Blog | Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How doctors can handle online trolls

 How do you deal with trolls on the web?

Whenever you’re online you’re going to have people who disagree with you, and they can do so in ugly and inflammatory ways. These people are known as trolls.

I’m going to borrow from marketing legend Guy Kawasaki. He suggests going 3 rounds. Let’s say you write a post and someone responds. That’s round 1. Then you answer back. That’s round 2. A person replies in kind. That’s round 3. If the conversation isn’t productive by this time, I would just end it and move on to a more productive use of your time.

Dealing with trolls, unfortunately, is a reality especially in the areas of medicine and health care. I’ve dealt with many on my own site as well. Going 3 rounds has certainly helped me move on.

Kevin Pho, MD, ACP Member is co-author of Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices. He is founder and editor of, where this post originally appeared.