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Professional Online Troll Eugene Kravets gives us the lowdown on trolling, how to defend against it, and how you can use it to your own advantage.

Show Notes:
What is online trolling? [01:54]
Understanding the purpose and types of online trolling [02:20]
How does one “become” an online troll? [06:28]
What is the tribal mentality? [08:15]
When to respond and when not to respond to trolling.[10:53]
How to respond if your business is being trolled. [12:24]
Online trolling as a form of emotional terrorism. [14:32]
Eugene shares his experience of being banned from Facebook. [16:54]
Can competing businesses troll each other? [18:02]
Eugene discusses his volunteer work. [21:41]
Trolling versus customer dissatisfaction – how to tell the difference. [22:40]
Will trolls like Eugene help you if you’re being trolled? [26:08]
How trolling can actually raise your business profile [26:55]
Positive attention, negative attention and lack of attention – how these can impact your business. [29:09]

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Episode 15: Why you need to be prepared for a troll attack with Eugene Kravets

Eugene: If you’re getting trolled, like first make sure it’s not a dissatisfied customer. If it’s a dissatisfied customer, deal with them like you would deal with an unhappy customer. Get to the issue. Find out what they want. Make sure like it’s resolved and make sure, like ideally make sure they thank you publicly and the issue has been resolved. If it’s not a dissatisfied customer, if you can see that nothing you can do will satisfy, if you’re being trolled, well first of all stay on the issue. Do not take this personally. Once you take it personally, you’re gone. Well, you’re giving them exactly what they want.

Narrator: Welcome to the Unfair Advantage Project – unique perspectives, practical insights and unexpected discoveries directly focused on giving you the unfair advantage. Introducing your hosts Nadia Hughes and Terence Toh.

Terence: Welcome to the Unfair Advantage Project. I’m Terence Toh, I’m the founder and managing director of StrategiQ Corporation, and I’ll be one of your hosts today. And we’ve got our, my co-host here Nadia. Good morning Nadia.

Nadia: Good morning Terence. Yes, it’s Nadia hughes from Smart Business Solutions. And I’m very happy to be here.

Terence: Perfect. And this morning, we have, well we call him unusual guest. And Eugene Kravetz. And Eugene is actually an online troll. And today’s episode was kind of inspired by, from a conversation that Nadia and I had after I was trolled myself. And Nadia said well here’s a great idea, I know someone who is an online troll and we get him on the show to discuss a few things. So, good morning and welcome.

Eugene: Good morning Terence.

Terence: So, let’s talk about online trolling. What is it to begin with?

Eugene: Well to begin with, there’s no other way to put it. Trolling is a form of emotional terrorism.

Terence: Yep.

Eugene: You’re basically… a troll. Anywhere you look it is going to rise out of you. Basically, get some sort of, oh well the actual term trolling comes from a past version of trolling as in fishing. Like trolling fish.

Terence: Okay yes.

Eugene: And so, you’re basically fishing for an emotional response. While you yourself as a troll remain calm, as soon as people start getting emotional you can manipulate them to looking stupid. And well basically experiencing a lot of negatives while you just get your fun out of it. Now trolls are not nice people as you can probably tell by that.

Nadia: And what’s the entire purpose of trolling. What I want to understand there’s two types of trolls you have explained to us.

Eugene: There’s more than two but…

Nadia: Is there more than two? Let’s focus on the ones I do know. And I probably been trolled by the ones I don’t know are trolls and I treat them as normal people. That’s a problem. So, you said that there are two types, at least two types, which do it for fun. For the satisfaction. For having this power over some crumbling human being who is just trying to…

Eugene: Those who just do it for fun, who just want to watch the world burn, it’s definitely the behavior is sociopathic in nature. It does give you a sense of power that you can just drive people bananas while you just sitting back and laughing and pretty much punching the screen. And then there’s also the more professional type of trolls.

Nadia: Yep.

Eugene: Because of ideological reasons or maybe because they’ve been hired to do it. It also happens. They can just attack like a political party or a person for character assassination, a business if they choose to. I can tell you a bit more about I’ve been involved in an action like that at one stage. I’m not proud of it but hey it happened.

Nadia: Well, you are proud of it that’s why you’re talking about it. You just have to be perceived as you’re not proud of it. Let’s face it. So, what I do like is what you said character assassination. Yes assassin, that’s what it is. The professional troll is there to kill your character in front of everybody.

