0
yoink

Trolling speakers corner

Recommended Posts

This post is going to reference specific posters. Hopefully it doesn't break the forum rules too much, but I don't see any way of posting it without simply being dishonest for the sake of it.

This post references:

1:
billvon



You are called a troll here because you have admitted, via posts on here, that you enjoy posting to anger people. That is pretty much the definition of troll.




From the forum rules which we all agree to abide by by posting here:

2:
Quote


Specific Forum Policies

No Personal attacks, Flaming and Trolling.
Personal attacks and hate posts will not be tolerated in any forum. Personal attacks on another user are a great way to earn some time off, as is posting inflammatory material specifically to provoke a negative response from someone (aka trolling).


Emphasis mine.

3:
Specific Speakers Corner rules:
quade

Copying and pasting the words of somebody else is not a conversation.

At the very least, the person should make a comment in relation to the wall of text they've copied and posted so we know where the poster himself stands in relationship to it. Give it some context so you aren't simply acting as a copy and paste meat robot on behalf for some PR firm, lobbying group, or news site.



The signal to noise ratio in Speakers corner has gotten worse than it's ever been, (and that's saying something).

It's all very well having a loser definition of 'troll' for that forum, but when a poster in question has absolutely no intention of considering other viewpoints, providing evidence to back theirs up and has admitted to acting as a troll it's time to do something about it.

The answer of everyone else 'just not reading their posts' is bullshit, because there is always someone who engages and that always derails a discussion. Always. And for me, that's a good thing, that people keep trying - it shows HOPE that posters will continue to provide alternative viewpoints and provide content to the forum. Stifling that behavior from posters who haven't broken the rules, just to facilitate the continuation of someone who has and will continue to do so is ass backwards.

The point of rules is to have them be impartial, and apply equally and without emotion to everyone.
Making exceptions or having 'loser definitions' to rules means that they're not rules - they're guidelines, and a moderation team cannot hope to be consistent with that, even with the best of intention.

I understand that banning posters is (in the long run) potentially detrimental to the point of the forum, but some different form of moderation needs to be introduced if the rules in there are different to the rest of the site.

The ignore function mentioned a few threads below this one would be a good start. People who troll, or who simply post links to other websites aren't contributing to a discussion and shouldn't be given the leeway they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your post.

The topic of trolling is often very difficult to tackle, and also difficult to draw rules for as well. Trolling is a rather relative term, for example I may say something I believe, but person B may see that as so outrageous that it is a troll, meanwhile the intent of provocation may not exist.

Speakers Corner is particularly tricky to moderate, as our human nature is often to ignore information and select that which aligns with our beliefs. A person refusing to see other view points may be more of a hard-headed and stubborn personality trait than a troll, which needs to also be considered.

It is however clear to us that we need to take a look at how moderation in the Speakers Corner works going forward, and perhaps even if it's worth the effort to retain the forum at all. Forum noise is something we've always been aware of and has been on our to-do list for a while. But is something we'll focus more on when the new site is up and we have better tools to address.

With regards to the ignoring user function. We are testing this functionality on our new site to see if we can use it in a way that allows users to filter out what they consider noise. It certainly needs to be user specific I believe, because what person A sees as noise, person B could see as reaffirmation of their bias and consider it sound.

In the case that you see posts which you consider clear trolling or a user you deem to be generating a lot of noise and negatively impacting the usability of the forum, don't hesitate to PM me with screenshots or links so that we can evaluate and take the required steps.

We certainly do want to keep the idea that anyone can share their opinions and thoughts, but also want to ensure that they are not making the forum a mess in the process, we never want to feel like we're censoring anyone, while also wanting to ensure that we can provide a platform that is conducive to discussions for everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please retain SC!

At the very least it keeps a lot of the vitriolic non-issue discussions in one place and thereby away from other forums.
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meso

Thanks for your post.

The topic of trolling is often very difficult to tackle, and also difficult to draw rules for as well. Trolling is a rather relative term, for example I may say something I believe, but person B may see that as so outrageous that it is a troll, meanwhile the intent of provocation may not exist.



