Trolling

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

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  1. SilverTrain

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    I'm a bit confused as to what the protocol here is for dealing with trolling.

    Trolling defined:

    "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

    The lpsg says trolling is a violation. It seems to me like this happens all the time here, and yet I've never seen anyone reprimanded for trolling. Perhaps it happens behind the scenes.

    Can anyone explain the apparent lack of any trolling violations?
     
  2. houtx48

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    talking about muggqueen?
     
  3. nudeyorker

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    Trolling here is in fact reprimanded, many trolls are banned in fact. The political forum has been a work in progress or more "Special Needs" as trolling in political and religious arguments often defy our definition on the rest of the board.
    We (the moderators) have had several conversations regarding the problems in this forum. We are currently awaiting the owner of the site to weigh in on one of our most recent conversations.
    This forum has been a challenge from the time of it's creation. If anyone has some input we would like to include your thoughts in our conversations.
     
  4. Pendlum

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    My input is I'd rather see political trolling here than have this forum shutdown and have it move into other forums. I'd hate to see the Etc forum get overrun, and iirc part of the reason this forum was created was because of how much political threads were being created in the Etc forum. Obviously the mods take more care in dealing with the politics trolls (which is the smart thing to do), simply because the outcry is so much more fervent than say smashing a troll who posts negative things about gay people or women. In this nook of the internet we have carved out for ourselves, it's obvious that politics is a much more decisive subject for our population. So it is important to be more careful as to not make one side or the other feel alienated (though I'm sure there are plenty who feel that way already).

    I think in the end it would be best if the mods used a light touch with this forum, and if the members who post here just grow some thicker skin. If you post in this forum and are tired of trolls, just don't post in those threads. I'd rather keep the mods not involved as much as possible. After all, we all know how much LPSG also likes "Why did X get banned?!?!" threads as well.

    We as politics posters should elevate ourselves before we try to get mods involved.
     
  5. Kotchanski

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    Bloody hell Pend... Sense, in the politics forum?

    I probably shouldn't say this, but trust me when I say that there isn't a single mod on the team who wants to become involved with reprimanding anyone in this forum if they can help it. We really aren't chomping at the bit to wade through the shit in here!

    Now if as Pend says, the members could just elevate themselves a little...
     
  6. SilverTrain

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    That all sounds textbookedly nice. But the reality is that no amount of thick skin inures one to the mosquito-y annoyance of pesky trolls. It's not a matter of "They're so mean and insulting, I just can't handle it! I wish my skin were thicker." But the vast majority of the threads in this forum are, at some point derailed--whether permanently or only temporarily--by blatant trolling. It's beyond annoying, it's stifling. Which may be the ultimate intent of some trolls--to derail at all costs, thoughtful considered conversation, keeping the focus on insult-hurling. I tend to think, though, that mostly the trolling is the product of giggly juveniles (of all ages) aiming for attention, even (sometimes, especially) if it's negative attention.

    I realize how difficult it is to effectively and judiciously moderate a forum such as this. And I did not mean this thread as a call for heavy-handed action. Nor was it meant as an indictment of the moderators. But, and this is just my feeling, it seems like even a cursory policing of the threads to identify trolling (especially if it's the same people over and over) followed by a surgical removal of offending posts--and for gratuitous repeat offenders, the posters themselves--would clean the place up without robbing the forum of its passion and substance.

    This last would mirror the policing and removal of inappropriate images and links to forbidden material, illegal material, etc.. And the whole process would mirror the policing of the gratuitous wank-fodder-seeking, misogynistic, bigoted, etc., posts in other areas of the site. Those types of posts (and posters) are rooted out because they disrupt the forums to such an extent that the use, enjoyment and efficacy of the particular forum is corrupted to an intolerable degree. Which I think it is safe to say, happens in this forum on a daily basis.

    One can keep saying "Just be an adult and step around it" until the cows come home, but when the ground is covered in shit and no one's cleaning it up.....

    Also, I understand the mods trying to have a light hand. But history has shown that, in other fora on the site, when they want to take decisive action to enforce the TOS, then they aren't hesitant to act.
     
    #6 SilverTrain, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  7. Kotchanski

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    The big problem with removing offending posts is that as someone said before, LPSG just loves it's "Why was x banned?" threads and the likes...

    Extremely offending (in a ToS sense, not a "OMG that made me wanna cry" sense) posts are often removed, but the lesser ones which make the majority of trolling activity largely what adds up to a member being removed from the forum/site. If we remove each and every post that crosses a line, we leave the members in a situation where few, if any have any comprehension of why the latest post was treated so harshly by the team.

    You also need to consider that it's pretty rare for 1 post alone to cause upset with the membership, again it's more often than not a combination of posts that add up to a rather unpleasant picture. So it's highly likely that we'd end up having to remove not only the 6 posts that added up to the whole picture, but start editing content of other members who've quoted or responded to it, and by doing so may well alter the overall meaning of their posts.