Eugene: Yes, because keeping your cool is perceived as important now in society. Like the people are expected to be rational, to remain calm, to use reason logic and things like that. And when emotions get in the way, and you publicly lose your cool, and you start spitting the dummy, you start abusing your opponent while you’re just obviously sitting back and laughing everybody else can tell. I mean that’s character assassination.

Nadia: It’s almost assassin sitting there and pressing certain points to unleashing the little wild beast which each one of us possessing.

Eugene: Yes, we’re human.

Nadia: We just exposing our beast.

Eugene: Yes.

Nadia: As a, our pride to you we had a beautiful lady Jacki Mitchell. She did through this quote and it stuck to me. It’s just humans are emotional creatures which sometimes tend to act rational.

Eugene: Well, I would personally disagree with that. As I said, I’m a troll. I’m high on the sociopathic spectrum. So, I’m more of a rational creature that tends to occasionally act emotional, but most humans are emotional creatures.

Nadia: Exactly that’s what you are. We are, as a human being. I’m not talking about you as a troll, I’m talking about us as a human being. Our makeup, we’re emotional. And the entire purpose of you is just make me feel vulnerable.

Eugene: Yes.

Nadia: And it’s an emotional strip starts in front of you. I’m stripping my layers of cool and you get into the core of me which is insecure, outraged woman who wants to strangle you. That’s what you want to see, is it right?

Eugene: Well, not necessarily an insecure or outraged. Look, it’s not a gender concept. You’re controlling your body.

Nadia: Well, I’m talking about particularly myself. I associate myself with this particular gender. I’m not gender fluid so, let’s just face it.

Eugene: Well, your particular case I’ve been kind.

Nadia: Yes.

Eugene: Online.

Nadia: You are. That’s what surprised me. You were a gentleman to me as a contrast to everybody else. And I just was thinking what was the deal?

Eugene: Well, you didn’t rub me the wrong way.

Nadia: Okay. Well, I know how to rob a troll apparently.

Terence: So, and I’m feeling like a minority here because it’s a very Russian conversation.

Nadia: We do speak English Terence and you understand it a bit.

Terence: Yeah, I understand it well. So, how do you become a troll?

Eugene: How do you become a troll? Look, there’s no DNA trial for this. I mean you don’t have a master-apprentice relationship. You just, one day you’re online and you suddenly find that you have taken pleasure in driving someone bananas.

Terence: Right.

Eugene: And that’s it. You’re already on the dark side path.

Terence: okay.

Nadia: It’s a slippery slope from then.

Terence: It is a slippery slope, yeah. Most of us have done it online to some extent. Most people when they troll, they’re not very good at it. You can tell from a mile away what they’re trying to do. It’s more of an art than a science. Like it can be an art form with the particularly skillful troll, you won’t even realise you’re being trolled. You won’t even realize what they’re doing because they will get inside the public conversation. Like maybe add two or three just trigger phrases. And, maybe not even against the side they’re trying to troll. And then just sit back and let the public troll themselves.

Terence: Right. Okay. So, they’re driving a conversation…

Eugene: Yes.

Terence: in the direction that they want to drive it in.

Eugene: Yes.

Terence: Okay. Very interesting.

Nadia: It’s just a high level of manipulators. And they do…

Eugene: Very manipulative.

Nadia: They know psychology, they know human…

Eugene: They’re not, don’t necessarily know psychology. They understand it only like instinctive level.

Nadia: Yeah.

Eugene: Because human psychology is not that difficult. We are all driven by the same set of things.

Nadia: What do you think drive normal human being as opposed to you?

Eugene: Well, I’m still human like we all…

Nadia: Yes, you do go to the toilet. But I’m actually talking about psychology here.

Eugene: Humans are driven… we’re social creatures. We need to belong. We are all, unfortunately well most of us, do have a tribal mentality. We will stick up for our own sort of thing. That’s really useful in the political discussion because you can really pull on people’s soul strings with that tribal mentality. None of us like to feel stupid. So, like if your argument is getting destroyed, people tend to double down and that tends to lead to ridiculous results. Like because of human emotion and troll make use of that.

Nadia: And if I translate that to business now and how the businesses get trolled, you actually told me that there is a positive type of trolling as well happening.

