Pull up a chair

…and welcome to the TROLL MANNAGEMINT THRED (ALLCAPSed  and misspelled accordingly).  This is your thread for discussing the status of trolls.

****************************

I try to keep this a free speech zone where pretty much anything goes, and most of the time it works.

We’ve had a few visiting wingnuts lately.  Some are trolls, some are not, and some defy description.  The trolls are mostly drive-bys who take a shit on the carpet and run.  But some stick around and become part of the landscape.

That nasty little freakshow of a troll we had a couple of weeks back was a good example of someone who deserved banning, brain damage run amok, an obsessively deranged nutcase who sat here for hours on end firing a nonstop volley of incoherent insults at other commenters in a Tourette’s-like frenzy.  Much to my chagrin, people kept responding to her which just encouraged her even more.  I hate to use the ban hammer, but that one finally had to be put to sleep for her own good and everyone else’s.

However, I won’t ban everyone who expresses a dissenting opinion, even (especially?) if it’s jawdroppingly wrong and stupid.  Most blogs tend to be echo chambers to varying degrees, and I guess that’s the value I see in comments from the Dumb: they might be wrong and stupid about almost everything, but for whatever reason they seem to initiate discussion.   When they’ve finally become too dumb, I just ignore them, and it seems to work okay.

But I could be wrong, and maybe this doesn’t work for everyone.  What say you?

92 Responses to “Pull up a chair”


  1. 1 Jasper Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    People don’t get angry over stupid comments, they get angry over truthful comments they disagree with.

  2. 2 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Uh, no.

    But thanks for playing.

  3. 3 balbulican Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Stageleft doesn’t ban or censor. It means sometimes we attract the equivalent of a Jasper or a Mahmood, but that’s the consequence of having an open forum. If there’s fun to be had mocking them, we mock. If they’re too dim to mock, or if we get bored, we just ignore them.

    If I might make one comment on your current infestation – when someone is so clearly and transparently focused on eliciting a reaction through deliberate, aggressive stupidity, they will keep returning as long as that need is being met. I truly feel sorry for someone SO needful of human interaction that they are driven to elicit it like that, but if you want them to go away, just stop meeting that need.

    Of course, that requires everyone’s collaboration.

  4. 4 Rob F Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    You could get a disemvoweller; WordPress offers two. This way, the troll can still expose themself as a sexist/misogynist/racist/homophobe/wingnut/whatever, while at the same time sparing those who don’t like trolls from having to read the comments.

  5. 5 Dr. Prole Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    That’s an interesting statement for you to make, Jasper, since you never make truthful comments, you just regurgitate the shit that you’ve been fed by medieval minded “celibate” (celibate except for the children they rape) men who wear silky gowns, self-hating women, and the other assorted freedom-hating theocratic and fascist creatures whose opinions you swallow whole and hoark back up here.

    JJ it’s your blog, but I will put in my $.02 and say that I would not be heartbroken if you made the backwards, woman-hating, zygote obsessed freak who is Jasper walk the plank. Anyone who says that women bring about their own murders via feminism is too fucking twisted to be allowed to hang out, IMO.

  6. 6 fern hill Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    It’s December 6. Always a raw day for me. To celebrate the murder of women and attribute it to feminism on a fucking Awwww kitty thread was it for me.

    Jasper is loathesome. I try not to respond to him. It is sometimes hard.

    But ignoring is the most sensible course of action.

    I’ll try harder.

  7. 7 fern hill Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Sorry, hit submit before I was done.

    We moderate at DAMMIT JANET! But nearly everything get through.

    Jasper will not be allowed to post at DJ!

  8. 8 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    balb – Thanks for your comments on this — I’ve often wondered how stageleft does it, being the most wide-open free-speechiest blog around. That’s generally my response to trolls and idiots, mock a little then ignore. Usually they go away of their own volition when the attention they want isn’t forthcoming.

    But your key phrase is “that requires everyone’s collaboration”.