I think trolling is a persistent and wide-spread behavior pattern, rather than the occasional post that is an aberration to a user's typical posting behavior.

Everybody has a viewpoint on something that will be out of whack with others, but specific disagreements aren't trolling.
I can have an extreme view on shopping trolley parking (anyone who doesn't return a cart to the little parking place but leaves them in the car spaces should be shot into the sun) for example, but in most other threads I'll be quite reasonable.

That isn't trolling - it's just me being a nutcase, but my particular craziness will be confined to a very small subset of threads.


But if somebody consistently has a viewpoint so far outside the norm that every thread they post in becomes a clusterfuck, then it can't be anything else BUT trolling, deliberate or not.


I do think there is a lot of value in having a forum that splits off the larger noise from the rest of the site, and Speakers Corner does that. I'm not sure losing it would be the way to go unless you ditch the community forums altogether and make this a dedicated skydiving discussion site only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

But if somebody consistently has a viewpoint so far outside the norm that every thread they post in becomes a clusterfuck, then it can't be anything else BUT trolling, deliberate or not.


I would not want a forum where viewpoints "far outside the norm" were not tolerated - even if it angers other people. If anything, SC was created for just such viewpoints, viewpoints that aren't appropriate to share on other forums.

The problem here is that people have opinions that anger other people, and they post them, and angst ensues - but that's not trolling. Sometimes people post opinions _just_ to anger other people, and that is trolling. But if you have such an opinion, and you post it both because you believe it and it angers others - where do you draw the line?

That's why I have been using the tighter standard "posting opinions that are both false and to anger others" - because that is something that we can determine from a user's posts. If someone shows up and posts "I hate cats; kill them all" to people who like cats, and posts "everyone loves cats" when they see a cat hater - then that's both trolling and deceit, and it can be determined from a user's past posts.

I am definitely open to changing this. We took a poll recently and the result was that most people did NOT want the above policy changed - but that was based on a limited poll with only two options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
billvon



The problem here is that people have opinions that anger other people, and they post them, and angst ensues - but that's not trolling. Sometimes people post opinions _just_ to anger other people, and that is trolling. But if you have such an opinion, and you post it both because you believe it and it angers others - where do you draw the line?




I think this is where we disagree, Bill.

It's not the opinion that generates anger; it's the way the opinion is posted.
This is supposed to be a discussion forum - if someone posts their opinion with absolutely no intent of discussing why that opinion is the way it is, providing sources that explain how that opinion was reached or acknowledging that other opinions might have any validity then they're not contributing in a meaningful way to the society here. All they're doing is wasting bandwidth of the site, and the time of anyone who responds.

If all I wanted were headlines with no discourse or background I'd check out Fox's RSS feed. I don't need a poster to do that. A very simple script does exactly the same thing.


Let's ask this:

What is the point of Speakers Corner, for you?

Personally, I'd like it to be somewhere where I can understand the viewpoints and thinking of people who I don't necessarily agree with. It's supposed to be educational for me.
But someone posting 'the sky is green' over and over and over and over again without explaining how they got to that isn't educational, it's just juvenile.


Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm expecting too much of the forum, in which case it should be me that goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

This is supposed to be a discussion forum - if someone posts their opinion with absolutely no intent of discussing why that opinion is the way it is, providing sources that explain how that opinion was reached or acknowledging that other opinions might have any validity then they're not contributing in a meaningful way to the society here. All they're doing is wasting bandwidth of the site, and the time of anyone who responds.


The problem is that's not easily enforceable.

"Joe didn't provide his sources! He just claims that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that's going to kill us all!"
"I'm not going to do your homework for you. It's a basic fact; look it up. And I didn't claim it was going to kill us all."
"Doesn't matter. You refused to provide your sources. Per the rules, you will be banned."

Iterate 1000 times.

I agree that it would be great if the posters of SC considered other people's positions, backed up their opinions with supporting material and explained their positions in detail. But often they don't. And that's such a subjective standard that it would be very difficult to enforce that fairly.

>What is the point of Speakers Corner, for you?

As a mod?

As a "magnet" to pull the nonsense away from other forums.
As a service to members who want to discuss PGR.

As a participant?