Eugene: Look I’m trolling. When someone’s getting trolled and whether not they’re trolling back, it happens in a public space like online. There’s an audience. And well those things, they’re always fun to watch. So, if you’re getting trolled, you can turn it around. You can turn it into positive as a business. Because any publicity is good publicity. Like advertising, you’re trying to get your name out there. you’re getting exposure. If you handle good troll gracefully, and you’re basically getting free exposure. Whatever happens, you stay up in their newsfeed because there’s activity on your wall.

Nadia: And that’s what I do notice, that your particular posts will be having how many comments?

Eugene: Well, I’ve got my personal best with about 4,000.

Nadia: So, we’re having 4,000 comments. People like keep going and it’s bringing, it’s ranking it very high because so many people vested in this conversation. But they’re not only vested, they’re emotional with it.

Eugene: Yes. I usually start this conversation. So, and I go away, and I only come back every couple of hours and just add a comment here and there. People keep on involving themselves.

Nadia: Yes. That’s basically what’s happening.

Terence: Yeah. so, it’s really bringing it. It’s creating attention I guess in…

Eugene: Yes.

Terence: a way, isn’t it? Whether it’s good attention or bad attention.
Eugene: There’s no such thing as bad attention.

Terence: So, if someone is trolled and like I said so the reason you’re invited here as a guest is because a conversation Nadia and I had, I was trolled, and I mentioned it to Nadia.

Eugene: What happened?

Terence: What happened? There was a post put up about me about an event that I was speaking at. And then there was a comment, and I can’t remember exactly what was in the comment to be perfectly honest. And it was just basically a derogatory kind of… it was a paragraph.

Eugene: A derogatory comment about you.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: About you personally.

Terence: About me personally yeah.

Eugene: How did you respond?

Terence: I didn’t respond.

Eugene: Good. Look, if it’s a single derogatory comment about you personally, not about the business, just about you personally.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: And the best tactic is not to respond. Like when the Internet first appeared, there were like bulletin board message boards. And someone came up with rules of the Internet. Now rule number 14 of the Internet was do not feed the troll. Basically, what that means is don’t give the trolling ammo, don’t give him attention. Because as soon as you start to engage with them, they’ve already won. They already got the reaction out of you. But that’s not true in all cases. Especially if you’re running a business that sort of thing that will not always work. But for a personal attack, the best thing you can do is just ignore it. Because the second you start responding you’ve already lost.

Terence: Right.

Eugene: You dignify something with a response. You shouldn’t even be dignified with a response. I Mean you value yourself more than that derogatory comment. Like there’s no reason to engage with them.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: So, you did exactly the right thing.

Terence: So, basically if it’s a comment and directly at you, don’t respond. Right?

Eugene: Exactly. And then legally, socially, in everything we are separate from our businesses. That’s why we go into these natural entities and that sort of thing. You’re not your business. There are businesses that are built on a personality cult like Elon Musk. We think of him before we think of Space X, before we think of Tesla and his other businesses. But most businesses aren’t. There’s no reason to respond to a troll in attack on yourself.

Terence: Okay, let’s talk about trolling attack on a business. Do we respond differently?

Eugene: Look, it happens. I can give you a real case scenario and this is would be very difficult for a small to medium business to defend against. There was a mechanic over somewhere in New South Wales that owed someone money. They were refusing to pay that sort of thing and basically the guy asked myself and a few of my friends to make coordinated attack on the business’ page. And you know how especially with generic searching and Google rating, the five stars and that sort of thing? And small businesses don’t really get that much rating. So, a coordinated attack of like 10 15 people, like giving them low stars and negative comments which they cannot remove, they have no access to their Google pages, that’s going to hurt the business. So, we made a really coordinated attack from different IP addresses. Like a number of us slay and really drove the business into the ground. Like he was actually losing customers. Like a business that relies on people…

Nadia: Word of mouth.

Eugene: No word of mouth… On the Google reputation because they rely on that sort of thing. Because they don’t really have regular customers as such and there’s plenty of competition. And the guy basically asked for mercy. Fortunately backing down was easily fixable. We just all gave him 5 stars and deleted our comments, that’s it. He was back and black.

Nadia: Yeah.

Eugene: But I’m not sure how this would be done…

Nadia: Did he pay the money?

Eugene: Yeah.

Nadia: So, you acted as a Russian collection agency.

Eugene: Yes.

Nadia: Oh God. That’s very unorthodox of you.

Eugene: Without any violence.

Nadia: Well, I do know that one of the Mornington Peninsula business has been approached by Russian debt collection agency and it wasn’t pretty, it was physical. That collection they did.

