It can be said that almost all bloggers have come across flamers and trolls at some point of time. Flaming and trolling are small forms of social media firestorms. The difference is there won’t be so many people involved as in social media storms. It is the responsibility of every blog owner to take care of such issues in order to save their reputation.
Your task doesn’t end with posting your blogs but continues until they exist on your website. Closing the comments will limit your opportunity to learn from genuine readers. A wrong response would harm you and not responding at all would make no sense, too. What else can you do? Show MERCY! I am sure that you are surprised. Yes, just show:
- Yawn and Start Sleeping
Moderating the comments is a precaution that you can take to prevent flaming. Whenever possible and for all the blogs that talk about sensitive topics, moderate comments. Make the comments available to the public only after getting your approval. It will help flamers and trolls from strolling freely in the comments part of your blogs. However, it is not possible at all times. You can set some commenting policies for your blogs if it is not possible. Define your policies clearly so that flamers at least try to maintain a decent tone.
Not all who disagree with you are wrong. Don’t be annoyed as soon as finding a conflicting idea in the comments. You might have given wrong information and a concerned reader might have gotten back pointing it out. Therefore, evaluate the comment before deciding if it is flaming or a mere conflict of opinion. As feedback is important for you, try to learn from the comments. If your analysis of the comment proves that it is flaming, try the next step.
You are now sure that the person has started a flame to pull you into a heated conversation. Try to contact him in person and reason with him. This will dampen his expectations for a quarrel. You would find that most of them apologize or stop commenting on your blogs. Explain to them why you are right and request them not to post such comments on your blogs again. Maintaining a calm tone is very important during such conversations because flamers wait in ambush to find fault with your words.
If the flamer feels bad about his comments, he will surely apologize in the forum. If he doesn’t or continues stirring up flames, it’s time you reply. As always, maintain a gentle tone. Remember that you are heard by the rest of the world. An inappropriate word from your side will affect your reputation. Keep it simple and precise. Conclude the conversation in a way that he feels discouraged to respond.
Yawn and Start Sleeping:
If he still throws the bait and waits for you, all you have to do is ignore him completely. One comment stating why your views are right is enough to explain it to the other readers. Further replies will only add fuel to the fire. Turn a deaf ear to all the comments from the person and concentrate on other blogs.
The comforting fact is that you will be supported by your regular readers. They are not going to watch silently and let the flamers do all the talking. Develop a good readership and you will no more be a one man army.