18
   

In the A2K playground: Play the Synbot game today!

 
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 08:37 pm
@parados,
I was trying to call him out for those that do not pay as much attention as I do, but obviously did it wrong...
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 08:37 pm
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:
(just my opinion...)


You are entitled to it, as I am to mine. If you want to think and say that I'm a shithead that's fine with me, but I think I should be able to say that I think you joined myself and others in feeding a troll. And I don't really think you'd disagree with me, or even consider it that much of a slight if you thought about what I said.

I fed the troll, you fed the troll, and like you said yourself, we shouldn't feed the troll. No offense to you was meant.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 08:39 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I said being one, not are one.

Major distinction, as I am being one a lot...

Shocked Wink

(I'm new at this, and all my elders have left me)
0 Replies
 
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dlowan
 
  4  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 08:43 pm
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Quote:
Blimey! I'm the one who got a burr under my saddle and let fly about what I saw as Rob's attitude early on this thread...so I feel implicated in this post.....but I think it is quite unfair.

It has been made very clear that what the new site is about is less top-down decision-making and more power in the hands of members.


Not implicated by me, deb. My position here is based on the owner of the site naming names without ANY interaction with the individuals so named. I think it was in poor taste and voiced my opinion accordingly.



Well, there's been a lot of implication going on in some places, eh?

But really, I think in a thread which began with the fun of naming a bunch of alleged ( and doubtless guilty) trolls ought not to be too sensitive re naming some of us who love to engage with said trolls?

I personally name names from time to time, and this may well be tasteless, but I don't know as how being the part-owner of the site is a major aspect of tastelessness.

But, fire-cracker as I am, it's likely time I shut the **** up and sat the cocksuck down.


Good night, Gracie.
0 Replies
 
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MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:03 am
Well heck, I just hit enough of Synron's posts with the characteristic tics to be pretty sure he was Massagatto again ("Debra LAW", "scumbag Obama" [seems to have replaced "scumbag Clinton"--now that's progress}, fixation on Chicago, overt racism, sarcastic pseudo-politeness. As soon as quotes from whatever-his-name is Posner and Richard Lindzen start showing up in his posts we'll know for sure), and I was kind of excited, in a morbid sort of a way to have made the connection, and here I find out everybody's already beat me to it.

There was another name he used for a couple of weeks, something like Belladonna, tho I don't think that's exactly it.

And speaking of people appearing under other screennames, I'm someone else and I'm a little pissed at it. When this new version of a2k appeared, it wouldn't let me sign on as me, probably because my ISP keeps getting bought up by others and folded into them and I probably signed up under an old email address--they keep making us change them, and I have no idea what it was, and it kept telling me that someone else was "username" and I couldn't use it, and that "other person" was me, damnit, and I've had to revert all the way back to my abuzz nameto get on. Tho it is kinda nice being MontereyJack again. Where are the instructional threads located? How do I resurrect "username"?

And where is the stuff about voting people up or down. I kind of like the idea of compacting Massagatto, sounds like making him into a black hole. How appropriate.

dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:23 am
@MontereyJack,
I knew I knew you!!!! And welcome back.

Here's the main "how to" thread:

http://able2know.org/topic/120897-1

If you want help in getting your newer old screenname back, click on the blue "contact us" at the very bottom left of the screen.

Who were you on A2k previously? I seem to recall some fun times with Monterey Jack back on Abuzz!

If you wish to ignore a troll, just click on their name when it appears in a thread...that will take you to their profile and you can click "ignore user".

All you will see when they post thereafter is a line, and a "user ignored" or somesuch, but not their name.

You can click on the little note and see their posts.

Or, you can click on the thumbs down next to their name, and this will make their post disappear from view for you.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:32 am
@dlowan,
Doh....here's a very valuable new a2k thread:

http://able2know.org/topic/120955-1


Prolly way better than the first link I gave you.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:39 am
Thanks, deb. Yes indeedy--as I remember, we had among other things a rather protracted discussion of the comparative grammars of Koalaish and Dwarfish and came to the conclusion that they belonged to the same linguistic family--a somewhat remarkable advance in the understanding of interspecies communication.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:41 am
@MontereyJack,
Well, there's WAY too little of that sort of thing on A2k, so I do hope you stay and digress...especially nonsensically!!!
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 06:39 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

nimh, there's a specific idea I've actually wanted to bounce off of you.