  9. 9 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Rob F – Thanks, I didn’t know that even existed, but frankly, I would rather ban someone. IMO, whatever comments are made should be allowed to stand in their original form, the way the commenter typed them, otherwise it’s too close to censorship for my liking. (Unless a commenter asks me to correct a mistake, which is obviously different.)

  10. 10 balbulican Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    “But your key phrase is “that requires everyone’s collaboration”.

    With patience as a fallback. Because of course not everyone can resist the urge to respond to someone who is deliberately, systematically needling to get your readers angry, and is willing to be as dishonest or stupid as required to get the reaction they need.

    Being old helps.

  11. 11 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Dr.Prole – I welcome other POVs (especially when they’re legitimate arguments or rebuttals presented in an intelligible form). Obviously trolls and people who are just trying to stir the pot don’t fit into that category, but there should be ways to deal with them other than banning, comment moderation etc.

    You might have noticed how little time & energy I devote to responding to trolls and other dummies. But they seem to generate a lot of discussion among other commenters — which is okay with me, I’ll never tell people who they should talk to — but at the same time, it’s not the way to get them to go away.

    I didn’t make this thread because of Jasper, I made it because he won’t be the last one, and maybe we can learn something from our Jasper Experience. Engaging trolls until they become so irritating that everyone demands they get banned isn’t the way I want to go. Like balb said, what they do at stageleft is a little mockery and then ignore. I don’t see why that can’t work here.

  12. 12 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    fern hill – I know comment mod is helpful in these situations, but I am not a big fan of it (to put it mildly).

    IMO it chokes the spontaneity of discussion, which already proceeds at kind of a stumbling pace just because these are blogs, not chat rooms, and not everyone’s available to comment at the same time. And I’m not always available to let the comments out of jail.

    But whatever works for you — it can certainly help keep trolls away, and as an added bonus, a lot of them don’t even bother posting when they find out you moderate comments.

  13. 13 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    balb

    Being old helps.

    :lol: Well, I am as old as you, and although I do have a lot of patience, my commenters don’t, and I don’t want them to be driven away because of one person. But at the same time, my bar for swinging the ban hammer is pretty high (though not as high as I’d like it to be, ie. like stageleft), and I’d like to keep it that way.

    What to do, what to do…

  14. 14 Reality Bites Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I don’t know – I think when you get into repeatedly threatening violence against others sharing the space, regardless of whether or not you have the means to accomplish your threats, you’ve stepped up to the bar.

  15. 15 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Elvis has left the building.

  16. 16 deBeauxOs Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    JJ, you have a history of lively discussion happening in your comments section.

    A lot of it has to do with your blogging style.

    My gut feeling is that Jasper is soiling your welcome mat, and many of the regulars – like myself – are tired of cleaning up his messes.

    While Jasper’s predictable regurgitation of gynophobic religious zealotry and rightwing political ideology do illustrate the banality of evil, it is my feeling that he is exploiting your blog to disseminate propaganda.

  17. 17 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    deBeauxOs – Oh for sure he’s using this place to disseminate a point of view, if not outright propaganda. Anyone who comments here is basically promoting a POV, which anyone else can argue or rebut. I encourage it. One of the upsides of J’s visits is when he tries to push some dumb talking point and it gets shot down so completely that he fails to respond to any further discussion on the very issue that he himself brought up :lol: So many FAILs!

    AFAIC, fetus fetishists can come here and spew all the propaganda they want, and their points will be methodically trounced. I’m not especially worried that someone lurking might be too dumb to make up their own mind about it.

  18. 18 Reality Bites Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I think the problem is that most of us just don’t want to be here to counter the points of fetus fetishists, but to enjoy the company of (mainly) like-minded people whose views differ enough to make it interesting, but not frustrating.

  19. 19 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    RB – True enough. Really, I’m not particularly concerned about fetus fetishist propaganda — the only thing that bugs me is yards of cut and pasted articles, it fucks up the thread.

    Although I agree with you that for the most part people enjoy the company of (mainly) like minded people, diverse opinions do make things more interesting. Differences of opinion can be a social lubricant, so to speak :shock: It’s just that when people consistently make remarks for the sole purpose of eliciting an angry response, it gets old pretty quick.

