Avoiding The Trolls On Twitter
Twitter trolls are growing (in terms of abuse-quality and numbers) by the day – but, hey, do you know what Twitter Trolls are?
These are the guys who insult, threaten, bad-mouth, abuse or otherwise offend other Twitter users.
Trolls are all over Twitter commenting on what they feel like and generally spreading abuse.
Here are a few samples:
Examples of Twitter Trolling
1. David Cameron, UK’s head honcho, tweeted,
To this tvBite tweeted,
2. When George Osborne tweeted about economic policy,
Farmer McBoob hit back with this abuse, “Oh shut it Sh_tface, the country is f__ked and it’s down to you. Go tie your d__k to a tractor and f__k off.”
These were a couple of “gentle and kind” examples – trolling can really get down and dirty on Twitter. You can read some of the caustic tweets here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/tips-for-politicians-who-dont-want-to-be-abused-on-twitte
What’s Twitter Doing About It?
Once upon a time, not so long ago, Twitter users that blocked an account could not view/follow any of its tweets. But Twitter, seemingly carried away by its growing popularity, made some dramatic changes in December 2013. These changes allowed blocked users to view and post tweets even after the blockage came into effect.
This lead to a huge protest in Twitterdom and Twitter had to rush in and reverse the changes within 24 hours of introducing them. Michael Sippey, Twitter’s Product VP, had this to say, “… we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe.”
So, all’s well for the moment – rude and offensive users, once blocked, cannot interact with their hapless victim’s account.
But many Twitter users who are the butt of ridicule continue to complain to Twitter. Twitter responded to their complaint by creating a “Report Tweet” button, but one has to see whether the people who judge offensive tweets are capable of punishing the abusers.
If the abusers are allowed to get away scot free, the “report tweet” button will not serve any purpose.
What About Abuse On Other Social Networks?
Most social networks are full of useful and fun information that sometimes gets mingled with rude and offensive posts. Social networks are sophisticated chatting and sharing rooms that have the power to create or diffuse ugly and happy situations.
However, once you block or unfollow or unfriend any user on other networks, they cannot interact with your account – and this comes as a major relief.
To Sum Up
Social networks are cloud-based global applications just like fax-to-mail, design, office productivity or other SaaS applications. The only difference is that social networks are interactive and their multimedia-information-sharing capabilities are immediate. They can make or break any situation. Therefore, all abusers must think before posting stuff that has the capability to offend and insult. Social networks too must set up effective post-monitoring departments and ensure that their loyal clients are not abused without reason.
Ralf Skirr’s comment: I’d like to draw a conclusion for businesses.
One stupid Tweet can trigger a social media crisis, hurting your business substantially. It’s not enough to trust that social media sites will take care of the Trolls. It’s absolutely crucial that every business monitors its brand name(s) across social networks and blogs.
To do this you can use free tools like Google alerts, and, of course, social media management tools like SproutSocial, and tools specifically designed for reputation monitoring.
The next step, after monitoring and discovering potentially harmful Tweets, it’s important to know how to react. That’s why every business should have a pre-defined strategy how to handle a social media crisis.
Category: Twitter For Business |