Strategy For Handling Troll Comments on the Heygo Platform

Tip supported live tour platform. Streamers are called "Guides" and viewers are called "Voyagers."
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MJKlein
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Strategy For Handling Troll Comments on the Heygo Platform

Post by MJKlein »

Introduction

Trolls have been around since the beginning of social media. The live, real time nature of Heygo makes it particularly vulnerable to unpleasant chat comments because there are no tools available to the guide for handling them. Many live streamers coming from Periscope, YouTube, Twitch and other platforms have amassed considerable experience dealing with trolls and that experience can be valuable for handling troll comments on Heygo. Until such time that Heygo implements spam/troll control tools, the approach will have to be tailored for that limitation.

Discussion

The goal of a troll is to disrupt the Tour. Most often this attempt at disruption begins with some kind of personal insult to the Guide. As soon as there is any type of negative response from either the Guide or the Voyagers, the troll has succeeded in sowing a seed of disruption.

There are some things to consider when developing a strategy to deal with trolls specifically on Heygo that will influence the deployment of any such strategy:

1. Most likely, the troll knows that the Guide has no power to block and ban them from the Tour.
2. The Voyagers do have the power to report offensive comments and presumably after a threshold has been achieved, the troll is shut down (see #4 below, under Implementation).
3. The Voyagers are very vocal about offensive comments and often the engagement with the troll is counter-productive as the troll gets validation of their disruption with every comment from the Voyagers. This reaction can be leveraged, however (see points #2 and #4 under Implementation.

In light of the above considerations and especially as there are no tools for removing and banning the troll, the strategy must be based on something other than direct confrontation, since there can be no “line drawn in the sand” so to speak. The Guide cannot threaten the troll with expulsion, and the troll knows it.

Therefore, until such tools become available (and the Heygo developers should be working on implementing such tools ASAP if they want their platform to survive) the strategy for dealing with trolls must be based on removing their ability to disrupt the tour. This can be achieved by decepetion on the part of the Guide.

Implementation

All live streaming platforms occasionally have issues with capturing and displaying the chat stream. Since Heygo's chat system is an overlay (like Periscope) and not actually part of the video stream itself, sometimes comments do get lost. This is a universal issue with all live streaming platforms, and people who are trolls know this as chat failure impedes their goal of disruption through offensive chat messages. This fact lays the foundation for the strategy:

1. At no time should a Guide acknowledge that s/he has seen a troll comment. No matter how personally insulting, there should be no reaction whatsoever, including a change of pace and timing of the Guide's commentary or actions.
2. The Guide should wait for a Voyager to react to the troll comment.
3. Upon reading that a Voyager has reacted to the troll comment, the deception created by the Guide can begin with the Guide asking if someone has made a troll comment.
4. The Guide should briefly engage with the Voyagers and ask them to report the troll, and also mention that the more people who report the troll, the faster the troll account will be deleted. Whether or not this is true is irrelevant. What matters is whether or not the troll can be convinced that this is true.
5. At this point, the Guide should fully deploy the deception that will remove all disruptive power from the troll by emphatically stating that they have had problems recently, with "ghosting" of comments and that the Guide cannot see the comments from the troll. The Guide should apologize for not responding to some comments because of the possibility that the comment may not have been displayed. This will add more credibility to the deception as Guides always do miss some comments due to the fact that they are busy with the photography and commentary.
6. The Voyagers are a unique group of people who are generally older and with much life experience. More than likely, many of them will realize that the Guide is employing deception and they will support it by also pretending to not have seen the troll comments. As live streaming audiences are concerned, the Voyagers are very well informed and are a highly sought after audience because of their collective intelligence and exceptional loyalty towards Guides.

When the troll hears that the Guide is not seeing their comments and that the Voyagers are going to report them immediately, the troll will leave the tour and try to cause trouble elsewhere - some place where their comments have an effect.

Over the course of time, I will add comments to this thread as I utilize this strategy in the field.
MJ Klein, Site Administrator
湖口鄉新竹縣台灣 Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
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