How to Manage Online Community Trolls - dummies

How to Manage Online Community Trolls

By Deborah Ng

As online community manager, you will find that trolls troll because they want attention. The more attention they receive, the healthier they are, and the bigger and fatter they grow. As community manager, it’s your job to discourage this feeding thing:

  1. Identify your troll.

  2. Encourage your community to ignore the troll.

    Explain to your members that the trolls are looking for a big honking fight and the last thing you want to do is give it to them. Make sure that they know that it’s okay for trolls to feed in their own homes, but it’s frowned upon to toss them breadcrumbs anywhere else.

  3. Don’t engage.

    Nothing fills a troll’s tummy like having a battle of words with a community manager or flame war with other members of the community. Remember, the goal here is to eliminate the troll, not keep her around.

  4. Ban the troll.

    In addition to banning the troll, you can ban his internet protocol (IP) address, too. Trolls like to sign in under a variety of monikers, so name and e-mail banning doesn’t always work. Banning IPs doesn’t always work the fast or second time as your troll finds new proxies, but eventually they run out or get tired of the game and their off to bug someone else.

If you find a troll under your bridge, your best recourse is to ignore it and go back in the house. It may try and get your attention for a while, as all trolls do, but the less attention you pay to it, the more likely it is to trip trap away to find another bridge to haunt.