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Trolls, or trolling behaviour ...how do we deal with these isues as an online community?

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:19 am
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:


Quote:
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.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 39 • Views: 24,469 • Replies: 623

 
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:32 am
@msolga,
Of course I also welcome contributions to this thread from the folk who are the focus of my concerns. They know who they are & I would really like to hear their justifications of the activities I have objected to.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:39 am
@Amigo,
I don't think you've understood what I've been saying here, Amigo.

I have never seen you deliberately disrupt the flow of a serious thread, created by some one else.

Nor have I ever seen you "follow another poster around", in an effort to cause them discomfort or grief.

What you call being a "troll" is not at all what I'm talking about here.

Your intention is not to cause deliberate disruption or to derail an existing thread. Your threads are your own. At least you have the guts to stand up & own what you actually believe in! Good for you!
dadpad
 
  5  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:57 am
Judiciouse use of the ignore function is working for me. I can put it on and take it off as I see fit. send a poster to coventry as it were for a short term. I dont make a big deal out of it i just need a rest from a particular person at a particular time.
Mind you, i have only had to use it once. Most of the time i just read a line or two and if its the usual rubish from a usual suspect i skip over the post.

BTW i know i've derailed threads by saying silly things which I intended to be humerous and sometimes are but can be annoying for the original poster who wanted a serious thread.
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:58 am
@msolga,
Yes, I understand totally. I guess i'm a different kind of troll. Sounds like a waste of time, following somebody that doesn't like you around.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:03 am
@dadpad,
But I am talking of systematic derailment of threads here, dapad.

I, too, have used the "ignore" function for the very first time recently. But all that means is that I don't have to personally put up with the rantings of that particular poster, it does not address the "following another A2Ker around" issue, nor does it address the deliberate thread derailing issue.

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:04 am
@Amigo,
Yes, you are a different sort of "troll", Amigo. Smile
And I have participated in your threads & enjoyed them, too.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  4  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:13 am
Its really child psycology 101.
ignore poor behavior, praise and reward good behavior.
Attention is what these people seek. Because these people are rarely taken seriously ANY reply is sufficiant. Even those that come to the supposed aid of another member aid the troll in his quest for attention.
dont reply, dont refute, dont defend, dont point out where they may be mistaken, just dont pay them ANY attention.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:15 am
@dadpad,
Dapad, on the thread you know I am referring to, you said this morning you'd lost track of the actual discussion, because of the sheer number of irrelevant & disruptive posts. That is the sort of negative & diruptive posting "contribution" I am referring to.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:25 am
@dadpad,
Quote:
Its really child psycology 101.
ignore poor behavior, praise and reward good behavior.
Attention is what these people seek. Because these people are rarely taken seriously ANY reply is sufficiant. Even those that come to the supposed aid of another member aid the troll in his quest for attention.
dont reply, dont refute, dont defend, dont point out where they may be mistaken, just dont pay them ANY attention.


Of course.

Attention is what they seek & this appears to be the only way that that they can achieve any. Neutral

However, some of us are here to be involved in half-decent discussions, not the management of people who can't understand reasonable ways to behave. In the hope we can neutralize their input enough to actually have the discussion.

And as I said, if you have enough of them on one thread, it can kill participation in the intended discussion.

It puts people OFF creating interesting threads, if this is the crapolla they must constantly deal with. My concern is supporting some half-decent discussions here. I don't want to spend so much time dealing with people who don't actually want to discuss the issues.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:16 am
In the past moderators would have dealt with some of the concerns I've tried to address here. I do understand moderators are not involved in such issues now & we are unlikely to see a return of such "interventions" on their part in the future.
This is why I've raised this issue here, out of sheer frustration. If appeals & arguments for reasonable behavior do not prevail, if the "ignore" function does not produce the desired result, if voting posts down does not restrain the small number aggressively disruptive posters, well, where to next? Frankly, I'm stumped.
OmSigDAVID
 
  4  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:48 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Of course I also welcome contributions to this thread from the folk who are the focus of my concerns.
They know who they are & I would really like to hear their justifications of the activities I have objected to.
Possibly, u r referring to me, inasmuch as we 've had clashes.
I am a controversial poster, as a freedom-loving conservative
in a predominantly liberal Democratic website.

Forasmuch as a troll is defined as being insincere, I am not guilty
of THAT, tho I cannot deny obsessive posting on my issue of choice.
I don t bother following anyone around. I cause no intentional disruption,
other than fair challenges on an intellectual basis.
Perhaps others don 't see it that way.





David
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:55 am
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:
Judiciouse use of the ignore function is working for me. I can put it on and take it off as I see fit.
send a poster to coventry as it were for a short term.
When I put someone on Ignore, I usually just forget him and get on with enjoying life,
unless in time, someone else quotes him in a way that moves me
to re-consider, depending on the circumstances.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:58 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
But I am talking of systematic derailment of threads here, dapad.

I, too, have used the "ignore" function for the very first time recently.
But all that means is that I don't have to personally put up with
the rantings of that particular poster, it does not address
the "following another A2Ker around" issue, nor does it address
the deliberate thread derailing issue.
That sounds malicious.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:58 am
@OmSigDAVID,
No, in this specific instance, I am not referring to you, David. But I guess it doesn't really matter who I am referring to, really .. it is the online behaviour, the treatment of other members, which is the concern.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:59 am
@OmSigDAVID,
It is malicious.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 05:03 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
No, in this specific instance, I am not referring to you, David.
But I guess it doesn't really matter who I am referring to, really ..
it is the online behaviour, the treatment of other members, which is the concern.
Most of the time, I address it DIRECTLY,
pointing out off-topic digressions, if such there be.
If that does not work, then I think that Dadpad's advice is sound.
Of course, I am not loathe to use the Ignore button,
but as u have correctly pointed out, that leaves everyone else still exposed to him.

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 05:09 am
@OmSigDAVID,
David, believe me, I have tried. It has been addressed directly. Nothing has worked & we've put up with constant derailments whenever it suits these particular posters ..

I wouldn't have started this thread if I thought I had an answer.
OmSigDAVID
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 05:23 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
David, believe me, I have tried. It has been addressed directly.
Nothing has worked & we've put up with constant derailments
whenever it suits these particular posters ..

I wouldn't have started this thread if I thought I had an answer.
OK; this presents the need of defense of the threads.
I believe that Dadpad's counsel is best; i.e., TALK AROUND the offender,
if u r certain that he is not participating in good faith.
Your defense can be that u don 't respond to him.
U will thereby make him a pariah for that thread.

That can be an unkind thing to do,
but if u r certain that he is maliciously trying to end the thread
and u wanna preserve its viability, then that s the best way to do it, in my opinion.





David
 

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