Stronger mod action against trolling

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling

Is it trolling to say without proof that a group holds certain dislikeable views?

Yes
8
32%
No
10
40%
Abstain
2
8%
Whatever the mods want
5
20%
 
Total votes: 25

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mjr
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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby mjr » 2 Mar 2017, 12:13pm

Psamathe wrote:I do find some posts rather irritating in that they supposedly (and repeatedly) raise "fact" with pitiful supporting information (e.g. a link to some alt-right blog ...). But then am I being irritated by the lack of credible supporting information, irritated by the opinions or irritated by use of the "repeat rubbish often enough and some will start to believe it".

Yes, maybe the use of "proof" is too strong, but rather than using "pitiful supporting information", the posts I'm thinking of use no supporting information whatsoever while lying about those holding a different view.

Psamathe wrote:I do get angry when I see people responding to a post they disagree with by attacking the poster and trying to damage their credibility rather than responding to the points they raised (and I do tend to report such posts).

And, generally, do the reports result in any action?
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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby matt_twam_asi » 2 Mar 2017, 12:18pm

mjr wrote:
Psamathe wrote:I do find some posts rather irritating in that they supposedly (and repeatedly) raise "fact" with pitiful supporting information (e.g. a link to some alt-right blog ...). But then am I being irritated by the lack of credible supporting information, irritated by the opinions or irritated by use of the "repeat rubbish often enough and some will start to believe it".

Yes, maybe the use of "proof" is too strong, but rather than using "pitiful supporting information", the posts I'm thinking of use no supporting information whatsoever while lying about those holding a different view.


In my weaker moments I've thought about setting up an alternative account solely to quote every unsourced assertion on this forum, with an added [citation needed]. Obviously against the rules (ironically I guess it would count as trolling) but also I'd get burned out just keeping up with the Brexit thread.

Just to make it clear - mods - I have not and am not going to do this. :)
Last edited by matt_twam_asi on 2 Mar 2017, 12:26pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby Psamathe » 2 Mar 2017, 12:21pm

mjr wrote:...
Psamathe wrote:I do get angry when I see people responding to a post they disagree with by attacking the poster and trying to damage their credibility rather than responding to the points they raised (and I do tend to report such posts).

And, generally, do the reports result in any action?

Yes. Not every time as undoubtedly I report some posts where maybe I'm being too sensitive, I leave such decisions to the moderators. And not just posts that disagree with my own postings, but most where I see the thread deteriorating as somebody launches off attacking a poster which can be the 1st step in causing a sensible discussion deteriorate.

That said (I hope) I don't report too many posts, must be several months since my last report (I can't remember it) so not me trying to act as some "censor" against posts I don't like.

And that said, I'm sure that at some point I also have made posts that were I to read again anonymously I might report. We all have bad days where something quite unrelated has affected our mood and our tolerance is low ...

Ian

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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby Vorpal » 2 Mar 2017, 12:51pm

We can't be in the business of ensuring appropriate proof for everything people say on here. For that matter we don't even have the time to manage removal of all the generalisations, like the specific example
Motorists think they have a right to park on the pavement.


First of all, I think that we are intelligent enough to realise that such generalisations are just that. They don't really advance a discussion in any way, and I think that is obvious to most of us.

Secondly, when people make such generalisations, there is usually someone to stand up for motorists, or whatever is being generalised about.

Thirdly, if I've got to start policing proof/substantiating evidence, I'm outta here.

Lastly, this is an *internet* forum, folks. Even science forums don't usually moderate based on substantiating evidence. They just jump all over on those who don't have any. But of course, there's also Graham's point about not feeding....
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby mjr » 2 Mar 2017, 2:08pm

Let's try a more extreme example directed at a smaller group than "motorists":

The moderators are too busy trading dodgy files on their private boards to remove public defamation of groups and only do so when the charity's equality policy absolutely unambiguously requires it.

Would the mods leave that sort of comment standing and if not, why not? :twisted:
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby mjr » 2 Mar 2017, 2:26pm

Graham wrote:Don't feed the trolls. Ignore them.

"Don't feed the trolls" was the failed attitude of many of my colleagues working with the Internet in the 1990s. It doesn't work and allowed too many good internet services to become cesspits which reasonable people walked away from.

These days, the courts throw the worst trolls in prison, ban them from social websites for years and so on. Good! We have got to move beyond the "don't feed the trolls" soundbite - trolling is usually harassment, often mixed up with defamation or hate speech. You couldn't publish some trolling material as a magazine and you'd probably be in trouble if you posted much of it directly to someone - fortunately, most of the world has moved on beyond trying to excuse and appease these liars and so should this forum.

https://www.dailydot.com/via/phillips-dont-feed-trolls-antisocial-web/ wrote:Initially, “Don’t feed the trolls” seems like a perfectly reasonable response to nasty online behavior. Despite its cursory appeal, however, the command raises more issues than it solves—and not just because it brings us right back to the problem of definitions.

First of all, “don’t feed the trolls” frames conversations about aggressive online behaviors solely in terms of the aggressor. Even if a person avoids feeding the trolls (and/or the person accused of trolling), he or she is still playing into the aggressor’s hands. It’s the aggressor’s game and the aggressor’s rules; the target (I prefer “target” over “victim,” since target establishes that a person has been singled out, but doesn’t imply helplessness) is little more than a plaything.

