The Trolls Among Us

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by exwhyzee, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. exwhyzee

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    From New York Times Magazine coming this Sunday, 3 August 2008

    In light of the accusations of trolldom here on LPSG...an interesting article about trolls, the internet...and free speech. What defines a troll, and how can public forums self-govern themselves?

    "Does free speech tend to move toward the truth or away from it? When does it evolve into a better collective understanding? When does it collapse into the Babel of trolling, the pointless and eristic game of talking the other guy into crying “uncle”? Is the effort to control what’s said always a form of censorship, or might certain rules be compatible with our notions of free speech?"

    Read More...
     
  2. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Free speech doesn't apply to international online forums. Aside from the fact that other countries don't have the same rights as America, just because the government can't tell you what not to say doesn't mean somebody can't tell you to shut up about such-and-such in their house.
     
  3. exwhyzee

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    Though it certainly doesn't apply to all countries by law, I think the article was referring to free speech as a standard that was positive for all forums, including international forums such as LPSG.

    Applicable law? no. Good practice? maybe. Thats essentially what we have been discussing all summer related to the recent defection of a few members. At what point does the freedom of speech of one person infringe on another? By the article, its seems to be a pretty fluid boundary that varies from person to person...so how [do/can/should] you deal with that?
     
  4. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    By the standards of whoever's house you're in. That's what I was getting at with that last statement. Whoever runs the place you're in decides where the line is drawn. The problem here (and in many forums) is that the mods can't agree on a standard.
     
  5. Phil Ayesho

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    Free speech is contingent upon venue.

    This forum, or any other you chose to join, was created by and is paid for by someone. That person has every right to set the standards for what they are willing to pay for in terms of discourse.

    The Internet itself.... is a commons. And you have the right to say anything you damn well please... at your own expense.

    You want to speak freely? put up a site...


    The laws of other countries are immaterial. The internet can not be controled nor policed. Libel laws of Britain can not be enforced upon users who reside elsewhere.
    The most any country can do is to censor their own people's access to the actual internet thru use of proxy servers that only contain content they have approved...

    But even that is a losing proposition. The rate at which sites and new content in sites is added exceeds the resources of any nation to effectively review. They have to rely on automated systems to assess content for censorship... which simply enables people to evade censorship by understanding what key words, domains or sites are filtered for.


    All in all... nobody's free speech impedes another's, except in situation such as invited speakers being shouted down by unruly attendees.

    We need to get OFF the pabulum of unsubstantiated and disproven psychobabble notions of political correctness and "harmful speech"... and get back to the adult diet of free thought, free expression and personal responsibility in understanding that freedom is more important than your precious feelbads.

    When some guy goes off on the intertubes...
    WHO CARES?

    Its easy enough to NOT READ it.

    Easier still to leave the site.


    People can call me names or wax poetic on my faults all day long...
    It troubleth me not.

    I am a man and I long ago put away childish things.
    Crying over words is childish.

    Getting angry over them, stupid.
     
  6. Mr. Snakey

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    The problem with trolls on here is much more complex. People who spend all their time on here hunting them (also known as the dick police) have become trolls themselves. Thus making matters much worse and enabling the trolls and leaving the mods with their hands tied.
     
  7. Rikter8

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    I say moves away from it.

    It's too easy to create a bogus identity and be whomever you want to be, or post up crap all the time, just to say "Look at me...aren't I special??".
     
  8. Rommette

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    We have free speech but yet the radio and television is monitored. That why so many people apealed to satelite radio. No censorship! Even howard stern left for satelite! Even the previews we see in the movies have to confort to certain restrictions. Free speech is some ways.
     
  9. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    It's funny...trolls have been around since the beginning of the net.

    The years I spent in Excite chat were a great learning grounds for me. I saw everything from on line weddings in chat rooms, fake suicides, hacks, lagging connections off the net and hacking of chat accounts...and more.

    The net cannot be contained. As was said previously, only individual sites with their own terms of service and extend rules, can restrict what goes one amongst it's community of users. As a whole it's a bit more improbable that would ever happen to the net itself. Too many complications.

    Good post.
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    I basically have no beef with moderated message boards that include rules and conventions. Without some form of oversight, message boards, and life in general, have a way of quickly descending into abbreviated anarchy that hold little appeal for me.

    Even with oversight, a "Lord of the Flies" mentality still sometimes takes hold and dissenters, trolls or otherwise, get drummed out. Its sure happened to me in my time.

    "Freedom of Speech" as I understand it basically means no more than the fact that the US government is prohibited from putting its citizens in jail because of politically motivated words. Everything beyond that is up for interpretation and debate. It doesn't guarantee that there are no consequences to words uttered or written.
     
  11. B_JasonDawgxxx

    B_JasonDawgxxx New Member

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    OMG I"m laughing so hard I just spit water out. You really saw that?? Thats so funny and sad at the same time.
     
  12. TwasBrillig

    TwasBrillig Member

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    Good post, Phil. One other area of censorship is dictated by "appropriateness". There are times and places where some degree of "censorship" is proper. I use quote marks here because these are rather generic terms. One person's censorship is another's "SHUT THE F**K UP!".

    As for appropriateness, most would agree that it would not be defensible to add some of the LPSG posts to a childrens forum. Not doing it would be considered correct and, indeed, in some cases considered endangerment, etc. If you do it, would having it deleted be censhorship? Dunno. It's pretty much a case by case thing.

    In the world of on-line forums (fora?) the forum owner must, necessarily, have some level of control if for no other reason than to keep the conversations on track and not careen into total chaos. Need to add inappropriate posts? Start your own forum.
     
  13. marleyisalegend

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    That's where it gets tricky. Some people are predisposed to be sensitive about certain things, and have hang-ups that lead to them searching for offense where there is none. The line isn't blurred, it's been picked up and tossed around and choked and beaten.

    Anyhow, the LPSG trolls are trickier, the more overt ones are easy to catch, but nowadays they adopt cutesy little caricatures and are careful to disguise their anti-social socialism. They're fine as long as you agree with them but as soon as they come across an opposing argument, all hell breaks loose.

    As far as making threads specifically to enflame, I'm either naive or I don't see that alot here anymore. I have 0 complaints about the current forum in terms of threads being made.

    As far as free speech, you sign that away when you sign up for these internet forums, you AGREE to let people censor you according to their standards, which are themselves terribly blurred. eg the "Ask a..." threads being merged yet nothing is done about the pages and pages (and pages and pages and pages) of Efron, Jonas bros. Lopez threads. Moderation is just like the cops, some are efficient, some not so much.
     
    #13 marleyisalegend, Aug 4, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  14. D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah

    D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah Account Disabled

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    It seems far to many have given themselves the title of being the resident lpsg Troll Hunters. Disagree with them and you must be a troll
     
  15. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!
    One thing I will say is that I am enjoying the fact that some of the less frequent posters are now trying their wings at posting more frequently. I think there has to be an atmosphere where it is condusive to people breaking away from the lurking mode and into the mainstream of the board. Though some have felt the board was dead for the past few weeks others have welcomed the calm and the opportunity to have their voices heard. Yes we are still having moments when things may get tense but I think most people have been really trying recently to get along or at least express their opinions without calling others out of their name and attacking the person instead of the idea.
     
  16. Mr. Snakey

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    Yes this is a welcome change. Things seem to be getting back to normal.
     
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