How Not To Be A Social Media Troll

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That might seem obvious.

A “troll” in social media speak is someone who comments or posts things that have NO relevance to the topic at hand.

TrollSince this blog and group of authors are here to help establish a new social media culture, the message is simple: STOP TROLLING!

This came to a head with me last week during the last US Presidential push and Hurricane Sandy. I can’t tell you how many tweets, posts, and comments I saw that twisted the tragedy in the east coast political. Here is something tame I found on last week.

Social Media Troll Comment

Ok, look, I’m all about someone’s opinion but why bring something political in when it wasn’t needed or part of the story? Let’s use some common sense.

How not to be a troll:

  • Comment on a story when you have something to add or you like what was posted.
  • It’s OK to stir the pot when it adds to the discussion or if you disagree with the opinion but you should still keep it within the topic.
  • Your mama told you – “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.” True here as well, don’t attack someone personally because you disagree with them or because you don’t like them. Keep your keyboard quiet.
  • Don’t creep. That’s creepy.
  • Don’t bully. Especially if you have some influence online. There is room for lots of different ways to do things and your way isn’t THE ONLY way.
  • Don’t be foolish with the power of social media. You have the power to build up or tear down. Be responsible.

What other suggestions do you have to be responsible and not be a troll? Leave them in the comments below!

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Jeff Howell

Jeff Howell

Principle, Jeff Howell Consulting at Jeff Howell Consulting
Jeff Howell is a sales and marketing professional based in Michigan He is principal of Jeff Howell Consulting, a marketing consulting and sales training agency. Jeff is a leader in integrated marketing and has developed successful marketing campaigns. Crazy coffee lover, Red Sox fanatic, and amazingly admits to being a fan of the Detroit Lions.
Jeff Howell


Design & Marketing professional seeking new company call home. Seeing the bottom of my coffee cup frightens me. Proudly rocking the boat since 1976
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  1. Jeff, it may be my age, raised in the South or something else but I see an extreme lack of civility these days and the rudeness easily manifest in the openness of the web! My folks like yours many others shared, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything,” today I think many do not understand that a debate is not a boxing match! Share your point of view and allow the other(s) to share theirs. No need to slay!

  2. Kittie Walker says:

    It's unfortunate, but it seems to be a direct reflection of the changes in our society. As Randy points out the days of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” seem to be long gone. Having said that trolling has been a part of the internet since bulletin boards and online games first appeared, it's just leaking into mainstream now that social media has taken off. Ditto to the sentiments you both share – there is absolutely no need for that kind of behaviour!

  3. Well for me I had many Troll dolls when I was a kid, and I loved them……For me, a pet peeve, people who comment that have clearly read the piece, and are commenting on what they believe the piece is about by the title. Drives me nuts, don't comment just to comment. OR the ones who comment "Good Post" …really??

    For me I would rather have someone who has some spelling and grammar errors that actually is commenting using their brain, they read the blog, they are speaking their thoughts. Know what I mean. Many people are rude because they feel they can hide behind the anonymity the social space provides. BE nice or Be gone…

    Good Post (couldn't resist)


  1. [...] A "troll" in social media speak is someone who comments or posts things that have NO relevance to the topic at hand.  [...]

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