Confession #8 – Let the Trolls begin…

Trolls – no longer just a classic character you read about in fairytales. Trolls are here and can be deadly….for brands!

First and foremost, what exactly is trolling?

According to Urban Dictionary, an Internet troll is “A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the Internet over extremely trivial issues.” Urban Dictionary also described trolling as being cynical or sarcastic – their reasoning? “Because it’s the Internet, and hey, you can.”

So what makes trolling so appealing?

Ultimately, being a troll is easy, with Jesse Fox Ph.D suggesting numerous reasons why people might think that trolling is ok, including:

  • Anonymity
  • Perceived obscurity
  • Being surrounded by ‘friends’
  • Perceived lack of consequences

Now here is a statistic that might shock you: about one quarter of all Americans might be Internet trolls…that is a lot of trolls!!

Not gonna lie, I have enjoyed reading a good old troll post every known and then, including this image that was created after a troll posted on Facebook about Coles’ Marjoram herb product.

But online trollers can be really detrimental to a brands image, especially with how rapidly content can be shared on social media.

So how exactly should brands address online trolls?

John Rampton from Forbes has suggested a few ways that brands can address Internet trolls, as one standard approach may not work in all circumstances.

  • Ignore them

Trolls want to get attention, so by ignoring them you may deter them from trolling again, which would be a great end result for a brand.

  • Bring in some facts

If a troll is spreading misinformation, a great way to stop them in their tracks is by providing evidence. Facts can quickly override any fictional claims an Internet troll has made in order to stop the claims from growing.

  • Correct mistakes

Honesty is an important quality to have when using social media, and in the case of trolls, honesty may be the best policy. By owning up to and correcting mistakes, you are not only addressing the trolls comment, but potentially gaining respect from consumers by owning up to your error.

  • Use humour to make light of the situation

Humour is an excellent way to defuse a troll in a light-hearted way, while also acknowledging what they have said. This can be a great way to turn a potential negative into a positive, leaving your brand unscathed.

An excellent example of a brand that used humour to defuse a potential troll is Woolworths.

Last year, Woolworths had the most epic response to a failed troller regarding spaghetti. What made it so memorable? The whole situation was done via an Eminem rap! Check out this article to read more about it!


Do you know of any brands that have effectively addressed an online troll?

What do you think would be the best way to defuse a troll?


Until Next Time,

Chloe – The Stressaholic xx


5 thoughts on “Confession #8 – Let the Trolls begin…

  1. Hi Chloe!

    The best way to discredit and quieten a troll would be to address the real issue if their concern is genuine, or mitigate the reach of their message if it’s not a reasonable comment/expectation made by the troll. Many companies have social monitors to address such issues (as seen above in the woolworths example), fix the concerns or delete/block the user if they’re tolling for the sake of trolling. A company should never attempt to sink to the troll’s level if they’re using vulgar language and the like and should always act professionally.

    Companies sometimes have a go at trolling each other too, often with hilarious results. Check out a few examples on

    Feel free to head over to my blog post this week on another threat online similar to trolling.. SPAM!



    1. Hi Simon!

      Thanks for your comment!

      I agree with you, as I don’t think brands should ever stoop to the level of a negative troll, as it can backfire and ultimately make their brand look worse off.
      If the troll has a genuine concern the brand should definitely address that concern and be truthful about the situation, and many social media monitors do a great job with responding to these issues by addressing the troll or removing/blocking their comment.

      The link you shared was great! I particularly like ‘troll off’ between Audi and BMW using billboards!

      I will have to go check out your latest blog post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Chloe, I’m glad I could point you in the direction of some interesting and funny real world examples from big brands we all know! I try to include as many real world examples in my blog posts themselves where possible, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Chloe!

    Totally agree with you on how trolls are becoming so common in today’s digital world. It’s probably due to the fact that they are able to type away in the safety of their home behind their screen.

    The tips that you gave are really useful, especially since it allows everyone to discourage trolling. This is especially important as businesses who are on social media has opened up themselves to be vulnerable to trolls on the online platforms, which means that it is important for them to be able to manage such comments in order to preserve their image. Nice confession, see you again soon!



    1. Hi Hardi!

      I completely agree with your point regarding businesses on social media being vulnerable on social platforms. Through the use of social media monitors, brands can ensure troll’s statements, questions and queries can be addressed in an way that not only diffuses the situation but also effectively maintains their brand image.


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