Category Archives: Social Networking

How to deal with Trolls Online

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Years ago, back when Google+ was still in the invite phase, I wrote the following article on Google+ Netiquette:

Google+ Netiquette

Years have gone by and the pleasant days of invite only are gone and now we deal with trolls on a daily basis.  If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve dealth with trolls.  But what IS a troll?

Troll Defined

According to Google, it’s someone that “make(s) a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.”

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According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s “Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.”

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Let’s look at some real life examples of trolling, shall we?

Here’s a typical one I encountered recently.  During an innocent conversation about someone that got a chip on their Gorilla Glass screen on their Samsung Galaxy S7 phone, which, has a premium build glass and metal body (that’s important to follow the trolliness here)…

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So, this troll jumped into an ongoing, pleasant conversation instantly stating lies (or he’s just 2 generations behind on his knowledge of what Samsung phones are made of), then he jumps to drastically wrong assumptions, repeats his misinformation, jumps to massive conclusions, attacks the entire Android platform, then expands his insults to all Android users across the entire planet, then accused me of being the troll when I called him out on his trolliness.  This thread went on further with more of the same.

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Good Luck Lifestyle Theme Trolls 5″ – Ballerina by Play Along

This is just the latest troll I’ve dealt with and is a typical example of the trolls I deal with almost daily.  No doubt, in true troll form, if this troll ever sees this post, he’ll make a new thread claiming this post is all about him.  Reminds me of the old Carly Simon song, “You’re So Vain” … you probably think this song is about you.  Would be the same with any troll that I used as an example here.  This is just the most recent one at the time of this posting.

Of course, you see this behavior on any subject where people have opinions… politics, religion, science, favorite devices, etc…

But, how do you DEAL with these trolls?

There are 2 schools of thought on this and they’re both equally valid:

  1. Ignore them and the’ll go away.  Also known as “Don’t feed the trolls”.
  2. Take them on.

The conventional wisdom is “don’t feed the trolls”.  The theory goes that they only post to get people riled up and if you ignore them, they’ll go away.

While that’s true for some trolls, and in my opinion, a very small minority of them, it’s not true for all trolls and it’s my experience that it’s not true for most of them.  Ditto for the claim that they just want to rile people up.  My experience in dealing with them going all the way back to 1988 is that most of them are just people with strong opinions, poor social skills, and an extraordinarily sensitive ego.  Their purpose is not to rile people, but to make themselves feel better by belittling others.  When uncontested, they feel vendicated and that is a reward to them to do more of the same.

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So, step 1, Don’t be a Troll!

See these Google+ Netiquette tips

Step 2:  Understand that you’re not necessarily dealing with this one troll, but combating a larger problem of trolls everywhere.

Step 3:  Determine what kind of troll this person is.  Are they just confused and if you provide corrected information, will it fix them?  Or, are they a repeat troller or trolling in a known trolling topic (such as iOS vs. Android or Republican vs. Democrat)?

Step 4:  Always try to first resolve issues politely and respectfully, even when the other party isn’t being respectful… IF you’re not sure they’re a repeat offender or trolling on a repeat troll topic.

Step 5:  Establish yourself as a polite, honest, reasonable person.  Politely try to resolve the problem.  Don’t give them an opportunity to label you as a troll.  They’ll do this anyway, but when you’re being more than polite, it only makes them look more ridiculous.  This is a big hit to their ego.

Step 6:  Re-confirm that you’re goal is to get to the truth, not to argue, and that you’d appreciate being treated with respect and that you’ll provide him (or her) with respect too.  Killing them with kindness makes their heads explode.  On a few occassions, they realize what they’ve done and apologize.  Sometimes they just leave, licking their wounds, usually blocking you on the way out.

There are, however, times when a troll needs a true smackdown.  I caution against this unless you can hold your own and are an expert in the topic being discussed.  Don’t be rude for the sake of being rude (that’s trolling), but feel free to mirror their insults.  Copying and pasting their own text against them is a great way to mirror their bad behavior that they can’t tag you on, because they’re actually the ones that wrote it.  Make absolutely certain that your facts are correct, because if you make any factual mistakes, YOU will be called out.  Keep reminding them that you tried to be civil, rational, and respectful, but they chose this path and you’re simply reciprocating the style of discussion that they chose… that it appears to be the only style they’ll pay attention to.  Also, trolls hate it when you use complex sentences and multisyllabic words or sound educated in any way.

Conclusion

When a troll has an unpleasant experience trolling (when their ego is hurt), they’ll think twice before trolling again, especially against you.

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CSRSS.EXE is NOT a Trojan–Windows help phone scam!

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Help me impede the scammers!

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Quick Disclaimer:  Yes, there IS a virus or trojan that uses the name csrss.exe, BUT……….

There’s a phone scam going on where someone from India calls you up from out of the blue, claiming to be from Microsoft support, responding to your computer problem (which you may or may have not put in a request for help… usually not), then scamming you to give them control of your PC, where they trick you into buying fake warranties for many hundreds of dollars, while also stealing your financial information and all your passwords.  They’ll give you tons of fake evidence that your computer is infected with trojans and viruses.

