Quasi-Trolling

Discussion in 'Politics' started by SilverTrain, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. SilverTrain

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    Apparently, keeping the politics forum free of trolls is hindered by the difficulty the moderation team faces in divining trollish posts from those posts have at least some legitimacy. Making the "troll determination" is obviously more problematic when a post that clearly has trollish aspects also contains some arguably legitimate component. For example, if I post,

    "The new employment numbers are out today, and unemployment is rising. Guess that Muslim ain't bringing the CHANGE, after all! I'm sure the lefties will find some way to keep justifying socialism, but it's obvious that electing a president just 'cause he's black is a failed experiment. Blacks don't yet have what it takes, apparently, if they ever will.

    But keep the faith, libtards!


    lololololol"


    Is that trolling?

    I can say that I raised a legitimate issue for discussion: new unemployment numbers. And I expressed opinion related to that issue. How then is that trolling, I might ask?

    But, come on. My post fits the definition of trolling to a "t". And yet, posts like that show up all the time around here.

    Sometimes people are more subtle. A person might for instance, regularly post with regards to financial issues affecting Europe and North America, or the Global Economy. His posts might maintain average or above average levels of grammar, syntax, and punctuation. He may exhibit significant knowledge with regards to, say, macroeconomics or the major securities markets. All of which gives his posts the veneer of legitimacy.

    But such a poster may also pepper his posts with snide, politically partisan jibes. He may repetitively invoke hot-button words, code words, or pet insults, inserting such into the body of a post that might otherwise have exhibited some legitimacy. Or he might append a provocative insult at the end of a semi-articulate argument. Overall, he maintains a certain balance between the "legitimate" aspects of his posting and the "trolling" that accompanies same. As such, he escapes the label of "troll", because of the apparent fact that "it's difficult for the mods to determine" when the content of a post amounts to trolling. Call him what you want: troll, quasi-troll, partisan plant, renegade political forum member, etc. The result is the same.

    We all know who the trolls are. It's like some sort of open secret that apparently, via the "moderation philosophy" of this site, continues to go on and on.

    Quasi-troll(s), you're not fooling anyone. You amount to digital noise that makes life less fulfilling, less pleasant, less efficacious for everyone. That 's your contribution. Thanks so much.
     
  2. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Silver you know I have the greatest respect for you, but you seem to be asking us to moderate this forum according to the particular political mores of one group of those who use it.

    Yes we will act on clear cases of trolling, and do, frequently even if you don't hear about it, but no, we wont enforce a particular political line in here.

    And tbh there are people who fall into your definition of "quasi-troll" of all political persuasions around here.
     
  3. vince

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    SilverTrain, in your example, the poster would be immediately banned for racist content.

    Exactly.
     
  4. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    This.
     
  5. SilverTrain

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    Of course they do. I could easily have posited an example along the lines of:

    "Shoot, check out the latest zaniness in Oklahoma: [link to story about Christian Fundamentalists at a Republican Party rally calling for the blacklisting of library books considered pornographic]

    Can you believe these effing wingnuts? I swear the Republican Party should get rid of the Elephant and adopt the Tinfoil Hat as their mascot! And before all you teabaggin' conservabots start yappin', that link is from Faux News. Apparently even they couldn't believe how morally off-kilter the Republican Party is becoming. What next, banning the bible because it mentions fornication? I swear you must lose 40 IQ points when you register as Republican!"

    I'm well aware it goes both ways. I'm sure I myself have posts on the record that are at the very least arguably quasi-trollish. But it is what it is. I'm just calling it out.

    I realize (having been a mod for a long time at another site) that when someone raises an issue like this, the tendency is to defend the site's philosophy and its methods. I don't find any joy in "criticizing", and I'm certainly not "attacking" the site. Lex talked about it much more eloquently than I ever could many months back during the spate of high-profile banning, but there is a style of moderation that is more "active" that would be effective in rooting out the trolls. Moderating visibly and often, when needs be, with a firm hand, an unwavering voice. It doesn't mean being an asshole with a big stick. It's a confident address of issues that need addressing. And it's not perfect (what is?).

