be more fulfilling than this!

If you must insist on this behaviour, at least make your comments original or funny. I appreciate this is difficult - if you were either original or funny you wouldn't have to resort to trolling to get attention. At least steer away from the clich├ęs:

"You spelt something wrong/used a comma wrong/used the wrong there" Ouch I'm hurt, and now bow down to your obvious superiority.

"You're stupid" Thanks for that, I didn't know!

"You are a terrible writer" I didn't realise you were a top level literature critic. Oh that's right, you're not!

Remember that Mean Girls quote?
"Calling someone fat doesn't make you skinnier; calling someone stupid doesn't make you smarter" I wonder if the writer had been trolled the day they wrote that part, as it is essentially good advice to trolls!

Everything You Need To Know About Internet Trolls - A Rather Sarcastic Guide!
Image courtesy of Google Images

So trolls, go back under your bridge where you belong (maybe leave the goats alone though, that sounds like a jail sentence waiting to happen!)

The big debate: To feed or not to feed!
 
It is, I think, inevitable that at some point every blogger will be trolled. When it happens, do you delete the comment? Ignore it? Or play with the troll?
 

On one hand, feeding trolls is kind of playing into their hands - they crave the validation of a response. Plus it's kind of hard to win an argument with a troll as they are happy to contradict themselves and jump sides at the drop of a hat, as they often don't really care about the debate or the topic, they merely want to disagree with everything you say.

On the other hand, it can actually work in your favour. it can be quite entertaining watching an online troll get taken down, and you may find people start sharing your post. Even if it is for the comments rather than the post, it's still increased visibility and the chance that some people who see the thread may enjoy your blog and come back.

If you do choose to respond, don't resort to name calling and end up down to their level. Keep your cool! Although it may feel like a personal attack, trolls aren't overly selective and they aren't personally attacking you. This is their underwhelming way of raging against the machine!

Have you been trolled? How did you deal with it? Have you ever trolled someone? If so, why (that's a genuine question, I would love to know what trolls actually get out of it!)?

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73 comments:

  1. What a great breakdown on the sad mind of the troll. My blog does not draw them out often due to its optimistic nature. The only time they come over to play at my place is when I blog about police issues. I choose not to feed them as doing so would send me spiraling down to places I need not go. Visiting from the #weekendblogshare Best, Karen

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    1. I can imagine police issues will be something that would get their attention! I know exactly what you mean about the spiral - it's kind of bringing yourself down to their level. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. There is another type of troll, the stalker troll. Like the obvious troll its someone who knows you, but they take their trolling to the next level, chucking out all kinds of personal crap about you in an attempt to hurt and discredit you. Ive never been trolled, but ive seen these type of trolls try to attack blogger friends before. Not so easy to deal when you know its someone that knows you well enough to know those sorts of things about you. #Bigfatlinky

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    1. I've never really thought of stalkers as a type of troll but I guess if they are posting rubbish about you all over they could be classed as a type of troll. Must be a bit upsetting to think its someone close!

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    2. It wasnt much fun for her, bur she soon foind out who it was.
      Oh im adding this comment via #AnythinGoes as well Xx

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    3. I'm glad she managed to find out who it was! Thanks for linking up :) x

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  3. Love your take on the troll. Pity is powerful ;-)

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  4. Very interesting post about the nature of trolls. I've been lucky so far and only encountered them once or twice (on social media rather than my blog). These days I tend to just ignore them and move on - reminding myself that the nasty comments say more about them than it does about me.

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    1. That's a good way of looking at it Louise, their comments are definitely showing them up not you :)

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  5. I agree that we should feel sorry for trolls. They must have very dull lives. I generally steer clear of troll attracting topics so haven't had one yet. When I do I'll know I've 'made it' ;) #bigfatlinky

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    1. I do quite a few opinion based posts and to be honest I'm surprised to have avoided them this long. I think its probably due to being quite new, I obviously not caught their eye lol. I agree, when you've been trolled you know you've made it lol :)

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  6. Goodness this sounds like a minefield! It hasn't happened to me yet - I didn't realise things could get so complicated!! #justanotherlinky

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    1. I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you do get a troll commenting you can always just delete their comment and block them :)

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  7. This post is great and spot on! Thanks for sharing on #justanotherlinky xx

