Do you recognize these 6 types of trolls

Many organizations have a troll problem.

Whether they lurk on external websites or intranets, trolls create conflict in online communities by starting arguments and posting inflammatory or off-topic messages, largely aimed at upsetting people. Trolls deliberately stir up drama and try to provoke readers into an emotional response or disrupt normal on-topic discussion. They are modern digital bullies.

At my company, where our trolls mostly skulk on the intranet, we’ve discovered that we have a number of various kinds of trolls commenting on our site. They may all have different motivations and intentions, but they are trolls nonetheless.

Our troll types include:

Ad trolls: These people post comments strictly to advertise their own service or product. “I’ve written extensively on this topic on my own blog,”

Grammar trolls: These trolls not only correct other people’s grammar, spelling and usage, but also insult the person who made the mistake. “Please use correct spelling and grammar if you are going to put down other employees. Should you even be working here if you can’t spell?”

Police trolls: These are well-intentioned people who respond to other trolls by becoming trolls themselves. “This person is entitled to their opinions. You are the one ‘putting down’ someone for inconsequential errors.”

Enabled trolls:
Like police trolls, these trolls respond to other trolls because the person who was originally insulted by the comment asked them to respond. “Only people who never make mistakes have the right to judge someone else’s mistakes.”

Censorship-seeking trolls:
These trolls deliberately court censorship by posting a comment they know will be taken down. This allows them to later complain that they were censored.

Troll sympathizers: These are people who think it’s rude to call other people trolls.

PR Daily readers, what kind of trolls have you encountered?

This article was first published on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.

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