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October 8, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
"I'm just worried about it turning into something negative."
I've had this response more than once to a good story idea from a source who was nervous about how it would be interpreted by "the trolls."
Those of you online reading this are probably all-too-familiar with the trolls. The ones who can take any story and put it in the worst possible frame. They attack letters to the editor from elementary kids, and I'm sure just saying their names (like "BeetleJuice") will bring them scurrying with their fangs and claws bared. Some are just annoying: the Debbie Downers, or the trolls who have a one-note agenda they hammer over and over. Then there are the truly vicious ones that make the attacks personal and willing to sling mud (or worse) at anyone in throwing distance.
So here's a little reprise from a blog I wrote last year:
"Do Not Feed the Trolls" (originally posted Sept. 22, 2011)
As you venture into cyberworld, There's one piece of advice to hold, When they scare or anger, please remember, Do Not Feed the Trolls.
The trolls, they live and thrive, On negativity and bad vibes. They insult what's close to your soul, But Do Not Feed the Trolls.
They may just seem like Debbie Downers, Or some know-it-all from the next town yonder, But listen closely and you'll know, If you're dealing with a troll.
The troll is right, everyone else is wrong, They pick fights to make you lose control, No argument will ever sway them, So Do Not Feed the Trolls!
Their lives exist for being contrary, To any story that unfolds. But don't take offense, just step away, And DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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"Do Not Feed the Trolls"