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HOWTO: Dealing with trolls.

sanityspeech (823537) writes | more than 9 years ago

User Journal 0

I've been a slashdot reader since the fall of 2004. It didn't take long for me to discover the odious phenomenon known as trolling . In fact, the first comment I posted dealt with this very issue.I've been a slashdot reader since the fall of 2004. It didn't take long for me to discover the odious phenomenon known as trolling . In fact, the first comment I posted dealt with this very issue.

YCrCb was kind enough to reply to my post, and I realized that I just got acquainted with the infamous "Slashdot Trolling Phenomena". Immediately, I did some research with google and discovered that trolling in and of itself is nothing new. It may even be as old as the Internet.

I was pleased to find out that there are quite a few resources to deal with this issue. My favorite happens to be Timothy Campbell's article on "Internet Trolls":
http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm.

Another great resource is the popular Anti-Troll FAQ.

From what I gather it seems the best advice on dealing with trolls is simply to IGNORE them. However, here are a few tips on dealing with trolls:
* IGNORE postings that you suspect may be from trolls. Although use of the Silent Treatment is often antisocial, this may be one of its few legitimate applications
* If you must respond to a troll posting, don't get involved in the argument; limit it to pointing out what in the post constitutes trolling, for the benefit of others.
* Write to the site maintainers and inform them of what is happening. Keep it simple, polite and to the point (they are very busy!). Include evidence (e.g.: offensive emails, repugnant signatures, etc.) to support your case.

I can attest to the importance of the last suggestion as I have been given a fair amount of help on how to address such posts, as well as how I can minimize my exposure to such prurience which threatened to force me from enjoying Slashdot. As painful as abandoning my daily Slashdot fix would have been, I would have taken that over having to suffer meaningless vulgarity.

Case in point: I contacted the maintainers to seek solutions to filtering the repulsive signatures attached to some of the posts. Not long afterwards, Slashdot had an option to separate a post from the signature (consisting of --.) Now, there's even a feature to disable the viewing of signatures! To say that I'm pleased about the changes would be an understatement.

  • BLACKLISTING TOOLS

Other tools worth considering include blacklists. I have Profanity Blacklist (825460) and Troll Blacklist (629503) on my list of friends. Feel free to check out their journals and see if this is right for you.

HAPPY VIEWING!

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