General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What's the best thing to do if you think you see evidence of trolling?

Asked by wundayatta (58709points) January 5th, 2009

Probably, we all have different standards for trolling. I’ve seen people claim that there is trolling here, but I don’t know what they are looking at. This annoys me. Is it trolling to claim trolling when there is no trolling (or even if there is trolling)?

I think it only encourages trolls when you point out trolling (assuming they are real, not accidental trolls). I think the best response is to ignore the troll, and let others do as they will with respect to the troll. I think the moderators here do a fine job of removing inflammatory posts. If I see something that annoys me enough, I can complain to a moderator. That’s good enough, I think.

What do you think is the best response if you think trolling is going on?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

40 Answers

googlybear's avatar

Don’t feed ‘em…even if they look hungry…

lrk's avatar

Step 1: Stay perfectly still, and hope they don’t notice you.

Step 2: If they do see you, stand directly in front of them: Trolls cannot see directly in front of or behind themselves.

Step 3: If the Troll sees you anyway, run straight ahead in a zig-zag motion. This will confuse the troll.

Step 4: Finally, if the Troll catches up to you, play dead before it gets a chance to attack you. Only move once you are certain the Troll has left the area.

richardhenry's avatar

[mod says:] Keep flagging troll behaviour, and if it continues, contact one of the mod team.

Use the contact link up at the top of the site, send me or Devi (PnL) a private comment through our profiles, or send an email to richard (at) fluther (dot) com or devi (at) fluther (dot) com.

We take trolling, unhelpfulness and poor behaviour seriously; we actually just suspended someone. If you’re not here to take part in the community; that is, answer questions, spark intelligent discussion and try to get along with people, we’re not interested.

GAMBIT's avatar

Trolls hate it when they are made to play alone. Ignore them and they will go back under their bridge or to another website.

Jeruba's avatar

@RH, when someone is suspended, do we see any change in the person’s profile?

Snoopy's avatar

@RH (digging in back of doghouse for posterboard and marker…..)

richardhenry's avatar

@Jeruba: While the information about suspensions and bans isn’t private, we don’t want someone to have the stigma of being suspended when they come back. So no, a suspension or ban state isn’t shown on the profile right now.

Snoopy's avatar

@RH & Mods: Thank you for your service!

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m pretty sure I know a troll here. Do I out him or hope he sees the light and changes his ways?

richardhenry's avatar

@jonsblond: Why not contact me or Devi? We occasionally have “sit downs” with people in the Fluther support chat room to help guide them into being a better Fluther user.

bythebay's avatar

I think you’re right daloon, we probably all have different standards for trolling. When I see a question like this:

http://www.fluther.com/disc/31384/my-boyfriend-wants-to-have-a-threesome-and-im-not-sure/ ...the first this I think of is trolling, but others clearly do not. Useless answers, such as: "what would you have for your last meal? Troll answers: Herpes; ring of a different kind of trolling. I think RH said it well above. A question or answer that is unhelpful, exhibits poor behavior, is needlessly vulgar, or is just to provoke anger or disgust, all equal trolling. IMHO

kevbo's avatar

… or to take advantage of folks’ helpful nature by stringing them along.

when I see six or seven people trying to help someone with an imaginary dilemma, that annoys me.

Aethelwine's avatar

@richardhenry: I’m still on the fence with this one. I know he was on another site just to stir stuff up and prey on the ignorant, but I gather the fluther community may give him a dose of his own medicine.

Jeruba's avatar

Hmm, I thought there was a major distinction between crude, uncivil, and antagonistic behavior in general and trolling per se. I thought a troll was someone who deliberately tries to create disruption and even bring down a site by baiting people, launching flame wars, and polarizing discussions; in other words, not just bad behavior but purposeful bad behavior, meant to be destructive to the site. If that is not what we mean by troll, what do we mean?

bythebay's avatar

Agreeing with Kevbo; I imagine someone sitting there thinking of an outrageous question and then laughing their asses off when we’re all knocking ourselves out to be straight faced & helpful. But Jeruba makes a valid point in the difference between stupidity and intent to disrupt or destroy.

Snoopy's avatar

@Jeruba I think that is exactly the problem….I said on another thread that the definition of trolling is kind of like the definition of pornography.

There are things that are clearly over the line, as defined by most all….but there is a whole bunch of stuff in the middle that is subject to one’s own definition…..

It leads to blurry lines and confusion….

EmpressPixie's avatar

The best thing to do it report it, then ignore it. However, the best trolling is that trolling that is just on the edge, you can’t quite report because it might be nothing and inspires you to respond. I ran into it the other day. I’m pretty sure I saw a troll, but they were so wrong about the topic at hand that I just HAD to respond.

Unless it is offensive, when I see someone with a name that relates to the question and they have very little lurve, I suspect trolling immediately. I only think it is “the best” because I feel like they are getting pleasure out of stringing me along, but I can’t quite ignore them.