Pre-launch, we'd actually designed the ignore function to be mutual. That is, if you ignore someone they couldn't respond to your posts and threads. We ditched that because we weren't sure it would have been a community-healthy difference but I'm still considering similar solutions.

What do you think about users having the ability to moderate their own threads for example? Or to ban people from replying to them?

I can see abuse of even this kind of feature, but had been meaning to ask some of the more thoughtful forum members what they think of it.


If what you are suggesting is that if I put XXX on ignore, she will know she is on ignore by me because she will not be able to reply to my posts, then I do not think that is a good idea.

I think that would build major division within the community. If I found that I was suddenly not able to post a reply to Joe I would be hurt and confused, and would probably leave. That's just me. Others would take it as a slight and become defensive, lashing out and reeking havoc.

personally, I think the current arrangement where I can ignore who I choose to without them knowing is sufficient for me, them and the site. We have enough stress and division in our real lives. I don't think we need it here.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 06:48 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Your example is certainly not the one I would chose to list as the classic example of a troll-feeder, but then I'm not the one naming names.

Ok, maybe I will... joe LOVES trolling the trolls. It has "entertainment" value. O'Bill, ci, nimh, and others are all over those discussions.

Hey, I havent responded half as much to Synron as Rockhead has, sorry.

Incarnations of that troll in previous years, admittedly, were a different story. The "ignore" function is helping me this time.

Then again, I dont mind someone saying that, to the extent that I did respond to the bait, it was stupid and unproductive of me. Whether they mention me by name or not. Why should I mind? It's true. {Shrugs}
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  4  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 07:07 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

nimh, there's a specific idea I've actually wanted to bounce off of you.

Pre-launch, we'd actually designed the ignore function to be mutual. That is, if you ignore someone they couldn't respond to your posts and threads. We ditched that because we weren't sure it would have been a community-healthy difference but I'm still considering similar solutions.

Yes, Squinney had a good point on that just now. I hadnt even realised that consequence, but yeah, that would definitely be bad. I have one or two users on ignore not because they are trolls or anything, but just because they posted a lot and, well, um, never said anything that interested me. But you know, I wouldnt want them to know - they'd be hurt. And I'm sure they're very kind people.

Robert Gentel wrote:

What do you think about users having the ability to moderate their own threads for example? Or to ban people from replying to them?

I can see abuse of even this kind of feature, but had been meaning to ask some of the more thoughtful forum members what they think of it.

Yeah, that's come up from time to time, hasnt it, that someone who started a thread asked why he could not moderate it? I dunno.

If we were all wise and equanimous people it would work. Even if just those of us who are generally sane were. But I totally see that spinning off the rails, I'm afraid. Perhaps I'm too pessimistic. But I think that on the more contentious parts of the politics forum, you'd quickly have thread starters deleting responses just because they really disagreed with them, rather than because they were personally offensive or something, or deleting them because they were too sharply critical of them. Which in turn would lead to very distracting lightning rod discussions about censorship etc.

If all the thread starters could do was to collapse specific answers for everyone rather than delete them that would be less outright harmful (people wouldnt be writing long answers just to see them deleted), but you'd still get the fireball of distracting discussions about censoring. Dunno, I'd say it isnt worth it.

As for banning specific people from responding to your thread in the first place, hmm.. of the two choices that might be the better one. Again, on the Politics forum you might have some people using that option to just prevent opposing views from coming in, but there's so many liberals and so many conservatives that that would be pretty much a lost cause anyway, so probably people would settle on using it just to ban the most disruptive users. Which I suppose could be a good thing.

Though again you'd get a lot of discussion about it, which might end up more trouble than the problem you were trying to solve ever was, at least for a while - not sure whether you'd want to go there. And if the idea is for it just to be used against outright trolls, then I dont think thats gonna happen. If the feature's there, it's gonna be used more broadly than that.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 08:00 am
@nimh,
Yeh, to everything nimh said there. Not to be a yes man.



