Who’s that tip trapping over my bridge?’

Back in my day Trolls lived under a bridge and scared the Billy Goats Gruff as they crossed the bridge to get to the other side for the green. Then Trolls turned into cute colourful characters with cool long hair that you attached to the top of you pencil. You collected as many colored haired trolls as you could.  Now the Billy Goat Gruff Trolls are back! Except now they have a greater voice and live online hiding behind their computer screens rather than under a bridge

Last month I experienced something really odd. I’m quite outspoken, have an opinion and what you see is what you get. I haven’t been as active on social media in a while as I’ve been busy working at my business. However, whilst online something caught my eye that I knew I had to comment on.  

The post (see below) was a sales rep slagging off a CEO for not answering his spammy emails and then when the CEO responded saying STOP IT, the sales rep got the shits and in his “friendly reminder” way was slagging off the CEO and telling him to “remember where you come from”

I decided to respond.  The majority of the comments (except those people that were typical use car sales people) had a similar messages about respecting people’s time, taking a different approach and the CEO was justified to respond in the way he did.  Except – I ended up having one douchebag decide that out of all the 3,239 comments he was going to respond to mine with a comment that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand but a personal attack on my appearance. At first was taken aback – do I delete my comment? Do I ignore it? Do I respond?  

Well for those who know me as an Italo-Australia with the direct Aussie-ness and my hot blooded Italian I thought  – NO! I’m entitled to my opinion, this is a professional platform and how dare he take away from doing business and bring it back to the blardy 1930’s by focussing on looks. As you can see he also made a comment that I was on Plenty of Fish (mmm how secure is that site), suggesting he had taken the time to google me and my photo.  That’s downright creepy and how dare he cast dispersions on me as a singleton!!

Now I must say the comment is hilarious and clearly my Arbonne business and products are working their magic.  

I did end up reporting him to Linked-in because I didn’t really want to engage in online nonsense and felt it an apt response to his threat to report me in the first instance.

Fortunately I received great feedback on my comments and many people I have told this story to have been absolutely appalled. One of my trusted contacts even went to the trouble to find out this guy’s employer and CEO and was planning to write a letter to his employer because he was pissed off on my behalf. I told him not to, although now that I think about it…if any of you out there would like to write to this guy, I’m more than happy to share his identity.

So here are a few tips when dealing with trolls online:

  1. Always keep it professional – stand up for yourself but don’t get personal
  2. Don’t react with emotion -Trolls want you to get angry.
  3. Report it -if it’s too much, take action by reporting the abuse to the platform you are on. If they have trolled you they have likely done it to others. Some people will only stop if they are called out on their behaviour. Everyone has the right to an opinion. I reported it to Linkedin which resulted in him immediately being flagged and taken off my feed.  (Although I must say I don’t know what happens from here as Linkedin don’t enquire and they have limited ‘check box’ as to why you are reporting it).
  4. Keep it light hearted and funny -I like humour and sometimes  it’s easier to make a joke and move on. According to Social Media Examiner, using humour, fact and kindness can disarm trolls.
  5. Talk about it with others – How many people have been trolled and said nothing? How many people have seen it happened to something else and didn’t react? By sharing our stories we bring the behaviour out into the light and call on everyone to do better. This story has made great pub chats with my mates.
  6. Call out their behaviour to the group – but again in a light humored way “Wow we have a troll amongst our mix”
  7. Don’t let it phase you, remember you don’t even know this person, so don’t let them knock your confidence. The Troll is the one with the problem.
  8. And most importantly, DON’T FEED THE TROLL. Don’t stoop to their level, that’s what they want, Be aware that where there is one troll there is probably another waiting to pounce and things could escalate quickly.

I am aware that my story is just one of many. Have you been trolled on social media? What happened and how did you deal with it? We’ve hit a peak time where women all around the world are using social media and press to name and shame and call out on inappropriate behaviour through the #metoo hashtag. No one deserved to be trolled, harassed or worse in their private or professional lives. Until the behaviours are brought into the light and we call them for what they are, inappropriate, we are not encouraging people to do better or be better.

If you have any trolling stories then give us a shout on our Facebook group, drop us a Tweet  @gloabalfrontroom or get in touch at  info@globalfrontroom.com