1. The Grammar Nazi.
Traits: They’re physically unable to not point out any and every spelling mistake or grammatical error they find on the internet, and are under the impression that such mistakes instantly discredit what the writer was trying to say. Basically, their dicks. (See what we did there?)
How to combat them: Employ a proofreader.
2. The Shouter.
Traits: They’re angry. So, so angry. They’re angered by happy people, sad people, other angry people, cats, badgers, themselves, politicians and humus.
How to combat them: Steal their Caps Lock key.
3. The Hater.
Traits: They don’t need a motive, they just move from victim to victim saying not very nice things and making you feel like you’ve done something to deserve it. Which is nice.
How to combat them: Say the words “haters gonna hate” three times in the mirror every morning.
4. The Twister.
Traits: They take everything you say out of context, and use it to make you sound like a douche. The tabloid journalists of the trolling world.
How to combat them: Don’t say anything. Ever.
5. The Preacher.
Traits: Whatever the topic, they’ll find some way of turning it into a great theological debate. And all you wanted to do was Instagram a picture of your dinner.
How to combat them: Avoid touchy subjects, and learn to use the block button.
6. The Point Misser.
Traits: The Point Misser lacks the part of the brain that detects humour and loves nothing more than complaining about TV shows they haven’t even seen.
How to combat them: Add a winky face to everything you write so they know you’re joking.
7. The Line Crosser.
Traits: In the words of Joey Tribbiani, “You’re so far past the line, you can’t even see the line. The line is a dot to you!”. They hide behind their online persona and think this means the usual rules of society don’t apply.
How to combat them: Leave them to it. They aren’t worth the worry.
8. The Cryer.
Traits: They tend to take everything as a personal assault, and love nothing more than feeling offended. And if they can’t feel offended directly, they also love being offended on other people’s behalves.
How to combat them: Ignore them for ten minutes, they’ll soon find something else that offends them.
9. The Know-it-all.
Traits: Whatever you know, they know more. They spend a lot of their time attempting to discredit every Guardian article ever written, whilst still claiming it’s their favourite newspaper.
How to combat them: Introduce them to Stephen Fry. When they realise they don’t know more than him their head will implode.
10. The Idiot.
Traits: You haven’t seen them since you were 14, and you’re suddenly wondering why you accepted their Facebook friend request.They comment on your pictures of the Eiffel Tower telling you how much they love Blackpool. Hmm.
How to combat them: Defriending them is perhaps too harsh, but this is when Facebook’s restricted profile functionality comes into its own.
11. The Political Commentator.
Traits: Imaginative use of swear words and an ability to twist everything into an argument about misspending the taxpayer’s money is a must.
How to combat them: To be honest, they’re often quite funny. As this article proves.
12. The Peacemaker.
Traits: Arguing with a troll is a dangerous game, but it turns out that some internet commenters are in fact normal people with unprecedented levels of common sense.
13. The Genuinely Funny Troll
The concept of trolling isn’t necessarily wrong. Sometimes people say stupid things, and they deserve to be gently ribbed. Occasionally you’ll see someone write something you don’t agree with, and of course you have the right to reply. Keep your tongue in your cheek, don’t be cruel, and wonderful things can happen…
- President Obama is visiting New Orleans neighborhoods today to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. ›
- Reporters across the U.S. are posting #WeStandWithWDBJ tributes on social media following Wednesday's on-air killing of two journalists. ›
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said (on Faceboook, obviously) that one billion people used the service on Monday. ›