Before we start, I am not a troll, and never would be, and maybe this is the reason why I do not understand what it is about people that make them think it is funny to publish nasty comments to articles, or to slag off people who dare to tweet or blog something they do not agree with. I remember reading an article in a womans magazine here in Germany, where the woman columnist had dared to make some remark about men and train spotting or something similar. She inadvertently released a wall of venom upon herself with her name beng dragged onto forums and being branded a slag, and being threatened with all sorts of horrible things. It nearly wrecked her career as she was so scared to go out etc.
The Guardian website is also a prime example of this. Journalists write some article and straightaway the first comment is usually something sarcastic or nasty, which then somebody responds to in another comment, and so it goes on, descending into a slagging war at which point I always give up hoping to find any intelligent comment among them. I don´t know why I even look in the comments, maybe it is because I am a blogger, and bloggers in general seem to be kinder in their comments, than certain newspapers commenters.
I did do a bit of research into this topic and apparently other cleverer people have also done research and basically come up with the following infographic which highlights that trolls hide behind anonymity or the safety of numbers. The best way to defeat them is to come up with some clever response that takes the sting out of their comment, or to ignore them altogether. Even better if you can come up with a clever comment that makes them look stupid.
Please note that any inappropriate comments to this post will be ignored AND deleted.