Jul 30 2009

Handling Conspiracy Theorists Online

Published by at 8:03 am under blogging,social media,Vancouver

Vancouver’s social media pro Raincoaster gives tips on how to handle one of the more unnerving versions of blog trolls:

I would advise you, as I already have, to avoid engaging with him on these points. He’s already said that if you attempt to debate his assertions, he will treat your responses as denial of self-evident fact. Continuing to engage him on a priori statements (like “The Illuminati have been around for 6,000 years”) is to invite him to write you off, and to only excite him further and encourage him to dig himself deeper into his mental foxhole.

This is advice I wish I’d heeded much earlier in my blogging experience. Sadly, most of the comments I got in my early days were from conspiracy-minded trolls, the only oddballs who managed to find my SEO-challenged site. My efforts to engage my commenters to build the conversation led to pointless conflicts and, after I’d come to believe that all commenters were insane jackasses, unnecessarily harsh invective against non-trolls.

Long story short, don’t feed the trolls.

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Handling Conspiracy Theorists Online”

  1. raincoasteron 01 Sep 2009 at 12:33 am

    I have no idea why this is only showing up now on my inbound links. Thanks for it. I adore feeding trolls, and have some pet ones, but at a certain point you’ve got to recognize mental illness for what it is and realize that enabling it to grow unchecked is soul-killing and unhealthy for all involved.

  2. jnarveyon 01 Sep 2009 at 8:44 am

    Thanks, Raincoaster. I agree 100 per cent. I only wish I’d taken my own advice when presented with the opportunity to avoid getting into it with a troll soon after this was posted. Lesson learned… again.

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