Our Blog

The official Motribe blog, written by the founders

June 28

by Natalie Govender, Motribe Community Manager

Wikipedia defines a troll as “…someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community”. I’ve come across two types of trolls:

• External trolls: these characters are very easy to spot and will typically post spam comments.
• Internal trolls: this type of troll joins a community, hangs around for a bit and then starts trying to take it over.

Depending on the type of troll, there are three ways to manage them.

1. Don’t feed the trolls. Just ignore them. The advantage of this is that, with no attention, trolls usually get bored and leave.
2. Delete offensive content. Although I’m not a fan of this approach because it lacks authenticity and promotes censorship, it means your members won’t be subjected to offending content.
3. Respond to the troll. This is a risky tactic because it will play right into the troll’s hands and by giving them the attention they crave, but then again it could also result in your community uniting in a fight against a common enemy. More importantly, with the right approach you may even have a potential brand advocate on your hands!

Love them or hate them trolls can give you valuable insight into certain shortcomings in your community - which could result in positive change. Never allow the troll to destroy your hard word work. Ultimately it is your job to protect your community!