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    1. Thank you and thanks for hosting :) x

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  8. It's just a baffling thing to do. What an enormous waste of time, and how tedious it must be to spend your time attacking or tricking people. Just really confusing and weird; I don't get the mentality of it. Perhaps it stems from a need from a need to think they're smarter than other people, while in fact that clearly the opposite is true. #justanotherlinky

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    1. I know, I would love to understand the thought process behind it. I need to find a troll to interview lol :)

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  9. I had come across this term a few weeks ago and vaguely understood it but your post has made it very clear.
    As you point out it's just attention seeking and should ideally not be taken personally.
    Your 3 types were great !
    I have come across type 1 here and for a few hours I was annoyed. However, I decided to reply because tbh, I felt their loneliness and didn't mind giving them a bit of attention. I kept it short, logical with no emotion - And they soon got bored and went away.
    When I read your type 2, Katie Hopkins popped out. This one is infuriating, but it is absolutely not personal and I would Never respond to them.
    Your type 3 is very interesting and I suspect the most dangerous! I hope I will not come across one any time soon.
    Thank you for this post - I really enjoyed reading it.

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    1. Yes, Katie Hopkins is the perfect example - she needs attention to validate her self worth, and I'm sure she doesn't even believe half of what she says but it keeps people talking about her. I think type 3 is the hardest to deal with because you have already entered into a conversation with them when they strike! Thank you :)

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  10. I've been lucky so far,have seen it in action though.It is hard not to react but as you say - that is exactly what they want x #KCACOLS

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    1. I've seen it in action too and whilst I admit I find it entertaining to watch them get taken down, they are more likely to keep coming back once they get a bite x

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  11. I like your breakdown of the troll types, I honestly don't know why people think it's a good idea but as they say it's not big or clever! Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars

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    1. I would love to know what they get out of it! Thank you and thanks for hosting :)

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  12. A great post which i enjoyed reading. I had a troll type say nasty things about my owl sandwiches...the subject they chose to discuss was the pickled onion eyes lol. Someone defended me and they ended up arguing over it and it went a bit nuts! I stayed out of it but it was rather funny and pathetic. It's sad people have nothing better to do and I try to feel sorry for them rather than being angry or upset.

    Angela from www.daysinbed.com x

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    1. Oh, I loved your owl sandwiches, and to pick on their eyes really shows how low these people will go to get a bite! It's lovely that one of your readers defended you :) Yeah, it's just remembering it's not personal, its them that has a problem not you (or your owls!) x

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  13. Love this! I've not really had much yet.

    My favourite (& in fact only) real troll type behaviours so far (on my blog, that is - I'm quite politically outspoken & very left wing so get trolled on fb loads!) were totally random. A woman sent me an arsey tweet about my breast/bottle post, which she had clearly not read it. In fairness to her, she deleted it before I could respond. I can only assume that she bizarrely decided to insult first and THEN read to see if the insult was actually at all relevant!

    The other said something along the lines of 'I didn't bother to read your post because I hate the font'! I actually did not respond to or publish that one, because it was utterly pointless & why give him attention? Had he read it, shown he'd read it, but said that he actually found my font annoying, I would have been fine with that & published it. My mum dislikes my font, & I know that elaborate fonts are not everyone's taste - totally okay. But the way I saw it was that there is no point telling someone you DIDN'T read their post (that is a non message), & anyone with a valid opinion, not just trying to troll, would use a more constructive method of stating it. Had he been purely trolling but at least on the topic of the post, again I would probably publish if not abusive, but not just random crap! #anythinggoes

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    1. Lol, you have to wonder why someone would comment before reading the post!
      I know what you mean about the other one, it would seem rather pointless replying to it, your obviously not going to change your font to suit someone who admits to not being a reader anyway and yes, if he was a genuine reader that felt the need to point that out, he would have been a bit more tactful about it!

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  14. I honestly don't remember if I've been trolled and if I did then they weren't good enough to leave a lasting impression lol. I truly think the whole "misery loves company" pertains to trolls :) but I do love a good debate!

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    1. If you have, they obviously weren't very good at it lol!
      I love a debate too, but it has to have a point, not just someone being insulting for the sake of it.

