There isn’t a formula yet for entirely repelling trolls, antagonists, and drama queens from your small law firm marketing blog, but there are some things you can do to handle the situation before it alienates any of your readers—or you.
- Install or enable a CAPTCHA test. This tool is great for keeping out the spam bots. It’s also often enough of a deterrent to keep away the most ridiculous inflammatory comments.
- Post a visible policy explaining what constitutes an inappropriate comment and how such comments will be handled.
- Consider using comment screening. Technology is sophisticated enough to semi-automate the approval process, meaning that established commenters will post immediately while individuals leaving first-time comments are held for review. You are also often given the opportunity to automatically filter comments with profanity or an excessive number of outbound links. Again, in the interests of transparency, you will want to be sure you mention comment screening in your policy.
Whatever you do, don’t enable someone who is obviously antagonizing you by responding to them in kind. Simply ignoring him is better than giving him the drama he wants. Best of all, in some cases, might be handling him with polite professionalism. You probably won’t win over the mudslinger, but the impression you’ll make on your real readers is more than worth the effort.
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