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Post Reply Engaging trolls in debate
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Posted 3/6/17
This thread is largely in the spirit of one nanikore made quite a while back, which you can read here:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-892521/how-can-we-help-forum-trolls?pg=0

So, the basic idea of this thread is to generate discussion about dealing with trolls in a constructive manner (yes, I think it's possible). Unfortunately, the previous thread was locked for unspecified reasons, and didn't end up producing anything useful.

Here's my take. In the past, I have had modest success getting trolls on various forums, video comment sections, and live-feed news comment areas to have a real conversation with me. In the process, it got me to think about why the person might be trolling, and how that affects your ability to turn discussion toward a more peaceful conclusion. I came up with about 3 kinds of people who you will see trolling:

1. People who just like being assholes- These guys just enjoy the conflict. They are usually (though not always) consciously aware that they are trolling. There is no reasoning with them, simply because they don't want to be reasoned with, and they get a kick out of the whole process.

2. People who are fed up with [insert insult that provides a good-guy/bad-guy feeling, like 'idiots', 'communists', or 'cons']- These trolls might or might not realize what they are doing. Some of them feel like they're dealing with idiots and other trolls, so they might as well troll. Others see the people opposite their position as villains, and feel justified in telling them exactly how horrible they are. Can often be reasoned with.

3. Legitimately unstable people- similar to the above group, but with a major difference: they almost certainly don't think they are trolling, and could not possibly be made to realize they are. They also have a hard time seeing how other people don't understand how they are obviously right.

Unfortunately, you cannot tell these apart without trying really hard to get them to stop trolling. If you are going to attempt that, you MUST be prepared for a long back-and-forth where the troll will call you names, and generally say rude things that you will want to react to. But you can't. You have to stay on target, with a specific point or topic you are trying to call attention to. You can point out that their remarks aren't relevant to the topic at hand, and you can (and should) try to understand what their beliefs on the matter are, and what perspective their argument is from. You should NOT tell them they are trolling; doing so rarely accomplishes anything but making the other party defensive.

Recently, it has come to my attention that, somewhere along the line, I ended up joining group #2, and stopped trying to really understand what people are saying and why they say it. I know why, too. It's laziness. It's a pain in the neck trying to figure out why people think things that, from my perspective, are obviously wrong or nonsensical. Specifically, I realized it after joining in the trolling here: http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-980291/capitalist-fantasy-logic#55596771

So from now on I am going to refrain from thoughtless comments in any and all debate threads. Game threads, for fun areas, and the like are not included, of course. I would like as many people as are willing to do the same, and to call me out if I break rank and start making any kind of personal attack, or dismiss opinions without at least providing a reason of some kind.

Finally, what do you all think? Can trolls be reformed (not in a permanent sense)? How should we go about engaging them (and people in general) in meaningful debate? How can we keep ourselves in line, to make sure WE don't contribute to the trolling?
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/7/17
How should we engage them? With bans. It doesn't matter why they are trolling, the impact is the same. Now obviously "trolling" is a bit of a broad statement, so moderation should be handled in a sensible, case by case manner, but the point remains.
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/7/17

sundin13 wrote:

How should we engage them? With bans. It doesn't matter why they are trolling, the impact is the same. Now obviously "trolling" is a bit of a broad statement, so moderation should be handled in a sensible, case by case manner, but the point remains.


+1
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Posted 3/6/17
My dear comrade foraslan, surely you do not mean to imply that there are people who do not express their sincerest love for our great leader President Trump?! Under the constitution of these United States, we have the freedom to believe in Jesus and the right to defend Walmart with semi-automatic rifles. We love God, Trump, and this great land. We will not be silenced.

Long live President Putin! Long live President Trump!
Ejanss 
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/6/17

sundin13 wrote:

How should we engage them? With bans. It doesn't matter why they are trolling, the impact is the same. Now obviously "trolling" is a bit of a broad statement, so moderation should be handled in a sensible, case by case manner, but the point remains.


That's what we DIDN'T have, back in the 90's Usenet days that all the bad widdle kids who weren't alive back then have wishfully mythologized:
Moderators with buttons to make Trolls disappear within seconds, and be able to make them vanish off the face of the group.

We had to put up with them back then, and now we don't. (Unless Lorreen is moderating.) It's called progress.


foraslan wrote:
1. People who just like being assholes- These guys just enjoy the conflict. They are usually (though not always) consciously aware that they are trolling. There is no reasoning with them, simply because they don't want to be reasoned with, and they get a kick out of the whole process.

The "Vaudeville performers", as they're often called, who post to watch themselves be hoots, and don't really care IF anyone responds. Or what anyone responds with, just so long as they do, and keep the one-joke gag going as long as possible. It's all about the Ratings.
That's what killed off Vaudeville, after all, when performers didn't really have anything to do for an encore, and the new acts weren't going over.


2. People who are fed up with [insert insult that provides a good-guy/bad-guy feeling, like 'idiots', 'communists', or 'cons']- These trolls might or might not realize what they are doing. Some of them feel like they're dealing with idiots and other trolls, so they might as well troll. Others see the people opposite their position as villains, and feel justified in telling them exactly how horrible they are. Can often be reasoned with.

