Troll Triage...

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plato1965's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
Troll Triage...


  I'd like to suggest some strategies for nipping trolls in the bud.. and why it's important.

 1) First posts are crucial.

 If the very first post of a member is clearly antagonistic to the aims of the site, or abusive to it's staff, I would strongly recommend

an instant deletion/ban.

 The most common element in the universe is stupidity, and I guess malice and attention-seeking are common compound elements.


 Arguing with those who present early evidence of those traits is futile, encourages more of the same, (never feed trolls!)

and often succeeds in derailing a topic, and causing friction.

 This becomes more crucial as a forum grows.. attention becomes scarcer and trolls spammers are ever more attracted to a large audience...

  2) Protecting Chris and the admin is a high priority.. the aim should be to leave them free to deal with more important things than dealing

with hecklers and abuse..


 A zero tolerance policy, especially for first posts isn't a bad filter..


rowmat's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 15 2008
Posts: 358
Re: Troll Triage...

Yep!! Send 'em all to the FEMA camps!! Wink

plato1965's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
Re: Troll Triage...


 Nah, they get the whole of the web minus one site to pollute...  They'll live..


 The house rules don't just benefit the admins/mods, they benefit all of us.  Less clutter, less distraction, more time for useful discussion.

 If anyone is supicious of the integrity of the site... the door is wide open.. depart. Find something you do trust.


 Some common "red herring" fallacies used by the clueless/trolls are:

 free speech ! or  The more the merrier ! or  "help I'm being oppressed!!" (python - Holy Grail)

 They are the online equivalent of the "broken window fallacy" (Bastiat)..


 You see the troll, and the responses...

 you don't see what it displaces... useful information, the conversations you could have had...

 .. the members who despair and leave in disgust..

 .. the useful work that could have been done instead of patiently arguing with the clueless/malicious.




Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: Troll Triage...

All nonconformists to front of the line . Sealedjust joking .

cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5971
Re: Troll Triage...

Thank you Plato 1965!

I just want to point out that our moderators are very much on the job and there is much that you never see due to their vigilance.  But they can't be everywhere at once.  If you see a "troll-ish" post, please flag it so that we can see it and deal with it promptly.

If anyone has any doubts about the direction a site can go without effective moderation, well, just ask and I can point you to some places that will curl your toes.

While a bitter free-for-all might be fun for some people, it ruins it for everyone else. 

We have something special here - a fine community of civil people on the net.  I daresay for an open forum/free registration site we've achieved something very rare.  We've got one of the most civil, constructive and helpful sites around and, like everything worthwhile, it did not happen by accident or without effort.

I belong to a couple of closed forums and it took us (literally) years to develop the trust and camaraderie that I see around here on a daily basis.  I too see no reason to allow someone to march in with the intent of creating trouble (which is what most trolls are seeking to do).

Because we have such a tight policy we've not only eliminated the legitimate trolls (just people with problems) but illegitimate trolls which are paid by various groups/corporations to go out and spread dissent and poor information. 

So remember, flag the abuse and we'll get to it right away.  If you think the person only deserves zero chances, be sure to say that and why when you flag the post.

Thank you for your support!!



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