    I won't belabor the point. And I'll go take my PMS meds.*



    * i.e., scotch
     
  6. SilverTrain

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    Yes, but not for trolling.

    Race gets quick action. Homo gets fairly quick action. Other forms of provocation = "difficult to discern".

    I said I wasn't posting anymore, and I broke my promise. But I really don't want to belabor. I just had to spew.
     
  7. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Yeah see when we do take a more active moderation approach we get accused of exactly what you describe as "being an asshole with a big stick".

    Look we don't do this for popularity, we do this to try to help people enjoy the site, clearly some people in this forum are concerned about the current situation, and you can be sure that any and all views are being taken into account and listened to in terms of how we do things in future.
     
  8. nudeyorker

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    I'll have to do a post history search to see what he said, but Lex has not been a moderator here in so long and frankly I hardly think of him as an authority on the subject.
     
  9. Joll

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    I think...the essence of political debate (opposite sides arguing with each other, often heatedly) can itself be taken as trolling. So, a certain amount of lee-way has to be given on here, imo.

    But obviously, people who disagree with me personally, should be rooted out and banned post haste. :p
     
  10. B_talltpaguy

    B_talltpaguy New Member

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    yes, it is clearly trolling.

    On sites I run, if a thread started off with this, the thread would be deleted on sight, and depending on how many adverse actions the offending member had before (as well as his status as a member), he would either get a private verbal warning, a forum-wide suspension, banned from the politiforum, or banned from the site all together.

    If it was a post, it would be soft deleted and the same discipline process would apply. We NEVER leave offending posts up, as they are bad news for the quality of your database over the long run (this wouldn't really apply here though. It's a porn site, so they're already net-nannied out of myriad private networks. I have to worry about staying visible on educational servers and so on)... And nobody ever asks why someone else's post was deleted, because they already know it's none of their business. Discipline is always between the member and the site's staff. We NEVER air a member's dirty laundry publicly. We tell nosy members that if they want to know, they will have to ask the member themselves.
     
    #10 B_talltpaguy, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  11. houtx48

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    Can stand the heat stay out of the kitchen so they say.
     
  12. faceking

    faceking Active Member

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    AGREE

    AGREE

    AGREE, and I notice anti-religious rhetoric runs rampant here. And rarely if ever warrants action. It's part of your seminal discrimination requirements too,,,,across this country at least (the whole sex, color, creed, religion,etc...). I'll come out say it... it's mostly hate speech against Christianity, and I understand why it's fair game here.

    [disclosure: not Christian]


    Also, I recall the Politics sub-forum being created so as to free-up/clean-up the Etc Etc.

    Maybe make it a giant free-for-all...

    My ongoing preference.... is if/when someone is warned/banned... please post the verbiage that caused the infraction.

    a> so we can see best, errrr, worst practices
    b> (which perhaps why we won't see it) kinda an eye out on assumed biasm
     
  13. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    I haven't seen one instance of hate speech about Christians or Christianity in the Politics section.
    And technically, I am a Christian. Non-practicing, of course, for obvious reasons.
     
  14. houtx48

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    Is there a reason that we need two trolling threads?
     
  15. SilverTrain

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    lol
     
  16. B_nyvin

    B_nyvin New Member

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    ugh...i already got my slap on the wrist...who would've thought something like that thread was going to be such an uproar!?!
     
  17. midlifebear

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    :lmao::umbrella:possibly the moderators need to create a list of examples delineating the differences in:

    1. Trolls
    2. Trolling
    3. Quazi-trolling
    4, Pseudo-trolling
    5. And stuff that is just Trollenesque
    :umbrella:
     
  18. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    Oh come on!:wink:
     
  19. SilverTrain

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    Can you handle the Spanish language translation for each, then, love? :cool:
     
  20. Kotchanski

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    SilverTrain,

    In light of the other thread closing, I think you'd be the first to agree that leaving this open is simply going to shift the issues into this one. As such, I am also closing this.
     
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