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If you have put a lot of work into your YouTube videos then it only makes sense that you have an emotional investment in them. When someone leaves a mean, unconstructive, comment on one of your videos it will likely affect you. It may make you angry, hurt your feelings, or just leave you baffled over how someone could come away from your video with out-of-the-blue opinion the troll has posted. ‘Do not feed the trolls’ is a mantra that can be hard to abide by. This article will explain why you should not engage trolls and how to talk to them if you find yourself doing it anyways.
The internet is full of trolls and if you continue making YouTube videos – especially videos that get a lot of views – then you are sure to be attacked by a few. Or, alternatively, a troll may attack your other viewers in the comments of your videos. It is extremely easy to be a troll and so there are a lot of them.
Most trolls are easy to spot. They leave comments designed to hurt you or make you angry, often using over-the-top offensive language. Not all trolls are so obvious, though. Some trolls will be nice at first – flatteringly nice, even – and it will take a few comments before they turn on you or your subscribers. They want you to like them so you put more stock in what they are saying later and take longer to start ignoring them. Some trolls will even go back to being nice to reel you back in.
It is important to remember that not everybody who leaves negative comments on YouTube videos is a troll. Step back from your emotional reaction to a comment and make sure there is really nothing constructive in it before you dismiss it. Some people have nasty ways of expressing legitimate opinions, and sometimes even when there is no decipherable meaning behind a rude comment the person is not trying to troll you. Some people just have poor communication skills. For example, if someone leaves a comment on your video that consists of only the word ‘bad’ you cannot know for sure what they meant. It could be that they are agreeing with something you mentioned disliking in the video.
Trolls are bored and looking for attention. When you respond, they win. You may think you are demonstrating to them that they were out of line, or logically proving them wrong, but the troll does not care. Your outraged responses are what trolls want and will only entertain them.
Also, trolls do not care if they are wrong. They almost always seem to think that their opinions are the only ones that count for anything, but quite often their opinions are not even their real opinions. Chances are they do not actually believe anything they are saying to you they just know what to say to make you mad. Remember that you will always be more invested in any interaction you have with a troll than they are. For them it is a game and they cannot lose because they do not really care. If you take the bait it’s fun, and if you do not then they will move on to a target that will. Even if you put hours of effort into chasing off a troll and manage to make them go away they will have enjoyed the whole thing and you will be left exhausted.
While you should avoid talking to trolls, sometimes you cannot. Trolls occasionally start off making kind comments or asking legitimate questions to lure you in. You might be a couple comments into a conversation before a troll reveals their true colors.
There are also times when you respond even though you know you should not because you just cannot let a specific rude comment go unanswered. It is easy to say you should never feed the trolls, but a lot of people cannot help it. If you find yourself engaging a troll there are a few things you can do to try and manage the situation.
First, avoid using any emotional language; they love that. Keep your responses either pleasantly detached or dry and factual. Say what you feel you need to say and ask the troll for more information. If the troll has made a false claim then ask them for evidence as if you are genuinely interested in learning more. It is highly unlikely they will be able to provide any, although they may make something up. If the troll has made a blanket statement about how terrible they think you are then pretend you either value their input or find them funny and ask them to explain. They will either leave or respond with more insults.
You will not get the troll to say they were wrong or apologize so that should never be your goal. What you can do is create a public record of the troll being corrected for others to judge for themselves. If you maintain a calm, unaffected, tone then the troll will find you boring.
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