Should We Engage With Trolls Harassing Us About Politics on Social Media?

The late Andrew Breitbart once said during a seminar I attended that we should engage with leftists who debate us on Twitter, even if it’s someone named @chardonnay567 who has 13 followers. It can take up a lot of time, and cause anxiety, but on the other hand, if they’re not very good debaters it can be satisfying to crush them if you’re an experienced debater. You usually know when they block you that you’ve won.

However, the vast majority of advice online says don’t feed the trolls. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of people ignore trolls. Trolls have become such a problem that sites are disabling comments. Popular Science removed their comments section several years ago, finding that “a fractious minority wields enough power to skew a reader’s perception of a story.”  

One author on Mashable declared, “As effective as it is in sharing good things, Twitter is even more effective as a platform for shaming, ridicule and hate.” He said some people have created accounts solely to harass him, even though he merely writes about finances, not politics or something extremely controversial. Another author refers to Twitter as “an endless sink of emotional energy.” The problem of trolls is exacerbated

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