'Don't feed the trolls' is a common piece of advice to people about not engaging with haters online. But this is sometimes easier said than done.
Social media trolling was not something veteran Paul Maytom had to contend with when he entered local politics 30 years ago.
The retiring mayor of the Riverina town of Leeton says we have to take the good with the bad when it comes to social media, with the new platforms meaning people have greater access to elected representatives than ever before.
"There are people out there with malice in them and it gives them the avenue to spread the negative complaints", he said.
Mr Maytom said in the early days, if people had an issue they would simply tell councillors in the street, or make a phone call.
"There was no technology to do it any differently then," he said. "There are good and bad points to social media, it gives some the opportunity to take that sideswipe at councillors or council.
"We have to accept that does happen. I like the old style and I liked how that worked, but social media is giving many more people the opportunity to have input."
Read also: safety plan in place for December elections
Local Government Minister and South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said it does take a thick hide to beat the trolls.
"I've been in this game now for a long time. I was first elected into Shoalhaven City Council in 1987. And I'm still here in the state parliament, and during campaigning the opposition and the other forces on social media were pretty horrendous in the things they said about me.
"You either weather the storm, or you get out there and say it's not true."
Wollondilly councillor Matthew Deeth spoke out about online trolling in 2017.
"I want people to continue to talk about the issues and challenges we face as a community but the personal attacks should be left out of it," Cr Deeth said.
"People feel a sense of detachment from reality when they comment. They don't understand the repercussions of what they say online.
"When people comment online I would like them to ask themselves if they would talk to their mum or grandma in the same way."
A Davenport, Tasmania, councillor Leon Perry agreed with the sentiment in 2019, saying he had de-activated his Facebook page after it became "a dumping ground for deliberate mis-information, factual ignorance, plain nastiness, long vexatious questioning, and fake profiles".
"Social media is an unfiltered haven for all of the above. No matter how fair and factual a page can be, despicables can't be stopped."
A survey in March this year by Local Government Association of Tasmania found that about 60 per cent of councillors reported suffering some kind of online harassment - which included by other councillors.
"No-one enters politics if they have thin skin. You expect - indeed, welcome - different perspectives and robust debate focused on the issues," the statement, which was shared by Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds reads.
"However, what we see every week in Tasmanian local politics, especially on social media, is debate that crosses the line. It stops being about policy or even party politics and becomes deeply personal."
Cr Maytom said it is important to have a thick skin, but effective, respectful engagement with all facets of the community would limit opportunities for trolls to attack.
"You do have to have a thick skin, but I think if you put yourself out there and show you care for your community they won't have much to attack you on.
"Even if they are negative if they've got something constructive in their criticism I'm happy to hear people out."
He said he believes in personal face-to-face interaction as it gave a much clearer indication of tone and emotion when engaging with people.
"Seeing people in person, you can hear the emotion, see their eyes - it's a good way of doing things," he said.
"When people hide behind social media and take swipes at people working their heart and soul out for the community, that hurts.
"We're not going to stop social media, it's there and that's that," Cr Maytom said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.