Jeruba's avatar

Here is a source on trolls as I understand them:

Beware the Troll: A Practical Guide

bythebay's avatar

I just read Jeruba’s link, and just for the record…none of you are getting my credit card number! :)

I guess there are idiots everywhere, but there do seem to be far less here thanks to the mods and the quick wit and acumen of the general Fluther collective.

squirbel's avatar

DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!

Ignore them, and they will get more angry. They do it for attention, so starve them!!

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve also seen a site (years ago, when I was first researching trolls because I was on an e-list that was being seriously trolled) where trolls met to brag about their conquests. If I am not mistaken in my recollection, there was actually some kind of scoring system and vying for championships on site wrecking, which seemed to be conducted as a sport just like online gaming. Now, that is what I thought “troll” meant, and I don’t think we have that here. (Do we??)

asmonet's avatar

@jeruba: You’d be surprised. :-P

There’s one user on here that I consider a troll. He hasn’t flipped out yet, but his constant useless ramblings and attempts to steer conversations to his own beliefs regardless of the original topic make him one in my book.

bythebay's avatar

Well they certainly can’t steal our lurve!

Aethelwine's avatar

@jeruba: I personally know of at least one person here on fluther that takes pride in being a troll. Haven’t called him on it yet, I believe he underestimates everyone at fluther and I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

Snoopy's avatar

@jonsblond The mystery jelly in question either is or isn’t a problem. Since you aren’t sure, contact Richard or one of the other mods and share your concerns. Let them sort it out so you don’t have to worry about it….

It is ultimately up to the mods anyway to decide who and who isn’t a problem…..

wundayatta's avatar

Please, people. I did not ask this question for people to discuss who is or isn’t a troll. I really don’t give a shit about trolls. What I care about is how people respond to them. I do not want to see people responding at all!!!! I hate the word. I hate the concept. I hate what it does to a website.

Who cares if we are being trolled. We aren’t answering questions purely for the questioner. We also do it for us! We write for a crowd, and because of that, any person wants to become a troll is irrelevant!

What I hate most is seeing the word “troll” in any post. Obviously I have a big problem in this post because I’ve used the word several times, as I did in the question itself.

To repeat: this is not about troll hunts. This is about troll ignoration, to coin a word. If I have inadvertantly started the opposite of what I wanted, I may have to dive headfirst into the computer and disperse myself forever on the net as unrelated bits.

Aethelwine's avatar

May I apologize. I do ignore trolls and I am ignoring the one I know. To be completely honest, I just learned what a troll is today. I have a bad habit of believing that everyone else is as kindhearted as I.

unsuregal's avatar

What is trolling???

Snoopy's avatar

@unsuregal Funny you should ask…..See this link

unsuregal's avatar

Oh ok!!!! I get it now

The_unconservative_one's avatar

There are some people who think anytime someone disagrees with their opinions, it’s trolling. There are people who think any joking answers to a question is trolling. There are people here who think if you question their beliefs, it’s trolling. The word is overused and misused IMO by many people here. @bythebay said ,” “what would you have for your last meal? Troll answers: Herpes” I’m not calling anyone out here, just showing an example. That isn’t trolling. That is someone’s idea of a joke. We are becoming like the boy who cried troll wolf.

asmonet's avatar

The point is we’re not that into vulgarity or crass behavior on Fluther. To us, that is trolling. We enjoy jokes and silliness just fine, but we prefer the subtle for the most part, not the blunt. But sometimes, we get our panties in a twist and for good reason. You haven’t even been here that long, give it some more time. You have to understand the people before you can say we’re using troll casually.

We might have a definition all our own based on the culture we’ve created here on Fluther.

So I, disagree.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@asmonet sounds hoity toity and snobbish. seems like some folks have very thin skin here. This is the internet, not Buckingham Palace.

asmonet's avatar

Fine, you think it’s hoity toity and snobbish, I think it’s an effort to maintain a community we’ve come to love. Everyone is welcome, not everyone is going to end up staying. A group that has defined behaviors doesn’t tolerate people who don’t at least mesh with them a little bit very well.

Just how people work. Snobby or not.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@asmonet so you call a person using the word herpes a troll? LOL!

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@Jeruba defined a troll perfectly when she said, “I thought a troll was someone who deliberately tries to create disruption and even bring down a site by baiting people, launching flame wars, and polarizing discussions; in other words, not just bad behavior but purposeful bad behavior, meant to be destructive to the site.”

Anything less is not trolling. It certainly isn’t trolling just because you don’t like someone’s sense of humor. That’s ridiculous.

asmonet's avatar

I don’t really care. :)

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@asmonet Good. I’ll be sure to make note of that.

asmonet's avatar

Oh, let’s be clear. I care about trolling, I just don’t give a shit about this argument anymore. :)

asmonet's avatar

You know, if you’re taking notes about me and all.

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