Q: Why do you argue with the plague rats? It’s not like you are going to change their mind?
A: I’m not trying to convert them. I’m using their techniques against them.
Trolls are not about convincing you.
They are about putting on a show for others. By receptivity showing their audience, they are full of shit by posting links to respected and well-known universities (That they wish they could enrol their kids ) makes someone who is on the fence think twice before joining their cause. Also when a troll gets angry they start posting all kinds of links and memes that I can use in my research. A link they think is important is very valuable for my data. I have manipulated a few into providing links for me using this method. (even after telling them that was what I was doing )
But there are some rules for fighting disinformation
Remember we are using social media algorithms as a weapon. We are also working on discrediting them in a way that dose not rally other to their cause.
Never comment on a post they have provided
The algorithms will show it higher on peoples feed. (feeding the disinformation) However when they comment on a PSA that is providing advice (wear a mask, get the jab etc ) go for it as it will use the algorithms to help spread the important message
Never be cruel Your stating of facts will be enough to anger them.
Remember the game is to win over the audience. Cruelty only forces someone to pick sides. Be the most reasonable person in the room. Try to stay calm. If you get angry they win.
- Stick to the facts
- Never call them names
- You never know who is reading the blog. Being crule only makes you look bad.
They have the burden to proof
They make a claim make them prove it. Ask for links. Demand links. If they claim that the White House is made of spicy mayo make them provide the link. However, if you have a claim have your links ready. (I’m working on a blog post with a bunch of links for this very reason)
Thoroughly read your links before posting headlines that are deceptive
You do not want to prove their points for them by doing a basic google search then posting the first thing that comes up. This is often the reason why an anti-vaxxer will post links to a blog post but not notice that all the other links on the website are to UFO sitings and lizardmen.
Stick to the subject Do not get baited into other topics
It’s a common troll trick to get you distracted.
Do not fight on their home turf The “rule of birds of a feather”
On social media means that if you start commenting on their feed or an anti-Vaxx group it’s pointless as everyone in the room is already convinced. Only comment on neutral or pro-science groups.
Post as many memes as you can.
The reason why anti-maskers & vaxxers use memes is that they are easy to digest and very easy to share. If you create new memes check your facts before posting.
Avoid posting news links
Anti-masker and anti-maskers do not trust mainstream media. Anything you post will be instantly dismissed. and will be used to leverage their “They are trying to manipulate you ” narrative.
Report users who are spreading disinformation.
There is a good chance they are working for a troll farm.
. —– You will never convert a troll. but you can discredit them enough to prevent them from gaining followers.