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Turn Trolls into a net to catch some internet love!

Job done!  The Daily Telegraph has won the war against social media bullying, trolls and flaming!  Or, maybe they just got bored and moved on….

Gazumped by today’s news that a Melbourne man has been arrested for the brutal murder of a local woman, the #StopTheTrolls campaign might be on its last gasp as interest begins to wane and the focus returns to larger and more newsworthy items.

For proponents of the paper’s campaign, the announcement by Twitter to work closely with the Australian law enforcement to try and deal with some of the more serious incidents of cyber bullying is a huge victory, but other’s suggest that police might be knocking on the The Daily Telegraph’s door (if you take the definition of a troll to heart.)

A Troll is: ”One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”

Unfortunately for the Daily Telegraph, their quest to stop trolls has resulted in their publication actually fitting that definition better than their intended targets.  In an effort to sell newspapers and grab the nation’s attention – their #StopTheTrolls campaign has been incredibly disruptive and certainly taken attention away from major local and international news events.

What does this mean for business?

For brands and organisations who have a large social media presence, dealing with negative feedback, flaming and trolls is a very regular occurrence.  Having a strong understanding of what posts and comments are ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ and how you will respond to them is important, but it is more critical is grasping that a negative rant on your wall or page offers you a huge opportunity to come out on-top when it comes to Trolls.

Most internet savvy individuals understand that there are some nasty people out there, but how a brand chooses to respond to these people can garner more attention and loyalty than simply deleting their posts and comments.

Stop, breath and formulate an intelligent response.  Remember that taking all personality out of your response is likely to be seen as an opportunity for your troll to wage another attack on the ‘faceless’ corporation.  Don’t be rude, but present the facts and explain an alternative position – you’ll make fans along the way.

An example of someone formulating an intelligent response to a negative post was outlined on Mashable and is a fantastic example of how a bit of brain-power can turn a hater into a net to catch some love.

Kaur’s response

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-) So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. :) I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.
6 days ago

The first apology from European_Douchebag, posted in the original thread

I don’t know if anyone is gonna see this but OP here! It was a fairly asshole-ish thing to post this. After apologizing and talking with Balpreet I’ve seen how stupid this post was in the first place isn’t funny at all. Yeah it’s not something you see everyday but that doesn’t make it funny. Hopefully you guys won’t remember me as “that douchebag that posted the picture of the Sikh girl!”
2 days ago

The public apology posted by “European_Douchebag

I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post. wasn’t the proper place to post this.

Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn’t be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit’s been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we’ve done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I’m sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn’t 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It’s fucking reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.

I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.

So reddit I’m sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity.
Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am
Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life.
Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.
An outpouring of support for Kaur from the Reddit community
You are one of the most genuine and beautiful human being I’ve come across in my LIFETIME. It’s hard to rise beyond the societal image and its idealistic views of what we ought to look like outside.

2 days ago

You’re a rockstar. I wish people of all religions, genders, faiths, ethnicity, nationalities, and races (to name a few) would have an attitude half as great as yours. I bet we’d have a lot less hate in this world. Good on you!

2 days ago

GO YOU. The planet needs more you.

3 days ago

I saw this post/your comment going around facebook and came here to tell you you’re awesome, and now I see that we go to the same school! I want to be your friend because you’re awesome, but that seems really creepy of me.

3 days ago

Thanks for remind me that the people I see online are REAL PEOPLE with feelings!

5 days ago

You are awesome. If you faith has made you this well-adjusted and positive and secure in your own skin and focused on the things in life that truly matter, then I am glad that there are Sikhs in this world. The world could use more people like you.

2 days ago

I’m so glad you posted; you are the epitome of what I love about humanity. I support your ways, and I admire your strength. :)

5 days ago

You are an amazing person. Thank you for posting. :)

6 days ago

28 September, 2012 - No Comments