Every blogger has to deal with trolls from time to time, but do you also have to contend with the not-trolls? Right now, I have a not troll visiting my blog on a regular basis and though he’s not vicious or even rude, he constantly questions my credulity.
What is a not-troll?
- Someone who comments on blogs to stir up controversy, but in a subtle way.
- Someone who politely questions your authority on various matters.
- Someone who doesn’t call names, point fingers or make accusations, but manages to challenge your credibility with every comment.
- Someone who acts superior over members of your community.
- Someone who makes your community uncomfortable.
- Someone who makes controversial statements and then publicly wonders why all the hostility.
- Someone who drives traffic to his own blog by making you look as if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
The thing about the not-trolls is that they’re not usually worthy of comment deletion. They bring up valid points many times and they’re regular members of your community. Almost every one of their comments stirs the pot, and though they says it’s not their intention to do so, it happens every time and it’s obvious they delight in the debate.
Why isn’t a not-troll considered a troll?
A troll is generally rude and vicious. Not-trolls are polite, productive members of the community. Not trolls add to the discussion and generally make valid points. When they attack it’s very subtle and not too many people know it’s happening.
How do you handle the not trolls?
- Ignore them. Like a child who acts up for attention, the not trolls settle down when it’s clear you won’t engage.
- Politely send them a request to cease and desist. Invite them to take part in the discussion without the cloaked insults towards you and your community.
- Put their IPs in comment moderation mode so you can read their comments first to decide whether or not to post them.
- Ban them outright.
While one can generally spot the trolls right away, the not-trolls are a little more subtle. When they insult, attack or stir the pot it’s usually done so politely and almost respectfully.
Do you have a not-troll? If so, how do you handle it?