Welcome back to Monterey Jack.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 09:35 am
I agree with Squinney et al that blocking somebody from responding to people who have him/her on ignore would add a toxic element that we don't need. I think just voting down threads of little or no interest, though probably not intended to be, almost certainly is perceived as rejection/disapproval by some introducing a topic or question. T discover that your persona has also been rejected would only increase that perception. Those on ignore, other than for a few hopeless idiots, probably eventually get the message when they get no response from their questions/comments. (In my case, my non response would not mean that, however, since I don't have anybody on ignore.)

0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  4  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 02:43 pm
I was thinking about starting a troll identification thread when I saw this one. After seeing Nimh’s comprehensive list on this troll I thought; how handy is that? I’m guessing this will or should become unnecessary when the hamsters get the reputation system settled… but until then, it could be very handy.

The biggest problem I see here is the essential management void while the hamsters figure out how to let the members police themselves. I am encouraged by the revelation that the reputation numbers continue to be recorded and apparently tinkered with, even if behind the scenes.

The resumption of trolling by this member, while annoying as hell (and would be a deal-breaker if the site allowed too many of them), is probably being treated as a measuring stick. If he isn’t; he should be. One would think it would be relatively simple to produce an algorithm that can at the very least weed out the worst of the worst. I can only assume the decision to not do this manually for the interim period was made because the data is necessary (or at least useful) to build or fine tune such an algorithm.

Popularity contests, while problematic for the developers, are a fact of life… and I do wonder if due consideration is being taken to not over indulge in idealism. Popularity is a normal, even necessary facet in the development of community standards, especially if building a self policing community, as is the apparent intent. Everyone can’t be a winner. Most of us will never win any popularity contests, but that doesn’t mean the least popular aren’t the least popular for a reason. I suspect there will have to be some martyrs in order to lose the trolls. It’s hard to see how any algorithm could single out this idiot-bot without taking Rama (who doesn’t seem to be deliberately obtuse) down on the way... at least not with the currently available information (more on that in a minute.) I could live with that. I’m guessing he’s the record holder for being ignored anyway, even if it is through no fault of his own.

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect everyone to just ignore the idiot, while the idiot goes so far out of his way to incite. Aggressive idiots tend to behave like bullies and sometimes it’s exceedingly difficult for some of us to not step into the face of a bully… even knowing full well that it IS feeding the troll. Granted, some of us are worse at resisting than others (raises guilty hand), but most of us have done it at one point or another. At any rate; I think the site will be overrun by idiots before the collective membership learns to starve the trolls. I don’t see that happening with the ignore and thumb systems alone. That’s like trying to solve the juvenile criminal problems by encouraging better parenting… helpful, but hardly comprehensive.

It seems the reputation system was made invisible on account of too many hurt feelings… because the system couldn’t adequately represent the intended results. Perhaps the powers that be could benefit from some brainstorming here? I understand part of the problem was separating simple disinterest (like gaming, obscure, inanity threads, etc) from the toxic disdain that develops in debate. I’ve read suggestions that we revert back to categories-system, but that would thwart Robert’s plan to get away from Top down building methods. Here’s a proposed solution:

For starters, the Ignore feature should be complemented by a Preferred feature (perhaps even with a personal rating for posters we like). For instance, in addition to ignoring the least appreciated members, I would like to have my preferred members stand out, for me. On top of enriching my experience, this information, whether public or private; could be used to shield innocent members who just happen to like less popular subjects (games, obscure stuff, inanity threads, etc). In essence it would provide data for a metric like:

If Ignore >X% AND Prefer < X% -- Score accordingly and continue
If Negatives > X% AND Positives < X% Score accordingly and continue

This additional metric would allow people who appreciate BBB for instance, to shield her from being mistakenly identified as a troll, simply because her cut and paste style is largely unpopular. Her fans, essentially, would weigh more heavily than the disinterested. (If the two weren’t set up to be mutually exclusive, maybe enough of us would take pity on Rama to sustain him as well. I don’t personally have any problem with his posts, or want to see him banned; I just don’t want to read his posts, most of the time.) As it stands now (I’m assuming); a negative is a negative and that is insufficient data to accurately identify a troll. This change would also allow those of us who choose to, to shield whomever we thought worthy from banishment. By weighting this metric heavily, essentially the true trolls should be identified because I seriously doubt very many people actually enjoy the trolls enough to favoritize them in their preferences. Yabberers, Marlboro people, and other subcultures would automatically shield each other from accidental troll misidentification.

