One of the reasons I tend to avoid some subjects is not that I’m afraid of them. It’s not that I don’t have enough data. It’s just that some of these topics attract trolls from near and far. Gun control and “right to life,” or more to the point, the right of the unborn as opposed to the rights of the already alive. These are two of the hottest spots on the Internet. Like moths to lights in the dark of night, the trolls will flock to you.

How do you know you are being trolled?

You may not notice it —  at first. It’s usually a new follower. They start a conversation, but they never quit. By the time a second day of conversation arrives, they have stood on every side of the “discussion” … and are becoming aggressive. Mean.

I have been trolled on places like Amazon. You wouldn’t think a review about a book about Alexander Hamilton would be trolled, but you’d be amazed at the damage they do. I think Amazon has done something to control these jerks, but not nearly enough. If they want reviewers, they will have to end the trolling. Places like Facebook are obvious trolling sites. If you are fool enough to open yourself to that sort of thing, you will get whacked for your effort.

This isn’t Facebook. My site is not public. In this place, I am Queen. This is uncomplicated for me. I’ll put up with conversation as long as that is what we are having. The minute it starts to edge into trolling, I will end it. One warning from me — and if there is another murmur from the aforementioned troll — he or she is blocked. The end.

Sometimes, you get an apology. “Oh, I was just trying to make conversation.”

Don’t believe it. Trolls know what they are doing. They do it wherever they go. They aren’t stupid and they think it’s funny. If you ask them they will say they like “stirring the conversation” by which they mean insulting and harassing anyone else on the site. They like to think they are just “getting conversation moving.”

It’s trolling. If it is making your nervous system jangle, you can bet it’s trolling. Unless it is someone you know who has just gone a little over the edge, it’s trolling. Do not let them turn your site into a battleground. Spam them, block them, get rid of them. They will drive your real readers away and inflict a lot of damage — to you and many others. Trolls are ugly.

I sometimes wait a while to see if the commentary is going that way, but when it’s a “new reader” with a flurry of nasty, sharp things to say? It’s a troll. Bet on it.

There are things we need to say and sometimes they are controversial. People argue, sometimes with considerable fervor, but I think you will know the trolls from regular readers with strong opinions.

Shut down the trolls. Don’t let them back on your site, no matter what they tell you.

Once a troll, always a troll.

Categories: perspective, social media

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27 replies

  1. I’ve been pretty lucky with trolls too but i guess not having over 6000 followers helps! Well, that and not linking my twitter or Facebook to WP 😉

    Hopefully there will always be a place for respectful, robust debate on some issues, but there are indeed some people on the net who take it as their duty to try to shut down or shout down some people who express an opinion that differs to their own.

    … and the spam button on WP’s comments section is indeed a blessing. 😉



    • It isn’t that people get upset or even angry. It’s the mean little trolls who keep taking different sides of the argument. And they really ARE mean. This isn’t debate. Not even angry debate. Just nasty.


  2. I have this person that has made really cryptic comments on some of my blogs. Usually the comments that I get are followed by the LIKE button. One time I went off on him for his obscure nonsense and that was the last time he trolled me.


  3. I am not sure if I have ever been trolled. I have cancelled a few comments that seemed to be a bit spammy and avoid deep arguments. There are trolls out there. They must be very sad people if they have nothing better to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they are like the guy in the bar Garry was talking about. Except now, instead of lurking over a glass of cheap gin, they can lurk worldwide. They ARE sad people. They are also mean and nasty people. The sad I can live with. The mean and nasty, no way.


  4. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a troll in my comments. I’m not sure how I should feel about that – does it mean I’m not popular?


    • No, you’re just lucky. And you don’t deal with a lot of controversy. I ONLY have this happen when I talk about the kind of stuff that attracts them … and that is rarely because this stuff is hard on my nerves. Count yourself very lucky.


  5. Reblogged this on Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit and commented:
    As soon as I find the Block Function on WordPress I will use it. In the meantime I’ve just been Turning Off Comments. I feel Safer when I do.


  6. Another blogger was discussing this topic in terms of turning off comments which I tend to do from time to time. I did not know that there was a Block Button/Function on WordPress. Please tell me how to access this vital function. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the “spam” selection. If you are in “comments,” these are at the bottom of the comment. If you are on a post, click “edit” on a comment and all that stuff comes up. You click spam and whoever it is, is gone, at least from that address. REAL spammers often have many addresses. Trolls usually only just one, which makes them easier to eliminate.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Good to know, Marilyn, thanks.


      • Thanks, Marilyn. I didn’t know this.


        • Glad to be of service. We don’t even all have the SAME dashboard, which makes giving this information difficult. I have the “old” dashboard, but the new dashboard is slightly different, so things may be in different places. The important thing is to know that the function is there and all you have to do is find it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I just experimented on my blog. In the top right upper corner (after I hit EDIT), it says approved, pending, spam. I never even noticed that before.


      • There’s the old-fashioned WordPress way of using the blacklist queue. On the admin side, click “comments”. Find the comment(s) of the troll(s) and copy the IP address. Then go to “settings” and “discussion”. Scroll down to where you see the blacklist and paste the IP address in the box. Then scroll down to save. All further comments from that IP address will go into the spam queue or disappear into WordPress’ black-hole. For the original comment that you copied the IP address from, click “spam.”


        • That works as long as the spammer or troll only has ONE IP address. But it IS a good one and thank you for reminding me. That’s how I used to do it before they got so sophisticated. I usually catch these guys before they get too far along, but sometimes, I don’t realize what they are doing and then I have a lot of undoing to fix. Sneaky devils.


          • Oh yes — the troll that uses more than one IP address and the proxy IP address trolls. In 2013, I was bombarded by harassers using proxy IP address. I worked with a local company who taught me how to put an end to it, but it requires the cooperation of hosting companies for the proxy IP address services.

            About 3 months and 50 hosting companies later, I had about 6 months of peace. Then GoDaddy began hosting a proxy IP service and their customer service reps were too ignorant to even understand what I requested.

            In July 2014, I changed blog options for comments to require that people sign-in through a WordPress account. That reduced the number of comments, but it eliminated trolls and harassers by 99.9 percent.


            • I require an initial sign-up. That automatically weeds out about 90% of the real scammer and spammers. The rest, I check to see if they have a real site (if one is listed). Sometimes, I’m dubious, but not seeing any clear sign of trouble ahead … and usually, it’s okay. But I get it wrong, too and they after usually a day or two, it becomes obvious I’ve got another one.

              Don’t these people have anything better to do?


  7. The troll looks and sounds like a regular at one of my old bars. He sat in a corner, nursing shots of cheap gin for hours. The cheap gin couldn’t mask the reek of his body. He tried to interrupt conversations and was told politely to back off. Usually, he just kept talking until everyone moved to the other side of the bar. The troll was still talking to himself when I left….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess my blog isn’t yet popular enough to attract a bunch of trolls. Either that or my posts are not controversial enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Probably you are lucky. The more popular you get, the more of them you attract. Sometimes, I avoid subjects I know will attract them, but my “gun” post was pretty mild as these things go. I’m not a loony about it, either. I don’t agree with people who think guns are the solution rather than the problem, but I deal with it.

      The trolls don’t take no for an answer and they don’t quit even when it’s obvious the conversation is over — which is often when you realize it’s a troll. If you let them, they will keep at it until someone’s feelings get hurt and your regular reader start to drift away. There are fewer of them on WordPress than other social media sites because we spam them and they are gone, but they are there — lurking — and are always looking for a fight.

      Liked by 1 person

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