8 Options for Dealing with Online Community Troublemakers

With any online community there comes a fair share of trolls and troublemakers. They’re negative, elusive and downright aggravating! …There you are, minding your own business, building a great online community when and all of the sudden you’re hit with the community member equivalent of a grenade. If left unchecked, online troublemakers can foil your hard work and dedication. Read on and choose the best course of action for your resident nuisance.

1. Offer a Bribe – think about how we get kids to do things… “Stop hitting your brother and I’ll get you an ice cream later” These troublemakers are obviously immature, so try appealing to their inner greediness. Offer him or her their own weekly forum, an opportunity to post a piece of content, or upgrade their membership, etc.

2. Let the Community Weigh In – Post a few examples of this troll’s dirty work and ask your community members for guidance “How do you feel about this behaivior and how do you suggest I deal with (him/her)? Please share your opinion so I may take a course of action.”

3. Redirect the Effort – offer the troublemaker an opportunity to work on a small project for the community – give him or her a completely useless job but make it sound interesting and important.

4. Villainize Them – Air his or her dirty laundry by providing your entire community with links to the destructive comments, posts, etc. The masses can have a huge impact in instances like this. Hopefully the troublemaker will settle down once he sees he’s taking heat.

5. Punish the Behavior, Humorously – Every time the troublemaker strikes again, delete the post and replace it with something silly or outrageous. Change their profile picture or user name. Use each negative instance as a chance to prank them, punk them & throw them off their guard.

6. Suspension – Threaten to suspend the member is he or she commits one more destructive or negative action. Should they call your bluff, suspend the profile and message them directly. If you continue to use this tactic, they may grow bored and move on to another victim.

7. Kick them out. For good. – Granted none of the above work for your resident a**hole, suspension from the group may be necessary. If you’re spending more time dealing with this chump than you are focusing on enhancing the community, it’s time for him to go.

8. Do Nothing – It’s ballsy, and a little risky, but sometimes the best course of action is no action. These brats only want attention, so refuse to give it to them. This is a viable option is the member is merely causing friction, not necessarily doing any real harm to the community.

Do you have any other ways of dealing with Internet trolls? Let me know in the comments section below, and please update me if you successfully employ any of the tactics above!

This post was written by Laura Johnson of Follr, and the original post can be seen on Business 2 Community.