Happy Wednesday everyone! Misty here and I thought I’d continue on my Periscope kick by giving you some helpful tips on how to deal with the trolls that may come into your scopes while broadcasting.
If you’ve spent much time on Periscope, you are probably already aware that trolls are becoming a major problem. No, I’m not talking about those ugly green monsters hiding under a bridge (although I do believe they may be closely related). I’m talking about people who come into your broadcast with no other intention other than to harass you and disrupt your stream.
Trolls love attention. For women especially, trolls can be particularly disgusting in their behavior. So sorry for the crude screencaps below, but I want to show you just how awful it can be.
For the past week I’ve been monitoring very closely the type of trolls I see most often. Most of the time it’s sexually harassing comments, vulgar language, violent comments and simple promo spam. These people are not who you want to expose your audience to.
Just to give you an idea how often this happens, as I was writing this article and needed the example screencaps above, I took a bit of time to watch a few scopes of women who were broadcasting and all of the samples above were just from a random sampling of scopes happening today. This happens constantly unless you make some changes.
What makes this even more frustrating is that Twitter, the owner of Periscope, is fully aware of the issues. Twitter’s CEO, Dick Costolo, has spoken out publicly about his own views on the matter and fully admits that Twitter hasn’t handled trolling and abuse issues very well.
What can we do about trolls on Periscope?
Unfortunately, with the Internet being what it is, escaping trolls isn’t an easy task. In fact, according to Periscope’s community guidelines, they do prohibit sexual content, pornographic material and basically any explicit content that is sexual or violent in nature. It does not, however, address harassment. It only asks that you respect one another. That’s not much of a guideline to deter trolls is it?
Luckily, Periscope has integrated a couple of options for us as a starting point to start decreasing how much troll activity we get in our streams.
Use the Follow Only Mode
There’s one super easy way to decrease your troll issues down to practically nothing and that is by enabling the follow only mode available in your settings. As you can guess from the name of the mode, only those users that you follow will actually be able to make a comment in your stream. Other people you don’t follow can still view your stream as it’s happening and can even give you all their hearts, but they won’t be able to chat in your stream until you follow them. If you don’t follow many people this can lead to a fairly quite broadcast without many comments but if you follow a lot of people who enjoy watching you, this is an ideal situation.
To turn the setting on, click the camera icon to start your broadcast and you’ll see the toggle to turn chat on for “everybody” or “only users you follow”.
In the scopes I’ve participated in where this was active, the broadcaster simply let people know that if they followed them, they would give them a follow back if their profile looked legit, so they could then communicate.
This one takes a bit more work since you have to do it on an individual basis, but if you touch the person’s profile in their comment you are given the option to block that user (or you can view their profile and follow them so they can chat).
This is pretty effective for the immediate need but does take a moment to do and can be a bit distracting while you are broadcasting. However, I still highly recommend doing this if you have something happening during your stream.
If you have a broadcast that you want to do that is designed for a specific group of people, for example, if you only wanted to broadcast for your clients, you could setup a private broadcast. To set up a private broadcast on Periscope, simply click the camera icon to start your broadcast, but instead of immediately starting to broadcast, click the “lock” icon located between the location icon and the chat icon.
This will bring up a list of followers that you can choose to include in the notification list. Your broadcast won’t show up in the watch list and nobody except the users you select will see it.
Trolls will always be around but the key thing is to not let them take away the enjoyment and opportunity that Periscope gives us. They simply need to be handled.
By using the follow only mode, the blocking option and private broadcasting you can remove most instances of trolls invading your scopes, Just keep in mind before taking any action that it does remove some of the interaction you might be expecting from your audience. If new troll handling options become available you can be sure I will let you know here first!