3rd December 2021

How Companies Fight Trolls on Social Networks

In general, the concept of troll is familiar to all Internet users, some have encountered them both in personal and company accounts.

With personal accounts, everything is more or less clear: a reaction to the troll and its fate (for example, we blacklist it). But what to do with a company account?

For clarity, we divide trolls into social networks into two categories, classifying them by the magnitude of the damage to corporate accounts:

Strategic trolls;

Household trolls.

And more: a disgruntled customer is not a troll and working with him cannot be based on any of the schemes by which you can interact with trolls.

Strategic trolls

We have to be especially careful with this type of trolls because lately it has been used more and more like a PR technology in commercial and political fields. Indeed, strategic trolling can be a dangerous weapon: the use of this technology gives PR benefits, such as the creation of false effects and public opinion, the ability to increase the credibility of the source of information and increase the reach of recipients of this information. Of course, these techniques are among the “dirty” ones, which can affect the company’s reputation.

 The task of strategic trolling is to create tension in several communities, provoking conflict between them.

Since such a troll is focused on content, it is necessary to work accordingly.

Humour is a universal cure.

DISSEMINATION OF THE FACTS. It may not be necessary to react immediately, but first to sort out the conflict and end the misunderstanding with reasonable comments. With strategic trolls, the traditional “do not feed the troll” wisdom does not work, because unless you do, the group members will, in any case, respond to the provocation.

SANCTIONS are only possible when dialogue goes to a standstill and there is no trace of justice.

Household trolls

These characters also cannot be ignored because, despite the lack of strategy, even ignorant villains can be systematic.

Household trolls on social networks are miscreants with different dimensions. And their activity consists in acting as spoilers, expressing their opinion as a generally accepted fact, posting pictures and captions to attract attention to them.

Strategic trolls can counteract these trolls, as strategic trolls use content rather than the bit format. And household trolls are focused more on destroying the general form of site destruction than throwing away negative but meaningful information.

To explain the existence of household trolls (apart from silly character traits and lack of knowledge), American psychologist John Schuler coined the term “landing effect on the net,” a condition where psychological barriers weaken, giving freedom to hidden feelings and needs. In this way, the behaviour of people on networks varies depending on how they behave in real life. The activation of this effect is influenced by several factors:

Dissociative anonymity – distance from reality, the possibility of not taking responsibility.

INVISIBILITY – similar to anonymity, but in this case, the nuance is physical invisibility.

ASYNCHRONITY – retention in communication that is not possible in real life.

SOLYPSIST INTRODUCTION – the consumer prevails over his interlocutor with fictional qualities.

Dissociative Imagination – a sense of role-playing.

MINIMIZING POWER – Status depends on communication skills, social status in real life doesn’t matter.

 This gradation helps to find a common language with trolls on social networks if you can. But in most cases, disputes with household trolls are a misconception. If you can joke, you better do it, then two warnings and a ban. Such a scheme is best.

However, trolls of corporate accounts should not be unequivocally called negative: a troll’s opinion can point out the flaws and give you a fresh idea.

How to talk to a troll

Troll behaviour tactics should reflect your corporate voice and tone and should be as close as possible to how associates interact with clients in real life. For banking institutions, this is maximum structural, clarity, distance. In response to a troll statement, the group moderator may issue a formal warning: “Dear N., we will be forced to terminate your access to the group’s discussions if you do not stop using obscene expressions/publications that have neither direct nor indirect treatment of the topic of discussion/publications that offend other participants in the group, impeding discussion of topics by other participants. “

A step to the left or right can be made for the entertainment industry, but ethics should still be a priority.

Fighting the trolls and defeating them is impossible. It is necessary to act promptly, within the framework of corporate regulation and ethics, without losing the sense of humour. When using offensive, obscene words, after the first aggressive and “dirty” language-speaking terms, you can blackmail the aggressive users. There is no certainty that this person will not continue to do so under a new name, but the job of the corporate account administrator is to keep the “body and mind” normal.