Do you read the comment thread on your articles and columns? Sometimes, when a piece gets lots of social media attention, it’s hard not to. It’s even been suggested that depending on the tone of a comment thread, readers opinions can change. Comments are content, too. I’m don’t belong to any commenter community on any site, but I do read the threads on some of my favorite news sites. Sometimes they can be useful or just funny, and sometimes, they make me lose my faith in humanity.
In a recent essay, Jeff Jarvis sets out to define the troll. By using Aaron James’ Assholes: A Theory as a jumping point, Jarvis defines the troll as a specific, if not just web-based, animal. The troll is out for blood. Your blood. And responding to them only makes them happy.