How to slay those vexing internet trolls

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We can’t avoid internet trolls any more, so let’s see how we can deal with them.  Photo: Gallo images / Getty Images
We can’t avoid internet trolls any more, so let’s see how we can deal with them. Photo: Gallo images / Getty Images

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Internet trolls aren’t just reserved for the rich and famous anymore, Janice Phiri tells us how to stave off the trolls who climbed out of their holes just to make your life a nightmare.

We all love using social media. From TikTok and Facebook to Twitter, there is a platform that feels just right for many of us.

However, it seems the internet trolls have left the fictional realm and become an everyday part of our online lives. What was once reserved for our favourite celebrities and influencers has become a problem for everyone.

The dreaded internet troll can be described as someone who finds enjoyment in causing drama and arguing with people online.

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Sometimes an internet troll will take to harassing different people who pop up on their timeline. Trolling can also become someone’s online persona, which they use to take a more comical approach to internet culture.

One of the biggest examples of this is US rapper Lil Nas X, whose given name is Montero Lamar Hill. He started his online journey with a fan page for Nicki Minaj. As his fame grew, he became one of the internet’s funniest trolls. Actor, comedian and Twitter troll royalty Jaboukie Young-White is another example. He is infamous for impersonating the likes of Donald Trump and broadcaster CNN on his verified account.

No matter how an internet troll makes their way on to your timeline, they can be quite annoying, nasty and persistent in their harassment. They can be insufferable, often trying to make their point with condescension or exaggeration and, of course, name-calling. If that is happening to you, then you’re probably dealing with your own internet troll.

So, here are some tips to help you slay your troll. The first step to defeating an internet troll is to establish whether you are being trolled.

IGNORE THE BULLY

This is probably the most obvious way to defeat your troll. Trolls have a way of getting under your skin, and they do this by posting continuous rebuttals to your content and to replies under your posts and pictures.

That old tale about how to deal with a school bully rings true in this case, and it might be better just to take the high road, even though you’re probably itching to drop facts and knowledge so your troll will eat their words. Trolls don’t often use facts or logic to berate and torment you, so your best bet is probably to keep it moving and respond to the more positive feedback you get.

CALL THEM OUT

For those who can’t ignore persistent trolls, there’s nothing a troll hates more than being embarrassed. Calling a troll out is not only satisfying, but it can also be a cathartic experience.

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Be careful with this one, though.

You’ll want to respond to your troll right away, but be sure to take a breather before calmly responding with research and facts that will shut your troll up. You can even up the ante by making a spectacle of your troll by quoting their tweet with your response, or by making your response public on your stories.

MAY THE BEST COMIC WIN

In this case, the best comic will probably be you, because there is nothing an internet troll hates more than laughter and humour – it’s like their kryptonite.

This tactic works especially well for those of us who are not that good at clap backs and comebacks.

By using humour on your troll, you not only create a lighthearted energy, but you also invite other people to laugh with you. Humour is the best way to stave off a troll, so find something funny in what they said, or perhaps you can make fun of yourself a little bit too.

PRIVACY IS THE BEST POLICY

At some point, making your account private is probably something you have to do when trying to get rid of a troll.

With the way the internet works today, sometimes our thoughts and opinions attract a slew of trolls who feel obligated to make your notification bar a nightmare.

Making your account private is often the best way to ensure that your online presence remains as lighthearted and as simple as possible. And the best part is that, once the heat from your troll dies down, you can return to your normal activities and make your account public again.

GO ON A BLOCKING SPREE

There’s nothing more empowering than a well-deserved block. Most internet trolls don’t deserve your humour, knowledge or time, so the best way to keep them away is to block them.

The chances of your internet troll popping up on your timeline again are very high, especially because they likely have a mutual connection, which is how they probably became your troll in the first place.

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A swift block ensures that you’ll soon forget about them.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER

This is your chance to embody the cool girl or guy. Trolls often want to offend you, or make you feel insecure about yourself or your thoughts and opinions.

An internet troll always expects you to respond in a way that validates their opinion of you. So, the best way to deal with them is to use the “cool” method.

When your insufferable troll does what they do best, all you have to do is respond with the word “cool”. This disarms your troll and will most likely force them back into the hole they came out of to waste your time.


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