Don’t be a Troll!

I apologize for the ranting in this post, but I’m frustrated with the blatant inconsideration of people’s feelings on social media.

Have you ever had someone correct you in public or make a comment that has no point, except to anger you? On social networks, this type of activity is called trolling.

In most cases, people know what they are doing and are intentional. Sometimes people are unaware of their actions and just trying to help.  Last year I wrote a post about social media etiquette, but felt that the issue need attention again.

This past week I noticed on two separate occasions, individuals on Twitter “helping” people by telling them of a misspelling in a recent tweet.  Telling people of their flaws in public is detrimental to your own reputation and may depict you as a “know-it-all.”  The activity, whether intentional or not, is “troll-like” and should be avoided at a costs.

I don’t understand while people feel a need to point our the mistakes of others in public. It isn’t good idea in real life, so why would it be on social media?

If you honestly want to help people out, either send them a direct message, private message or e-mail.  Keep the constructive criticism in a private conversation.

Before you send the “helpful” message pointing out to the world how stupid someone appears, think if you would like it done to you?

  • Pingback: Beware of trolls. « Susan Talbert Evans()

  • http://twitter.com/genkimommy Kristy

    This happened to me very recently. I commented on a friends facebook status. One of his friends who I don’t know took it upon himself to point out that I used your instead or you’re. I don’t know this guy and when did my comment become a graded assignment in need of correcting. What a douche. I have to think he appeared that way to other people following the thread.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    With Facebook’s messaging service, it would have been much better to send you a private note.

    I remember early in my career, when Guestbooks were popular, an person commented on how awful my organization’s website was. The negative comment was available for the world to see. The same comment could have been e-mailed. Needless to say, the public rant was not received well.

    Public correction is never received well, even if done with good intentions.

  • Brad Rowley

    Social media can be such a power for good, bringing like-minded people together.  Unfortunately, it can also give people a sense of anonymity, making them think it’s ok disregard others feelings.  

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    I believe that false sense of anonymity is the source of great risk to people.  Too often I’ve read examples of people sharing their thoughts under the guise of anonymity, only to have them traced back to themselves.

  • http://twitter.com/jaceanderson jace anderson

    I completely agree that a false sense of anonymity exists online, and that it empowers folks to troll- just as bad though imho is that we tap away on little keys on our little devices (phone, tablet etc)so much that we become more & more conditioned to think less & less about the actual person (or persons, as it were – this is social after all) that we are talking to. It becomes less like dialog, and more like one sided rant. & that, i think, strikes many of us unawares. no?
    tl:dr we’re rude… and sometimes we don’t even notice.