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Post Reply Engaging trolls in debate
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21 / M / Bundaberg, Queens...
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Posted 3/8/17 , edited 3/8/17
Don't feed the trolls i need to learn that which is why i don't respond to those kinds of people anymore if i can help myself.

Debates on cr aren't worth it people are stuck behind what they believe as true and won't change their opinion and hide behind words and philosophy.

Not worth arguing with anyone like that.
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36 / M / SoFlo
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Posted 3/8/17
School Days is a fantastic slice of life with a heartwarming ending.
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19 / M / Palm Coast, Florida
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Posted 3/8/17

Ejanss wrote:


MonoDreams wrote:

Trolling them back works.


Just look how well it worked for the Republican Debates.

Nice B8 desu
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25 / M / USA
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Posted 3/8/17
Why engage? I just ignore them.

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Posted 3/8/17 , edited 3/8/17

Ejanss wrote:

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!!!")


#4 seems to be a subset of #1, I think. I don't really understand what you're saying with the bottom part- I'm not condoning what trolls do, or defending them.


nanikore2 wrote:
People make thoughtless comments all the time without actively trying to upset people.

It's only trolling when you're trying to piss someone off...


I don't think you need to be intentionally trying to piss people off to be a troll. You can't know with certainty that someone's intent is to do that. I would suggest, instead, that a troll is any person who engages in flaming or direct insults, or shows a pattern of posting that a reasonable person with minimal stake in the conversation (preferably a bystander) would consider to be needlessly inflammatory (taking the conversation topic into account, of course).

Yes, people make thoughtless comments all the time, but in order to minimize opportunities for trolling, and to try and keep tempers from going wild, I really think I (others too- the more the merrier) need to check the tone and content of my writing before posting on controversial topics.


Sir_jamesalot wrote:

A lot of trolls are boogie men and are only trolls in your head.


Boogie men? I'm not sure I understand. Could you please explain?


xTheMaestro wrote:
You're asking the wrong question. It's not what you can do about the troll, the question is what can the troll do for you?

Trolling is an art. Like all art you do it to elicit an emotional response. Trolling brings out truth, in the depths of our frustration we say what we really mean. An effective troll will strip away the trivial and get right to the substance of the matter at hand. If you embrace truth and speak from the heart, the troll will have no power. If you try to hedge or use evasive language they will mock you ceaselessly and pick apart your every word. So be bold, be brief, and be honest.


Trolls have done all they can for me, and for the world. There is, at most, one thing that trolls can teach us that other, better methods could not: sometimes people are simply unwilling to listen or work with you, and you shouldn't get too emotionally invested in your interactions with them. We don't need very many trolls to put that point across. Certainly not the huge number of them we currently have.


xzard wrote:

1 - How do you know someone is genuinely trolling?
2 - What's the difference between someone who is plain trolling and someone who simply has a very different opinion?


Excellent questions. I'm gonna take them in reverse order, since the answers kind of mesh. The difference between a person with an opposing opinion and a troll is largely one of style, imo. The troll's comments will be peppered with comments and insults unrelated to the argument that are designed to elicit an emotional response. So it isn't necessary to know someone is 'genuinely' trolling, because the end result is the same, regardless of intent.


theunlocked wrote:

I disagree with people saying not to talk to the trolls. Most trolls won't fall into group 1. When you ignore people who feel like they have a legitimate argument even though everyone else sees them as a troll, they start making claims like how everyone is biased and whatnot. This only increases the issue of people seeing them as a troll, resulting in an negative feedback loop.

Engage, but don't feed them. Here are suggestions for a (political?) debate:

  • If there is a troll attempting to distract or deflect, tell them that you'll talk about that other topic at a future time, but that it's not what you're talking about right now. If they insist on this other topic, make sure that you tie it back to the original point whenever you make an argument so that they can't corner you into arguing a point that you don't even agree with.

  • If they result to ad hominem attacks, attempt to rephrase what they said to you and make it sound like a logical argument, even if it's not. Then ask them if you understood them correctly, and to clarify if you did not. This can help calm the other person down and make them feel like they're accepted even if you don't agree with them.

  • Use PC language, even if the other side won't. It can seem ridiculous, but the more formal an argument is represented as, the more formal the participants will act.


  • If a type 1 troll feels like their trolling isn't working, they'll just leave, and type 3 trolls may also be swayed by the same tactics used for type 2 trolls.


