July 7, 2014

The trolls are back in town!

In times when sharing next to everything about ourselves on the web seems almost natural, it rarely happens that you come across a website or blog shrouded in the mysterious absence of personal information about its author(s). After all, these are the platforms for putting yourself into the spotlight, so it's easy to expect that you may find details on ones personal life peppered with more than a handful of private photos. I say, let's put the non back in front of the public!

Let's take a look at me for starters. Book blogger by trade. Photos mostly showing off anything even remotely bookish. Content itself of the book-shaped kind. Personal? Yes. Emphasis on my personal take on bookish things. Private? Not so much. I might mention the odd trivia about myself here and there, but photos are far and between*. Of course, when you blog about books, this is to be expected. Things look quite differently for, say, lifestyle blogs. After all, how could you show off your latest fashionable ensemble without actually wearing it? Yeah right, there's this thing called hangers, but it just isn't the same I suppose.

All bloggers are putting themselves out there one way or another, some resorting to (mostly) the written word while others put an emphasis on the power of pictures. Both can cause the kind of comments that only the abysmally small-minded and uneducated feel the urge to utter in the shroud of anonymity provided by sitting in their computer hidy-hole and apparently having nothing better to do than being a pest aka troll. Of course it's a lot easier to comment on a photo as it doesn't involve actually reading a text. Wouldn't want to rattle those sleeping brain cells by actually filtering words through your mind.

Trolls. The favorite pastime for those bored borderline sociopaths is to provoke through abusive or plain annoying comments. They are thriving on inciting arguments and playing out the ridiculing card. As much as photos of yourself can cause hateful remarks, the harassment can also be aimed at your life in general. While such troll-scapades can inspire anyone to retaliate through equally aggressive replies, this is actually the worst one can do as it only fuels the attention seekers needs.

So what can you do if it happens on your blog? I suggest you ignore it and activate comment moderation if necessary. Don't ever get in an argument, because you would only fan the flames doing that. How can you keep trolls from having a field day on your blog? There is no sure-fire troll-repellent that I know of, unless you want to simply delete your blog, but that wouldn't exactly achieve anything either. What it all boils down to is that as much as you cannot avoid it from happening, you can take precautions. Finding the right balance between what to make public and what to keep private is key and most of all, be careful about the kind of photos you are publishing.

Afterthought. I'd like to think that book blogs are a bit of a safe haven with readers being an amiable group, though the odd outburst of cruelty can happen everywhere, no matter if you discuss your babies bowel movements of the last book you read. This is something that's never happened to me before and hopefully never will.

Did you ever witness a troll wreaking havoc on a blog or were you ever confronted with such a situation on your own blog? Would you agree that the world of book blogging is more peaceful compared to other blogs? Please share.

*Want to see yours truly at the Sherlock Holmes museum? Go here.


  1. i hope this post didn't come to your mind because of a problem here...

    i do remember once only when there was a big one at another blog at the end... the blog owner decided to give up and close their ( but it went as far as real life threatening)

    1. Not to worry, my blog is the epitome of serenity aka troll-free territory. I wanted to thematise this as it happens more often than you'd think, not just on blogs, but other sites too, think online forums or Facebook. I want bloggers to be aware of the possibility that so-called trolls are lurking AND to be more conscious about what they share with the public.

  2. I think the book blogging community is pretty peaceful. I do wonder if we're all a bit more sensitive and touchy than other bloggers, most of us are introverts after all and this is our chance to put ourselves out there in a way. I've seen people take offence at comments I didn't think were offensive, but we all have our own pasts so you never know! Hopefully everything's alright here (and you don't take this as inflammatory ;-D)

    1. Good point there about many book bloggers being introverts and maybe this does make some more prone to taking offence at certain comments, but of course there's a difference between heated discussions and actually getting attacked for no reason. Inflammatory? You'd have to try a little bit harder. :-P

  3. Trolls are quite scary thing... I have not yet had the misfortune of encountering anything nasty. (Having said that, I just might jinx it. Sigh.)