2a. "Volunteers" for their cause (eg. Trump, Muslim-bashing, etc.), who've been told that "The world is their enemy", and go out to wage YouTube/headline-linked war with the one tiny little corner of the world they happen to be interacting with. Very difficult to reason with, as any censure against them for being looney under-informed idiots only validates their fantasies that the Outside World Is Evil And Corrupted Against Them.


3. Legitimately unstable people- similar to the above group, but with a major difference: they almost certainly don't think they are trolling, and could not possibly be made to realize they are. They also have a hard time seeing how other people don't understand how they are obviously right.

3a. (subset) Low-functioning-Asperger's posters who post inscrutable scrambled serial-nonsense (what's all this fuss about spelling, capitalization or punctuation, anyway?) on their same pet repeated off-topic micro-subject, and aren't really aware in their sheltered, candy-colored interior world that anyone IS responding.

4. Foreign posters who've learned a few American cuss-words, and saw some silly things about Trump on the international news, and now want to heckle the foreign objectified symbol of their xenophobic gags, with the limited overseas capacity for humor or shock, and difficult translation of humor concepts.


Here's my take. In the past, I have had modest success getting trolls on various forums, video comment sections, and live-feed news comment areas to have a real conversation with me. In the process, it got me to think about why the person might be trolling, and how that affects your ability to turn discussion toward a more peaceful conclusion.


And here is where we illustrate the doomed concepts that the rest of us tried to instill into the "Social workers" and "Experimental scientists" who went beyond "Play with trolls and you get to keep them", into the next step of trying to "Analyze" the trolls by gazing into the pit:
"What are you hoping will happen? That they'll post some MORE?? "

(I remember one time on Usnet, one "Studier" was angrily and stubbornly trying to defend that one annoying Type 1 gag-Vaudevillian was posting "real discussion topics" to the point that he was almost singlehandedly defending the troll from the group.
It became necessary to post the standard De-Programming about gag-vaudevillian trolls:
"Okay, that 'discussion topic' you're so wrapped up in?: IT'S. ALL. FAKE.
Let's repeat that again, in case it needed clarification: IT'S. ALL. FAKE.
Quick quiz: It's all A) Real, B ) Chocolate, C) FAKE!!!")
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Posted 3/6/17
Trolling is dead.
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/7/17
Just ignore them.
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/7/17
Don't feed the trolls. Plain and simple.
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Posted 3/6/17
Debating trolls is circumstantial.

Some troll with the intent on being an asshole, but once you start debating with them, they end up being a relatively intelligent person with valid points. Debate but have low expectations.

Then you have trolls who don't care for the content of what they say, as long as it elicits a reaction. They don't produce anything meaningful. They insult and dodge any valid question directed towards them. They should be ignored.

People with big egos and unstable personalities should be ignored.

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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/6/17
Trolls want attention and once they get that attention, they'll crave for even more of it. The better thing to do is just ignore them.
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Posted 3/6/17
im ugly

therefore im a troll

wut u gonna do
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21 / M / Oppai Hell
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/6/17
I think the only way to deal with a troll is to ignore them or report them. Or just go over to their house and kill them and or their families, but sadly, unfortunately, the laws of this land do not allow such an act. All this contempt has left me with the desire to cause as much suffering as possible to certain people.
Humms 
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Posted 3/6/17
In recent posts I wouldn't call myself a troll. Trolls have no reason, at least I respect people enough to stop.

There's a difference between being an asshole, and having fun..... Ahem..... being an asshole takes effort, and it takes no effort to come across as being an asshole when I did make questionable posts, I just know how to rustle peoples Jimmies. I can do it very well in real life to, you can literally start to see it in peoples faces, but I am quick to follow up on a high note to balance out the situation. Again, it's fucking humor to me, but people only see the issue being disrespected, for what reason I have no clue.

Same thing applies to forums. Trolls are obvious. They try too hard, they are so noticeable that it's not even worth reading. You either ignore them, or match their bluff, don't fight fire with fire.

This isn't hard people.

Ejanss 
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/6/17

Humms wrote:
Same thing applies to forums. Trolls are obvious. They try too hard, they are so noticeable that it's not even worth reading. You either ignore them, or match their bluff, don't fight fire with fire.


Or as we used to say on Usenet:
You DON'T catch a fish by jumping into the water and trying to grab it while swimming around.
You catch it by pulling it out of the water, and watching it flop around on land, gasping for oxygen.

(Or to put it more politically:
Remember when--who was it, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio?--thought that the sure-fire way to stop Trump's campaign in its tracks was to "fight fire with fire", and sling dopey trying-too-hard high-school insults back at him?
Refresh my memory, how well did that idea work out? )
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Posted 3/6/17 , edited 3/6/17
the term "trolls" keeping being throw around a lot..

but what is a troll? the definition is not the same from person to person

it's not just because you didn't like or agree with another person's point of view--

this is social media era.. with most people spending most of their time online.. don't spend a lot of time online or keep engaging fellow keyboard warriors will help

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-online-secrets/201409/internet-trolls-are-narcissists-psychopaths-and-sadists

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