“Trolls are horrid carnivores found in nearly every clime. They are feared by most creatures, as a trolls knows no fear and attack unceasingly.” – Gary Gygax: Monster Manual (1st Edition)
Feeding trolls never works out well mostly. How can it? You’re one of their favorite foods. Sure, you might be able to feed them some tidbits but that won’t be enough. They’re gluttons who will bite the hand that feeds them. They’re also treacherous, quick to turn on their allies the moment their bellies rumble.
Let’s not forget there’s a huge time investment involved with feeding something that has a bottomless pit for a stomach. They’re always hungry which means they’re always looking to attack someone or something. There are a lot more pleasant and entertaining things you can be doing that doesn’t involve feeding a troll your body parts.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t breed. Sadly, once you feed a troll more will arrive on the scene. When they get together, they spawn like fish. That sort of thing does not bode well. Sure, you can go toe to toe with them and try to cull their ranks but trolls are resilient and able to withstand all sorts of punishment. You can beat one over the head and it will still spout the same gibberish as it tries to tear chunks out of you. Even the hottest flames will not deter them. It’s clearly a no win situation.
All of these things can be applied to forums and social media. You usually have nothing to gain from feeding a troll. It’s only on the rarest occasion that something worthwhile comes out of such a discussion. Now, you might be one of those types that enjoys going head to head with things that want to make a meal out of you. In that case, go have a party. For everyone else, use all that time and energy doing things you like.
The best way to deal with a troll is to not feed them. Let them die of starvation. If you happen to be on a moderated forum where trolling is against the rules, point them out to the powers that be. Let the power of the gods smite them.
Tomorrow, another author spotlight.