    Not to mention that any and all removals of more minor breaches would lead to an unfair view of the OPs opinion, possibly leading to things going unreported and allowing them to continue under the false pretence of them being a nice person!
     
  8. B_VinylBoy

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    I think some of the major frustrations with trolling is that many people who have been repeatedly guilty of this in the Politics threads have not been reprimanded. I'm not going to mention names or specific instances because I don't want this thread to diverge into a pointless shouting match, but there have been a couple of noted people who have been doing it steadily for years. Having a different political opinion from another is not grounds for trolling, and I think everyone agrees with that even if the discussion gets heated and a few insults go back and forth. But when the mass majority of one's posts are geared to infuriate an entire group of people with questionable language and accusations, something should be done with those people. Again, there are many people I can cite who are culprits of this repeated behavior.

    There's only so much anyone wants to hear about "the left" or "the right" or "teh gayz" being the problem... at some point, those things need to be put aside to focus on the subject matter.
     
    #8 B_VinylBoy, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  9. Pendlum

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    I understand what you mean Silver, and I agree with a lot of it. But as I mentioned earlier, this subject seems to be more decisive than the others. Even a cursory policing would provide fodder for others, and could make one group feel alienated. Unlike bigoted, misogynistic, etc posts that are dealt with, as a group I feel that LPSG largely gathers on one side of the issue, most certainly more so than in politics. So I don't think it would mirror that at all. I'm just afraid that it will open up an even greater rift in this forum rather than help mend it.

    Acon, I'm glad to see my perception of the mod team isn't way off base, as I didn't expect any of them to want to put on the waders and come on in with the hammer. :p I just felt like posting my thoughts on it, since nudeyorker asked! :)
     
  10. D_Harvey Schmeckel

    D_Harvey Schmeckel New Member

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    I perceive the Politics forum as completely ruined by trolls who are more than obvious and the "light touch" of moderators who won't do anything about them until it is way, way, too late.
     
  11. AG08

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    I just put trolls on my ignore list - problem solved! The worst thing you can do is engage a troll in an argument because that is exactly what they want. If enough people ignore them, they tend to go away. :smile:
     
  12. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    The difficulty we face is determining what is actual real life trolling, and what is merely one member reporting another member for having an opinion which offends them.

    We do take action when we can clearly make that distinction.
     
  13. B_talltpaguy

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    ^That's not hard to figure out at all, since everything is recorded.

    Except the nuts and the paid shills, which there are waaay more of all over the internet than people realize.
     
  14. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    And yet members frequently report posts as trolling simply because they disagree with the content of the post. So clearly deciding what is and isn't trolling, for many people, isn't as simple as you claim.
     
  15. nudeyorker

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    Actually sometimes it is. We get reports for trolling and many times it's a matter of the person who reports something does not agree with what the other person wrote and calls them a troll.
    When we determine that it is actually true trolling and not just a difference of opinion we do take action.
    Do you think that anyone who has received a heads up, warning or final warning from the moderators is going to discuss it on the board. Many actions are taken that the membership in general is unaware of.
    Every report that comes in to the moderator forum is discussed and acted on.
     
  16. Speculator

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    I don't see what the big deal is, if there are posters out there that you disagree with then either ignore them or try and raise the level of debate.

    Imo most of the problems eminate from those that are hyper-sensitive to "trollish" behaviour because oddly they're the very same people that are willing and able to reduce the conversation to abuse hurling.

    At what point does the act of constantly labelling others trolls in itself become trollish? It's certainly a very aggressive tactic which suggests that these people are actively seeking confrontation of some sort (i.e the very definition of trolling).
     
    #16 Speculator, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  17. B_talltpaguy

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    I'm talking about the judgment of the mods, not the members. If a mod is confused over what constitutes a rules violation and what doesn't, then he shouldn't be a mod in the first place.
     
  18. Kotchanski

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    That one is very easy to answer: When the person they constantly label as a troll isn't actually a troll, else what they're doing is simply stating fact.
     
  19. Kotchanski

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    This is by far the most idiotic comment I've read today...

    The reason we have more than one moderator is because no one single person is always right, we all have different opinions on things.

    Are you suggesting that we remove all mods who don't agree with the general flow of feelings within in the team? Because I can assure you that when we get a trolling report, I know full well if I consider it trolling or not, and each of the others have their opinions too... Much like the members though, we aren't always going to agree, and things can from time to time continue until we reach a point where agreement can be reached.

    Sorry but this is exactly the attitude that causes the problem in politics... If it isn't my way, it's the wrong way.
     
  20. D_Relentless Original

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    Hmm, this thread will reveal all soon... watch this space.
     
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