I just read a post written by John Scalzi about how to deal with trolls in the comments. For those of you who don’t know, trolls go to blogs and websites with the purpose of being A-holes. They write mean things to anyone in range, and it’s up to the site administrators to deal with it.
In my year of blogging, let’s be honest, I haven’t become awesome enough to have to do much troll-fighting.
However, I will admit that I’ve censored a grand total of about 5 (maybe even less) comments.
I don’t necessarily think the purpose of these commenters was trollish, but I did think the tones of their comments were pretty horrible, and I didn’t want them setting a trend of hostility.
Just so you know, whenever a blog administrator censors a comment, this unfortunate thing happens behind-the-scenes.
The troll or overly hostile commenter goes crazy.
They name-call and fill my inbox with messages from WordPress saying, “There is a comment at STILL GROWING that needs moderation.” Some of them send emails directly to me.
And it sucks.
Because I’m torn between hatred of censorship and responsibility to keep STILL GROWING PG like it’s supposed to be. Also, I’m a teacher, and I have to censor kids all the time… and honestly, there is nothing I censor out of my classroom that shouldn’t also be censored out of the blog.
But that torn feeling makes me want to let the hostile comment slide “just this once”. But all it takes is one angry troll email that insults my character to completely evaporate my ambivalence: I all-of-a-sudden feel a deep yearning to call the troll’s mom and ruin his weekend. And then write a referral. And move his assigned seat up to the front of the room and surround them with teacher’s pets who’ll glare at him if he does anything wrong. And give a pop-quiz.
Just saying, I’m a person who has a heart, and writing a hostile comment, followed by a trollish email hurts my feelings then makes me angry.
How do you deal with trolls on your blog/site?