  20. 20 QrazyQat Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    An aggresive troll is a person who needs attention, and negative attention is attention to them which works just fine. It’s like they need vast amounts of food but have no taste for or love of food, so anything works for them. They are energy-drainers though; they take and because their ideas have no merit they give nothing back — except for those people who find them amusing. This last is a very specific arrangement of troll and normal person that doesn’t work for too many normals, so it’s fun for a few but generally disruptive. I think in a format like this it’s your living room and your couch; you get to pick the TV show and drinks and snacks. If we want something different from what’s on offer, it’s BYOB, and don’t get too rowdy.

  21. 21 willy be frantic Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I have read the drivel offered up by jasper. It is distracting and so far I have resisted feeding the troll. He just about got me today for a comment in the kitten thread. He did cause me to do some research in support of a refutation of one of his points. However, it serves little purpose to argue with the close-minded. As the saying goes ” Don’t get down and wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it. ”

    Keep up the good work and do whatever you think best. Kudos for being as open as you are.

  22. 22 Reality Bites Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    If differences of opinion are a social lubricant than Jasper is like drowning in a vat of K-Y

  23. 23 Ti-Guy Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    When it comes to trolls, I only have one thing to say: delete their comments and ban them. Ban them hard and ban them loooong! Ban them so brutally that even their grandchildren won’t think of commenting. Banish them so thoroughly that it will take light emanating from where they are 25 years to reach Earth!

    ..!!!

  24. 24 Torontonian Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    You’ve been hinting at the stupidity element for a month now
    and it’s now come to this.

    If commenters simply ignore the Jaspers of the world and say nothing in reaction to their comments, they will go away.
    Sometimes it takes a great amount of time for it to sink in but they ultimately get the clue.

    So, we’d just keep on as though they weren’t there and, with time, they’ll stop visiting.

    You have left enough postings about *teh stoopid* and its
    ilk that most of us got the message.

    Can you selectively moderate, perhaps? But, of course,
    that would be a constraint on free speech.

    Let’s just hope that all the commenters realise that
    it’s better to not comment to the likes of Jasper et al.

  25. 25 Cornelius T.Zen Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    T-Guy – you really should learn to let go once in a while. You know, just take a deep breath and let those feelings out. Express yourself with a little passion, ya know what I’m sayin’?
    Although, if I read between the lines, I kinda get the message. Let’s see: if I transpose every second letter with a corresponding number, and anagram the results, I get…
    Dan Savage! DTMFA!
    Is that at least close to what you’re trying to say? – CTZen

  26. 26 Dead Men Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    The only problem I see with ignoring the deranged chumps is that they will take our silence as victory. Of course, they also take our evidence to the contrary of their positions to victory and their banning as a victory.

    Can’t win either way so best just to put your boot into their neck and crush the life from them just to spare everyone the irritation.

    But then, I’m one of those people who would happily live in a cave on my own, with a shotgun.

  27. 27 Reality Bites Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Oh – is that what’s meant by a shotgun marriage?

  28. 28 Bina Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Jasper = Excrement.

    Please flush!

  29. 29 Bruce Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I’m all for freedom of expression, but come on, there has to be a limit when it comes to emotional vampires like Jasper. Think about the amount of time and energy that has been devoted to him alone around here.

    Fer fux sake he started this thread because he’s so flattered that you’re talking about him.

    I’m done, I can’t tell you what to do, but if it was my blog, he’d get one comment before I banned his needy, insufferable little ass, he doesn’t add anything to the conversation, he just deliberately pisses people off.

    Asking people not to respond too it might be asking too much, and maybe even a little unfair. The fact that you continue to allow him to comment has to count as some kind of sanction for him, it’s your blog after all.

    There’s a difference between being fair and being taken advantage of, and I’m getting a little tired of watching the latter, that’s how I see it.

    Besides, how many times have you asked this question already?

  30. 30 Mandos Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I’m in favour of there being places on the Internet where more than the like-minded really congregate. On the Canadian internet, we already have several forums reserved strictly for the protection of like-minded people from rehashing first-premises. I think it kind of sometimes goes too far and am grateful that JJ offers a space for the terminally wrong to interject amount the knowledgeable and correct.

