Don’t feed the trolls!

Don’t feed the trolls!

I have been tangentially involved with some local concerns lately. And as a facilitator of reporting for hosts and organizers, I’ve had a position that puts me sort of in the middle of things.

Which paints a target on me. And highlights everything I do wrong because I’m human.

Which is stressful as fuck for so many reasons, but I believe that it’s worth it. And I’m open to being called out for my mistakes and learning from them.

And that’s been happening.

And I’m learning.

But during all of this, there have been several sock accounts and unknowns also piling in. And several people have warned me either publicly or privately, “It’s a TROLL!”

And my answer, “So what?”

I mean, I do have personal boundaries in all of my conversations. They are pretty simple:

  1. People can attack me, but if they attack others (especially whole groups of people), I will remove them.
  2. If people misrepresent me, my words, or my intentions, I will correct. This is my right. And I will also not lie about what others say.
  3. Even in correction, I will do my best to be compassionate because I know when people are hurting, memory is a slippery fucking thing. I sometimes fail, and that often feeds the flames, but I’m OK with that, too.
  4. When someone seems intent on stirring things with NO visible interest in creating good, I will remove them.

So, I apply these boundaries to every comment and engagement.

And if they meet these qualifications, then I don’t care if they are a sock or someone I don’t know. I will treat their concern as valid.

BECAUSE IT IS.

The questions people ask anonymously may seem meaner or more direct or possibly even provoking. That’s fine. It’s harder, sure. It’s more stressful.

BUT THEY HAVE QUESTIONS, TOO.

And they might be afraid to ask those questions as themselves. Or are not able to. Or are reducing their possible trauma. Or, frankly, are afraid of me and retaliation.

Or maybe they are stirring shit.

But if they have that question AND it’s been posted, then my answer is not just for them, but for everyone reading and watching and wondering the same thing.

Hell, they might actually represent more than just themselves.

So if they meet my criteria, then I will answer. And do my best to be kind. And will probably sometimes fail.

But they will get an answer, too. Troll, sock, or whatever.

What are your thoughts?

Am I wrong in my thinking? Should I have a “Don’t feed the trolls!” policy?

What would you do?

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