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How to Handle a Negative “Troll” on Your Blog

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Every business that blogs knows the feeling of writing what we think is the greatest blog post ever, only to find a negative Nancy in the comments section once the article goes live. Why does she need to comment so harshly like that? Maybe she’s bored or in a past life your business brought a plague upon her family’s house.  Whatever the case may be, some people get their kicks from leaving negative comments on various blogs online for no good reason at all.

Millennials often refer to the act as “trolling,” in which a person (typically anonymous) leaves behind a rude comment on a message board or inbox. The intention is to elicit a reaction—and usually an angry one—from other visitors to your blog. Think you found a troll on your blog? There are three ways to spot one.

1. The comment has no constructive criticism or isn’t trying to politely correct a mistake made. It’s just plain criticism with no filter.
2. The language used is mean. Sometimes it gets pretty colorful too. Typically the worse the language, the more anonymous the source will become so you have no one to link it back up to.
3. Grammar and spelling are usually awful. This may not be in the case for all trolls as many of them may use proper grammar and include a valid argument to back up their statement, but more often than not these people do not know what they’re talking about. Starting an argument is all that they’re after.

Handling these creatures can be tricky. Running a blog for your business comes with the responsibility of maintaining an image of your brand. You can’t exactly have some slanderer commenting on all your posts about how horrible your business is, especially if they don’t provide any logical backup to the rude commentary defacing your comments section. You’d hate for other customers or affiliates to read their comments, as ludicrous as they may be, and take any of it to heart.

So here’s how to handle a troll:

 

1. Monitor those comments!

Have an editor check in on a regular basis and filter through the comments to approve or delete. Chances are you can have your blog comment settings set to “approval needed.” This can be a hassle, but if you have a frequent troller paying your company blog a visit, changing your settings is your best bet.

And just in case you don’t want to change your settings or guest post for an outlet where you cannot control who comments on what…

2. Ignore the instigation

All a troll wants is a reaction. If you don’t provide him with such he will pack up his troll belongings and move to another bridge to set-up camp.

All in all, you shouldn’t let a few poorly written comments bring your company or your blog down. Apply these suggestions for spotting and handling trolls, stick with writing and researching just as well as before, and your comments section should be in the clear.

Happy blogging!

Published: December 19, 2012
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Deborah Sweeney

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.

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