The best advice on Twitter trolls was written by al-Ghazali in the 11th century

Sarah Kendzior

As I posted on Twitter earlier today, the best advice I’ve seen on dealing with Twitter trolls comes from the 11th century Sufi philosopher al-Ghazali and his text “Ayyuha l’Walad”. Al-Ghazali anticipated our social media problems by 1000 years.

By al-Ghazali’s definition, there are four types of Twitter trolls. Below: a description of the trolls, and his advice on how to deal with them.

Type 1: Jealous haters. Advice: “Depart from him and leave him with his disease.”

Then know that the sickness of ignorance is of four sorts, one curable and the others incurable. Of these which cannot be cured, [the first] is one whose question or objection arises from envy and hate, [and envy cannot be cured for it is a chronic weakness] and every time you answer him with the best or clearest or plainest answer, that only increases his rage and envy. And the…

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