  31. 32 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Bruce – Seen him around tonight? ;)

    Really, this thread isn’t about him anyway, it’s about the next one and the one after that… though I doubt if many are that persistent.

    You must remember “proud 2B progressive”, Bruce — that was another persistent troll, hung around here for 3 months before I banned her dumb ass. Then she came back a couple of times, but people weren’t responding to her, so she faded away without being banned. I would never presume to tell people who they should or shouldn’t engage, and trolls are always fair game if you feel like poking a stick at something dumb, but they get bored fast when they’re not getting a response.

    Just something we should all (especially me) think about next time.

  32. 33 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Mandos

    I think it kind of sometimes goes too far and am grateful that JJ offers a space for the terminally wrong to interject amount the knowledgeable and correct.

    The terminally wrong :lol: and dumb!

  33. 34 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    QQ

    An aggresive troll is a person who needs attention, and negative attention is attention to them which works just fine.

    I think negative attention is even better as far as some of them are concerned. They want to piss people off. One of the most effective ways I’ve found to deal with them is just to say “Thanks for the input” with a :)

  34. 35 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Willy B

    “Don’t get down and wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it. ”

    That’s it in a nutshell.

  35. 36 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    RB

    If differences of opinion are a social lubricant than Jasper is like drowning in a vat of K-Y

    Well, at least it’s not MY vat of KY anymore.

  36. 37 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Ti-Guy

    When it comes to trolls, I only have one thing to say: delete their comments and ban them. Ban them hard and ban them loooong! Ban them so brutally that even their grandchildren won’t think of commenting. Banish them so thoroughly that it will take light emanating from where they are 25 years to reach Earth!

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Fucking classic.

  37. 38 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Torontonian – Nah, I won’t use comment mod, I’d rather ban someone who’s being a problem than put every commenter through having to put up with moderation.

    We’ll see what happens when the next one rolls in. They’re seldom as persistent as what we’ve seen of late, so I don’t expect people will have any trouble dealing with them (or not dealing with them, whatever the case may be).

  38. 39 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    CTZen – Ti-Guy has no qualms about punishing trolls in the most brutal ways imaginable… he’s that liberal fascist Goldberg wrote about :lol:

  39. 40 Torontonian Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    JJ

    I think you may have missed my point. I said selectively moderate. That would mean that some are intercepted and must be cleared by you before being posted. The rest of the
    commenters would pass straight through to the comments feature.

  40. 41 Janus Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    It’s your blog, JJ, so you get the final say in who’s allowed to comment and who’s not. I must say that I admire your patience and sense of humor!

    As for Jasper, I’m finished with the little dildo (not smart enuff to be a real prick). I shall ignore him from now on. If you don’t ban him, he will eventually go away.

  41. 42 Janus Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    And, hey! Ti-Guy! How ya doin’? Long time no hear from… :)

  42. 43 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    DM

    The only problem I see with ignoring the deranged chumps is that they will take our silence as victory.

    They take any and every reaction as a victory so there’s really no right way to handle them where you ‘win’ — you never win. I’m just thinking what’s the least irritating way to handle them for everyone else here, without me having to ban them.

    A cave and a shotgun — you could be one of my neighbours!

  43. 44 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Bina – It’s swirling

  44. 45 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Torontonian – There’s no way to do that without putting everyone on comment mod, which I don’t want to do. I’m not around all the time, and I don’t want people to have to wait for my arrival before they can get into a discussion.

  45. 46 JJ Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Janus – He’s gone :shock:

  46. 47 Rob F Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    JJ, what do you mean that “[T]here’s no way to do that [selectively moderate] without putting everyone on comment mod….”?

    On my dashboard, under discussion settings, at the very bottom is where you control avatars. Above that are two check boxes, and then a text box with the label “comment blacklist”. Above the blacklist box is another box. Any keyword entered into the second box sends its comment to the moderation queue. Is this not the exact thing you are looking for? Based on WP’s instructions it seems to be the case. Does it not work unless some other moderation option is chosen? (I’ve never had to use it).

