The rule for dealing with online trolls is simple: Don't feed them. The conventional wisdom is that those persistent and frequently abusive commenters on websites wallow in attention, so, confronting them only feeds that part of the brain that loves to be a disruptor.
JimRomenesko.com recently presented examples of an alternative method of troll-confrontation. It is talk to them. Columbia Journalism Review recently highlighted one.
Two staffers from the Climate Desk recently met with one of the site's most persistent critics, a a 57-year-old insurance executive they found "really normal." It's all part of a video series.
Another example comes from a blog dedicated to sports uniforms - Uni-Watch. Its operator confronteda vulgar troll. The post contains language not suitable for the workplace.
Late update: Here's another example of a journalist, this one from the Voice of San Diego, reaching out to " a telecom engineer who seems to disdain every story published, every sentence crafted and every hire made — and loves to tell us so." The headline is: Jim Jones, Unmasked. (Thanks to Katherine Poythress, former Daily Home reporter, for highlighting this one.)