My brother has pioneered a fantastic technique for dealing with trolls. It’s called “TRexing.” It’s been adopted as policy at several other blogs. I’ll let him explain:
Here’s what you do.
1. Don’t panic.
2. Don’t respond.
3. Urge your readers not to respond.
4. Go to the ‘Edit Comments’ section of your blog’s control panel.
5. Leave the troll’s screen name up, but completely change the content of their comment.
ALL YOU LIBRELS SUX TEH BIG ONE. YOUR JUST A BUNCH OF COMMIE COCK SUKKERZ!!! WELL SEE HOW U LIKE IT WHEN ALL QUIDA BOMBS YER TOWN! I HOPE YOU ALL DIE.
Signed, A Troll
Truly, I admire what you are doing here. It is simply my own cowardice and repressed homosexuality that make me a rabid right wing idiot. I know that I am wrong, but my life is so pathetically empty that I don’t know what else to do. Please carry on your good and brave work.
Signed, A Troll
The beauty of this approach is that it completely subverts a troll’s reason for being. Sometimes it takes them a while to catch on. But, once it gets through their thick skulls what’s happening, they run, run, run away. I had one brief but intense infestation of trolls in 2003, but once I instituted this policy, word got around and none of them ever gave me any trouble again.
In the meantime, I have a whole different approach- I believe that trolls should be coached on HOW TO BE BETTER TROLLS.
For example, over at Shakespeare’s Sister, there has been an influx of trolls posting from a range of IP addresses, all signing off as “Dave.”
Dave has some sort of anti-feminist thing going, and apparently the Shakespeare’s Sister blog got targeted by one of these Men’s Rights groups (which is pretty funny in and of itself, but a discussion for a whole ‘nother day) for trolling.
So, y’know, you gotta help these guys out, because they’re really thrashing around trying to be MEN’S MEN, but their whole raison d’etre is to whine about how hard it is to be a man. I mean, that’s a violation of RULE NUMBER ONE for being a masculine American. Button that lip and quit crying about how hard it is to be THE REAL VICTIM HERE. It’s hard to make a very compelling case for Male Supremacy when your lip is trembling.
So, y’know, I have been giving him some tips on tightening up his message:
There isn’t a thing in this post that holds a bit of water. Nothing that changes the underlying premise behind the pro-abortion mythos. It all amounts to one thing — pro-abortion women wish to negate the responsibilities imposed by nature.
Dave | 03.07.06 – 3:23 pm |
And I said:
Oh, David, David, David…
you’re going to have to polish your technique a little bit if you’re going to be a proper troll. You’re not supposed to call people “Pro-Abortion.” It’s PRO DEATH! And you have to type it in all caps, because we need to feel you back here in the cheap seats, in all your sex-hating, tooth-gnashing glory.
“responsibilities imposed by nature”?
What kind of tree-hugger crap is that? You meant so say “HARLOTS!! PREGNANCY IS GOD’S PUNISHMENT FOR IMMORAL SEX!! YOU TROLLOPS AND YOUR NYLONS AND YOUR LIPSTICKS ARE FOUL TEMPTRESSES! YOU MAKE MY DUNGAREES FIT STRANGELY AND I FEEL THAT YOU ARE OUT OF MY CONTROL! YOU MUST BE PREGNANT, ASHAMED AND HUMBLE BEFORE GOD! AND ME! AS A PENIS-POSSESSING AMERICAN!”
See how much more direct that was? And it really gets the anti-fornicator message across without having to mimsy-wimsy around with appeals to ‘nature.” That way no one gets confused about the difference between harlot-spawn and some, like, spotted owl or something.
More intellectually honest trolls, please….
patrick | Homepage | 03.07.06 – 6:20 pm |
You have to sort of help them along to stay on-message. More:
C’mon, Dave…. I know you can say it.
Say it with me….
SEX WITHOUT BABIES IS LIKE CHURCH WITHOUT SNAKES… God said, I believe it, and that settles it, you harlots!
Don’t waste a bunch of time trying to get up on the world’s tiniest high horse. JUST SAY WHAT YOU CAME HERE TO SAY:
WOMEN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CONTROL SEX. THAT’S THE MAN’S JOB.
I know you can do it, little guy…
patrick | Homepage | 03.07.06 – 6:37 pm |
It’s been ongoing for a couple of days, and I plan to keep at it until the Dave(s) finally figure get the message hammered down into it’s most concise form: “Fear God, respect my cock.”
If it’s not too hubristic, I would humbly propose that we dub this technique of troll harassment “Yelladoggin’,” in honor of the former moniker of my weblog.
Please forward examples of your own yelladoggin’. I will publish them here.