    This really sums up the best way to deal with people online, imo. Regardless of whether (but especially when) they're trolling. Have you tried to have conversations with flamers and trolls, and have you had any luck getting them on topic and back to minimal insults?
    Posted 3/8/17 , edited 3/8/17
    If you want them to stop, don't respond to them. Most of them are trying to elicit negative response for their own amusement


    source: I am one


    Edit: on a side note, I really hate the term "troll."
    Ejanss 
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    Posted 3/8/17 , edited 3/8/17

    theunlocked wrote:

    I disagree with people saying not to talk to the trolls. Most trolls won't fall into group 1. When you ignore people who feel like they have a legitimate argument even though everyone else sees them as a troll, they start making claims like how everyone is biased and whatnot. This only increases the issue of people seeing them as a troll, resulting in an negative feedback loop.

    Engage, but don't feed them. Here are suggestions for a (political?) debate:

  • If there is a troll attempting to distract or deflect, tell them that you'll talk about that other topic at a future time, but that it's not what you're talking about right now. If they insist on this other topic, make sure that you tie it back to the original point whenever you make an argument so that they can't corner you into arguing a point that you don't even agree with.


  • We have used to have a better saying on Usenet: "Just pull the lever". (Or, if you found yourself caught up with one, "Just pull the chute".)

    Meaning a troll--by his very "fishing" definition--DEPENDS on stringing out the gullible, and the minute the responses shut off, he'll go even harder into trying to bully, cajole, bluff and manipulate them back again, because it takes two to tango, and you've left him flat. Cut off the responses cold-turkey, and you've cut off his act.
    (Hence the earlier metaphor about watching a fish flop around on land, thrashing its tail and gasping for oxygen.)

    What "lever"? Picture metaphorically, if you will, the troll on stage, not realizing he's standing on a trap door, and can be comically dropped out of the stage, like Sammy Davis Jr. on Laugh-In, and presumably with Goofy-whoop all the way down, at any moment YOU so choose. Ah, the power to Sock It To Him.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH1cBwORCmo
    Or, if you've both fallen out of an airplane, and he's taunting you in one-upmanship conversation duel while both plummeting to earth, imagine that you happened to remember a parachute and he didn't...
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    Posted 3/10/17

    foraslan wrote:

    Trolls have done all they can for me, and for the world. There is, at most, one thing that trolls can teach us that other, better methods could not: sometimes people are simply unwilling to listen or work with you, and you shouldn't get too emotionally invested in your interactions with them. We don't need very many trolls to put that point across. Certainly not the huge number of them we currently have.


    A troll is only as useful as the concepts they mainstream and the taboo topics that they bring into the conversation. A non-troll will respect decorum and conventional rules of conversation, a troll will bring fringe ideas and utterly disrespect those trying to find a comfortable middle ground. To many conversations end with my some of my least favorite words in the English language, "We'll just have to agree to disagree". It's profoundly unsatisfying and the fewer troll that are on a given forum, the more likely it is to occur.

    A healthy forum needs a good mix of straight shooters, agitators, trolls, and (and I honestly dislike swearing but) s***posters to keep everyone on their toes. Otherwise we just rehash the same old talking points and nobody learns or is forced to defend their positions. Trolls are like the green ones in a bag of crisps, at first you think, "QA at this company must be awful, who let this garbage in here?" But then you realize that it kind of looks like Spiderman if his head melted and you think, "Well, now that's quite novel." As a crisp, it's as useless as hot garbage, but occasionally it can fire up a few brain cells that have been asleep at the wheel.
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    Posted 3/10/17

    -Katze- wrote:

    Edit: on a side note, I really hate the term "troll."


    I tried out "intellectual ogre", but there's still to many Shrek memes to take it seriously.
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    Posted 3/10/17

    goodman528 wrote:

    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.


    This is correct. I'm thrilled you feel the same way

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    Posted 3/10/17

    zangeif123 wrote:

    School Days is a fantastic slice of life with a heartwarming ending.


    +1 highly recommend
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    Posted 3/10/17

    PeripheralVisionary wrote:

    I think the only way to deal with a troll is to ignore them or report them.


    Report and deport is what I always say.

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    24 / M / Kaguya's Panties
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    Posted 3/11/17
    If you feel the need to engage trolls at all, you've already lost.
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