It’s been around a long time so much so that it may have jumped the shark. I’m talking about the ubiquitous Twitter feed on ginormous screens at events, concerts, conferences, trainings, whatever.
The kids at RIT are doing a social media experiment in much the same vein, called Rise Above the Crowd. Organizers are hoping that it will yield more journalistic quality tweets simply because they ask for it.
Having experienced, as an organizer, the asshole troll who tries to hijack an event, I can confidently say that it’s bound to happen. No matter how large or small the crowd. Someone has to be an asshole.
But how do you get the most out of an event, like a concert, and drown out the trolls?
Here are some creative ways:
1. Create a “drown the troll out” tweet that attendees know about in case some jerk tries to spam your event. It could be something like, “What is the sound of one troll clapping?” If a bunch of attendees tweeted it once, down goes the troll in the feed.
2. In the same vein, ask attendees not to turn the other cheek, but virtually stone the troll by tweeting horrible things about the troll like, “.@troll eats live kittehs for breakfast!” It’s only libel if you don’t use the person’s real name. Right?*
3. With new technologies to bleep your friends’ tweets, you could turn those foulmouthed tweets into Old English proclamations, changing “shit” to “codswallop” or “asshole” to “clotpole.”
4. Created WANTED posters of all trolls at your event. Stalking is key here, which I’m sure you all know how to do.
5. Ask your controversial guest speakers to “get over it.” Sometimes you get valid, uncomfortable questions during discussions, talks, and keynotes. If you invite a controversial figure to your event, they have to agree that this is what they signed up for. So just answer our damn questions!
*Not a lawyer so really have no idea. But it feels right. NB: Hire a lawyer.