Common trolls are the trolls you see most often, and are usually the easiest to spot, and cause the least amount of damage as long as you take action. A quick form of discipline that isolates the troll from the rest of the community may be all that is necessary. But be on the look-out; if you get multiple trolls in a short period, it may be a raid.
Here are some of the signs of a common troll:
Raid trolls will often show the same, or similar, signs as a common troll. They may show signs of other kinds of trolls as well. However, the difference is that multiple people will join the community exhibiting the signs of a common troll within a short time. This should be a red flag that the community may be under a raid. It is time to implement a raid policy and get the situation under control!
For Spill the T, we have a bot that automatically activates raid policies depending on the number of disciplines and antispam mutes issued within a period of time. Depending on the severity, the bot will increase new member verification to requiring a verified phone number on their Discord account, isolate all new members from the rest of the guild, or erase all invite links, until the raid has stopped. The bot will also make the discipline for triggering the antispam system more severe during raids.
In addition to common trolls, trolls who join as part of a raid may also show these signs:
Silent / Lurking Trolls
Silent trolls are harder to spot because they will have no intention of saying anything in the community (at least not at first). Silent trolls might join with the intent to collect information from the community to use against us, either within the community or outside of the community. They might also join in a group as part of a directed raid in which they lurk until given the green light by the person in charge to carry out the raid. Silent trolls might also join, and perhaps later or immediately leave, with the sole intent to create invite links to be used as a raid.
In Spill the T, we have some policies that help fight against this. First, new members are expected to send at least 1 message within 7 days of joining. Existing members are expected to send at least 1 message every 30 days. Otherwise they will be kicked. Secondly, when a member leaves the guild, our bot will delete all invite links they generated.
DM trolls may carry out their trolling, either partly or exclusively, in private / direct messages with members in the community. The idea is that if they target members directly and individually, not only will they be less likely to report it, but it will be harder for staff to take action as it is out of sight of the public areas of the community.
DM Trolls can be very harmful, or very trivial, depending on what they do. Some DM trolls will simply spam advertisements to members in private. Others will try and target members with personal attacks or solicit them for sexual favors. Still others may try to earn the trust of your members and manipulate them, causing serious emotional damage to members of the community.
If you suspect a troll is DMing you, please report it to the staff. Take screenshots of the messages sent by the troll, and then use the
!staff command in the Spill the T guild to create a private text channel between you and staff. DO NOT delete DMs nor messages when reporting a troll. Discord may need them in order to ban trolls from the platform.
Spill the T has a couple policies in place to help limit the potential for DM trolling. During a significant raid attack, new members are isolated from the guild until the raid stops. This means the only few channels they can see are channels established members cannot see. This effectively means new members cannot yet see who is in the guild, and therefore cannot DM them. Secondly, when a user gets muted, such as for triggering the antispam, they also lose access to all channels which other members have access, and therefore cannot see the full member list.
Manipulative trolls are arguably the most dangerous kind of trolls. Not only can they be hard to spot, but they can do serious damage, including emotionally, to members and the community. There are also not really any good preventive measures we can take to keep manipulative trolls out, other than keeping our community informed on how to spot them (this guide) and report matters to staff (use the !staff bot command in any channel in the guild), as they will often seem like legitimate members at first. Further adding to the mix, manipulative trolls are often very good about following the rules (or at least treading the rules on the edge so that they’re not technically violating them, but are still causing harm), which means staff cannot ethically do anything about them without risking backlash until the damage has already been done.
Here are some signs of manipulative trolls:
Catfish trolls can come in a variety of different ways, from sex cam workers to bots to people looking to “get some action”. Catfish trolls pose as a fake identity, often of an attractive celebrity or model. Their goal may range from soliciting relationships, to getting you to subscribe to and provide credit card info for a sketchy porn website, to engaging in pedophile / predatory behavior, and even to solicit sex trafficking.
Catfish trolls are moderately difficult to spot, and depending on the troll, the ease of spotting them can vary. The amount of damage they can cause also varies depending on their end goal and how they execute it. Catfish trolls will also often exhibit the signs of other types of trolls, such as common trolls or manipulative trolls.
There are several things you can do for catfish trolls. Reverse image search people’s avatars on Google to ensure they’re not impersonating someone.
In Spill the T, when a catfish is spotted, we will isolate them from the guild or community until they do an identity verification (such as a full-face selfie where they hold up a handwitten paper with their username and the name of your community).
Here are some signs of a catfish troll: