The best way to deal with internet trolls, according to an etiquette expert

Internet trolls spawn a lot of hate online.

To clarify, I’m not just talking about those online who disagree with you. I’m talking about awful ogres who lurk online for the sole purpose of harassing people.

We can all agree that trolls are awful, but how do you deal with them while preserving your dignity?

Tech Insider consulted Daniel Post Senning, a master in online etiquette, for some tips. He’s the author of “Manners in a Digital World,” a guide for being polite in the 21st century.

When a troll says something mean, your first instinct may be to say something mean back. But the biggest tool in your arsenal is not responding, Post Senning says. Ignoring trolls is both underrated and very powerful.

Trolls are a lot like bullies on the playground. They’re trying to provoke a reaction out of you, as they hide behind the comfort of their own computer screen.

“You’re dealing with an agitator,” Post Senning says. “They’re only there to disrupt or hurt. If that’s anyone’s goal, the less attention you give them the better.”

If someone keeps @-ing you, aka tagging you on social media to argue, you should block them, he adds. If the harassment gets serious, report them using the platform’s provided tools (These tools, of course, aren’t always the most effective, but reporting is the best — if only — action to take).

By ignoring trolls, you will save both your own sanity and show that you’re the better person, Post Senning says.

You may not get the last word, but that doesn’t mean you lost the battle. Haters gon’ hate.

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