Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
Okay, so the concept of ‘trolling’ seems to come with the territory of technology, internet and social media, with increasing levels of connectedness resulting in increasing levels of irresponsible and hurtful online behaviour.
This is something people operating in the online world will most likely see or experience sometime in their lives.
So, as educators, what can we do to help students build strategies to cope with any trolls they encounter?
Claire Hardaker, a PHD student from Lancaster University, has developed a guide to interact with online trolls, with the general gist of it being:
1. Stay cool
If you correctly interpret the intent to Troll and are not provoked into responding, Trolls can become frustrated. So… ignore them.
2. Stay calm in your responses
Trolls can be thwarted if you correctly interpret the intent to Troll, and respond in such a way that neutralises the success of the troller.
As educators its our responsibility to consistently reinforce these strategies for students to deal with online trolls. Because, really, who has the time to be a Troll, or get caught up in trolling behaviour.
P.S. Anyone else notice that this is the third blog post that I have been able to incorporate lyrics into the title? #winning