(and yes, I intended on making the title sound like Austin Powers. LOL)
Why am I writing a blog post on trolls? They are an internet nuisance, yes. They are troublesome, yes. But for the most part we can ignore them, and they’ll go away. We shouldn’t “feed the trolls” by replying to them, and engaging in an online argument with them. And, really it’s no big deal, right?
Well, not always.
I was verbally attacked by a troll at Self-Publishing Review today. I did nothing and said nothing to warrant said attack. At all. Out of all the other pro-indie authors on that site, this loser attacked ME personally. Nobody else, JUST ME.
I responded back, but probably shouldn’t have…I was merely defending myself. I usually laugh trolls off. Even trolls by proxy can be bested with wise words, and then dismissed (they usually leave the site and hide when you call them out anyways. Especially the really passive-aggressive ones).
But–this particular troll, in efforts to dismiss all self-publishing as “unsalable” and “unedited” singled ME out, addressed ME, and attacked my personal character. It was one of those hitting-below-the-belt-unnecessarily-nasty kind of digs at me. At first I had tunnel vision (or something) and thought they actually had read and hated my book or else someone who knows and dislikes ME. No, it was just a random attack by some clueless person who barely spoke/wrote English.
I kindly, and politely asked Mr. Henry Baum who runs the site to delete it. And, he was kind enough to comply and delete both the troll post and my response.
It was a big deal to me, because a) it took my whole post out of context, making me sound like I was patting myself on the back. I am not like that. b) It singled ME out. ME. And, I was concerned the person was “cyber stalking” or “cyber bullying” me, and was going to go to each site where she saw my name (including amazon) and further defame my character. Their whole “point” if you could call it that was very pro-spindustry, anti-self-pub, pro-dead tree publishing. But, the idiot called me out as being a poster child for egomania, and acted like I was going into brick & mortar stores and pushing my books on unsuspecting “shop girls.” Something I have
yet to do never done, as I am too shy to go about “hard selling” that way. I am far too shy to, and I don’t have the time to peddle myself around in that fashion. MY post was about reading, not writing anyways. But the idiot troll couldn’t grasp that I guess.
I have no idea what I did to attract the attentions of a cyber-bullying troll (and what I said that provoked this idiot was about the books I like to read–not write–oddly enough). But, in a way it scared me. I wondered if they would pick on me, repeatedly…making me not want to revisit one of my favorite sites anymore. Geez, I felt like I was back in Grade school again…not wanting to go down a certain hallway for fear of bullies.
Then I realized that’s stupid. I’m a grown adult. Trolls only make fools of themselves, and always misrepresent facts. Their only agenda is to cause upset, and why give them the satisfaction. And, the person was REALLY stupid, and childish claiming “You will never be published” when in fact I already have. I don’t think that the periodicals that have published my short works & poetry would have published ME if I was “unpublishable” as they claim.
Asking Henry to merely remove the character-attacking, comment was the best option. I’m sure he’ll be aware of it if said troll decides to attack me again, or any other author on that site.