Eugene: This was…

Nadia: But here this is virtual.

Eugene: This is virtual, yes.

Nadia: We’re going to new world with the same tactics.

Eugene: Look. Physical violence does those that just are just so to say. I mean who lives in the physical world anymore?

Nadia: Okay. Well you…

Terence: Well as you said, I mean to begin with it, we’re talking emotional terrorism.

Eugene: We’re talking about emotional terrorism. And look this was emotional terrorism because the guy could have just held out. And then those ratings they will go over eventually but he’s losing business one week, second week. Like this is emotional, like this is whoever falls first. If you know I mean. It really does have to do with the arm. And look, with businesses of more benign version is just someone leaving bad comments on your page – dissatisfied customer. And then will human who have run your social media whether you do it yourself or you hire someone, look business on as well. Human we all turn to, we can respond emotionally. But when it’s a dissatisfied customer, you’re going to know when you’re being trolled and when it’s a genuine concern. Like there is thing like customer service. Don’t assume that you’re being trolled just because some of them leave negative comments.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: Sometimes it could be a very good idea to just deal with the dissatisfied customer like you would do with the dissatisfied customer.

Terence: Yeah absolutely.

Eugene: And some businesses just tend to make that mistake by ignoring those people.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: And that’s bad.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: Yes.

Terence: Yeah.

Terence: So, what would you suggest to do? So, if you’re on the other side of that equation, if you were the one being trolled, and it was your business, what would you have done differently to that person? To that person who was trolled, say that mechanic in New South Wales.

Eugene: To that mechanic, I’m not sure what I would have done in that particular case. Look you’re in quite a bit of money. It wasn’t really related to the business. But look, if he was innocent of this and we’re leaving quite bad comments. If he was innocent of owing the money, did nothing wrong, I probably would have taken legal action. Like gives you grounds for defamation. Like do not defend defamation if something is true. Like if people are saying crap about you that’s not true, that’s specially, I mean that’s libel. And well you can find out who they are through their IP addresses. You can subpoena those things. So, trolls really need to be mindful, like there’s only so far you can go.

Nadia: And you basically got background it’s finding it quite easy to navigate in or have you ever been suspended from a social network?

Eugene: Oh, I’ve been down from Facebook a lot of times. I’ve got like four different accounts, all of them are identical. So, if one gets down, they just go on together.

Terence: So, you’re like a dragon with so many heads and we cut your head off and you just… Because the tail is still safe, tail is sitting at home.

Eugene: Yes. I’m like the hider, you cut off one head three more grow back. But really, I haven’t been banned from Facebook for a while. I think I kind of understand their community standards now. Even like they don’t have very well-defined community standards, Facebook. You can get banned for pretty benign things. It depends on the number of complaints. No, I haven’t heard that many complaints. I’ve been bored of trolling large segments of people lately.

Nadia: What I do want now because it is a huge amount of people attempting trolling and they do it in a kind of amateur way, how can you capitalize on trolling? What is a good trolling? Can I troll somebody innocently or tastefully and rise each other profile?

Eugene: Yeah. Look, it’s possible. There are some great examples of the two competitors trolling each other in business which is the good kind of trolling. For example, just not for long, yesterday I’ve been reading about the billboard war between McDonald’s and some obscure liquor store that both have breakfast because it’s America. And there’s McDonalds who put up billboard all day, five dollars for two eggs and coffee. So, across the road the liquor store puts up three eggs and a coffee all day four dollars. You’re move McDonald’s. And McDonalds’ response the next day you haven’t seen McMuffin yet. And the liquor store response is hey, our boss is a clown too. But seriously. It was something good to look at. And it’s great, fun for customers to read. It raises the profile of both businesses and people will just come and see how the billboard war develops. You’ll get coverage in the local press. You’ll go on the Internet. These things are great because it’s light-hearted and it gives exposure to both businesses. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses because both places are going to get business out of this. And look Pepsi and Coca-Cola, they do it all the time. And billboard that I saw for Pepsi, sugar-free Pepsi, our taste is too great to be called the zero. I mean it’s great because it also advertises Coke. It raises the profile of both. Like when you light-heartedly trolling your competitor and they picked up the game, that can be great for both of you.

Nadia: So, if I were to tell you somebody will engage you in trolling but in a positive trolling…

Eugene: In a light-hearted way.

Nadia: What your tools would be? What would you be doing?

