Trolls & Other Scary Creatures

Trolls and goblins abound this Halloween!

As Halloween approaches, preparations are underway at the Luymes household. Costumes have been assembled and a pre-Halloween event — Sunshine Church’s “Trunk or Treat” — has already tested the kids’ door-to-door panhandling skills. Or, in that case, car-to-car.  It was a fun event and a good way for Sunshine to reach out to its community.

Pumpkins have been carved into scary visages that, apparently, do little to ward off squirrels that seem to love the rind of a semi-rotting gourd.  One little creature whom we’ve named Chunky, for obvious reasons, will run away when I charge him with menacing snarls, but returns moments later when I’ve turned my back on him.

In similar ways, another little hobgoblin comes back to “my house” to nibble in uninvited ways. Amway’s Opportunity Zone has or had its own troll, so called because he lingers under the bridge to pounce upon any unwitting passersby. When a “troll” invades your social media space, how best should you handle the situation?

My tendency has been more liberal than some others who would simply block negative posters at a site. I tend to be a little forgiving and allow posters to push boundaries a little. I believe a good dialog needs to have two strong viewpoints, well supported and shared in a respectful manner. In the social media world, however, there are some who too easily whip out their steely knives and look to inflict flesh wounds on anyone with an opposing opinion. When that happens, and others are scared away or just fed up with the type of conversations trolls like to ignite (the type that provokes an emotional response), the balanced blogger needs to step in and moderate.

Simple rules of engagement should be one of the first things a blogger establishes for his or her space. Here are a few of mine: stay on topic, respect others, avoid profanity, and know when to not have the last word.  Over the years, at The SuperDu Blog and in the Opportunity Zone in general, there were only a few commenters who abused these guidelines.  In most cases, even these individuals weren’t entirely banned although some of their posts were held back by moderators when they overstepped.

I think that will be the case here as well. After being a voice that advocated certain positions for Amway over the years, I cannot expect that those who disagreed will stay away from this space. That said, I’ve moved on to my own practice which, at this point, doesn’t include Amway among its clients. I’d like to encourage those who want to have the Amway “systems” debate to seek other playgrounds. You have an issue with Amway?  Tell the good people in The Opportunity Zone who will, if you’re on topic and respectful, lend a patient and responsive ear.

As for me, I need to finalize my Halloween preparations, including the purchase of candy to hand out to all the little monsters who drop by my house tomorrow evening. I gladly will give them access to my porch so I can drop goodies in their bags and buckets. Now, if they come back for seconds or thirds … that’s another story!

Author: Robin

Communications professional with more than 25 years' expertise in PR, crisis communications, social media, community relations, marketing communications and more!

12 thoughts on “Trolls & Other Scary Creatures”

  1. Good advice for dealing with trolls! And I like your approach…as long as the conversation is polite, voice your opinion about relevant topics. We don’t always need to agree.

    Happy Halloween to you and yours! Similar preparations underway in my house. :)


    Jen Fong

  2. Happy Halloween Robin!

    I think you’ve been very good about posting opposing views, and I don’t understand what is attempting to be gained by being critical of a company you don’t work for anymore.

    I like your blog, and I believe that there will be much to learn from it.

    Thanks for being here.

  3. Hey Rocket,

    I don’t think Robin is being critical of Amway. The troll he is referring to in this blogpost is clearly … You know who.

  4. AJ, I think Rocket actually was in agreement and also doesn’t understand why individuals would come in here to be critical of a company I don’t work for anymore. That was my interpretation, anyway! Of course, I’m always looking for the positive sentiment in any comment!

  5. apparently the troll even posted his usual venemous comments on a website owned by some guy whose last name just happened to be “Amway”, so one can’t expect him to ignore this site.

    You were paid to be patient on the Amway blogs Robin, here you are master of your own home.

    As a funny aside, my 3.5yr old son was sitting behind me on the bed yesterday watching Scooby Do on a laptop and he exclaimed “A SuperDu Sandwich!”

    I said “what did you say? A Scooby Do sandwich?”

    “No”, he said “A SuperDu Sandwich!”‘t

    He can’t read yet and I don’t wander around the house saying “SuperDu”, so I’ve no idea where that came from … but it seems you’ve even got your own sandwich now Robin!

    What’s in it if he demands I make him one? :)

  6. A SuperDu sandwich, huh?! Sounds like a hero sandwich of some sort! I don’t know that I’ve ever had a hero sandwich, but isn’t it one that basically has everything on it? That’s what Shaggy and Scooby Doo would do … anything they can find in the fridge and cupboard.

  7. A Super Du sandwich…I’m thinking some pastrami, salami, some slices of pepperoni, naturally as a PR related sandwich– a slice of ham. Top that with some yellow mustard, a dash of Italian dressing, some micro-greens for the uppity muckity-muck clients and fresh sliced mushrooms, and possibly as an spicy option; sliced jalapenos. In staying on topic, no SuperDu PR and Advertising sandwich would be complete without a little cheese. Throw on slices of pepper-jack, Swiss, and provolone and serve on a sliced fresh baguette(preferable baked in New Orleans)

    Serve with a dill pickle on the side.

    PR folk can finish the sandwich off with their choice of Maalox or Bourbon



  8. LOL.

    And the mood was destroyed. No meat!

    Have to come up with a virgin Super-Du sandwich.

    Are you vegetarian or vegan as well? Too personal? No prob.

    I am a carnivore.

    Salad is what the food eats…..

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