Facing Social Media Fears
Fighting off the trollsOne of the concerns most commonly expressed about Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites is what to do if someone is nasty to you online and posts horrible comments on your blog, Facebook or Twitter.

The good news is this is a rare occurrence.

With blogs you can choose which comments you approve and are published. Troll like comments and spam comments are easily dealt with in this process - simply don't approve them.

Many bloggers authorise comments that hold different views to them and are happy to get involved in discussions. These are seen as being part of healthy discussions, not nasty attacks.

Personally with Facebook I've only ever had two negative comments. One was someone trying to be smart by being sarcastic and negative and when I said that sort of comment was not appropriate she deleted the post.

Another was a rude and small minded comment made against the success of a friend of mine. Before I even saw it other friends came out against him, telling him my page was not the appropriate space for his sort of attitude or comment and he simply didn't comment again. So the community itself looked after the matter and that's often the case.

You are in the position of authority to say what behaviour you will and will not accept and the positive high road easily out shines the petty nasty people and their murky paths.

As for Twitter it is very easy. If you get some tweets tagging you that you don't like they only appear on your connect page so only you see them - not on your Twitter home page where everyone can see them. If you reply to them then they appear on your home page and everyone can see them. So simply don't reply to them.

There will always be trolls on the net - fishing around for a nasty, ugly, negative fight - just as there will always be bullies in society - they tend to be the same people. They are in the minority and you can choose whether you engage with them and how you do so.

I've learnt over the years online that it is best to take time to decide whether to engage with them or not. I leave it hours or even one or two days before making a decision. Author and blogger Tara Moss only replies when there's no wine involved and what she writes she is happy to stand by in the print media. Because once published online it is public and can be printed in the newspapers.

You have a lot of power over your public persona and reputation. Your followers and readers can make their own decisions about the quality of character of trolls and haters and I haven't met one yet who thinks well of that type of behaviour. So ignore or be gracious if you choose to respond but don't worry about something that is not likely to happen.

As with all people being nasty and horrible to get attention, if you don't give them attention, if they don't get what they are after, i.e.. attention, then they go away and try someone else. When they get attention with replying comments etc they hang around and bring their like minded trollish friends along. So don't give them any air, ignore them and let it pass. It is much more a reflection on them than anything else.

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About Belinda Stinson

About Belinda Stinson

Belinda Stinson is the founder and editor of the online magazine She Inspires and also started the She Inspires Social Media Marketing Seminars and the She Inspires Business Centre.

The social media marketing seminars are about helping make sense of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc with experts like Jeff Bullas, Laurel Papworth, Catriona Pollard, Christina Butcher, Shona Mackin, Vicki Bobotis and Mat Beeche. Can't make a Sydney seminar? Grab the seminar podcasts online.

The pop up business centre is designed to be an affordable city events venue to help small businesses grow and flourish, make connections and continue to be the engine house for employment they are in this country. 

Belinda loves the fun of competitions and runs a series of them here on She Inspires for you - so be sure to check out our latest competitions.

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