How to Handle Trolls and Negative Feedback on Social Media

How to Handle Trolls and Negative Feedback on Social Media

August 22, 2018 by

The internet has given a voice to the trolls, the comment hecklers, and the self-important. Of course, it’s also given a voice to those who actually have something important to say or those who have a product that will make the world better. But, as they say, “a rising tide lifts all ships,” so the wise and the foolish are both amplified. The internet is that tide.

Churches must exist online to cut through the over-saturated advertisement market and get noticed—so we can reach people who are not connected to Jesus where they already exist. But in doing so, you’re going to have to deal with the comment hecklers and trolls, just like going into the jungle means you’re going to have to deal with the mosquitoes that suck your blood and can give you malaria.

How You Respond Matters

Whenever you’re responding to online negativity, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about the heckler; it’s also about the people watching you handle the heckler.

Stand-up comedians know this. They have to deal with hecklers while continuing to entertain the rest of the room.

  • Some comedians will roast the heckler right back until they quit.
  • Others will flat out ask for security to escort them out.
  • Some will invite them into the act a little in the hopes they will realize that the rest of the room paid to see the comedian, not them.

Online, we have to handle each situation a little differently too, because the attacks of an internet troll or comment heckler change depending on the person and the platform.

Learning to identify the type of attack will help you know what type of response is needed. Let’s take a look at some of the most common attacks and then you can download our resource to learn more and figure out how to fend off even the nastiest of trolls.

Types of Trolls

Here are a dozen common trolls we’ve come across:

  • The Wait, What?
  • The Snide Remark
  • The I Just Didn’t Like It
  • The Something Went Wrong
  • The I Love Four-Letter Words
  • The Debate Team Champ of 1986
  • The Helicopter Member
  • The You’re the Greatest!
  • The One Star Mic Drop
  • The Obvi-bot
  • The Incoherent Ramble
  • The Recognized Issue

Get the Resource

Download our How to Handle Trolls resource for tips on how to handle each one of these trolls, including a basic response structure you can apply to any situation.

Spoiler alert: Just be human. It’s good advice for responding to anyone.


This is one of the resources our Courageous Storytellers members got access to as a part of our public relations month. We’re sharing it with you to give you a taste of the quality content and super practical resources we offer to our members. Every month Courageous Storytellers gets better as our library of resources gets bigger. Join now.

Post By:

Seth Muse

Seth Muse is the communications director at Hope Fellowship in Texas. He hosts the Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast and is an avid blogger.
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