public relations

Jungle of Trolls: Coping with Social Media Disasters, Controversies, and Blunders

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney,
Project Specialist
ASU Lodestar Center

A few weeks ago, we at the Center had a fiasco on our hands. What happened, you ask? We entered the wild, savage jungle of Internet Commentary.

Here at the Center, we're a calm bunch. We're extremely respectful of one another, and we get along like fuzzy critters in a Disney movie. Nothing particularly controversial happens, except when someone eats the last Reese's cup in the candy jar.


traviscandy
Pictured: Travis "Sweet Tooth" Butterfield

So, in June, when one of our blog posts sparked a heated discussion in the comments section, we were all caught off guard. The blogger, Katie Hawkes, had written this post encouraging our audience to be optimistic about volunteering. We've had a couple bloggers explore similar sentiments, too, including my fellow Lodestar staff member Laura E. Tan and Public Allies Arizona alumna Angela Soliz.

But not everyone agreed with Katie.

As the first negative comments rolled in, one of my coworkers told me he was concerned and believed we should delete them. I imagine he reacted like the majority of people would, probably even you. You want to defend your friends and coworkers (or, you know, at least the ones you like...). The best way to do that would be to make the problem disappear, right?