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  15. I haven't come across trolls on my blog but I see them all the time on Facebook. I love reading different article from different sites I like (Mind Unleashed and Psychology Today come to mind) and I see them post some pretty nasty comments about something that becomes clear, they know nothing about! This is great information though. I do feel sorry for them and if I get any on my blog, I will be sure to heed your advice on how to deal with them. Great Post! Visiting from #anythinggoes

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    1. Psychology Today is fab, and yes a total troll magnet! Thank you, I hope it helps you deal with any future trolls you find :)

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  16. You just taught me more than I ever knew about trolls! Confession: I knew nothing about them, other than the fact that they are "mean commenters" on the Internet. I too pity all the different types of trolls. It's so sad that people resort to putting others down for attention or simply for entertainment purposes! Great advice for dealing with them. Luckily, I read this post before having had any issues with trolls on my blog or social media. Visiting from #anythinggoes

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    1. I'm just thankful my life isn't that empty! Thank you, I hope it helps you if you ever do encounter any :)

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  17. Great post. I have been trolled a couple of times. I hummed and ha-ed about responding then decided just to delete it. Don't feed the trolls works for me :-)

    #anythinggoes

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    1. They are more likely to get bored and leave you alone if you don't bite :)

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  18. I think I'm going to try and view my first troll as a blogging milestone and take it as a compliment. Then again, perhaps that's easy to say without ever having had one comment on my blog.

    Great post and thanks for hosting #AnythingGoes

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    1. Me too. as long as it wasn't too harsh I think I would be quite excited lol! Thanks for linking up :)

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  19. Luckily, I haven't had any troll comments yet. I have had a lot of spammy ones but they have been put directly into my spam folder. You make some funny & interesting points here. I think my first instinct would be to delete a troll comment but they would make for entertaining reading. A friend of mine's post went viral & she had so many crazy comments but I guess that's the price of fame lol #AnythingGoes x

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    1. I've had a few spammy ones, like you I just delete them. the irony was a lot of them were on an #AnythingGoes post - why not just link the post up lol! Yeah, I think once you go viral, people get jealous and are more likely to leave nasty comments. It can be entertaining, sometimes I read posts and the comments are so funny! x

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  20. I've not been trolled before but I generally find it hard to keep my gob shut and hubby has to reign me in! I wouldn't feed the trolls after thinking of all the things I would like to say first! haha. They are very sad though I agreed xx #anythinggoes Thanks for hosting x

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    1. If you're going to feed them, get your hubby to filter your response first lol! Thanks for linking up :) x

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  21. Great post! I have not been trolled yet but might encounter one in the future... so I'll take your advice here, will definitely be coming back to this post when it happens, lol Thanks for sharing! #AnythingGoes

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    1. Thank you, I hope it helps you if you ever encounter one :)

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  22. To be honest, didn't really know exactly internet trolls are. Like I had an idea but reading this now, I know it exactly. Like the Mean Girls example too! #AnythingGoes

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    1. I love Mean Girls, had to get that quote in there lol :)

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  23. Great post, very interesting reading as I hadn't really thought about trolls. If I ever get trolled, please remind me of these points! #anythinggoes

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  24. Great post! I haven't had the 'pleasure' of being trolled yet but know others who have. Iam not sure how I would/will react if it ever happened to me but I will be ready for it! :)

    #KCACOLS

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    1. I think its one of those things you don't really know how you would react to until it happens :)

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  25. Really good post, great analysis of trolls :) I've been very lucky so far and only had a few 'discussion' ones! I published them, because everyone has a right to their opinion. I swithered over one of them for ages though, as towards the end she was a bit arsey, but her initial point was valid, so I published and responded calmly. If I ever get anything downright nasty it's going straight into trash :) Thanks for hosting x

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    1. Thank you :) I have no problem with commenters disagreeing, I think it keeps it interesting seeing other's opinions. But yeah, downright nasty is uncalled for, it has to be mutually respectful. Thanks for linking up :) x

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  26. A great message and I could not agree more. Thanks for sharing on #bigfatlinky