Part of their success lies in the fact that while they have remote control of your PC (that you were tricked into giving them), they’ll use your PC to Google for csrss.exe then the first link in the search results claims that it is a trojan virus.  IT IS NOT!  csrss.exe is a core part of Windows.  However, it’s likely true that some trojans disguise themselves as csrss.exe.  BUT, 100% of all Windows PCs have a LEGITIMATE file called csrss.exe.  If you have the file, AND YOU DO (if you’re running Windows)!, it does not mean you have a virus or a trojan.  You absolutely have to have this file or your system will not function.

What can you do to help me impede the scammers?

This may sound self serving, admittedly, but I need you to search for csrss.exe on Google and NOT click anything except a link to this page, right here.  That will push this page up in the Google rankings.  Why?  Because when the scammers are pulling up the csrss.exe search in Google on their next victim’s PC, hopefully the victims will see THIS search result and put a stop to the scam.

If it makes you feel better, I’ll even refrain from putting any advertisements in this article.  It’s more important that we stop the scammers than I make a couple cents over a year or so (and yes, if I had an ad on this page, I’d only be getting a few pennies PER YEAR, if anything at all!)

Also, please share this article in whatever form you can to spread the word about the scam and to encourage others to do the same with the search rankings.

Have you received a similar call from these people?

Let us know in the comments.

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It’s YOUR fault GMail puts important E-Mail in the SPAM folder!

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That’s right!  Did you know that Google’s GMail spam filter is largely based on its users marking e-mail as spam?  For example, if you voluntarily signed up for an e-newsletter, then decide you don’t want it anymore, if you mark it as spam, which it is not! because you asked for it! then other people, who also signed up for it stop getting it because when enough of you mark the SAME e-mail (which is NOT spam) as “spam”, GMail considers it spam and starts moving it into the spam folder of every GMail user that subscribes to it.

What you can do to stop the madness

It’s your civil and moral responsibility to unsubscribe from e-mail that you signed up for.  In every legitimate E-Mail subscription that you signed up for, each issue e-mailed to you will have an unsubscribe link, usually somewhere at the bottom.   USE THAT unsubscribe link instead of giving a false spam report.

I recently received a letter in the mail from a financial firm for which I do business and have money in.  The letter said that they haven’t heard from me in a while and were about to give my account to the state as an “abandoned” account.  After going through my GMail spam folder, I see that SAME letter in there from weeks earlier!  You know why it’s there?  Because some people that did or do business with this firm decided they didn’t want to receive any more mail from them and instead of doing the right thing and properly unsubscribing, they marked it as spam in GMail.  That caused the GMail servers to automatically move everyone else’s into the spam folder too!

So, STOP DOING THAT!

Of the 76 e-mail messages in my spam folder for the past 30 days, only 6 of them were legitimate spam.  Why?  See above.  You are destroying the reliability of the GMail spam filters.

Your actions online don’t always just affect you.  In this case, they have a detrimental effect on other users.  Sure, this is definitely partly Google’s fault, but it’s also partly your fault too (if you’re one of the ones doing this).

So, please stop doing this and please pass the word along so others stop doing it too.

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crb tech dba jobs in pune

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There’s some jerk on Google+ spamming just about every community group with the a bit.ly link to a Google search for:

crb tech dba jobs in pune

So, I’m hoping this article finds its way to the top of the Google search for those keywords.  The spammer’s profile has NOTHING but about 100 of the same spam… each one in a different community.  Communities like “I love myself”, “Nature”, “I love animals”… totally nothing to do with CRB Tech DBA jobs in Prune.

JobSpammer

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Google InBox Invite Winner #5

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Alrighty!,  It’s now time for the FIFTH Google Inbox invite give away.  If you want one too, click here and give us an entertaining sob story.

Google InBox Invite

…you’ll have a better chance at winning if you share a link to that page and post YOUR link of your share on the invite form.  To get the link to your post, if you’re on the desktop browser, right-click the timestamp on your post and copy the link, then paste THAT into the web form.  To get the link from your phone or tablet, OPEN your post where you shared mine, open the menu, and choose “Link”, which will copy it to your clipboard.  Then paste it into the web form in your mobile browser.  Our 1st and 2nd winners did that and so has this 4th winner.  And here’s our latest winner’s sob story:

 

“Curiously I cry for Inbox. Corn Flakes do not taste good with salty tears falling from my eyes. Please don’t make me eat salty Corn Flakes anymore.”

OK.  I won’t make you do it anymore.

Congratulations to Jimmy Richards!  For his sob story.  He has just won an invite to InBox!  I hope you enjoy it!

Jimmy Richards

The competition is NOT over and if you’ve already entered and didn’t win this one, you’re STILL in the running and could win the next one!

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Google InBox Invite Winner #4

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OK, FOURTH  Google Inbox invite give away.  If you want one too, click here and give us an entertaining sob story.