  47. 48 Bleatmop Monday, December 7, 2009 at 5:16 am

    I see no reason to have a single standard for banning people. It only encourages the trolls to go right up to that line and stay there, only occasionally trying to push the line forward. If I were you, I’d ban anyone that I thought was no longer contributing in any positive way for some time AND has only had a negative disruptive influence. That one you banned a little while ago is a perfect example.

    As far as Jasper goes, I started ignoring any discussion about him for the last little while (with exception of this thread). Unfortunately, it means I’ve had to gloss over large sections of comments. It could be translated that as trying to keep free speech for him, you’re taking it away from many others. I evidence this by the number of people that I’ve never even seen on this board before coming out to complain about him now.

    To me, free speech isn’t about being able to say whatever you like wherever you like without any repercussion. It’s about your government not placing any sanctions on you for your speech. If people refuse to associate with a person because of their speech, then I don’t think that violates anyone’s freedom. Moreover, it is just them expression their freedom of association (or to not associate).

  48. 49 mouthyorange Monday, December 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Ooooh, I’ve been waiting for this thread and then I missed its first day because I was off doing December 6 stuff when I even managed to get out of bed with my head cold. Wish I could have been here earlier. But others have been making very good points.

    I’ll say one thing now and then will be back in a few hours with a couple more things.

    GOOD FAITH

    I agree about the value of people expressing points of view that differ from or challenge the usual consensus. If this were just an echo chamber, I wouldn’t want to be here. It would be boring. Which it’s not!

    But opposing points of view need to be made in good faith. As long as they are, I agree they should be welcomed. But trolls, especially of the type of the current one we’ve been enduring, don’t make their points in good faith. They make them either to advance their propaganda or to interfere with and disrupt the progress of discussion that others are having. Then it’s not about free speech anymore. Then it’s about playing games — psychological games and power games. Whether consciously played or not.

    All it takes for a healthy group dynamic to turn into an unhealthy one is for one person to initiate such games and for even ONE other person to engage with them and effectively be seen to be playing, whether that’s what they mean to be doing or not. Then everyone else must either play along, leave, or sit silently hoping it will soon be over and we can return to the nourishing interactions we were having before. We can also just try to return to our better conversation among ourselves, but when you’re trying to talk to people and some of them keep turning away to interact with someone who’s trying to disrupt, the disrupter keeps scoring more victories and affecting everyone. In this way, the troll is allowed to become a dominant influence in the living room and what the party is about, changes.

    What to do about it? Yikes. I’ll be back later today.

  49. 50 J. A. Baker Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Funny, yet true, story: I think I came within a hair’s breadth of getting ban hammered at Suzie All-Caps’ place for suggesting that her hetero lifemate Ken might be a future clinic bomber looking for a place to happen.

  50. 51 RealityBites Monday, December 7, 2009 at 11:06 am

    JAB – Jeez, what does it take to get banned around there?

    JJ – “Really, this thread isn’t about him anyway, it’s about the next one and the one after that… though I doubt if many are that persistent.”

    Can’t help thinking, “You’re so vain, you probably think this thread is about you.”

  51. 52 J. A. Baker Monday, December 7, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Jeez, what does it take to get banned around there?

    I know. I was fully expecting to get banned for slagging Ken. Although, when she started moderating her comments post-CC’s outing, very few of my comments got through the filter, so the effect was the same.

    Besides, I was getting bored of commenting there. One can only talk to a brick wall for so long, you know.

  52. 53 hemmingforddogblog Monday, December 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    JAB: She has deleted a few of my comment regarding Batshit Crazy Ken. For some reason it’s OK for him to slag people, but when he gets called on it…down the black hole…

  53. 54 Ti-Guy Monday, December 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    But opposing points of view need to be made in good faith.

    It’s the standard I uphold for myself. When first started commenting on blogs (just after the Iraq invasion, when I gave up on the mainstream media…before that, I avoided online discussions like the plague) and commented on right wing blogs, I was sincerely interested in how they had come to know the things they believed and thought it was just perfectly normal to correct things that aren’t true or to provide additional information. When I realised I wasn’t dealing with normal people, I gave up, save for a few drive-by’s at Kate’s and Suzanne’s a few times. But I didn’t stick around and harass them for months on end.

