What Is an Internet Troll? (and How to Handle Trolls)

An internet troll is someone who posts inflammatory, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, with the intent of provoking readers or disrupting discussion.

They may also post deliberately false or misleading information, or post in a way that is intended to cause disruption or chaos.

The term “troll” is derived from the fishing technique of trolling, in which a baited line is dragged through the water to catch fish. In the same way, internet trolls try to “bait” people into responding to their posts, often by making inflammatory or offensive statements.

Here are some tips on how to handle trolls:

  • Don’t feed the troll. This means not responding to their posts, even if they are trying to provoke you. Responding to trolls only encourages them to continue trolling.
  • Report the troll to the website or online community where they are posting. Most websites and online communities have rules against trolling, and they will take action against trolls who violate these rules.
  • Block the troll. If you are using a social media platform or online forum, you can block the troll so that you no longer see their posts.
  • Take a break. If you are being harassed by a troll, it can be helpful to take a break from the online community where the trolling is happening. This will give you a chance to calm down and to avoid getting drawn into the troll’s game.

It’s important to remember that trolls are often looking for a reaction, so the best way to deal with them is to not give them one. By following these tips, you can help to keep yourself and others safe from trolls.

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