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  27. This is very interesting!! I haven't been trolled yet but if I encounter one I would definitely ignore it. I don't think they will worth any of our time. That is the best solution I guess. I actually feel sorry for them because they don't have anything else interesting to do with their lifes.
    Thank you so much Debbie for linking up with me at #KCACOLS. It means a lot to me your support. I hope to see you again next Sunday!! :-) xx
    http://www.amomentwithfranca.com/

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    1. It's a very sad existence when you're hobby is trying to get a rise out of other people! Usually ignoring them makes them go away. Thank you for hosting, I'll be there :) x

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  28. Considering I often write about gender equality, I'm genuinely surprised I've not been trolled more! Anyway, I don't feed the trolls. I have more important things to do! I may be wrong, but I think most fall into the old timer category. #BrilliantBlogPosts

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    1. Oh yes, that sounds like a troll magnet! I'm inclined to agree about the old timers :)

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  29. I haven't been trolled. And I do hope it never happens. If it does, I think blocking the troll and not giving him exposure is the tactic I would choose.
    You have an interesting angle on troll personality. I suppose they really are just sad and frustrated people...
    #brilliantblogposts

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    1. I think that tactic does tend to work as if they aren't getting attention, then they are wasting their time. I think they really are sad :)

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  30. Hi Debbie, back again from #AnythingGoes
    Thanks for hosting!
    http://www.amomentwithfranca.com/

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    1. You're welcome, thanks for linking up :)

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  31. Great post! I genuinely thought when I clicked through from twitter that this was going to be about the little toys. *Slaps forehead*

    So I've experienced troll-like behaviour twice - I say "like" behaviour because sometimes it's hard to distinguish between trolling and conflict. The main biggie was on my Facebook wall. I shared a wonderful c-section story and then left it to do it's thing. Unfortunately one woman wrote "does it have to be so dramatic?" and then the internet broke with all the agree come backs. I missed all the drama until it was too late - there was name calling and swearing and you genuinely couldn't tell who was the baddy or the goodie by the end. It was absolutely horrid. I've been meaning to blog about it and how I dealt with the issue...! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

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    1. Lol, I hope you weren't too disappointed when it wasn't about the toys :)
      That sounds pretty bad to have to deal with, I'd love to read your post about how you dealt with it. The comment that started it all is an awkward one - maybe she was trolling, but maybe she just found it a bit too graphic and wanted to express that and then the trolls jumped in.
      Thanks for hosting :) x

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  32. Haha! This is perfect :) I'd like to think I could handle a troll but I most probably couldn't. Vile people. X

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  33. Haha! This is perfect :) I'd like to think I could handle a troll but I most probably couldn't. Vile people. X

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    1. Thank you :) I think the first time, I'd be like "yayy my first troll" lol, then after that I'm pretty much thinking the same way as you :) x

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  34. Funny and very accurate! Luckily I haven't directly experienced trolling - although there is still time! - but I have seen it happening on other blogs and I can imagine it could be very hurtful. Sometimes its people who want to share their very strong opinions in an aggressive - and often uninformed - way, but other times I've seen people just leave horrible comments for absolutely no reason, for example attacking how someone looks rather than attacking what they are saying. If only they would put all that effort into something more constructive!

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    1. Exactly! I'm quite happy for people to disagree with something I think - telling me what you think and why you disagree in a constructive way is great, life would be boring if we all thought the same. Just leave the aggression and the school yard name calling at the door! Thank you :)

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  35. Fab post-love that-being a douchebag on another's site, I've been lucky really as I've only had one troll who I stood up to on twitter-bullies need to be outed. Well done for such a great, wise post. Thanks for linking up your fab post to #brilliantblogposts x

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    1. Thank you :) Good on you for standing up to them, because it is a form of bullying and you're right bullies need standing up to! Thanks for hosting :) x

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  36. Hi Debbie, love the tone of this post. It's pointless letting saddos get to us an making light of it will hopefully get the message out there that trolls are not worth the time of day or loosing sleep over.

    I am lucky (fingers crossed) that so far I've only come across nice, decent people (I've not checked comments on my blog yet this morning though!). If and when I do get trolled I think I'd probably just bin their comment, rather than entertain them.

    xx

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    1. Thank you :) I think its important to remember that for the most part trolls are just sad, lonely little creatures that aren't specifically targeting you, they just happened to find your post.
      Probably the best way - if you don't entertain them, they probably won't come back :) x

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