I’ll be honest with you. Last week I was one click away from shutting down my Facebook page for good. I was feeling burnt out, demoralized and discouraged. I’ve had two orchestrated attacks by animal rights extremist on my page over the last few weeks. You probably didn’t even notice. The attacks often occur in the wee hours of the morning and I’d awaken each day to my page full of hate and propaganda. It was offensive and stressful. The attacks would drag on for days. I felt violated by a bunch of strangers. I lost sleep over it.
I was brought up to be open minded and kind hearted. I treat people with respect even if I don’t agree with them. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt only to realize that some people will never return the favour. It’s my choice to share my life and my farm with the world and I expected some back lash but never to this extent. If you don’t want to take the time to learn about the how and the why of animal care please don’t bother commenting on my page. If you don’t want to read my answer then don’t ask a question. I’ll save my precious time for those who do. You call me a murderer, a rapist and selfish, but you don’t know me. You know nothing about the care I give my animals. You know nothing about my compassion and respect for life or my knowledge about farming. You watch extremist propaganda videos and assume that all farmers are the same. You haven’t even taken the time to read through any of my posts. Your comments wouldn’t be so ignorant if you had. I kindly take time to answer your questions only to have my response criticized. You don’t want to listen. You want to promote your agenda.
“If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.”
Facebook is full of trolls. An Internet troll is someone who purposely tries to stir up trouble on social media. Here are some hard lessons I’ve learned when dealing with trolls.
1) If you are unsure that they are a troll then give them the benefit of the doubt and address their concerns in a polite and positive way. Sometimes it is hard to tell an extremists troll from a genuinely concerned consumer. Regardless, always answer politely because the world is watching and you are representing your industry as a professional. Remember that there is nothing wrong with someone politely disagreeing with you in the first place.
2) If they continue to be negative and disrespectful then ignore them.”DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!” Their goal is to rile you. They thrive on pushing their agenda and arguing against reason.
3) Hide their comments if you wish. It’s YOUR page. You and the troll can see it, but the rest of your followers can’t. With their comments hidden the troll’s agenda cannot be fulfilled. It’s their turn to get frustrated.
4) If all else fails ban them from your page. I hate doing it, but there is only so much negativity that one person can handle. Don’t worry, their friends will soon be back to take their place. 😒 (Hint: you can often tell a lot about a follower by creeping their personal page. Trolls are often proud of the fact that they are bullies.)
5) Keep focusing on the positives. You have lots of people on your page who are willing to listen and discuss things politely even when they disagree.
6) Seek some support from fellow bloggers. They have all undoubtedly dealt with trolls and they can give you valuable advice and support.
I don’t hate the trolls. I actually feel sorry for them. Some are just misguided and some may even have some good arguments, but no one wants to listen to a one sided arguement full of hate. There will come a time when blogging will get to be too much for me, but I’ll quit on my own terms. I won’t be silenced by the trolls. I won’t let them win. I was bullied as a kid and I refuse to be bullied in an on-line world as an adult. Life is too short to focus on negativity. Caring for my animals and my family keeps me busy enough.🐮
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