Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Ignoring Internet Trolls Does Not Work

November 2020 Bar Bulletin

By RB Tewksbury

Internet trolls are emboldened by anonymity on social media platforms and lack of consequence for bad behavior. Ignoring a troll’s malicious and antisocial behavior can actually make this problem worse. Ignoring troll abuse often silences the victim and makes the Web a much less safe place to be.

Since 1994, I believed and perpetuated the conventional wisdom that claimed the best way to respond to an Internet troll is not to respond at all. The pretzel logic of troll-avoidance is predicated on an incorrect assumption that if you deprive trolls of attention (content), they’ll get bored and eventually go away.

In reality, this troll-avoidance...

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