Rugby League Troll Stoppers came across this article in the Sydney Morning Herald which offers advice to those in the public eye on how to handle social media trolls. Journalist Sam de Brito references the famous Mark Twain quote:

“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

Brito suggests that social media trolls behave in such a way because they are crying out for attention. Brito describes the thought process of social media trolls to be as follows:

“The worst feeling of all is not being rejected, it’s being ignored; when a person cannot even be bothered to dismiss you.”

This suggestion by Brito corresponds with our previous post referencing Dr Hardaker’s motives for trolling:

1. Boredom – too much free time after school, at work, or between jobs

2.Need for attention- crying out on a public level and at any cost.

3. Sense of disenfranchisement- with work and/or home life.

If social media trolls ‘troll’, because they find themselves with too much free time and are crying out for attention on a public level, maybe the best response is NO RESPONSE at all.

In our experience, we have found Brito’s advice to be most appropriate; IGNORE THEM.

Trolls exist because they want to be in the spotlight. While ignoring them may provoke them to post more ludicrous comments, it also makes them appear desperate. Eventually after no response, they will concede and wander away.

However the problem still remains, is that while they may not bother you anymore, they may simply just move along to someone else who may be more vulnerable. This is what Rugby League Troll Stoppers wants to address. Our preventative measure to reduce trolling amongst National Rugby League players and the public will outlined in tomorrow’s blog ‘#breakthebarriers’

Read more of what journalist Sam de Brito has to say by visiting here.

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