Have you sometimes been getting offending comments from mostly unknown visitors? Do such comments offend you and you tend to respond in the same coin? Do you get depressed, when comments are very uncharitable about what you think about your strong points on the account or in real life? If yes, you are under a troll attack.
But, don’t panic. Trolls are not viruses or Trojan horses, not even spammers; they are people who get kick out of offending you. They are web-surfers who, either habitually or in a state of depression, post inflammatory or off-topic messages on blogs, social networking sites [e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+], forums and chat rooms. Their idea is to provoke people to respond in a similar fashion. If people respond to them and the main discussion is disrupted, the troll has served his purpose.
Though trolls do not harm your computer or deface your website, they do upset you and others, trivialize the discussion, ward off genuine people and hurt the reputation of your web-property. They are like barking dogs whom you have allowed to roam free in your courtyard.
Trolls’ success starts with making their victims believe that they are not trolls but genuine participants in the discussion. So, whenever you find an out-of-the-ordinary response during a discussion or in response to a blog post [even a friendly but uncalled for advice], be suspicious. Respond in a normal, friendly, manner but observe his next comments. If these try to derail you or piss you off, ignore them. The best way to unnerve a troll is to not respond to his comments even if these are abusive or personal.
The matter of trolling has been analysed psychologically and some experts suggest engaging them positively or being kind to a troll. That may be theoretically OK, but we don’t think we need to indulge in such experimentation requiring lots of time and patience.
You may like to also visit this related post on content spam.