This is something that has been concerning me for some time.: The posting behaviours of a small minority of A2K members whose sole aim appears to be to deliberately derail threads for their own particular motives.
Their “motives” can be anything from believing that their arguments are not being taken seriously enough. Though their arguments might well appear to be rather flimsy to other participants of the threads involved.
Or, someone who develops a particular dislike or antipathy to another poster here & proceeds to “follows them around” , making disparaging comments about that person at every opportunity. I call that sort of behaviour “stalking”.
Then, when the “stalked” member responds, after constant provocation, the “troll” cries foul!
Or when the poster who has posted the flimsy argument to a thread & not had that argument taken all that seriously, proceeds to systematically disrupt discussion on that thread, because of some perceived “bias” on the other participants of the thread.
Perhaps these sorts of activities are not so apparent to other A2Kers who have not personally been involved in the threads that have been affected. But I can tell you it is happening.
I can tell you that these sorts of activities are holding some threads hostage.
I want to open up some discussion about these concerns to the whole A2K community. I think it is high time we accepted that these sorts of activities are actually happening
& are turning some people off participating in some of the more “debatable” threads.
Yes, we can put some members on “ignore”. We can vote their posts down. But this does not necessarily stop their trolling behaviour. Which still has a big impact on the flow, direction & viability of particular threads. It does not solve the problem. Remember though, that these are a small minority of posters.
I say If we want to have some “meaty”, interesting discussions on sometimes “contentious” issues here, that we need to find some ways of confronting this problem when it occurs.
Recently I said this on a thread I have been involved in:
What they have "succeeded" in doing , through boorish posting behaviour, is turning off people who were enjoying participating in an informative thread. ..... Because XXXXX didn't like what other posters were saying, because it didn't reflect his particular view & he didn't know when to stop endlessly posting on his same (vague) "issue". Till we were all just about numb with it.
#####'s motive, on the other hand, appeared to be further indulging his obsessive stalking of *****, on any thread going. Pretty tiresome to anyone but #####. Personally I find this sort of forum stalking really offensive.
Me, I'm wondering why anyone would bother to go to the trouble of starting any new thread (like this one) when it involves work on their part (& it definitely does, let me tell you) & also the hassles of the commitment to keeping the thread "on track". When it can be so easily be derailed in such nonsensical & at times, offensive & irrelevant ways. By people who sometimes have minimal interest to the topic being discussed. It is very easy to undermine a thread, if one chooses to be bloody-minded, but not nearly so easy to create & maintain a good thread.
I said, in an earlier post, right now there a few threads here hold much interest for me here. Lots of "lite" threads, but not that many "meatier" threads of interest. If we are going to let troll-ish behaviour & aggressive digressions dictate discussion/debating threads here, well I think we only have ourselves to blame for the quality of the threads we end up with.
Me, I would like to see a lot more support for the people who are actually trying to create some half-interesting threads here.