Repost: Do Not Feed the Trolls (DNFTT)

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Blog for Arizona has had a rash of Trolls of late (you all know who they are):

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

As my dear departed grandfather used to say, "opinions are like assholes, everyone has one." The converse is also true.

The writers of this blog have differing views on how to handle trolls. I can only speak to my view.

Trolls are primarily interested in hijacking a web site through its comment page. A good example of this are the online comments at newspaper web sites. Trolls pollute newspaper web sites to such an extent that the online comments have been rendered useless – the comments are largely an online message board for trolls to communicate with one another and celebrate their "trolldom." I no longer read the comments at newspaper web sites because of this phenomenon. I will not allow this to happen here at Blog for Arizona.

We have an exceptionally intelligent and articulate readership who engage in serious and thoughtful discussion (most of the time). The goal of the troll is to disrupt this in one of two ways: they want to engage readers in tit-for-tat combat because they see themselves as some kind of self-anointed warrior for a particular cause or point of view, or they want to discourage others from commenting through intimidation and fear of being attacked by the troll.

Trolls have no respect for individuals or property (intellectual). It is all about them. So please, do not feed the trolls (DFTT). Once I have identified a troll I will remove their comments ASAP. When a troll does not get any responses to their troll postings, they will eventually go away.


0 responses to “Repost: Do Not Feed the Trolls (DNFTT)

  1. sorry for the typos. It was way too late.

  2. Hey, 2 things we can agree on! I love it. There is hope for us yet. I have commented on many articles on newspaper websites and have found that they get way off topic and can become downright cruel. That is not what I want to be a part of. I find some debates I have participated in at this site have caused me to research certain topics and to search my own heart and mind. I appreciate that. I know sometimes conversations get heated but we all need to realize there is a fine line. Even though I am a minority here I don’t feel that i have been attacked or too offended. I hope never too be viewed as a troll. And emanie, your grandfather was a wise man.

  3. Glad that you guys are on top of it. I agree, feeding the trolls just helps them drag you down to their level of insanity.

  4. My bad AZBM. Ditto on the newspaper comments. Up north here we have a newspaper, the Prescott Courier, that is run by trolls. They edit and refuse to print many liberal comments. Makes the comment section just that much more of a epistemically closed troll-fest.

  5. Meanie –

    Point taken. Apologies.

  6. David Safier

    Two more comments from Jack the Troll above, which I assume won’t be there long.

    Amen to your Do Not Feed the Trolls post, Meanie. Sometimes I can’t help myself, I respond instinctively, but most of the time I just ignore the more benign idiocy and remove the truly vile stuff, like Jack’s.

    Sane commenters: trolls are like those mythical monsters who feed on anger and grow larger the more they’re attacked. Just go on with your generally intelligent comments — and I include reasonable people who disagree — and don’t bite on the hateful bait. Trolls eventually grow puny and fade away when they’re ignored.