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Sat May 7, 2016, 08:04 PM

GD:P Meta Lesson 101: Trolls: Don't feed them, don't accuse them.

At some point everyone has to be responsible for their own behavior, and remember that "s/he started it" wasn't a good excuse for bad behavior even in gradeschool. Civility should be the ideal.

But not everyone is civil. Some, as the article on this subject I'm highlighting mentions, are just assholes online because it's easier to be an asshole when you're not face to face and we all gotta vent somewhere. Sometimes there are genuine disruptors, often referred to as "trolls". The meme that there is a mighty Clinton paid troll brigade doesn't help -- those are not trolls, but shills, and accusing Clinton supporters of being either for having the audacity to express their opinion is REALLY GETTING OLD... uh, sorry about that. I'll moderate my volume....

Still, the way of dealing with both is the same. Since you can't control their behavior, you control your own.

There are three rules to remember if you think you're dealing with a "troll":

1) Don't feed the trolls. If they're doing it for personal amusement, they are just going to get enjoyment from your responses. If they're a volunteer or paid brigade supporting or opposing a candidate, your reply gives their arguments a kick and more visibility, which accomplishes their goals for them. Disruptors thrive by disrupting. If you ignore them, they can't disrupt anyone, get bored/told by the imaginary payroll manager to move to another forun, and go away.

2) Don't accuse them of being trolls. Not only is that feeding them, the article points out that sometimes it's hard to tell a real troll from J Random Asshole. Remember what opinions resemble -- we all have them, at least one person on the Internet thinks ours stinks, and usually vice-versa. Plus, it's a really lame thing, to go ad-hominem when you can't find another reason to say why they're wrong. Lastly, it's a personal attack, and recent Ask the Admins indicate there will actually be RULES here after the primary is over! Which is to say, better to start practicing new arguments. Just not with trolls.

3) Report suspected trolls to the Malicious Intruder Removal team. Even if the troll has been subtle/prolific to not be caught right away (the vast majority of Obvious Trolls are Obvious), if circumstances warrant they can get Admin to make the call if needed. Don't try to play detective on your own, especially not in public forums.

Remember, the idea of "trolling" came from fishing. If you think someone's a troll, don't take their bait!

18 replies, 2079 views

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sat May 7, 2016, 08:07 PM

1. But do have a beer with them

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Response to Skink (Reply #1)

Sat May 7, 2016, 08:19 PM

2. Well, I suppose RationalWiki *says* it can happen...

There are also a few recorded instances of trolls and humans co-succumbing to this troll disease called friendship. These are extraordinarily rare, difficult, and fraught with the perils of awkward hate-flirting, universe-cancer, and time shenanigans; experts recommend such methods as closed causal loops of money-wiring, owning omnipotent dogs, and baking goods empire-acquired exclusive ICP previews when attempting to so befriend these strange beings.

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Response to moriah (Reply #2)

Sat May 7, 2016, 08:24 PM

3. I think DC and Nurse Jackie would be great to hang with.

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Response to Skink (Reply #3)

Sat May 7, 2016, 08:37 PM

5. They certainly don't qualify. ;) But I'm sure they would be fun, too.

The biggest thing to remember is that only YOU can prevent feeding the trolls.

And assholery in general.

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sat May 7, 2016, 08:31 PM

4. K&R

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sat May 7, 2016, 10:55 PM

6. Any estimates on how many are paid Brock-Clinton Trolls?

 

[link:|

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Response to NewImproved Deal (Reply #6)

Sun May 8, 2016, 02:24 AM

11. As many leprechauns as there are in Ireland is my best guess.

Seriously, a million dollars buys a lot of Kraft Dinner. Not many shill posts, though, even if the pay was the /r/conspiracy alleged $400 a month, that pays 2500 people for just one month.

Instead, Dumb Brock tried to get his name in the press saying they were putting more into people to create memes for distribution, probably embezzled half the million himself, and the rest was spent on server costs. At least, that's the more likely option.

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sat May 7, 2016, 11:00 PM

7. Yes,

Where would we be without you to guide our every thought and deed.

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Response to nolawarlock (Reply #7)


Response to moriah (Original post)

Sat May 7, 2016, 11:56 PM

8. Interesting.

I've wondered for a while how many have been trolling against Obama and Hillary & most other democrats for years. As you say, it's kind of irrelevant as some could be paid by conservative PACS or perhaps more sadly are divorced from current reality.

As mentioned in your post, it's best to either ignore them or treat them as sincere and discuss things on the merits. I laugh when I see repeated 'don't vote' arguments made by folks who type most all their posts histrionically trashing all democrats & progressives not named Bernie or Elizabeth. Then say 'crickets...' as though not responding to their ridiculous posts is somehow 'evidence' that 'proves' their absurd argument.

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2016, 12:03 AM

9. I don't feel the need to control the way other DUers experience DU.

Feed the trolls, don't feed the trolls, ignore, don't ignore, trash thread, don't trash thread... just let people be.

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2016, 01:30 AM

10. Your enemy can defeat you, merely by causing you to waste your time.

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Response to snot (Reply #10)

Sun May 8, 2016, 02:28 AM

12. Precisely.

If half the people, including myself, who posted on here defending their candidate were phonebanking for even an hour a week for their candidate, they would probably do more good with their time.

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Response to moriah (Reply #12)

Sun May 8, 2016, 06:52 AM

16. Some of us communicate much better with our fingers than with our mouths

I suspect it's why some of us are online when we could be talking to others, we are better at the one than the other.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #16)

Sun May 8, 2016, 04:25 PM

18. Don't be afraid of the phone! It might be scary at first...

... especially if you've never done outbound calling before (or triggers trauma if you have), but it's usually really easy. (I have modified the original script for what is more comfortable for my way of speaking. I'm sure Bernie scripts are similar.

"Hi, may I please speak to _____?"

If it's them or they are readily available:

"Hi! I am Moriah, a volunteer with Hillary for Kentucky, and we're trying to reach people who might be Hillary supporters. My computer here says you might be one, but computers aren't always right. Are you supporting Hillary in the Democratic Primary?"

If yes:

"Great! Do you need any information about where to find your polling place, or anything like that I could help you with today?" Usually they say no. Then final question: "I just had one more question: are you already volunteering for her, or would you like information on how you can?" Usually they aren't, sometimes they already are, sometimes they ask what opportunities are available.

If no:

"Would it be terribly nosy if I asked who you are supporting, or if are you just not voting in the Democratic Primary?"

That usually leads to either ID as a Sanders supporter, to which I say: "Isn't it great we have two great candidates this year? Thanks for your time, and I hope you have a great day!", or Republican ID ("All right, well, thanks for your time and have a great day!"

I've rarely come across undecideds, but I say, "Well, I'm supporting Hillary because _________ (insert one of a rotating set of personal reasons why I am supporting her that I wrote and were positives about her only). There's lots out there to help you make your decision. Have you been to her website?"

--------------

I haven't done any banking for Bernie, but I imagine the script is identical, and it's very similar to Obama calls in the last two GEs.

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2016, 05:28 AM

13. "Any response just encourages them."

Once it is clear you have a troll, it is best to let them pursue their interests without you.

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Response to moriah (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2016, 05:54 AM

14. Since some of them have been given free rein here, you might as well mess with them.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #14)

Sun May 8, 2016, 04:02 PM

17. Yeah, but it still feeds them. Troll-baiting is not a sport I prefer.

Unless it's the "Obvious Trolls" who show up first-post Trump-humping (or in prior years, Paul-botting).

Honestly, I'd rather chase tornadoes. At least I might contribute something of value to the scientific community.

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