Eugene: Look it does require a sense of humor.

Nadia: Yep.

Eugene: If you don’t have one, it would be a great idea to hire a social media manager or a copywriter or something like that. Look, it’s a form of advertising. Like your online presence, it’s unavoidable. Online is life this days. We’ve all moved into the virtual world. You cannot avoid it. Like your online presence is important. So, if you don’t have social media person, you should get one. And it will be their responsibility to deal with trolls and to capitalize on the good kind of trolling.

Nadia: Any successful, your own personal success from trolling can rise in profile or someone or some business or anybody?

Eugene: I got hired to do quite a few jobs just because of my online presence because I give myself exposure. People knew who I was. I was trolling under my name.

Nadia: You do understand you are a part of podcast because you are going to blast it on your social media.

Eugene: Of course.

Nadia: So, you will raise our profile.

Eugene: Of course, I’m going to do that because hey it raises my profile. I rub your back, you rub mine.

Nadia: Yes, we do know that. And we do know your audience is huge. You do create quite a few successful, a networking group, not networking groups but groups how do call it? It’s a lot of human.

Eugene: Facebook groups. Like my biggest group that I created about 17,000 followers. I’ve had it for a couple of years now. I was actually surprised that it got that big.

Nadia: Yes.

Eugene: Yeah.

Nadia: So, that’s something is done right. And you also get involve, that’s the funny thing. The other side of the troll, you do have some psychopathic tendencies. But you also get involved in a nice action. People said you can’t find better friends than you.

Eugene: I do a lot of volunteering work. I get involve with community projects because I think those things are important. I mean, I am a part of a community I live in it. And because I’ve got a high profile as a troll, I can usually really give a lot of exposure to these projects.

Nadia: And I do see you so often, you’re doing collecting money for kids, you’re running some…

Eugene: Giving blood. Like I am regular blood donor.

Nadia: Yes, you do.

Eugene: And plasma. And I actually got people to do it because hey if he’s doing it, we should be doing it too.

Nadia: So, you’re kind of cool kind of buddy. Yeah. That’s what… And people trying to…

Eugene: I’m unscrupulous but I’m still on the light side.

Nadia: Yeah. He is on the light side. Okay. And now because we’re all about tips and traps of trolling, do you have any portfolio of tips and little bit of where people can do one two three? Start now raising their profile as a business.

Eugene: Raising the profile of one’s business, well if look… If you’re getting trolled, like first make sure it’s not a dissatisfied customer. If it’s a dissatisfied customer, deal with them like you would deal with an unhappy customer. Get to the issue. Find out what they want. Make sure like it’s resolved and make sure, like ideally make sure they thank you publicly and the issue has been resolved. If it’s not a dissatisfied customer, if you can see that nothing you can do will satisfy, if you’re being trolled, well first of all stay on the issue. Do not take this personally. Once you take it personally, you’re gone.

Nadia: Yes.

Eugene: That’s exactly what, you’re giving them exactly what they want.

Nadia: Can we just imitate a topic where I would be one who is subjected to your trolling? Let’s say I am an accountant, it’s an accounting troll. And I am putting up this cash flow is a king. I want to run a workshop to my customers.

Eugene: And I’m just going to go in and say something like Oh you want to run a workshop. That workshops are just a way for unscrupulous people to grab money because it doesn’t actually change anything, it doesn’t teach anything, and whatever.

Nadia: And I will tell you that workshop is actually free. It’s all about disseminating knowledge to the community, to help them grow.

Eugene: Yes. And I will respond to that. See I’m just trying to troll.

Nadia: Yes, do try.

Eugene: And I was… It’s free because it’s like, well you’re like a drug dealer, you’re trying to get people hooked. And then you offer the first workshop free and you will just to make money later. Because what a troll is doing like any sort of human activity…

Nadia: I want to keep being trolled. So, no. Eugene, first workshop free I have a series of workshops, 12 of them. And it’s all about education because I am not about making money from workshops. I am, will be honest with you, I am about making money from businesses who is successful out there and want to manage their tax.

Eugene: Exactly. So, you’re not exactly educating anyone out of the goodness of your heart. You’re basically just trying to get easy contacts and easy clientele from your workshops.

Nadia: Correct. And I’m smart in doing it. Watch me how I do it and do it again.

Eugene: Exactly. This is exactly how you do it. Stay on the issue, don’t take it personally.

Nadia: Yes.

