Emily Timbol

A Christian Response to Trolling


If there’s one thing I have experience with, it’s trolls. That’s a really sad opening sentence, but oh well, it’s true. Since I’m somewhat of an experienced troll-baiter, I was interviewed by Emily Miller for her recent Christianity Today piece, “A Christian Response to Trolling.”

Here’s an excerpt:

The first commandment of the Internet is this: “Don’t feed the trolls.”

The reasoning is simple. If the intent is to make people angry or otherwise disturb them, the way to shut it down is simply not to respond. And certainly, there are Proverbs that speak to the futility of answering – or not answering – a fool.

Most of us could be better about this; all have fallen short and returned snark for snark. And people are watching, according to progressive Christian writer Emily Timbol; commenters on one of her own posts took her to task after she left a snide comment in response to a troll’s comment on another writer’s post on the same website.

Still, there also are times when responding can be the most Christ-like thing to do. There are times when a response can assure other would-be commenters it’s not all trolls on the Internet. There are times it can further the conversation. And there are times a gentle answer can turn away wrath.

“There are real people behind this account. There are real people and real emotions,” Timbol said.

You can read the rest of her piece here.

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