Google InBox Invite

…you’ll have a better chance at winning if you share a link to that page and post YOUR link of your share on the invite form.  To get the link to your post, if you’re on the desktop browser, right-click the timestamp on your post and copy the link, then paste THAT into the web form.  To get the link from your phone or tablet, OPEN your post where you shared mine, open the menu, and choose “Link”, which will copy it to your clipboard.  Then paste it into the web form in your mobile browser.  Our 1st and 2nd winners did that and so has this 4th winner.  And here’s our latest winner’s sob story:

“My girlfriend lives in Kainan, Japan and I desperately -sniff- need a sleek way to better communicate with her. -SOB-“

Congratulations to Spencer Williams!  For his sob story.  He has just won an invite to InBox!  I hope you enjoy it!

Spencer Williams

The competition is NOT over and if you’ve already entered and didn’t win this one, you’re STILL in the running and could win the next one!

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Google InBox Invite Winner #3

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Time to announce the THIRD Google Inbox invite give away.  If you want one too, click here and give us an entertaining sob story.

Google InBox Invite

…you’ll have a better chance at winning if you share a link to that page and post YOUR link of your share on the invite form.  To get the link to your post, if you’re on the desktop browser, right-click the timestamp on your post and copy the link, then paste THAT into the web form.  To get the link from your phone or tablet, OPEN your post where you shared mine, open the menu, and choose “Link”, which will copy it to your clipboard.  Then paste it into the web form in your mobile browser.  Our 1st and 2nd winners did that.  And here’s our latest winner’s sob story:

“I had a dream that if I don’t successfully get an inbox invite then everyone’s gmail account will switch to IMAP based outlook accounts and  pandemonium breaks out. We don’t need that, do we?”

That would be fun!

Congratulations to Jason Johnson!  For his sob story AND thank you Jason, for voluntarily helping me test the website.  He has just won an invite to InBox!  I hope you enjoy it!

Jason Johnson

The competition is NOT over and if you’ve already entered and didn’t win this one, you’re STILL in the running and could win the next one!

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Google InBox Invite Winner #2

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I’ve received even more entries for a Google InBox Invite.  I’ve selected the second invite winner now, who filled out this form to get entered:

Google InBox Invite

…you’ll have a better chance at winning if you share a link to that page and post YOUR link of your share on the invite form.  To get the link to your post, if you’re on the desktop browser, right-click the timestamp on your post and copy the link, then paste THAT into the web form.  To get the link from your phone or tablet, OPEN your post where you shared mine, open the menu, and choose “Link”, which will copy it to your clipboard.  Then paste it into the web form in your mobile browser.  Our 1st and 2nd winners did that.  And here’s our winner’s sob story:

“I am writing an email application in C# which will look pretty good. With inbox invite, I’ll get an idea of how it is and will try to make mine pretty cool(not exactly inbox clone). Also I need inbox invite because CSHARPNERS Rule (and I like McDonalds)!!!!!!!! “

How can I not spread a little love to an aspiring programmer?

Congratulations to Abhinav Jhanwar!  For his sob story AND for sharing the link to my invite form, he has just won an invite to InBox!

Abhinav Jhanwar

 

The competition is NOT over and if you’ve already entered and didn’t win this one, you’re STILL in the running and could win the next one!

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Google InBox Invite Winner #1

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I’ve received quite a few good entries, and to be honest, it was hard to choose the best one.  As I mentioned on the invite request page here…

Google InBox Invite

…you’ll have a better chance at winning if you share a link to that page and post YOUR link of your share on the invite form.  Our 1st winner did that.  And here’s our winner’s sob story:

“My Grandfather is dying  Yesterday,He said ”I wish to have look at Inbox by gmail “   Oh!please God bless for my grandfather!!!”

Congratulations to yu ichi!  For his sob story AND for sharing the link to my invite form, he has just won an invite to InBox!  And for having such a cool name too, that’s not just a name, but also a question! 😉yu ichi

 

The competition is NOT over and if you’ve already entered and didn’t win this one, you’re STILL in the running and could win the next one!

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Want an Invite to Google’s new InBox service?

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How to win an invite?

I’m giving away invites to Google’s new InBox service.  Follow these simple, quick steps:

  1. Click here
  2. Enter your E-Mail address (I HAVE to have that in order to send you the invite!)
  3. Enter an amusing sob story of WHY you need an invite.  Make it short and funny.  You do NOT have to be truthful… at all!
  4. Click the Google+1 button (please) on that form.
  5. Optionally, if you share the page on Google plus, post the link to your share in the last field.  You don’t have to do that last step, but it’ll increase your chances of winning! 🙂

InBoxWhat IS Google’s “InBox”?

“InBox” is Google’s new e-mail user interface for GMail.  You use it with your existing G-Mail service.  It’s a greatly simplified user interface.  Similar e-mail is presented in a “group” and you can mark the whole group as “done”, at which point, it’ll archive it.  It makes handling all your e-mail much easier.  There’s actually more to it than what I described, but in the simplest terms, that what it does.

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