Hate Accounts: How to Deal With Them


Screenshot of an actual conversation between me (Superkate-Studios) and a troll account.

Katelynn Biederman, Staff Writer

Let’s face it; in the modern age, technology is an essential part of our lives. The internet is what connects us all over the world and allows us to find anything in the blink of an eye. However, good things typically don’t exist without some negative aspect. What is exhilarating about the internet is the ability to be anonymous -to be completely in disguise. Unfortunately, the privilege of staying in the unknown has been abused over and over again by certain people whose intentions are hurtful.

Hate accounts (otherwise known as trolling accounts) are everywhere and anywhere you look. These accounts are usually made with the purpose of leaving or saying extremely hurtful things to a person or multiple people. There are usually no good intentions behind these accounts, and the hateful messages can lead to victims ceasing activity online, or in extreme cases, committing suicide. Recently, I have had the chance to witness not only multiple hate accounts, but the results that followed them. In the heat of the moment, many people respond in various ways to the hater. Often, the target will respond in a way they believe will shut the troll down.  Unfortunately, defensive responses are exactly what the hater is looking for. Due to this, I have to ask: Are these reactions really the right response to a hate account?

To answer this question, I draw on my own experience. Recently, I had the unfortunate opportunity to interact with a troll account on Wattpad, a website for future authors. This person unfairly criticized several of my friends’ books using foul and offensive language claiming he was, “telling it as it [was].” When my friends decided to engage the user and point out he was being hurtful, the user responded they couldn’t handle the “truth.” At first, I wasn’t aware of this troll and his activity until he directed his attention to me and my book, even though I had no involvement in the original incident. It was after this attack I decided to do something about the harassment.
So what did I do?
At first, I decided to message the owner of the hate account to request he keep his fights off my grounds (a.k.a. the comments sections of my books). However, as the chat progressed, my intentions of being friendly quickly turned sour as the hate account owner moved his trolling to my books. I decided it would be a good idea to give this person a taste of their own medicine. With every comment he made, I attempted to turn it back at him and show him it didn’t bother me. What I did to deal with this user is exactly what any other person would try to do; attempt to out troll the troll. But it wasn’t a good solution. I was so set on trying to out-do this person just as a way of defending my friends, that I forgot what I was doing wasn’t the best way to deal with the situation. I was ignoring my own advice to not make any attempts to engage a troll account. In short, I was no better than the troll who started the mess in the first place.

In addition to my personal encounter, two of the people I follow have been dealing with troll accounts. I had the pleasure of asking both of them how they were dealing with the situation. One friend, showed me the difference between saying what you’re doing, and doing what you’re saying. This user told me that due to a short temper, quickly reacting to a troll without thought ends up creating a 200 plus comment chain full of hate towards hate, with more and more people joining.

Another person I talked to, dubbed Storm, talked me through her situation. Storm’s attacker started a mass spamming because they had said some pretty hurtful things that ticked off a few of Storm’s friends. In addition, the hater stole stories that didn’t belong to them, which is not tolerated on the site. All at once, Storm and her friends decided to react and try to get this person banned. They’ve tried to talk to the person but resorted to spamming every chapter this hater put out. As of now the plan isn’t going as well as hoped, as the hater is still coming back again and again.

After gathering all this info and experience, I’ve discovered the three main ways a person will handle a hate account:

Mass mob the person. Often times this happens when a much more popular person or account has been attacked, and their followers decide that it’s their job to absolutely obliterate the hater who dared disturb their precious idol. The results of this are often tiring, and not very effective, as proven by the case I talked about before. The situation can get out of hand very fast, and the original person who was attacked is left in a very awkward spot. They can’t control how their followers act, and it ends up becoming a problem for both the idol, and the hater.

Give them a taste of their own medicine. This is more of what I did in my situation. I attempted to turn every comment against this troll to try and teach him a lesson. But, this only encouraged him more. Instead of responding in what I thought was a clever way to deal with him, I was really no better than the hater. It solves nothing, and makes the situation snowball into something unpleasant.

So if mass mobbing and spamming doesn’t work, and attempting to give the hater a taste of their own medicine doesn’t work, then what third method does work?
Just block, report, and ignore. These accounts should never be paid attention to or interacted with, because it could get you in trouble. Spamming should never be done, because it buries the original hate comment, and trying to reverse the hater’s comments just encourages them more. This advice is what I believe is the best way to deal with a hater or troll. It may not always work, as multiple accounts could be made in the hater’s name and they can never go away, but it is indeed the best way to handle the situation without having escalating it too much. The downside of this is that not many people tend to think of following the advice when dealing with a hater. In the heat of the moment, most of us don’t tend to think rationally. Instead, we react on impulse, and attempt to bring the hater down. As hard as it is, the best way to deal with a hater is to simply ignore them. It’s best not to encourage them, or even acknowledge they exist. When in doubt: block, report, and ignore. It’s not a cure all for all haters, but it’ll keep things from getting out of hand.