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News: Internet Trolls Are Really Horrible People

 
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 08:57 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

This is a big part of why we have an ignore feature, and the thumbs down for topics and posts. The people who you see as trolls, I might not, and vice versa. This enormous site (over 200k people) is not slanted by the definition of 'troll' by a small group of people.

BTW, I've seen what I think you're referring to, where some people complain about trolls, then can't stop engaging those folks (and, like you pointed out, Frank, often in a negative manner that could itself be readily construed as trolling).


Thank you, Jespah.

"Trolls" and "trolling" are words that have such a variety of meaning...and are used in such unusual ways, I tend to think of them as almost useless.

The thing I was trying to get across to Joe was that...


[URL=http://s276.photobucket.com/user/frankapisa/media/For%20a2k/kickyjandf_zps1829358c.jpg.html]


http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk17/frankapisa/For%20a2k/kickyjandf_zps1829358c.jpg[/URL][/img]

...all three of these people have been, at times, considered trolls here on A2K.

I personally think none of them ever have been trolls.

Calling a person a troll...or hinting in a subtle way that someone is a troll...is actually a form of trolling.

In any case I think the entire issue of trolls is overdone. When I feel someone is not contributing and simply disrupting, I just do not respond to them. That does not mean I use the "ignore" feature...which I have used on only one person (JTT).

And I consider the thumbs up/down feature to be one of the most worthless features ever to be included in any forum, anywhere, at any time. I will never use it to rate posts or responses...and I think the site would be much the better without it.
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 10:16 am
@Joe Nation,
There is a pretty standard definition of an internet troll, whether or not everyone here will agree, and that is someone who wants to disrupt and who wants to make themselves the topic of the thread. I agree with Jessalonika (i think she hates it when i call her that), that one man's troll is another's droll companion.

If a question is asked, and i has been answered, i consider the thread fair game for silly remarks. If a thread asks a question which is an absurdity--i have the same attitude. If a thread has ongoing status, though, if people are discussing an idea or a topic, and people are jumping in with what is basically "Hey, look at me, look at me," i consider that trolling. Both Jes and i add soundtracks to threads, and i don't consider that too disruptive--after all, one has to click on the post ot hear the music, and it's not necessarily about the person who posted the video--it's about the music, which people are free to ignore.

My comment about LIl Kay's "Atheism" thread came because the topic is about the experience of being an atheist, and the thread is just overrun with god botherers and agnostics. Sure, they have a right to post there--i've always made it a point of saying that anyone can post anywhere, particularly when someone refers to a thread as "my" thread. No, it's not mine, anyone can post there. But in the "Atheism" thread, one of our atheists would post something, and if you replied, there might be four or five posts in between, none of them germane. There are about three trolls there now--one is completely clueless and trolls just about every thread in which that member posts. One is a loony christian who tries to get a rise by posting slighting comments about atheists. One just peddles the same tired bullshit we've heard for over a decade.

And there's one enabler there, too. That's the big problem--people who respond to trolls only encourage them.

Which is, of course, why i so rarely respond to . . . uhm . . . what i mean is . . . hey, look at the time, i gotta run.
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 10:19 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Suffer the trolls, people...because often they are not trolls, but merely individuals who see things differently from you.


You might be an empath that can feel other's pain? Have you consistently resonated with another's feelings? If correct, you might be part of a small minority outside of the world's clergy.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 10:22 am
@Joe Nation,
In my opinion, you mean well. That eliminates you from being a troll. However, if one is not a troll, it might be hard to live in a world of trolls. Sort of like being an abolitionist in the ante-Bellum South.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 10:24 am
@Frank Apisa,
The only way that any of the three pictured could be considered trolls would be if they were, in fact, Machiavellian Narcissistic Sadists.

Joe(How does my hair look?)Nation

PS: Whatever became our friend Kicky? Is he around to defend himself? No? hmmmmm.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 10:25 am
@Joe Nation,
Would I be correct to say acting like an alpha, on any subject, is troll related? Or just another form of obnoxia? I believe the main heading is obnoxious behavior. Trolling is just a subset.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 10:47 am
News: Internet Trolls Are Really Horrible People

I do have to say, the title bugs me . . . how is that news?
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 11:05 am
@Foofie,
I think there is a broad difference between offering informed commentary and offering the same in an obnoxious fashion. It's easily seen trolling by others and, if they are really a troll, by the poster. It is, after all, on purpose.

Hmm, here's a question: In order to be a troll, does the troll have to be conscious that he/she is one? Can some just be witless Machiavellian Narcissistic Sadists?

~~ I think it's fun when Setanta owns up to his 'enabling'. I like it when Frank gets into one of those troll baiting tit-for-tats as he leads them on forever and a day. Then I get bored, but that's just me.

Joe(I'm as easily bored because I am so boring.)Nation

Trolling (different definition) for compliments is a narcissistic trait.


Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 11:08 am
@Setanta,
That was the headline in Slate, I just brought it over. Supposedly news because there is new data in this latest report that confirms what we have all suspected for a long time: trolls really are horrible people.

Joe(probably when they are off-line too)Nation
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 01:08 pm
@Foofie,
Foofie wrote:
Would I be correct to say acting like an alpha, on any subject, is troll related? Or just another form of obnoxia? I believe the main heading is obnoxious behavior. Trolling is just a subset.

No. Trolls are people who are obnoxious, mean, cruel, whatever, solely because they get pleasure from acting that way. They do not care at all what the subject of conversation is.

