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How to Take the Fun Out of Trolling

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Hello Wikians,

My name is ForestFairy and I am the German Community Manager for Wikia. Some of you may know me a little bit, because I do answer some english support requests from time to time. I work closely with my english community colleagues, but you probably won’t see me around here very often. However, I am part of Wikia's social blog team and today I get to write a blog for both the English and the German community. As you can imagine, we have the same issues over there as you do over here. Today I am talking about a common nuisance: Trolls!

Troll

Recognizing a troll

A Troll is someone that you can meet everywhere on Wikia and in the internet. A troll’s purpose is to simply provoke you. When they comment or edit, it will usually not have anything to do with the subject at hand. They have unrealistic requests, strange and irrational views, get really personal and threaten with things like doomsday. A troll will annoy you to the point where you want to react to him. Don’t do it! Responding to him is like handing him ice-cream. He is getting what he wanted and the games continue. He will watch you getting more and more upset and that really makes him happy! Life is good - he is winning!

What do I do with my troll?

You know you have a troll in your community and your users are sick and tired of the chaos that the troll has created. He is thriving and you are busy trying to keep up with him and cleaning up his nonsense. Some of your users are so tired of him, they are threatening to move on. This is understandable - Wikians like to focus on their hobby, instead of dealing with an annoying troll.

Troll feeding

Well, we have written a help-page a while ago, on the same subject. The strategy we recommend, and that works, is very easy.

All you have to do is keep calm and remember three things:

  • ignore
  • revert
  • block

Ignore the troll. If you starve him of attention, you have a good chance that he will leave. It will take the fun out of trolling. It may take a little while, but an ignored troll is always more likely to leave the wikia than one that gets attention all the time. You may have the urge to reason with him. Don’t do it! Revert his edits without leaving comments in the summary section and block him out of your community. It may not be over at that point. Most likely, he will come back with a new username. How will you know it’s him? No worries, you will probably recognize him right away. He wants you to know it’s him. The troll will often use the same patterns, the same phrases and even make the same grammatical mistakes.

If you have a persistent troll in your community, and you need a little extra help, then please ask an admin to write to us via Special:Contact. We can look at the situation and may be able to block the troll and any other accounts of his we can find.

What you should never do

Do not talk to the troll - and never talk about the troll on other pages. Both are very rewarding and fuel the trolls intentions and actions.

Have you ever dealt with a troll? We are curious to hear what you did to get rid of him. Please leave a comment!

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