Since politics has to be the primary stomping grounds for trolls; why not address this at the top of the algorithm? A simple if/then argument that asks; do the tags contain politics, Bush, election, rape, etc (known flame tags); then go through the rest of the formula. By staying numerical, rather than straight If/then statements; you retain the full freedom to adjust the weight of various arguments for fine tuning. It would also allow for automated warnings, should you choose to use them. Maybe a pop-up that says; “As of your last post, you are dangerously close to being identified as a troll. Please adjust your behavior or risk being booted from the community. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.”

Alternately, this info could be used behind the scenes to drop a poster with such low feedback to a bare minimum of visibility. An option could be added to personal views that addresses member reputations on a scale of 1 to 10, with the 2-10 setting making visible everyone but the total bottom feeders. When you get really elaborate, this could be adjusted to allow members to customize posters ratings themselves (for their own experience), but use the metrics described above for default positions. This way, the trolls could play in the cellar with each other, and the balance of the membership could still go downstairs and play with them if they so chose. The idiots wouldn’t necessarily even have to be aware they’ve been banished to the basement.

At any rate; I think the lack of preferred is the missing ingredient to pinpointing trolls for automated action.

I don’t much like the repetition-in-a-thread angle, because Finn, for instance, will roll through a thread after a few days and respond to each of the posts he wishes… frequently late at night so his posts end up sequential… but he is no troll.

Ps. I’d also like to point out that every conscientious person who’s ever run a public business has experienced Robert’s dilemma of having his own opinions while knowing only too well that it is unfair to act on those alone, clientele-wise. The mere appearance of favoritism (or disfavor) unleashes a ****-storm of protest, almost as predictably as the setting sun. FWIW, I think (hope) most long time posters recognize the fact that he does a stellar job of NOT allowing his personal opinions to spill over onto his professional judgment… to a fault, really. I have many times seen him refuse to use his proprietary power in cases where I thought it appropriate… and frankly wished he would. I’ve also enjoyed immensely some opportunities to strenuously disagree with him, absent concerns of petty proprietary retribution, having never witnessed any such thing. The last thing I’d like to see is for Robert to be discouraged from sharing his opinions.
dlowan
 
  4  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:31 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
I'm kind of lost about why you think more is needed than just putting people you find to be trolls on Ignore, or collapsing their posts without reading them?

It can be kind of a fun game figuring out who is which serial troll, but, in the end, isn't that a personal choice? I mean, which people are enough like trolls to YOU to be worth ignoring....either permanently or for a time, while one controls one's reactivity to them?

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OCCOM BILL
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 05:02 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

I'm kind of lost about why you think more is needed than just putting people you find to be trolls on Ignore, or collapsing their posts without reading them?

It can be kind of a fun game figuring out who is which serial troll, but, in the end, isn't that a personal choice? I mean, which people are enough like trolls to YOU to be worth ignoring....either permanently or for a time, while one controls one's reactivity to them?

This community has 500 to 1000 people online every time I look at it. It shouldn't be necessary for every one of them to manually remove each and every purveyor of idiocy, each time he reinvents himself. If someone was walking around my hometown, running his mouth incessantly with taunts and lies, he would soon find himself face to face with me, and the **** would stop. Tell me one good reason I should have to choose between being be subjected to this or pretending it isn't going on behind my back.

This Holier than thou bullshit that someone should be looked down upon for responding to abuse is ridiculous. This leaves a member the option of tolerating purposely offensive **** (from members with NO redeeming qualities or purpose beyond trolling) or looking like an asshole for responding. That’s bullshit. I am not in the habit of allowing people cross me unchecked… and I don’t usually frequent establishments that purposely cater to actual assholes.

Were I not already attached to this site; I would leave as soon as I realized that this type of bullshit was intentionally tolerated by the site’s administrators… and keep looking until I found one that appeared to give a **** (like this one used to… and hopefully will again soon.) Being as I do like the site, and do like Robert, I don’t think I’d be doing him any favors to sugar coat the fact that this pisses me off. If his intention is to grow the site; he’s not doing himself any favors allowing idiotic trolls to dominate otherwise interesting threads.

 

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