Anyone who actually cares about the subject they are posting about (off topic or otherwise) is not trolling, no matter how obnoxious or "alpha" they act.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 01:11 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Foofie wrote:
Would I be correct to say acting like an alpha, on any subject, is troll related? Or just another form of obnoxia? I believe the main heading is obnoxious behavior. Trolling is just a subset.

No. Trolls are people who are obnoxious, mean, cruel, whatever, solely because they get pleasure from acting that way. They do not care at all what the subject of conversation is.

Anyone who actually cares about the subject they are posting about (off topic or otherwise) is not trolling, no matter how obnoxious or "alpha" they act.


Well...I guess that gets you off the hook, right? Wink
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 01:33 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Right, Frank, Oralloy wants us to know that, even though, trolls are Machiavellian Narcissistic Sadists, they are Machiavellian Narcissistic Sadists who care.

ogod, I can't stop laughing.

Joe(Remember, they don't have to be all three to qualify)Nation


Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 01:46 pm
Oralloy ought to have thought a little more before posting that, but i don't think he deserves ridicule. Certainly when someone stomps into a thread about knitting and starts ranting about American atrocities, that is trollish behavior--and it brings to mind one of my favorite Churchill quotes: A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:23 pm
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:
Right, Frank, Oralloy wants us to know that, even though, trolls are Machiavellian Narcissistic Sadists, they are Machiavellian Narcissistic Sadists who care.

Actually, I said the exact opposite. If someone actually cares about what they are arguing about, then they are not trolls period.
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:28 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Unfortunately, for many, the definition of a troll is someone who is of a different opinion from the person shouting "troll"...particularly if the person being called "troll" is adamant about defending his/her opinion.

True, but if the default reaction to trolls is to ignore them, people with a mistaken view of what a troll is won't do a lot of harm. The harm to the thread comes when they think they have to stand up to the troll and start a chain reaction by doing so.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:32 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Oralloy ought to have thought a little more before posting that, but i don't think he deserves ridicule. Certainly when someone stomps into a thread about knitting and starts ranting about American atrocities, that is trollish behavior--and it brings to mind one of my favorite Churchill quotes: A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

I'm not comfortable talking about JTT when he is not present in the thread to defend himself.

I'll go back and answer better if he shows up here.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:35 pm
@Setanta,
Ha, I actually find Jessalonika amusing.

You and I do throw in fast disruptions, but truly that's a good use of the post thumb-down feature - if someone doesn't want to see the youtube video, they can just ignore it. Won't hurt my feelings.

Setanta wrote:
If a thread has ongoing status, though, if people are discussing an idea or a topic, and people are jumping in with what is basically "Hey, look at me, look at me," i consider that trolling.

I agree with this statement. We see people acting out all the time. It's not even necessarily traditionally trollish behavior, per se. But I'm not going to feed an attention whore. Nobody else should, either.

And what Thomas says makes a lot of sense, that if there's a discrepancy as to what two separate users refer to as a troll, then if the one who says, "yes, that's a troll" just ignores the offending member, then the one who disagrees with that assessment is free to enjoy whatever posts s/he wishes.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:42 pm
@oralloy,
It wouldn't matter ot me, because i never read its posts. As it happens, JTT is not the only ranting fanatic on that subject--perhaps you don't recall Zippo, who was just as bad, if not actually worse.

(I would also point out that there are many others here who are fanatically anti-American--and i did not name them because that's not how i operate. I definitely don't appreciate you trying to start some **** by naming a member when you don't know who i had in mind. I only named Zippo because that antisemitic creep has not posted in years.)
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:45 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
Unfortunately, for many, the definition of a troll is someone who is of a different opinion from the person shouting "troll"...particularly if the person being called "troll" is adamant about defending his/her opinion.

True, but if the default reaction to trolls is to ignore them, people with a mistaken view of what a troll is won't do a lot of harm.


Not sure I agree with that at all, but that might be because I am not entirely sure what you are saying here. Your next sentence makes me think I do disagree, however.

Quote:

The harm to the thread comes when they think they have to stand up to the troll and start a chain reaction by doing so.


I don't think significant harm comes to the thread no matter what. This is a fairly small community...and most people know what to expect from others. If an exchange occurs...anyone who wants can easily just ignore it and continue with the discussion with other people who ignore it.

I have done this MANY times...as often, in my opinion, as the number of times where I am a participant in an exchange.

I am a counter puncher for the most part...always have been. I seldom start these things. When I do (as I sorta did in one instance here in this thread)...I let a response ride...I let the person at whom I took a shot have the final word. In most circumstances I do not respond to a response to something I started.

But if the exchange has been started by someone else...I sometimes am willing to go on for quite a while before letting up on responses...like a year or two or three if necessary.

There is no reason for many of the exchanges. There is no need for anyone to call another poster stupid, ignorant, or an idiot...simply because there is a disagreement of opinion. There are VERY, VERY FEW PEOPLE here I consider stupid or idiots...or ignorant.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:53 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:
Unfortunately, for many, the definition of a troll is someone who is of a different opinion from the person shouting "troll"...particularly if the person being called "troll" is adamant about defending his/her opinion.

True, but if the default reaction to trolls is to ignore them, people with a mistaken view of what a troll is won't do a lot of harm. The harm to the thread comes when they think they have to stand up to the troll and start a chain reaction by doing so.

If the troll is merely "someone who disagrees", wouldn't "standing up to them" amount to reasoned discussion of the topic? I would think that would benefit the thread.

Anyway, there are some circumstances where I think it is necessary to stand up to actual trolls, and even if it does substantial damage to a thread. Those circumstances are if the trolls are doing real harm to someone.
0 Replies
 
 

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