Because we live in a technologically savvy world, we have become more susceptible to negative attacks, online and in print. But, this susceptibility is mostly online due to the fact most of our activities and transactions take place there more than anywhere else. What makes it even worse is that some of our favorite places to visit online (such as chat rooms, forums, comment sections and Social Media sites) have become breeding grounds for trolls to spread their negativity.
We often think of people who spread negativity as being angry and bitter people who want nothing more than to see others suffer just so they can have company. While that might be true, in recent years it has come to light that these people are often teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 who have somehow gained access to chat rooms and comment forums.
To really get to the root of this problem, we must first take a look at the fundamental problem that starts when you are given access by just signing up for an account. This problem can't be totally eliminated with social media, because it would take a lot of the users away from the site. When it comes to other social forums such as chat rooms or video game networks, however, the verification process should be a little bit stricter.
Though it may seem like it's too much of a hassle to tighten the guidelines, you are making an effort to show your users that you care about their safety and want them to enjoy themselves while using your product. If they are already paying a fee to use your product, then this should not be a problem because they will be getting their money's worth, plus added security.
To ensure you are providing the most negative free environment, you can incorporate credit card verification. Children under 21 have to have a cosigner in order to get a credit card. With this in effect, it makes it that much harder for them to have access to a credit card other than what parents allow them to use. A penalty system should be enforced. Anyone who engages in troll activity or negative comments should be penalized--after a certain amount of penalty points have been accumulated, they will either be suspended for a certain amount of time or banned altogether. Protect your users by protecting yourself. If you don't, you will develop a reputation for allowing anyone to come in and run rampant in your company.
Providing a safe environment for your customers should be at the top of your priority list. Though you won't be able to totally get rid of all the negativity that you come in contact with, you should have a defense system put into place that makes it harder for negativity bringers to gain access.