Understanding behavior in social media
Many of us have seen them in action, some of us may have been targeted by them – or even been them. I’m talking about bullies. I’m not going to discuss the psychological background and underlying reasons for bullying because I really don’t understand them at all, let’s just agree that they exist, and that they’re usually mean! Bullying has existed in all the online meeting places that we call social media since the Internet began.
Today, at least here in Sweden, even my mother knows what “trolling” means, and what a “troll” is. For those of you that don’t know, it’s time to crawl out from under the rock because this is happening everywhere.
An Internet troll is simply the person trolling, not the fictional character. Trolling is focused around a debate (preferably an angry debate), with the aim of provoking or doing something to upset someone or create anger - in short, bullying.
An example: Sweden just won the Swedish Eurovision Contest and our biggest daily writes about it. There’s a comment field linked to the article and someone (usually anonymous) says: “This does not count as a Swedish win, Loreen doesn’t even look Swedish”. Angry responses guaranteed - Mission successful.
I’d say that the more anonymous you can be on an imageboard, forum, commentary field or any other social media, the more likely it is that trolling occurs. Why? Because to successfully “troll” someone you usually either have to say something offensive or politically incorrect. If you did that in a non-anonymous social media like Facebook, there’s a big chance that many of your friends would take you seriously and challenge you on it. To avoid this, some people actually create fake identities on Facebook, just to use for trolling.
Popular arenas for trolling are imageboards and forums where you can easily post anonymously, but also the commentary fields on your local online newspaper and YouTube.
So why do people troll in our clients’ social media channels and article commentary fields? Because they can, and because they think it is fun to be able to possibly make someone angry without any consequences. It’s vital that we learn how to properly identify, act and respond to trolling, or we could end up making the client look bad and creating a much bigger problem than it initially was. A poorly considered response always risks going viral for all the wrong reasons.
How to identify and separate the trolls from the plain stupid ones, and how to react and answer is a whole other blog post in itself.
Simon Wallin – AxiCom, Sweden
AxiComSpain: @Reparalia patrocinador principal del XV Torneo benéfico de Golf de Cooperación Internacional
AxiComSpain: @RedHatNews lanza una nueva iniciativa para ayudar a las empresas a crear sus itinerarios en...
OUR SECTOR EXPERTS
Experience in PR: 24 years
Expertise in technology industry: 24 years
Specialisations: Healthcare technology, enterprise IT, Clean Tech
Experience in PR: 27 years
Expertise in technology industry: 22 years
Specialisations: Telecoms, international programme management
Experience in PR: 20 years
Expertise in technology industry: Extensive experience across technology industry from enterprise computing to consumer tech
Experience in PR:...