How web design can be used to drown out the trolls

If there’s one constant in any griping discussion about the internet, it will be either the presence of trolls, or rants about trolls and trolling behaviour on just about any website you care to mention.

I should say, for the purposes of this article, that we’re not talking about the appalling abuses received by women lately on Twitter – which has moved far beyond trolling and into the space of criminal threats – but about the hijacking of discussions and similar.

How to protect yourself from patent trolls

As we move further into the digital space, it’s not enough to walk blindly into the technology wilderness anymore. Marketers, especially on the agency side, need to be careful when they are creating applications for their clients. Without forethought, they may be hit by what is  becoming a growing concern in digital: Patent trolls.

Brad Gross, Intellectual Property and Technology Law attorney, works with digital agencies, production and new media companies to help protect them from this new predator.

Letters Of Note axes comments as trolls take over

Trolls suckI’ve always been slightly bemused by the fact that Seth Godin doesn’t accept comments on his blog.

How can a marketing guru – and Seth has as good a claim to that title as anybody – say no to ‘PIE’, aka participation, interaction and engagement? Audience feedback is a big draw for many readers, and writers should embrace it too.

Maybe it’s the fact that moderating comments has always been a challenge? And that’s putting it politely. I’d be the first to admit that we haven’t yet figured it out. We use the Akismet spam filter but have found it to be rather imprecise. 

Comments are a time sink, no question about it. Manual intervention is still required and there aren’t many short cuts. For some sites, this is now so out of control that drastic action has been required.

Today I noticed that Shaun Usher, the smart chap behind the excellent Letters Of Note, has decided to switch off user comments completely. Why? Because of the trolls.