    What kind of person does that?

    Anyway, what tends to work for me to dissuade me from responding to trolls is knowing that the blogger will delete their comments every so often. It doesn’t even have to be consistent and avoids the need for banning. But asking everyone to ignore the trolls just doesn’t work and never has. And sometimes, in a heated discussion, someone dialoguing in good faith will be lumped in with the trolls and get pounced on, which I don’t think is fair. That rarely happens (‘conservatives’ of good faith are almost extinct) but I do want to hear what they have to say and don’t like echo-chambers.

  54. 55 Phatbiker Monday, December 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I was thinking maybe there is an attempt afoot by the loony right to hassle leftist and feminist blogs after they got the big smack down in the last US election, partly thanks to Obama supporters internet savvy. Its ok to voice a difference of opinion, but when they start screaming “baby killers etc.” the conversation is over and it time for them to fuck off.

  55. 56 Dr. Prole Monday, December 7, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Phatbiker, with this last specimen, he was calling us satanic baby killers right out of the gate.

    Sometimes I think they get a little attached. Face it we’re probably the smartest and funniest people they ever deal with. :p

  56. 57 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Rob – That’s how I ban people (5 so far) — the BLACKLIST.

    I wasn’t aware there was a comment blacklist that you could ban certain words — I still feel like this is more trouble than I want to go through, since it would end up affecting other commenters besides the troublemakers.

    But it’s an interesting thing to know about, so thanks. I had no idea.

  57. 58 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    bleatmop – Yes, I suppose you kind of have to fly by the seat of your pants and handle these things as they come along.

    My problem I guess is that my traffic is up, more commenters, therefore more trolls than I am accustomed to, and I treat the trolls like any other commenter.

    Some people are used to it and handle it really well. There was a guy who left a comment at stageleft the other night, which sounded kind of wingnutty-trollish. The next day balb just said to the guy “I think you’re looking for a stupider blog than this one” :lol: :lol: Cut to the chase or what :lol: I have to start doing that.

  58. 59 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    mouthyorange – Good points.

    It doesn’t take too long to figure out if someone is debating in good faith or not. If you shoot down whatever premise they’re arguing, or ask for proof and they can’t provide it, and they just ignore what’s been said or try to move the goalposts, then for sure they’re not debating in good faith, they’re just trying to be assholes.

    The question is, what to do at that point. Some people think it’s okay to immediately ban the person or tell them to fuck off. Apart from freedom of speech, there’s another reason I’m hesitant to do so: I’ve had 2 or 3 commenters that at first blush, appeared to be trolls. But then it turned out that they were capable of good faith discussion, and they went on to become pretty good regular commenters. They were conservatives, but so what. They weren’t abusive or moronic, and I liked them. Once was Moulon, one was botcho… and I can’t remember who the 3rd guy was.

    Anyway, that’s one of the reasons I give them a lot of rope… you never know how they’ll turn out once they open up a bit. But then again, some just use it to hang themselves.

    Game-playing is a good indication that there’s fuckery afoot. That’s what that psycho I banned a couple of weeks ago was like — not only abusive and incoherent, but it was all a game. She even said “As long as you keep responding to me, I’ll keep commenting” and it was always “I win! I win!” :roll: which to me was the sign that this person should be ignored. (However, I think in that case ignoring probably wouldn’t have worked.)

    I guess where it gets confusing for me also is that some trolls generate these huge discussion threads, so I have to assume someone is getting a charge out of them. Sometimes, I know, the temptation to respond to an asshole is overwhelming. I do it myself, all the time :shock:

  59. 60 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    JAB – I’m actually not surprised she wouldn’t ban you for that — delete the comment, yes, ban no. Ken is allowed to say anything he wants, but nobody can dump on Ken or they get deleted. But as for banning, you have to really be on her shit list to get banned. CC got banned (wrongly, I thought), but I can’t think of anyone else who has.

