"Don't feed the trolls" they keep saying. and it keeps not working

What happened when I confronted my cruelest troll - Lindy West

Over and over, those of us who work on the internet are told, “Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t talk back. It’s what they want.” But is that true? Does ignoring trolls actually stop trolling? Can somebody show me concrete numbers on that? Anecdotally, I’ve ignored far more trolls than I’ve “fed”, and my inbox hasn’t become any quieter. When I speak my mind and receive a howling hurricane of abuse in return, it doesn’t feel like a plea for my attention – it feels like a demand for my silence.

SEO: don’t feed the trolls, troll-bait


I posted this in another thread, but think it’s worthwhile to add here and contribute to our local compendium of trollbane.


That was my unarticulated idea. I was holding a baby when I posted this.


I’ve changed my verb.

BTW, you should post more when holding babies. A good look on you.


“Just ignore the trolls” they keep saying. and it keeps not working

This is pretty much the advice I was given in primary school and secondary school with regards to utter shitheads “bullies”. It never worked then and I can’t imagine why it would suddenly start working now.


You should let it go before its parents get too worried.

BTW: did someone call for a troll?

I’ve been trying to find an excuse to post this gif… This is what I imagined when I read that…


So true. It’s terrible advice whether the bully is in person or on the internet.


Was blown away by the NPR TAL story regarding a woman who actually converted a troll discussed here: http://www.themarysue.com/this-american-life-trolls/

Know its an exception- but damn…


[quote=“CaptainPedge, post:5, topic:51250”]I can’t imagine why it would suddenly start working now.[/quote]It would be pointless to say that “it worked for me” because I can’t really say if that’s exactly what I did or even if it worked all that well for me, and even if it did that hardly implies that it would work for anyone else.

But, I can imagine why it would start working: if entertainment is the primary goal of the trolling, and if there are other targets around that offer up more entertaining responses, and if time and resources are finite, then something less entertaining will get lower priority.



OK, I read the article. I have a solution. Turn off comments on sites you control. Don’t use Twitter. It’s full of twits. Don’t post on other sites that offend you. Don’t let your youtubes get full of crap, and if one does, turn off the comments. If anything on your Facebook bugs you, delete, defriend, deny, devour, delight in destruction. For anything else out of your control, say comments on a site you published on that you can’t control, when you hit the first offensive one, tune the whole thing out. Just leave. Fuck them. IGNORE.

Yes, they are calling for your silence, but what in god’s name do you have to say to an idiot?

Anyone who can type has the ability to spew poison and filth. So fuck them, if they think they are getting anywhere with their bullshit. Same thing for TV. Fuck them, they suck. Tune into things that MATTER. Leave the rest behind.


Never argue with an idiot. The will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


Or, as George Bernard Shaw put it:
“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

The trouble is, the internet is a device that can deliver a never-ending stream of pigs direct to your front room. Some of the pigs squeal louder than others, some of them seem to have swallowed dictionaries, and some of them will squeal that you’re the pig, even as they attack you.


That was the same story @funruly linked an article about.

Both of those are eye-openers.

I’m reminded of this…


A good amount of spit-up, too.

Back in the “real” office, today. Home-office Thursday and Friday. A combinations of plans and un-plans (weather) are making this a 4-day work-from-home-a-palooza. Luckily, my eldest is finally appreciating that when daddy is in the office-playroom and he says “I’m in the office” it really does mean that daddy can’t play Angry Birds.

That’s pretty much how I imagine myself coding whilst holding a baby, as well.

My manager might focus a bit more on the broken-windows aspect, however. So, not to much coding with babies.


His head really does smell wonderful, still, even at 9 months.


I KNOW!!! Babies smell great! What is it about the baby smell? Why do they smell so very good? Now, teenagers… eh. Not so much. Go sit over there, teenager. You don’t smell like a baby anymore… :frowning:

Oh! Also, just say this to your manager when he whinges about the broken windows, especially if you are doing your damn job…This is my second favorite baby-themed gif (and I’m not even sure what it’s from, although… WASH!!!)


I think you’re largely right, but sadly, sometimes, you have to engage them in some parts of your life, online or off. Sometimes they just can’t be avoided. Also, if you enjoy posting in comments on message boards, do we really want to let trolls control the debate or discussion? I don’t know about that either. I realize some people just do it for the lulz or whatever, but why should we let them control what happens online?

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keeps 'em off the streets?

True enough. But it’s hard to know how well people blend in to the rest of society. I’d suspect that some people are just as trollish IRL as they are online, but I’d also suspect that some people who troll online see it as an outlet, and are perfectly nice IRL…