Social Media: The Beginning of the End of Trolling

My parents used to think everyone on the internet were disturbed lunatics with deep-seated emotional issues. Like many internet users, my parents were victims to trolls. Defined as individuals who post inflammatory, derogatory, or provocative messages in public forums, trolls have been around since the dawn of the internet.

Their motives are not entirely clear, but it’s generally believed that most people troll for the humorous responses they provoke. However, trolls have also been known to inflict emotional pain to grieving families as well as derail discussions on blogs and forums and even rendering some websites useless.

Whatever their reason for trolling, trolls thrive on the anonymity the internet often provides. This idea goes back as far as Plato, who argued that, without full disclosure and accountability for our actions, we would all behave unjustly.

Trolling is an important issue on the internet that effects everyone, especially businesses, bloggers, and content producers. The more comments you have derailing a topic on your blog, the less your legitimate users will actually comment at all. This not only decreases interaction but also traffic.

How social media changed things

Since the advent of Social Media, the nature of communication through the internet, particularly public communication, has changed gradually. It began with communication on the social networking sites themselves. Having their virtual identity linked to every comment or post on the website caused people to … think.

Trolls decided to (mostly) stay away from social media sites due to the reality of social pressure. Maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to harass grieving families or sling racial or gender slurs around Facebook, many a troll thought. What if your employer saw the post? Or your mother?

With more Web2.0 applications being built that integrate social media profiles into blog and forum posts, tolls are finding less places to do their dirty work. Of course, some forums will probably always stay anonymous (don’t worry, /b/tards of 4chan), but many webmasters now have options to reduce mindless and derailing comments.

Hacks

Of course, people can and will always create fake accounts on social media sites in order to retain their anonymity and continue flooding the boards of hardworking content creators. But even this option is fragile at best and will most likely require more work than reward for most trolls.

Anti-Hacks

While Facebook doesn’t yet have a great way to detect fake user accounts, it does review reports of fake accounts submitted by other Facebook users. So if you have a blog with Facebook-integrated commenting, and someone continuously trolls from what you suspect is a fake account, report it.

In addition to reporting fake accounts, moderating comments is also a great solution to stop trolling on your blog. Many commenting applications do this, including Facebook’s. Disqus is another powerful commenting platform that several online media giants use.

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About Brandon Leibowitz

is a Social Media fanatic. His blog, Bosmol, is based on trending stories on various topics related to social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, Internet Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Smartphones, SEO, and many other topics. Established in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Subscribe to us to receive the latest news and updates first. Please feel free to comment back.

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