  60. 61 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    RB

    Can’t help thinking, “You’re so vain, you probably think this thread is about you.”

    :lol: No doubt. But it’s not. *waves to lurking jasper*

  61. 62 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    SQ – Exactly, KKKrazy KKKen can say whatever he wants about anyone and never get deleted, but nobody can say anything bad about him, even when it’s true.

    One of my last comments (that got deleted) was something like “Ken, don’t you have a gay pride parade or a public bathroom you should be monitoring?”

  62. 63 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Ti-Guy – Good points. You really do have to wonder what kind of person hangs around and harasses people… I can see rebutting or disputing a point (which is what I felt compelled to do at SUZANNE’s place fairly often since she flings so much BS around). But to show up and comment just for the purpose of bugging people on a regular basis, I don’t get it. (Yes it’s sometimes fun to poke a sharp stick at the dumb animals, but not every day.)

    And sometimes, in a heated discussion, someone dialoguing in good faith will be lumped in with the trolls and get pounced on, which I don’t think is fair.

    True. What I’ve also noticed is that occasionally a conservative who actually is dialoguing in good faith will be automatically taken for a troll, which is wrong. Disagreements aren’t trolling, they’re just different POV.

    But you’re right, I can hardly expect people to all simultaneously decide to put a troll on “Ignore” since everyone’s threshold is different. I’ve had trolls here that most of the commenters got sick of and had moved on, but 2 or 3 people would keep them occupied :lol: sometimes for days :shock: until I would go back to the thread and go “WTF! 87 comments!???”

  63. 64 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    phatbiker

    Its ok to voice a difference of opinion, but when they start screaming “baby killers etc.” the conversation is over and it time for them to fuck off.

    Yeah. I give them a lot of latitude in that respect because, when it comes to fetus fetishists, that’s really how they talk about us. I don’t think they even realize they’re doing it half the time.

    But, yes, when they clearly mean to insult, then it is time to either apologize and straighten out their act, or take their act on down the road.

  64. 65 JJ Monday, December 7, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Dr.Prole

    Sometimes I think they get a little attached. Face it we’re probably the smartest and funniest people they ever deal with.

    :lol: It’s true. Once in awhile they break down and say something like “Hahaha, you guys are funny”. That can be kind of a turning point for some. Unfortunately, most usually go back to flinging feces and jacking off in the corner like brain dead orangutans.

  65. 66 The Anti-Social Socialist Monday, December 7, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    “Unfortunately, most usually go back to flinging feces and jacking off in the corner like brain dead orangutans.”

    More like a chimp, I’d say. Orangs tend to be a lot calmer than our psychotic, bi-polar cousins…

  66. 67 J. A. Baker Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 8:07 am

    “WTF! 87 comments!???”

    That’s usually my first reaction when one of your threads gets extensive. My second reaction is usually, “Methinks Twatsy’s been here.”

  67. 68 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 11:20 am

    JAB :lol: :lol: That’s a sure sign!

  68. 69 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Antisocial – Either way, I kind of feel like we owe chimps and orangutans everywhere an apology for comparing them to trolls.

  69. 70 mouthyorange Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I want that chair.

  70. 71 RealityBites Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    We also owe trolls everywhere an apology for comparing them to Jasper.

    Cute troll doll picture if this works

  71. 74 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    mouthyorange

    I want that chair.

    :lol: Sorry, it’s taken. I’m giving it to one of my old hippie friends for X-mass. Send me a wooden chair and I’ll paint it for you.

  72. 75 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    RB – Awwww. Cute little jaspers.

    If you want to post a pic, do this

    img src=”http://whereveritsfrom.com/pictureofsomething.jpg” (with html tags around it of course) and the image will appear in your comment.

    I think that might be hotlinking though, which some people get pissed off about. (when I post pictures here I upload them to my wordpress files first)

  73. 76 Reality Bites Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    The thing is, JJ, that’s exactly what I did – both times. Wouldn’t take it for some reason.

  74. 77 mouthyorange Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    “Send me a wooden chair and I’ll paint it for you.”

