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FaceBook Insider produces Screed against "Trolls"

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 12:32 pm
Quote:
HERE you are, peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet. You finish, find it thought-provoking, and scroll down to the comments section to see what other people thought. And there, lurking among dozens of well-intentioned opinions, is a troll.

“How much longer is the media going to milk this beyond tired story?” “These guys are frauds.” “Your idiocy is disturbing.” “We’re just trying to make the world a better place one brainwashed, ignorant idiot at a time.” These are the trollish comments, all from anonymous sources, that you could have found after reading a CNN article on the rescue of the Chilean miners.

Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges.

That mythical ring gave its owner the power of invisibility, and Plato observed that even a habitually just man who possessed such a ring would become a thief, knowing that he couldn’t be caught. Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly.
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But the law by itself cannot do enough to disarm the Internet’s trolls. Content providers, social networking platforms and community sites must also do their part by rethinking the systems they have in place for user commentary so as to discourage — or disallow — anonymity. Reuters, for example, announced that it would start to block anonymous comments and require users to register with their names and e-mail addresses in an effort to curb “uncivil behavior.”



http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/opinion/30zhuo.html?_r=1&hp

I think we are seeing here an effort to redefine "uncivil behavior" as "any act the mars the virtual utopia that we are trying to create"

It goes without saying that I am very hostile to the ideas presented in this screed, I view them as abhorrent in a democracy composed of free men. While I think site owners have the right to try to create their utopias I also think that except in rare cases (for instance abuse victim communities) we should condemn and avoid using these places.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,316 • Replies: 6

 
Setanta
 
  7  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 01:08 pm
Does this mean you're going to leave now?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 01:17 pm
@hawkeye10,
I just read that (as in before you posted). It's interesting.

I think there are some good points made but I see a lot of weaknesses with what she recommends, too. For example, the "audition" process is way too easy to game. And that leaves out the fact that in terms of problematic content, many people are not wholly troll or non-troll -- they can be fine for the bulk of their posts and then say some really awful stuff.
hawkeye10
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 01:32 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
And that leaves out the fact that in terms of problematic content, many people are not wholly troll or non-troll
exactly..troll is defined by motive, and one does not know if unpleasant, negative, and emotionally charged comments have been placed with the motive to disrupt or if they are rather a reflection of the true mind and heart of the one who has written them. I am deeply troubled that someone so high up a Facebook would be so protective of their attempt at utopia that they would posit the ideas that are contained in this piece. Between this and several other miscues at Facebook re privacy concerns and their attempt to expand their empire through linkage with other sites I am increasingly concerned that the masters of Facebook are not allies of the common man.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 02:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
This is related to a basic problem that the Internet has with veracity. Information can take many forms, sometimes it's scientific, other times it's anecdotal, or even purely fictional for entertainment. Then of course there is information intended to mislead or inappropriate or insane or whatever else a motivated human being can come up with.

At present, the Internet has no "filter" or "classification" system for information, everything just exists in a large bin. It's up to the user to examine every bit of information and to filter it themselves based on their own interest. But this is a very inefficient system for finding information (or good reading) amidst such a gigantic flow of data.

Ultimately, I suspect that filtering/classification mechanisms will be embedded within Internet searches which selectively present information based on how the user chooses to filter. But that's just my prediction for the future. It hasn't happened yet.

Until then, Trolls and Snake Oil and Medical knowledge will all swim together in the same pool.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 03:10 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
tely, I suspect that filtering/classification mechanisms will be embedded within Internet searches which selectively present information based on how the user chooses to filter. But that's just my prediction for the future. It hasn't happened yet
thats is great when one is looking for facts, like that which once was found in the newspaper or by watching Walter Cronkite, but their is no way to filter out comments made by people who are out to disrupt rather than express how they feel or what they think. Your proposed filter can not help but to be in fact a filter out legit ideas and true opinion, and you know damn well what will be filtered out is that which is not wanting to be dealt with, that which would challenge the current regime and the current biases. It would be an express lane towards demagoguery by way of censoring out all that which opposed the currently approved message.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2010 06:09 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
thats is great when one is looking for facts, like that which once was found in the newspaper or by watching Walter Cronkite, but their is no way to filter out comments made by people who are out to disrupt rather than express how they feel or what they think. Your proposed filter can not help but to be in fact a filter out legit ideas and true opinion, and you know damn well what will be filtered out is that which is not wanting to be dealt with, that which would challenge the current regime and the current biases. It would be an express lane towards demagoguery by way of censoring out all that which opposed the currently approved message.

You misunderstand. I think there will be multiple filters available through which to view the information you are seeking. Users will select which (or which group) of filters they want to allow their information to pass through.

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