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How to Deal with Trolls on Google+

On Google+ and other social networks, a troll is someone who constantly criticizes just to criticize, continually nags, and never gives up. They comment over and over again with negative things and just won’t go away. What do you do when others troll on your posts? How should you react?

Handling trolls on Google+

You generally have three options when dealing with trolls: You can uncircle them, ignore them, or you can block them.

  • Uncircling people means you won’t see their posts, but they can still see yours and comment on the posts you reveal to the public.

  • Ignoring the person simply removes all of their notifications from your stream and removes their updates from your Incoming stream (accessible via the left-hand column of Google+).

  • Blocking people goes further and also prevents them from interacting with or commenting on your posts.

Here are some tips to help you react appropriately when others are trolling on your posts if you haven’t quite decided to flat-out block them:

  • Begin by uncircling or ignoring. If there isn’t too much threat, just uncircle the individual and they’ll only be able to comment on posts you make public. You won’t have to see their posts anymore in your stream.

  • Give trolls a "three strikes and you're out" rule. Let’s face it. Some people just have a bad day. Give them a chance. If they troll you once or twice, let it go and ignore them. If they troll three times or more, you might want to find a way to remove them from future conversations.

  • Don’t feed the trolls! If they truly are trolling, don’t continue the trolling by arguing with them or giving them food to continue trolling with. Just politely ignore them and continue the conversation.

No one ever gets a notification that they were blocked, uncircled, or ignored. They may figure it out (especially if blocked), but they won’t be notified by Google+.

Ignoring trolls when you just want a little peace and quiet

If someone is sending you a lot of notifications or tagging you a lot, you can avoid offending them with a flat-out block and still allow them to comment on your posts by ignoring them. For example, you might like browsing your Incoming stream but you want to avoid people who post a lot of profane or vulgar posts without blocking them.

Ignoring a user is a great way to no longer receive notifications from them without blocking them. It also removes their updates from your Incoming stream. They can still comment on your posts, share your posts, and +1 your posts, but you won’t be bothered as they do so.

The Incoming stream streams updates from all the people that have circled you on Google+ but that you have not necessarily circled back. It’s a great way to gauge who is circling you.

Ignoring only works for users you do not have circled who you don’t want bothering you with noisy notifications. After you ignore them, even if they tag you or target a post to you, you’ll no longer get notifications from them, nor will you get updates from them in your Incoming stream. If you want to ignore an individual that you’ve already circled, you’ll have to uncircle them first.

Follow these steps if you want to ignore someone on Google+:

  1. Uncircle the individual if necessary.

  2. In your notifications, click on the list of new people that have added you to circles.

    You may have to click View All in the upper right of the page to find it. Next to each person’s name you’ll see an Ignore link.

    You can reach your notifications via a link on the left side of your Google+ profile or by the notifications bubble in your sandbar at the top of your page.

  3. Click Ignore.

    The user will be removed from your stream and your notifications unless you unignore them in the future.

Blocking trolls when you’ve just had enough

Blocking a user means that user can never see your updates again in their stream. They also can’t tag you in posts. You may want to block users if they just won’t leave you alone, are spammers, or have done something that causes you to feel threatened in some way.

If trolls continue posting in their own stream complaining about how you blocked them, don’t continue that argument. Just ignore it and let it happen. They will eventually give up and let it go.

To block a user, do the following:

  1. Go to the user’s profile page.

  2. Scroll down below the list of circles in the left column and click Block (username).

    You can also report trolls for spam by clicking the Report and Block button instead of the Block button (see the figure below). The user should now appear blocked (indicated by a bubble saying “Blocked” in the upper right corner of their profile). You’ll never see them in your stream, and they’ll never see you in their stream.

    Options for blocking a user in Google+.
    Options for blocking a user in Google+.
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