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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Am I the only one seeing a pattern here?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (26789points) August 27th, 2010

For the last few days I have noticed a lot of new people that will join, ask two questions in a row that are almost identical questions (or at least on the same subject), and then vanish.

What’s that all about?

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43 Answers

chyna's avatar

Trolls. It seems to come in waves.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Meh, it’s always like that.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Always the same way like that? It’s a very distinctive pattern. I only just noticed in the last week or so.

Aethelwine's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I know exactly what you are talking about. I’ve noticed it to. It’s something new.

Jabe73's avatar

I suspect some of them log back on under different user names so in a sense it is more a case of “reappearing”. I am convinced at least one that was recently on here was the same person under at least 3 different user names in the last 3 months.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Yep, it’s pretty common.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I think so. May be wrong.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Some people are really strange. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around why some people do the things that they do. :\

Jeruba's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie, be thankful that you can’t. If you could, it would mean that you were in some sense capable of thinking the same way.

SeventhSense's avatar

They come they go. Some of us just stick around or go back and forth. It’s like the wind. You never know which direction it’s coming from and how long it will last.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Jeruba good point! How optimistic. :)

SeventhSense's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie
Hardly optimistic though. That sounds kind of snobbish. Like that could never be us. You never know.

SeventhSense's avatar

I calls em as I sees em.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I never assume that anything “couldn’t happen to me!” I’ve been thrown enough curve balls in life to learn that “it” certainly can happen to me.

That isn’t the point of optimism, though.

SeventhSense's avatar

No and my point was it wasn’t optimism. I would label it arrogance.

Jeruba's avatar

@SeventhSense, you think it’s arrogance to say something like “I can’t understand the mindset of someone who likes to stir up trouble between people” (or ”...taunt sensitive individuals” or ”...hurt small animals” or whatever)? Interesting definition of arrogance. So then what do you call it if someone says “I can understand that mindset”?

Your_Majesty's avatar

The only pattern I’ve seen here is that many people ask about technology,and it seems like that the general section in fluther is more like a nerdie place.

augustlan's avatar

It’s a definite thing, for sure. Some are trolls, some are spammers, and many of them are repeat trolls or spammers. Nearly all are shown to the door pretty quickly. :)

zen_'s avatar

We can smell ‘em from a mile away… except for Lilly – but then she’s an innocent. She had conversations with zenvelo for a while before realizing s/he wasn’t me. Not saying this zenvelo is a troll or anything, but come on… we’ve known each other since wis.dm spawned fluther and other sites like these…

iamthemob's avatar

Are the multiple questions posted at almost the same time, or is there a little bit of a lag? If they’re spaced out, I could see the reason for the multiples simply to keep the question on the front pages of the section (if not also to increase the chance of diverse answers). Of course, that’s assuming the best…

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@iamthemob nope, the ones that I’ve noticed are in a row. Literally posting one question and then posting another one immediately after. That is what made me comment on it in the first place, I found it especially bizarre.

iamthemob's avatar

I’d go with some form of spamming then OR a system hiccup (e.g., when for some reason an email you send gets sent twice).

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@iamthemob it isn’t a hiccup, because the questions are slightly different. But, spamming.. yes. I just thought it was an odd pattern. :)

Aethelwine's avatar

@iamthemob That’s what I noticed too. Same question back to back, just worded slightly different.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Jeruba
I would call that human.

Unlike the vicarious vanity of some.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m not sure what you’re getting at there, @SeventhSense. I deeply believe that every one of us is capable of the best and the worst that is in any of us. That’s our common humanity. I think we delude ourselves if we imagine that thieves, murderers, politicians, and other exceptional manifestations of our kind were somehow another species that we could put away from ourselves and consider at arm’s length. If we look inside, we will see them mirrored.

But it is also safe to say that we don’t all comprehend one another’s thinking. I can’t get into the mind of someone who would, for example, push a child into Hollywood stardom or go to war to destroy people of a different religion. I meet and listen to people all the time whose understanding of things and take on the world surprises me. How in the world is it arrogance to say that? Wouldn’t it be arrogant to assume that one did know the minds of all?—and in fact to assume that others were (or ought to be) just like oneself?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Jeruba
Yes of course in regards to serious issues, but on a far less innocuous activity like blogging and asking questions are you all set to assign some type of unpardonable sin? Some people may just ask questions, come and go and there’s no reason other than they have other things to do. There’s no pattern or motive. Most people are just not that invested and that’s regardless of how much or little they show up here. And who can blame them? I’m not going to take to heart my friendships or attachments here. For all I know they can be gone tomorrow and that’s their prerogative. They don’t owe me anything.

iamthemob's avatar

Sure, @SeventhSense, but at the same time this forum holds itself out to be a place to generate discussion. No one is required to make sure, obviously, that their contributions (whether questions or answers) are tailored to the goals of the forum, but if the community here wants to produce the most and most valuable discussion possible, that necessarily entails at least asking why patterns which seem “spammy” are happening. If it’s true that these people are just hopping on and asking questions without real investment in getting multiple views on the answer (i.e., they want something “quick and dirty”), search engines are the more appropriate vehicles. So questioning the behavior has the potential to remove what the invested community would look on as, essentially, junk (not pejorative, but if the product is discussion, the questions this thread is addressing would interrupt production).