Eugene: This wasn’t… I made it a bit easier.

Nadia: Yeah.

Eugene: Yes. You stayed on the issue. And you actually promoted your own business despite someone being a troll.

Nadia: Yeah. Okay, thank you. And would you like to be trolled Terence? Free trolling today.

Terence: I can be trolled.

Nadia: Yeah.

Terence: I think we’ve got probably a good demonstration there of how you might deal with it.

Eugene: Well let me just explain what a troll does. Look, any sort of human activity will have a positive aspect and a negative aspect. You can find the negative aspect in anything. Any business, even accounting, depends on one’s ideological position you’re promoting capitalism.

Nadia: Yeah.

Eugene: Double-entry accounting helps government tax user. Taxation is theft. Like depends on one’s ideological position you can find negative on anything. So, just because someone is focusing on all the negatives, they’re not actually saying something that isn’t true. They could be saying the truth. Your job is to focus on the positives.

Nadia: And Eugene if somebody is being attacked and trolled and they lost, would you be willing to help them out? Would you be able to get them out of quite serious trolling?

Eugene: Absolutely. You can always hire an online troll to act as your champion.

Nadia: That’s basically could be a solution to a really severe trolling because it’s…

Eugene: Yeah. Look. Worst case scenario you can hire someone like me as your social media manager for an emergency social media manager.

Nadia: Emergency response crisis negotiator online.

Terence: Okay. You’ll be able to help someone like that to get out of that situation?

Eugene: Absolutely.

Terence: Okay. Alright so, let’s just kind of sum this up. Trolling, in general what we term as being maybe negative trolling as emotional terrorism. There can be positive aspects of trolling and you can use it especially if you’ve got a good sense of humor. You can use it in a positive way. But in general, as you say
any attention is good attention. So…

Eugene: Look. One positive thing about trolling is it raises your profile. It doesn’t matter what people are talking about as long as they’re talking about you, it raises your profile. That’s the positive. It can be good, it can be bad. Because look, if your profile is raised because of only negative things and you’re not doing anything about it, you’re not responding, you’re not defending against it, that’s probably not going to go well for you. But it’s up to you to turn that around. Like you’re getting exposure, you’re getting attention, people are reading this, it gets re-posted. Because hey people do that. People will repost anything these days.

Nadia: Oh, because brawl is always good thing. People run to watch it.

Eugene: Because it’s always fun to watch. And give attention. You can do something… Wendy’s, the ice cream shop, they’re great at it. they get trolled all the time. And they’re quite a big business, they can afford to do this. And they will lose some customers over this and gain some. But they tend to respond savagely to trolls. Completely savagely.

Nadia: Are you jealous of their troll ability?

Eugene: No, actually I think they’re wonderful.

Nadia: Yes. Well…

Eugene: You can look at political parties as businesses really because they’re basically…

Nadia: They are businesses.

Eugene: They are businesses.

Nadia: Let’s face it. They have a marketing budget.

Eugene: Let’s look at Victorian politics. For example, the incumbent government. Our Premier Daniel Andrews.

Nadia: Yep.

Eugene: Obviously he doesn’t his own social media. He’s obviously got a social media person but their brilliant. The way they deal with trolls, they are brilliant. Just have a read of their page like their response. Like the opposition, he’s competition. They tend to just ignore, delete like negative comments. That’s boring. People just come to Daniel Andrews’ page to read his battle with trolls even though he doesn’t do it himself. Sure, his got a… And some businesses do have that. Like, great example is Wendy’s.

Nadia: Yes. And so, I have seen quite a few of your thread and you are very witty. So, its first thing kids learn is you have to be witty. You can’t be trolling somebody when you don’t have a sense of humor. And another thing, you have to be very agile.

Eugene: Not agile. You have to stay on the issue. You just have to calm your own emotions and just think with your brain. Less heart more brain.

Nadia: Okay. And what I do also know because of what you have told me is it comes to again to psychological truths of attention. As a human being, we are exposed to 3 types of attention. First one is positive attention. Everybody loves it. It’s that, it’s ego boosting type of attention. Second one is negative attention. This one gets people really wrong methodology to deal with. Because negative attention always perceived as something negative. It’s not perceived what you are encouraging people to perceive this negative attention as an opportunity to turn in to positive for you, for themselves to capitalize on it.

