(SMH) Jenny Muk–Fighting trolls is more than a motherhood statement

“Mother of all rows”, the headlines trilled, but parenting website Babyology’s very public slapdown of overzealous trolls earlier this week sent out a clear message. Shut up or back off.

Here’s a recap: trolls targeted the site’s popular Facebook page with tirades of abuse, taking offence at anything and everything – from posts regarding children’s parties, to having siblings too close together, to being unable to breastfeed. (Where is the milk of human kindness when you really need it?)

The site’s moderators had long been used to filtering such vitriol. In the past their policy was to simply hide offensive posts from their 115,000+ followers and deny the “poster” a ready audience.

But everyone has their tipping point. That moment came for a Babyology staff member who was left “in tears” after being attacked over the way she had decorated her son’s nursery.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology, Women

8 comments on “(SMH) Jenny Muk–Fighting trolls is more than a motherhood statement

  1. Cennydd13 says:

    The one thing that trolls want the most is attention. They thrive on it. I used to go toe to toe with some of them, but I learned that doing so only made matters worse, and therefore I now avoid them. They don’t like that, but I now say “Tough luck. Too bad you don’t like being ignored.”

  2. sophy0075 says:

    I agree. I have given up commenting on news or opinion articles posted on newspaper websites; those seem to attract more trolls than the proverbial flies to honey. Amazon is also attracting them, particularly in reviews of any book concerned with Intelligent Design.

  3. Undergroundpewster says:

    The rule is “Don’t feed the trolls.” They may get mad, but they won’t multiply.

  4. Ad Orientem says:

    Having fought a few battles with trolls on my blog (one fairly recently) I empathize. But the best policy is to deny them a platform. If they are aggressive then you just ban them and on more heavily trafficked sites you may need to moderate comments.

  5. Cennydd13 says:


  6. Emerson Champion says:

    “Don’t feed the trolls” is certainly the rule of the day. But one thing that helps is to require full name and city/state of residence to accompany any posts. Many trolls hide behind a vague user name, and are a lot more reticent when they have to tell the world who they really are. Though I recognize that even that requirement doesn’t eliminate all trolls.

  7. paradoxymoron says:

    My favorite was the troll whose real name was exposed in the address bar when you clicked on his profile. Turns out that he was a minister, who suddenly lost his voice when I posted quotes about tolerance from his church’s own website.

  8. Cennydd13 says:

    Yep, and you caught the guy dead to rights!