HOUSEKEEPING NOTE….Since I’ve been getting a surge in email on the subject of trolls, I guess I might as well write a post about it and get it over with.
Question: Can’t I do something about some of the more annoying trolls in the comment section?
Answer: No, not really. The only tool I have to ban commenters is via their IP address, and this is generally useless. Very few people have fixed IP addresses, and all they have to do is reboot to get a new one.
I do have the ability to delete comments, of course, but this is a lot harder than it sounds. I write a lot of posts and get a lot of comments, and patrolling them is literally a full time job. What’s more, the obsessive commenters are simply more willing to dedicate their lives to this than I am. If I delete their comments, they often go on a rampage and start spamming the comment section with dozens of copies of their posts. I don’t have any tools at my disposal to stop this.
For now, I can only repeat the standard (and best) advice for dealing with trolls: ignore them. They want attention, and when you reply to their posts you just encourage them to post further. For trolls, the whole point of writing incendiary, insulting, or racist remarks is to hijack the thread and get people to react to them. If you don’t, they’ll eventually get bored and go away.