Eugene: Look, people love a story of redemption. Even if you’re getting a huge amount of negative attention that you even deserve, you can always say granted. You don’t have to double down and just say you’re innocent. We’re guilty. We screwed up. But look we’re going to do this and this and this. We’re sorry, we’ll turn this around. People love a story of redemption. Like modern politicians don’t do it enough. They just double down and they keep denying things. Businesses keep doing it. They just deny it, they ignore it. They shouldn’t.

Nadia: Exactly. So, negative attention is misused, mis utilized and misunderstood. And there is still a type of attention which is not an attention. It’s a complete ignore. And it’s basically…

Eugene: Lack of attention.

Nadia: Lack of… This is exactly lack of attention. Lack of English on my behalf. And lack of attention, this is what apparently the worst thing you can have as a business owner.

Eugene: Oh yeah.

Nadia: And this is where people don’t understand, being not known on social media. When people are completely not aware what’s happening, what type of character you are as a business character, corporate character, it’s actually worse than having…

Eugene: Negative attention. It’s much worse. Look, if no one has heard of you, you’re not selling anything.
You’re not going to get any clients. A business has to be known. Even bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

Nadia: Well, it’s bad publicity only good when you know what to do with it.

Eugene: Even bad publicity when you don’t know what to do with, it’s better no publicity at all. Look, even if you are getting horrible publicity some people will still try your product or service. Just as a form of protest against society.

Nadia: Okay. Well you will be attracting Protestants. It’s okay.

Eugene: Protesters.

Terence: Protesters.

Eugene: Not necessarily.

Terence: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So, basically if it’s a personal attack on you…

Eugene: Ignore it.

Terence: If it’s an attack on your business, respond in a way… First make sure that you’re dealing with the issue.

Eugene: Yeah.

Terence: And don’t get emotionally caught up in that battle there.

Eugene: Yes.

Terence: Don’t get dragged into something outside of the core issue.

Eugene: Basically, don’t get dragged into an area where the troll’s most comfortable.

Terence: Yeah.

Eugene: As soon as you are emotionally invested in it, you’ve lost. Because a troll is not emotionally invested.

Terence: And really importantly I guess, I think one of the things you said is if it is an unhappy customer or client or something like that, deal with that in the right way to begin with.

Eugene: Just.

Terence: If it’s a troll. Well, obviously, there’s a… and if they’re just trolling you for the sake of trolling you, you can deal with that in a different way.

Eugene: Of course. If it’s not happy customer this is exactly the negative attention that you can turn around by in the form of redemption. You can deal with them, you can make them happy again. And they, afterwards they’ll say Oh well, thank you, business X. You’ve really turned things around. Thank you. I’m really happy with you now. And that’s great publicity. That’s better than just good publicity from the start. Yeah.

Nadia: What’s your biggest advice would be to our listeners before we wrap up?

Eugene: Biggest advice? Well, don’t feed the troll.

Nadia: Rule number 14.

Eugene: Rule Number 14 of the Internet. Do not give the troll your emotions. Do not get emotionally invested in an issue.

Nadia: That’s it.

Terence: Perfect. Alright. Thanks Eugene. I’d ask you… So, we discussed this beforehand. But we’re not going to ask our listeners can connect with you. But I’m sure you’ll be able to find them potentially.

Eugene: Yeah. Look don’t look for me, I’ll probably find you. And you probably won’t enjoy. I’m just kidding. I’m sure you can google me online.

Terence: Yeah. Okay Fantastic. Alright. Well thanks for coming in and sharing with us.

Eugene: Not a problem. Thank you, Terence. Thank you, Nadia.

Nadia: Thank you.

Eugene: You have been trolled, you’ve been trolled, you have probably been told. Don’t reply to this guy he’s just getting a rise out of you. Well that’s true. You’ll respond and that’s your skew to start trouble on the double while he strokes his manly stubble. You’ve been trolled, you’ve been trolled, you should probably just fold when the only winging movies not to play. And yet you keep on trying mindlessly replying you’ve been trolled, you’ve been trolled. Have a Nice Day!

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Unfair Advantage Project. For more curated resources, visit us at


About Us
The Business Coach.
Terence is the founder and Managing Director of StrategiQ Corporation, a serial entrepreneur and experienced business operator who has founded, bought, grown and sold several … see more


About Us
The Super Nerd.
Are you passionate about the ins and outs out of taxation legislation? With Nadia by your side, you don’t need to be. Accounting and financial planning isn’t just her … see more

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