    Really?:D Be careful — I just might take you seriously! You did a gorgeous job on that thing!

    It is a bit of a ways to send one … we’re five provinces and a body of water apart.

  75. 78 mouthyorange Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    That was supposed to be a grinning face. :D
    My brain is addled. Bad cold.

  76. 79 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    RB – Hang on, let me try it with one of mine

    Now yours

    ETA: it worked!!!
    WTF? Try again

  77. 80 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    RB – It seems to fuck up if you try to add text underneath the html for the image. Just a wordpress thing, I guess.

  78. 81 JJ Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    mouthyorange – Thanks. It started off with me just intending to use up some left over bits of paint I had and quickly went off the rails.

    I don’t think you’d want to pay for the back & forth delivery — it would probably be extremely expensive and not really worth it for a chair that’s just basically a funky little piece of junk. :P

  79. 82 Mandos Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I’m going to disagree here and suggest that trolls—including the “bad faith” kind—serve a useful function on the internet. What I’ve lately been seeing in the blogosphere is an increasing solidification of ideological borders. There used to be some “core” sites where ideological safety was assured, but the rest remained exposed to the ideological churn that I find that trolls sometimes provide. Perhaps as a function of the growth of the internet, I feel that this has kind of changed.

  80. 83 mouthyorange Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 5:15 am

    JJ – Prohibitive cost of shipping, agreed. Piece of junk, no.

    The chair reminds of what has been, and what could be … the true living colours of this universe will someday shine right through these mouldy old drapes of corporate grey and burn them away like a bad mist. And the puke green of the un-conscious reactive aspect of humanity, currently expressing itself largely as religious fundamentalism and distracting us from the unprecedented consolidation of corporate influence that is undermining the conditions of our self-determination, will turn to rich, mellow compost and produce something fertile and beautiful, as it probably longs to do.

    See what you’ve done. Oughta paint more of those.

  81. 84 JJ Friday, December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Mandos – I generally agree that trolls can often be useful:
    (1) Because they tend to regurgitate talking points, it’s another opportunity to rebut/debunk the BS;
    (2) Because for good or ill, they do tend to initiate discussion and make it more interesting; and
    (3) Because they serve as a stark example of the brain damage on the far right. (Although they’re almost always from the right, I had a far-left troll once — a 9/11 troofer that was so persistent I finally had to ban him. He wasn’t saying anything new, just posting all these cut n pastes from “infowars” etc, cluttering up the combox, ugh.)

    However, the trolls who hang around persistently tend to have a shelf life (about 2 months). There’s a point where their obnoxiousness isn’t funny any more. That’s when I start ignoring them, but not everyone can do that, and some commenters get pissed off seeing the same old spew from the same old troll. Trolls need to change up their act every so often ;)

  82. 85 JJ Friday, December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    mouthyorange – Oh, I do more. I comb the local SallyAnns all the time looking for old cheap furniture, fix it up and psychedelicize it :shock: :P It keeps me off the streets.

  83. 86 J. A. Baker Friday, December 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    WTF! 85 86 comments!??? And Twatrick hasn’t been here?!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  84. 87 JJ Friday, December 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    That’s usually the threadkiller, when I poke my head in and say “WTF’s goin on in here!?”

  85. 88 Bruce Friday, December 11, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    88 Comments, this is the thread that will not die.

    Please afford me the chance to give the dreaded Jasper thing who can do nothing more than lurk anymore, my one finger salute…

    …And I’m not using my finger.

  86. 89 JJ Friday, December 11, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Bruce, you do realize that your comment will probably contribute to the tubesock holocaust? More sperm-persons dead and dying in the wooly depths.

  87. 90 Bruce Friday, December 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Oh please, on that basis I’m responsible for the deaths of more beings than there are stars in the Universe. Talk about bragging rights. :lol:

  88. 91 mouthyorange Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 3:32 am

    JJ – Well then, you’re making a magnificent contribution in more than one way, aren’t you!

  89. 92 Twatrick Mginty Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 9:08 am

    boooop booooop ….now u can atleast say ive been here.booooooooooooooooooooooop booop boooop


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