To see differing opinions on things. I've learned a fair amount over the years from posters like Lawrocket, Muenkel, Winsor, Wendy, even Coreece and Rhys.

To provide a forum for posts that require research. If I do a little research for a post on water rights (for example) I learn more about that topic.

So personally I'd like to keep such a forum going. A more moderated forum will be "cleaner" and perhaps easier/more rewarding to participate in, but with fewer viewpoints presented. A significantly less moderated forum would be full of spam and unending personal attacks, but with a very wide variety of views presented. It would be nice to find the ideal middle ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know exactly what you are saying, and whom you are saying it about.

To a large extent, I agree.

Someone (a particular 'someone') who repeatedly posts nonsense, refuses to respond to challenges about his nonsense, refuses to answer questions about his nonsense, and simply posts more nonsense can be especially frustrating.

It's pretty clear that he posts simply to annoy those who have a different viewpoint.
It's pretty clear that it works.

BUT...

To a very large degree, the bigger 'noise generator' is those who respond to him. Those who demand he acknowledge that his info is false, that he answer their questions, that he 'behave'.

I made a couple posts about this yesterday.

It would be far, far simpler to ignore him and not respond.

Not necessarily easier, but simpler.

To a certain degree, I agree that he should be banned. Not for any one particular post, but for his pattern of nonsensical posts that are clearly intended to inflame. For his continued pattern of refusing to participate in any real 'discussion' of any topic.

Even Rhys would respond in a coherent and readable fashion (not truly 'rational', but you could understand it and he would address points made).

But, OTOH, I'm a huge believer in 'free speech' (yes, I know what the 1st A says, what it means and how it really doesn't apply here).
Banning someone for posting in a disagreeable manner is a bit too 'close to the line' for my personal taste.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wolfriverjoe


Banning someone for posting in a disagreeable manner is a bit too 'close to the line' for my personal taste.



I the real world I agree with you, but to quote HH, 'this ain't no damn democracy'. ;)

I maintain that forcing a change of behavior on the behalf of people who follow the rules in order to facilitate the posting of someone who breaks them is... I don't even know the right word?

Irrational?

Irritating?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yoink

***
Banning someone for posting in a disagreeable manner is a bit too 'close to the line' for my personal taste.



I the real world I agree with you, but to quote HH, 'this ain't no damn democracy'. ;)

I maintain that forcing a change of behavior on the behalf of people who follow the rules in order to facilitate the posting of someone who breaks them is... I don't even know the right word?

Irrational?

Irritating?

I guess I would call it 'enabling', at least on the part of the troll.

Allowing his inappropriate behavior to continue while others behave.

But I don't really see where anyone else's behavior is being forced to change.

You don't have to respond to him. Although it is sometimes very hard to restrain myself from posting something along the lines of "You aren't that stupid, are you?"

You know full well he gets enjoyment out of winding people up. It's a fairly stupid and very juvenile behavior, but that's all it is.

The best way to deal with it is to ignore it.

I don't think I've responded directly to him in a couple years.

He rarely responds to my posts. He has more willing targets.

However, given his apparent need to respond to just about everything directed at him (machine gun posting), it would be interesting to see what a ban would do. Would he accept it, wait it out and learn? Would he come back the same? Or would he pull a "John Rich" and start posting under sock puppet usernames?
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
billvon


Q. What is the point of Speakers Corner, for you?
A. As a "magnet" to pull the nonsense away from other forums.



Hey, there you go, that's it! That is why I like it. Plus, it is a bit entertaining to me I must admit.

I seldom post there, and when I do, I usually regret it. I'm an easy target because I am not as conversant as most of you are on the types of topics in Speaker's Corner.

Carry on, everyone. Have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I think everyone can agree that censorship is generally bad, no one likes having garbage on the forum either. And of course "one man's trash is another's treasure." But if there is a problem poster, that a number of people similarly think is a problem poster, just talk with each other, and concertedly ignore them completely, and ignore any comments referencing them completely; the problem will fix itself after that. A democratic solution as it were. But if people knowing full well that the poster is a problem continue to engage them, then you only have yourself to blame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
billvon

... We took a poll recently and the result was that most people did NOT want the above policy changed - but that was based on a limited poll with only two options.



