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How to Smack Down a Troll

The next time someone posts something inflammatory just to rile people up, know how to smack them down -- and have some fun in the process.


  • Step 1: Exasperate them by limiting your responses to neutral utterances like "huh" and "hmmm."
  • Step 2: Tired of toying with your troll? Issue the ultimate smackdown: Report them to the moderator, who has the power to ban them from the online community.
  • FACT: A "patent troll" is a person or company that purchases a patent just so they can sue another company for selling a product that infringes on the patent.
  • Step 3: If you've got some time, compose a long-winded, completely nonsensical reply -- just to mess with them.
  • Step 4: Wanna have a little fun? Respond as if you totally misunderstood what they said. If you really want to needle them, pretend you think they're agreeing with you.
  • TIP: The acronym DFTT means "don't feed the trolls."
  • Step 5: Can't hold your tongue? Be annoyingly polite. Trolls want to enrage you; don't give them the satisfaction.
  • TIP: Don't bother arguing with a troll; they're not interested in having a legitimate debate.
  • Step 6: Ignore them. It's the worst thing you can do to a troll, whose sole purpose is to start a so-called "flame war" by provoking angry responses.

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