Please don't feed the trolls. Keeping your reputation spotless conference, 21 May 2014.

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Rachel Collinson and Richard Andrews, freelance consultants

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Please don't feed the trolls. Keeping your reputation spotless conference, 21 May 2014.

  1. 1. The Field Spotter’s Guide to Trolls Rachel Collinson, supporter whisperer Richard Andrews, troll keeper
  2. 2. What is a troll? Somebody who - deliberately or otherwise - engages in a set of behaviours, online, designed to provoke a negative emotional reaction in others.
  3. 3. How to respond to a troll • Understand their motivations - not all trolls are alike • Decide what type of troll you are dealing with • Approach carefully • Tailor your response appropriately
  4. 4. The 8 basic breeds of troll… …how to spot and respond to them.
  5. 5. The Lost Troll (simplicitus thornii) • Habitat: mainly web forums • Behaviour: makes mistakes to do with conventions • Warnings: can turn into a grudge troll if not moderated correctly • Tactics: be gentle and corrective, not punitive
  6. 6. The Lesser-spotted Bored Troll (adamantem comedium) • Habitat: mainly sticks to communities such as web forums and Facebook groups • Behaviour: uses sardonic humour, tends to be intelligent and talented but rebellious • Warnings: can turn vicious if authority is used • Tactics: figure out their talents and engage them to contribute to the community
  7. 7. The Common Bored Troll (majoris genus carborundii) • Habitat: found everywhere but especially Youtube and Twitter • Behaviour: generally lacking in social skills – the internet is their only means of engaging people. Humourless, personal attacks, verging on criminal. • Warnings: responding makes things worse • Tactics: always divert the conversation away from them and back to yourself / original poster
  8. 8. The Anxious Troll (trepidatio idiotus) • Habitat: subject-based communities like Facebook and web forums • Behaviour: has a narrow / obsessive focus and shifts opinion unpredictably • Warnings: tend to rely on their online communities and be isolated in real life; can turn into Grudge troll • Tactics: handle carefully and personably
  9. 9. The Drunk Troll (ludifico crapulatii) • Habitat: appears in subject-based communities on evenings and weekends • Behaviour: spells badly. Look at position of keys on keyboard to distinguish from a Bored Troll pretending to be drunk (or otherwise intoxicated) • Warnings: can be easily riled if you are patronising • Tactics: humour them, especially with friendly wit
  10. 10. The Paid Troll (felix porcii) • Habitat: blog post or article comments, Twitter accounts and popular Facebook pages • Behaviour: repeatedly posting links or unreasonable comments regarding a certain message (or variants thereof) • Warnings: intelligent and may be chameleonic • Tactics: be clear about your community rules. Warn and then remove / ban if violations continue
  11. 11. The Grudge Troll (raptorus maleficiorum) • Habitat: community members who have, or could make, a good contribution. • Behaviour: overly fawning in public and yet will badmouth others privately or send direct messages to intimidate and isolate. • Warnings: will often keep to the rules insofar as they can, in order to pass for a legitimate member. May goad you into doing something you regret. • Tactics: stick to the rules. Make any threatening or bullying private messages public.
  12. 12. The Stalker Troll (amore malificiorum) • Habitat: may appear across all social media, particularly tight communities, Facebook & Twitter, less so Youtube • Behaviour: has narrow interests. Appears hyper-focused or obsessed about particular issues and eventually people. Posts a huge amount of messages. • Warnings: if handled directly, stalker will generally become worse and aggressive • Tactics: take action to support the target and check whether they feel uncomfortable. If they are, DO NOT RESPOND to the stalker in any way. Ban. Ignore.
  13. 13. Other general hints and tips • Devise sensible rules for your community BEFORE trolls become a problem • Read up about mental illness. Know the signs of disturbance. • Remember to identify the breed of troll before doing anything • Keep in regular touch with your community about how to approach trolls; they may be more helpful than you think • Trolls thrive on attention; make sure the target has your focus, not the troll.
  14. 14. Now, it’s over to you! Try to identify the troll and their breed. Outline how you would respond.
  15. 15. Lesser-Spotted Bored Grudge Lost Paid Anxious Stalker Common Bored Drunk
  16. 16. Any questions? (No matter how silly.)
  17. 17. General social media training? Richard Andrews reandrews1982@gmail.com @cackhandledbag Need help taming trolls? Rachel Collinson rachelcollinson@gmail.com @rachel_shares

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