Trolls & Twitter
Knowledge is power – so in that vein I’m posting this warning to new Twitter users about sometimes unpleasant interactions that may appear in your “mentions” or “notifications” to your Twitter handle/name on Twitter.
These occasional nasties can happen to everyone, but there are easy mechanisms to block annoying people and even report them if really bad.
It was a rude awakening for me and sometimes scared me.
So knowing that it happens and there’s something to do about it can be a relief. You can learn to ignore them and focus on the subjects and people that you are interested in.
(1) SPAM is junk from people directed at you using your Twitter handle that try to sell you something, including followers.
(2) FLAMES are when people take their anger out on you in nasty language.
(3) TROLLS may combine the worst of both worlds. Sometimes they’ll engage you in conversation before you realize they just want to annoy or intimidate you.
My general approach used to be to block people only as last resort, but as I’ve grown more experienced I can usually tell whether someone is likely to engage in a productive exchange or just wants to tell me I’m an idiot – so I block more these days.
As soon as you block someone their tweet literally disappear. So BEFORE blocking and/or reporting, I try to remember to take screenshots of anything I find weird or off color. If they show up again or you need to file a report, you have their tweets. Also anyone you block will not be able to include you in lists.
Some trolls kept adding me to their “traitors” lists so I blocked and reported. Think of it like weeding your garden. It’s annoying but necessary and easy to have a healthy garden, and allows you decide what and who you want to talk to – or what grows in your garden. After some practice and positive experiences, you’ll soon see how powerful a thing Twitter is, how much you can learn from it, how quickly you can share something important, and how many wonderful people there are in the twittersphere.
From Paula at EMPR