The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Internet Trolling

We’ve all seen them. Those annoying, terribly rude comments that people make whenever possible online. Whenever there’s an opportunity to comment, whether through social media outlets, comment sections on blogs or web pages, or the customer feedback portions of a website, some people choose to write awful things for the world to see. These people have a name: online trolls.

By definition, online trolls post offensive, divisive, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate comments on your online comment section. This does not necessarily include a simple bad review. But a troll will repeatedly post insulting or damaging information that goes beyond simply expressing an opinion or recounting an experience.

How to Combat Internet Trolls

Why do online trolls exist?

Online trolls believe that they are anonymous, able to hide safely behind their computer screens and the veil of “Free Speech” in the vast Internet world. For many trolls, there is a perceived lack of consequences in the digital realm, as they aren’t looking their target directly in the eye while verbally saying these things. If your business were located in Seattle, why would it matter what someone living in Philadelphia said online? Words don’t mean the same thing when they are typed on a computer screen. As flawed as this logic is, sadly, too many people believe this.

So what do you do to combat the Internet trolls?

When you spot rude, offensive language in the comment sections of your website, what are you supposed to do? Do you ignore the comments, leaving them posted for the world to see? Do you take them down so as not to tarnish your business’ name and reputation? Do you block the contributor (if possible), preventing them from continuing to post inappropriate material on your site? Or do you fire back at them, dishing back a taste of their own medicine? We want to advise you that there is another option…professional interaction.

The Good Side of Internet Trolls

As awful as online trolling can be, there is actually a bright side to those offensive comments on your website. Have you ever been on a website where all of the reviews and comments seemed obviously staged? Most likely, they were. Trolls who spew garbage on your website show the rest of the world that you’re not perfect. But, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Deleting everything negative can be a turn off to potential customers seeking information about your company. By choosing to engage with your negative commentators in a professional, responsible manner, you can demonstrate how your business operates with integrity even under stressful circumstances. Even if your trolls are completely unreasonable in ever way, let your response set an example that you can be proud of.

Plus, as your online posts generate more traffic, even from those annoying trolls, your website ultimately will become more accessible for those searching on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.

We’ve probably all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” before, and it can certainly be applied to online trolling, too. There can be a silver lining to even the most vile of comments left on your website. How are you going to use that to your advantage?

Not sure how to turn those online insults into opportunities to improve your public image among potential customers? Just ask our team of professionals at Neon Goldfish. We have the skills needed to seize every marketing opportunity you face and optimize it for success. Contact us today to learn more.

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Ken Franzen

By Ken Franzen

President / Co-Founder of Neon Goldfish Marketing Solutions