Even more insidiously, the imperative to not to feed the trolls (again, using that term loosely) places blame for whatever unpleasantness squarely at the target’s feet. If only the target hadn’t fed the trolls, the argument goes, the trolls wouldn’t have done what they did! And really, it’s kind of the target’s fault for doing something stupid on the Internet; maybe next time they’ll think twice before posting/doing/saying that sort of thing. In short, the targets—and not the trolls themselves—are the root cause of the trolls’ behaviors. The ultimate message here being: Don’t get trolled.

...

Instead of agreeing not to feed the trolls, thereby accepting the terms of the antagonist’s game, the target should be encouraged to respond with his or her own game—a game called Ruining This buttock-orifice’s Day.

The first and most basic way to play Ruin This buttock-orifice’s Day is to shut them down, ideally by unceremoniously deleting their comments.
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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby Vorpal » 2 Mar 2017, 3:54pm

mjr wrote:Let's try a more extreme example directed at a smaller group than "motorists":

The moderators are too busy trading dodgy files on their private boards to remove public defamation of groups and only do so when the charity's equality policy absolutely unambiguously requires it.

Would the mods leave that sort of comment standing and if not, why not? :twisted:

Sure, why not?

I would prefer to refute such a thing than delete it. I would only delete it if it descended into name-calling and that sort of thing.

We basically have a choice when it comes to stuff like this....
1) We can delete it every time it pops up. This can get to be quite a task with some topics. If, for example, we were to tackle those sorts of things in the helmet subforum, we could have a full time job when there is an active topic.

Also, we already get complaints that we impinge upon free speech. Yes, there's a limit to it. And no, it's not an exact science. We jsut do the best we can. We have banned people for posting offensive material, and people have left over 'censorship'.

2) We can leave it there for people to discuss, refute, and/or see how ridioculous a statement it really is.

This also has the advantages that it may provide an education for people who have not encountered the particular concept before. It may allow moderators to delete or combine threads on similar topics.

mjr wrote:
Graham wrote:Don't feed the trolls. Ignore them.

"Don't feed the trolls" was the failed attitude of many of my colleagues working with the Internet in the 1990s. It doesn't work and allowed too many good internet services to become cesspits which reasonable people walked away from.

These days, the courts throw the worst trolls in prison, ban them from social websites for years and so on. Good! We have got to move beyond the "don't feed the trolls" soundbite - trolling is usually harassment, often mixed up with defamation or hate speech. You couldn't publish some trolling material as a magazine and you'd probably be in trouble if you posted much of it directly to someone - fortunately, most of the world has moved on beyond trying to excuse and appease these liars and so should this forum.


No one that I am aware of has been permitted to leave posts on this forum that would constitute a gaolable offence, and if you saw the stuff we *do* delete, I don't think that you would accuse us of a 'failed attitude', either.

"Don't feed the trolls" should not be taken too literally, but if you don't respond, and especially if you don't respond in kind to things that provoke or irritate you, these sorts of arguments cannot escalate.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby roubaixtuesday » 2 Mar 2017, 4:01pm

Vorpal,

I agree with everything you say. However, it doesn't help with people who repeatedly post deliberately provocative material.

I'm not suggesting there is an easy answer.

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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby mjr » 2 Mar 2017, 4:12pm

Vorpal wrote:I would prefer to refute such a thing than delete it. I would only delete it if it descended into name-calling and that sort of thing.

However, that advice to refute it seems to contradict:

Vorpal wrote:"Don't feed the trolls" should not be taken too literally, but if you don't respond, and especially if you don't respond in kind to things that provoke or irritate you, these sorts of arguments cannot escalate.

So refute it or don't respond?

If you don't respond to refute it, the argument might not escalate, but it leaves some people thinking that the mods are trading illegal porn on the private boards, or whatever the lie is, because surely you wouldn't let that lie stand otherwise.
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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby Vorpal » 2 Mar 2017, 4:27pm

Firstly, my response wouldn't be the same for every subject, or every generalisation.

Secondly, I was (also) elaborating on the 'don't feed the trolls' thing.

Often when these things start, it may not be obvious that someone doesn't understand, or it may seem like a simple question, badly put. If one or two responses makes it seem otherwise, I am likely to quit responding in the hopes that the other person will just stop. If they don't, or if others get involved, it may require further action.

I don't think there is any contradiction in that.
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Re: Stronger mod action against trolling

Postby 661-Pete » 2 Mar 2017, 6:15pm

I too do not believe in the "do not feed the troll" mantra. At least, I don't believe in "ignore him, he'll go away". Didn't work for me.

Years ago I was target of some rather ugly trolling on another forum. When I eventually quit in disgust, the trolling continued. Seeing as I could no longer reply, I had, perforce, to 'ignore' it. But I kept an eye on things all the same.

Eventually, after some years, things came to a head and I felt impelled to complain (the fact that the latest outrage was perpetrated by one of the forum admins may have had something to do with it! :shock: ). My complaint was received condescendingly - not surprisingly - but at least the trolling stopped. At least, I think it stopped. :roll:
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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