If you're one of those folks that spend a large amount of your time online arguing with folks about things like sports, music, politics, religion, and whatever else, chances are you might be an online troll.

You know the type I'm talking about.  The person that refuses to seek common ground, refuses to listen to the other side of the argument and often resorts to childish behavior like name-calling, or "blocking" the person they disagree with.

Unfortunately, it's become pretty commonplace in today's society, and we certainly have our share here in Montana.

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Online trolls, or "keyboard warriors" have been around since the early days of the internet, but they've increased in the last few years, with many blaming the pandemic.

credit: Canva
credit: Canva

For whatever reason, sitting behind a keyboard and typing out things on a screen seems to have become the new bullying, and let's be honest, there's a much better chance you don't get punched in the nose when you say things in the safety of your own computer space.

So where does Montana rank when it comes to trolling online?

Unfortunately, Montana makes the Top 10 when it comes to high school students "cyberbullying" according to Statista. However, in an interesting twist, when it comes to overall figures, Montana is considered one of the "nicest" states online according to data from Website Builder Expert with The Last Best Place ranking 9th in Friendliest States Online. 

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

It seems to be a bit of a mixed bag here. Of course, there are some things you can do if you're a victim of online trolling and cyberbullying.  The most obvious thing would be to spend less time on Social Media, however, if that's not an option, or you just can't seem to break away, here are some tips to identify a troll online from Search Engine Journal

  • Online Trolls ignore facts
  • They engage in name-calling
  • They try to redirect the topic
  • They try to increase your anger
  • .Everything ends up being extreme with no middle ground

The best advice is simply "Don't Feed The Trolls".  Remember, a reaction is what they're looking for, and the truth is they're more than likely to bring along their troll friends who will chime in, defend them, and plead their case.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

In the end, you have the ultimate power, by simply not responding. More than anything, these types of people seek attention, if you don't give it to them, they will find someone else to harass.

Credit: searchenginejournal.com, websitebuilderexpert.com, statista.com

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