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The term trolls is used for people online who pick fights, spread negativity and continuously disagree with people – no matter their opinions.

People have said: “Don’t feed the trolls.” By that they mean to not engage with and respond to people online who are trolls.

Trolls usually show up in the comments sections of articles and blog posts, but they also appear on social media networks. Some networks – like Facebook – in theory make it harder for trolls to exist because people have to/ are supposed to use their real names. Many trolls hide behind anonymous online names (also called handles).

Somebody’s unwillingness to identify themselves is a potential sign of them being a troll. Keep in mind that they might not be a troll.

Here at The Authentic Storytelling Project we believe that two-way interactions are important, build community and help us share even more authentic stories.

Communicating with trolls, however, is frustrating. We do encourage to respond to people initially but if somebody continues to argue even after our point of view has been explained, there comes a time when it’s best to just stop communicating.

When trolls ask questions – especially initial ones – think of your response to also be (maybe more) for the people who are just reading along and not commenting.