photo by Kristine Paulus via PhotoRee

When I say troll, some of you will think of those bloody annoying plastic toys with fuzzy stuck-up hair and a constant sarcastic grin. Though I firmly believe they should be outlawed or all collected up and melted down to make something useful, those aren’t the trolls I’m talking about.

No, I’m talking about the annoying too-much-time-on-their-hands losers who seem to get a kick out of making stuff up, causing arguments and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Why they do it I don’t know??


Oh yes, that’ll be it!

Sometimes it can take a more sinister turn, people making up a whole new person and inventing a life for themselves. I don’t mean tweaking yourself on the internet, I mean a whole new person, with a life story to make Oprah cry, who tells everyone they are ill or have a sick child (when they don’t)…. you know the picture. These people invoke sympathy and there have been cases of people donating money after a fictitious child has been diagnosed with cancer or similar. I remember this happening on a parenting forum I visited when pregnant the first time and people were horrified to have been taken in. I’m pretty sure legally this is some sort of fraud and must be ¬†bloody awful for those who really do have these problems and identify with these trolls. Recognising this kind of troll can be difficult and people need to be careful; but also be aware that not everyone who has a tough home-life and talks about it online is a troll and shouldn’t be automatically jumped on!

Some suggest trolling can be a cry for help, a lonely person desperate for attention. I’m sorry folks, trolls are just that…. people with nothing better to do than being an online pain in the arse!

I have been an internet user for many years, and have been surgically attached to my laptop for some time now. From parenting forums, to social media, to blogs… there seems to be an abundance of people who seem very happy to waste hours of their lives jumping around forums, causing arguments, being purposefully¬†controversial¬†or downright rude to cause a reaction.

So what can we do? DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. People who are argumentative, leave discriminatory comments, disagree with everyone and just plain pick fights… ignore them, block them, move on! These people thrive on the attention so not replying to them really is the best course of action.

Have you been a victim of trolling on your blog or website? Do you think I’m being harsh and not looking at the big picture? Do trolls deserve some modicum of understanding? I don’t think so but what is your take on it all?

*No plastic trolls were hurt during the research phase of this post. The little buggers moved too fast for me to catch them!*