And it queried those that _were_ left. Not those who _had_ left.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I pity the person who must decide what is and what is not a troll. Making the distinction would usually require making a judgement on a person's motivation. It would inevitably result in people claiming innocence, and possibly rightly.

Unless a person makes it obvious that he is trolling you can not know for sure. And the definition of a troll post is very vague as well. Everyone wants a reaction to what their opinion is. Positive or negative, we are all looking for feedback.

A prohibition on trolling could very well be the end. Because the mods would get so frustrated they would likely quit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brother, you and I both know that "trolling" is inevitable. But, I would ask you to look at how many diverse opinions we've lost just in the past two years. I've been motivated on more than one occasion to research things on my own because of a particular position. It's sure not the one-line snippets; but those who used to provide more than just breadth in a conversation, but the depth and application of a point.

We used to do that. And, SC was full of those type of responses. We have lost so much. It either needs to change or SC will will be lost forever.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OldGregg

While I think everyone can agree that censorship is generally bad, no one likes having garbage on the forum either. And of course "one man's trash is another's treasure." But if there is a problem poster, that a number of people similarly think is a problem poster, just talk with each other, and concertedly ignore them completely, and ignore any comments referencing them completely; the problem will fix itself after that. A democratic solution as it were. But if people knowing full well that the poster is a problem continue to engage them, then you only have yourself to blame.




Yes indeed. I believe that is the best solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A big loss from my POV is the attorneys who used to post on legal issues in SC, but haven't been seen in ages.[:/]
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryoder

A big loss from my POV is the attorneys who used to post on legal issues in SC, but haven't been seen in ages.[:/]



Yeah I see this too, it's a liability nightmare, you have to be really careful about what you write and know that there is no "context," i.e. every possible interpretation is valid (even if it is the opposite of what was intended). So the quality of what a professional can contribute basically degrades to the level of a decently informed John Doe, rather than actual "expert" input. Then people will inevitably challenge your credibility (because we're all pretty anonymous-ish online) in which case you'd have to double down on what you said/say and/or identify yourself, so more liability. I for one will venture into it a little bit concerning my scuba expertise but again stay several notches below my actual understanding in the "safe zone" of 99+% of the professional scuba community would agree with me and I would stand by my comment in court under any imaginable circumstance. But concerning medical or law, lol, I ain't touching that beyond what 30min on Wikipedia might teach you or just providing raw data.

I think it's less of a troll thing and more of a learning how the internet might expose you to liability thing, kinda like not posting pics drinking heavily (or doing anything else socially questionable) on Facebook. I've even heard that while some paragliding stuff may be legal outside of the US that isn't within it (like dropping a BASE jumper from a tandem), some folks have gotten in hot water with USHPA (the hang gliding/paragliding version of the USPA) for that because the member agreement states you won't do things they don't approve of, and dropping BASE jumpers from tandems is one of those. So those folks who told me this have censored their social media accounts of those photos, despite it being legal where they did it. Kinda like smoking pot in Amsterdam I guess (or any of the other States that allow it these days), come back to the US and fail a drug test, that ain't an excuse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryoder

A big loss from my POV is the attorneys who used to post on legal issues in SC, but haven't been seen in ages.[:/]




Absolutely amazing, so spot on.

Since Feldman's tome, (what yo don't know what I'm speaking about?)

The USPA has in fact sent a clear message to the legal advice it PAID FOR AND THEM PROMPTLY IGNORED.

Of course what do I know, I've only got one tandem and am also the leader of the Trolls according to MoJo and a few other addicts.

Censorship from a few toddlers has literarily destroyed any value this site ever had, and all from a few egocentric self absorbed power hungry dolts that think they know better.

So spot on Ryoder, so spot on,....

Here's a message from the legal community,...you fckn dolts deserve what is coming.

It's also amazing that the biggest self professed "Troll Hunters" are the biggest addicts and most self absorbed crybabies on the planet. YOU ALL NEED TO WAKE UP AND LIKE MARIE ANTRONETTE, CUT OFF THEIR FUCKING HEADS.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0