SeventhSense's avatar

@iamthemob
If it’s not in the best interest of Fluther believe me they’ll change it. All discussion contributes to the bottom line. As long as people are visiting it’s good. Although of course I am more cynical than most. I just tend to think my view is more realistic.
This is a business after all.

iamthemob's avatar

@SeventhSense I don’t think that as long as people are visiting it’s inevitably good. The administrators lay out certain guidelines regarding the content, and although the questions at issue here don’t really appear to violate the guidelines, it seems they would tend to work against the purpose of discussion. Sure, multiple visitors, and an increase in them, may be predictive of success in the short term. However, if the dedicated community is here to find developed discussion of questions, it’s not necessarily clear to the admins that “flat” or “spammy” content should be addressed – and they might also not be the best to deal with it. Here, the community has the opportunity to help direct the questions so that they fulfill this purpose, and redirect those who may be disrupting the purpose. Leaving it up to the admins, therefore, very possibly wouldn’t effect any real change. So early on we might have to accept all discussion as it contributes to the bottom line, but, properly addressed, as the forum grows all discussion could both contribute on the business end and help push the purpose.

SeventhSense's avatar

@iamthemob
I don’t think that as long as people are visiting it’s inevitably good.
Not to all of us but then again we don’t run the site.

Jeruba's avatar

@SeventhSense, “unpardonable sin”? I have completely lost my sense of what you’re talking about. I think I’ll just take this exchange as an excellent example of my point about people not understanding what’s in one another’s minds and move on.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Jeruba
God how convenient. At least I admit I’m a narcissist. What’s your excuse? Did you not say this?:
be thankful that you can’t. If you could, it would mean that you were in some sense capable of thinking the same way.
You imagine that you are incapable of thinking in the way of one who would ask a question and then leave because they were distracted, had something better to do or forgot?
This is not someone who raped a child!
You live in such a lofty perch? And that’s not arrogant?
Come on get real.

iamthemob's avatar

@SeventhSense

The site is based on the concept of the collective, though. Sure, we don’t run the site in terms of administratively enforcing the guidelines and ensuring user compliance. However, that doesn’t mean that the collective doesn’t have the opportunity (or perhaps even responsibility) to encourage the appropriate use of the environment. The admins can remove a user’s permissions to use the site (albeit practically more than likely only termporarily) but if casual users are repeatedly encouraged to use other forums for “quick and dirty” issues, eventually it’s not really worth it for them to come here when they can just type three words into a search engine (as an example).

SeventhSense's avatar

@iamthemob
Listen. You weren’t here when there was a much more considered forum for a number of questions and it was announced that there would be a number of new questions that would be arising that were simpler and some which could be found simply from search engines. The site administrators encouraged this and welcomed it. All these answers and questions and discussions have a purpose. One to compete with this and to increase revenue. We just happen to enjoy it and contribute to the process.
P.S.- Looking for a pattern? There it is.

iamthemob's avatar

@SeventhSense
Listen. You seem to be working on the assumption that I’m saying simple questions should be eliminated. Not at all – of course there will be crossover for some of the questions. However, there are some questions that really do belong in the boolean world. In the long run, it seems a better strategy to specialize more toward general discussion than having the crowd act as a search engine. That reduces the market participants that the site is competing with (e.g., fluther is not google…this is a fluther question instead of fluther and google cover a lot of the same stuff…I’ll just see which I feel like today).
P.S. – Is the pattern you’re talking about these two sites? If so, I don’t know if that’s really a pattern.

iamthemob's avatar

Ah, but this is where the conversation has led! :-)

But seriously, sure, your question has been answered. But I don’t know, I’m of the mind that the fact that there may be some question about whether or not these questions are spam, even if quickly resolved, implicate how the site is used, right? Of course, this could move to another thread if you’re kind of over getting over the notifications this is probably causing. I would get that. :-)

Jeruba's avatar

@SeventhSense, ???

My remark here was a response to this:

Some people are really strange. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around why some people do the things that they do. :\

I was not responding to the original question or saying anything whatsoever about people who ask two questions and then disappear. I addressed myself explicitly to @TheOnlyNeffie‘s post immediately preceding mine, which was a general statement and not limited to any particular kind of behavior at all. Paraphrased, she said she didn’t understand how some people behave as they do, and I said you can be glad you don’t think the same way as people whose behavior you consider bizarre.

Until just now, I hadn’t even noticed that she was the OP. I was just acknowledging the sentiment that some people’s thinking mystifies others.

I don’t know where you got all the rest of it, but I’m not going to engage in labeling and name-calling, and I’m not interested in talking to people whose way of responding to a misunderstanding is sarcasm.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Jeruba
OK I apologize. Maybe we should both be using the whisper to indicate a following thread.

CMaz's avatar

I have no idea what you are talking about.

I’m out of here!

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @SeventhSense. I should have figured out sooner that you thought I was replying to the original question, which in fact I ought to have been. I certainly had no intention of diverting this thread. In any case, this is the end of it for me.

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