Learning From and Loving Internet Trolls

I’m not saying I like trolls (angry commentators on the internet).

I just wonder if listening to and loving trolls will make the world a better place.

Ahna Hendrix interviewed me last week and wrote a very generous biographical piece about me. I was very honored.

Then today, the editor emailed me this comment asking if he should approve such a nasty comment:

Joseph Rolland says:

“This guy is a fake, along with his media company. I just checked out his Twitter, it’t not hard for someone with a mild knowledge of modern social media to see that this man is nothing he represents in this article.

With a follow to followers ratio of 1-1 having 10,000 followers means absolutely nothing when you follow over 9,000….nice branding strategy Aaron? Not to mention the videos him and his company seem to be associated with (Corey Pieper) have purchased views, disabled statistics and minimal comment interactions, it wouldn’t surprise if the same was done for his twitter account. Not to mention on the Attention Era Media facebook page each post is followed up with comments from himself (he’s first to comment and like his own posts) comments from his partner Ryan and the few others that work in his company. Its the same 4-5 people on each post. Check it out for yourself on their page. Rarely is there a real interaction with someone who isn’t directly associated with the company. And to top it all off the quality of the work is not breaking any barriers and is hardly different then the boring media you get working with minor studios. I appreciate what this guy is trying to do but I just don’t appreciate an article like this promoting someone who is faking his way into things. I hope that people will see this comment and take it into consideration.”

I told him to approve it.

The comment wasn’t fun to read and parts of it stung a bit, especially the stuff about my team’s Attention Era Media facebook page (which was partially correct). However, stuff like this happens when you put yourself out there.

It is true that I’m not very important in the world.  That’s why I’ve set a high goal for myself.  I’d like to make a big difference with my life someday.  Obviously, I’m not there yet.

I appreciate Joseph’s reminder.

Something tells me that Joseph needs a hug.  I assume something is really wrong in Joseph’s life for him to take the time to inspect and analyze so much of my work just to write this sort of comment.  Maybe he was genuinely disappointed in me after reading Ahna’s article.  I’m not really sure.

Regardless, we need to look forward.  It’s Christmas and the beginning of a new year soon.

Let’s each hug a troll and help make the world a better (and more encouraging) place. Something tells me we’re gonna need it.

Have a  Merry Christmas,

Aaron @Biebert

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

13 comments on “Learning From and Loving Internet Trolls”

  1. I admire your decision to allow the comment to be posted. We know that’s the right thing to do, but sometimes it’s so hard — especially when it feels like a personal attack. Take his words with a grain of salt. You know the effort you put into your work much better than he does, but i think you’re onto something with the “hug a troll” idea. I did this the other day. It first confused the troll, and then smoothed over the whole situation. Very interesting and not what I expected.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Renee.  This was not fun.  

      We all want rave reviews and hugs.

      Good to hear that your troll hugging worked.  I honestly believe that most people aren’t angry, just sad.  Maybe we can help them out.

    2. Hi Renee, I just deleted my original comment from December on accident.  Just wanted to make sure you knew that I appreciated your thoughts.  Yes, it stung. Yes, it was good to let him have is say.  No, that doesn’t make him right.

      Have a great one!

  2. Yuck! I hate eseing people being purposefully  hurtful, especially on the Internet. Good reminder to me to make my words count…for the good and uplifting of people – trolls, too!
    Merry Christmas, Aaron!

    1. Yes, the guy’s comment clearly seemed silly to me, so I figured I’d let my work and relationships stand on their own.

      I have nothing to hide.  I am who I am.  Nothing fake about it.
      Louise, thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Astounding that people feel compelled to tear down other folks. If he had done proper research, and watched your engagement and insight OVER TIME, he would have come up with a different conclusion.

    What is interesting is that he can still impact your brand with a negative comment because these types of trolls can hold your brand image hostage. Some folks will be impacted by this one negative comment vs consider the overall body of work of other commenters – and you, in this case.

    You are a true 8PMWarrior, Aaron. I’m happy to know you, and I enjoy our regular and sincere interactions throughout the social graph.

    1. It is astounding for sure.  I do agree that he can impact my brand, but I felt compelled to share his comment for discussion purposes.  I feel pretty confident in my work/relationships/authenticity, but you never know what new people might thing when reading it.

      Only time will tell.  In the meantime, it seems like friends have been backing me up and that’s how I know I’m not fake…
      Have a great day Brian and thanks for the comment!

  4. Aaron!
    Holy Shmokes. Boy have I been gone too long or what?! I think of 8pm Warriors and all it represents, constantly. It’s not about doing business, even though that is why and how we’ve, for at least the most part, come together. It’s not about doing business. It’s about being human. Being better than the shit we are fighting as leaders.

    (I know, I know… you should have told me. Me.)

    8pm Warriors: I do not know you. I may have passed a few of you over the last couple of years I have been making a nuisance of myself, every place I could (!), but each of you, are important to me. The dream, is important to me.

    I gotta go, before I freak. More coffee, please. 

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