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The thing about trolls is ...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by bigpern23, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    ... if nobody gives them attention, they get bored and leave.

    We clearly have several trolls/sock puppets populating the board right now who constantly start inane threads, provoke absurd arguments and generally contribute nothing to the board.

    Now, I'm not one for banning anyone from the board. But these trolls are so completely obvious, I don't understand why we keep feeding their attention-whore appetites.

    I'm not above the temptation of responding to them. I think I was dumb enough to respond to the Ricky Williams thread in a non-snarky, straightforward (albeit dismissive) manner on Williams' hall chances. Admittedly, that was largely because I had seen earlier this week that Ricky had gained 10,000 yards and I thought to myself, "Boy, 10,000 yards rushing isn't the HOF milestone it used to be."

    I have, on more than one occasion, spent 20 minutes typing a response to something stupid one of them has posted. It felt good to write a cogent, reasoned argument about how wrong they were. I felt like my response displayed my intelligence, sports knowledge and my Lloyd Christmas-esque rapist wit.

    And then?

    I move my cursor off "Post" and clicked the link to Anything Goes or Sports and News, letting my response slip into the ether.

    As I finished my response, I would realize that the troll had gotten me to do what he had hoped. He got me to waste minutes of my life responding to something he already knew was patently stupid. I (wisely, I believe) then chose not to give the troll the satisfaction of knowing he had succeeded, that he had achieved his goal.

    By not posting my brilliant rebuttals, my SportsJournalists.com persona was not elevated in the eyes of the board members who I respect. I did not expose the troll's utter lack of intellect. I didn't even get a chance to make someone spit their Coke on their computer screen.

    But I made the right decision.

    I starved the troll of the attention he so desperately sought. The attention he needed so badly he decided turn his attention from his wife, girlfriend, cat, frog or that empty bag of Cheetos he has been holding onto because that night just meant so much to him dammit! He turned his attention instead to his computer, set up an anonymous identity on our board and then crafted 150 words of soul-sucking stupidity in the hopes that someone he will never meet will get frothingly angry about it.

    And when we do that, when we give in to that temptation to show how much smarter, funnier and goddamn sexier we are than the troll, he gets his wish. He gets that sweet redemption, the knowledge that his meager existence -- subsisting on Red Bull, internet porn and the pure hatred of strangers -- has had an impact on the world. He sees himself as the butterfly who created the hurricane and it feeds his soul.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is, we know who the trolls are. They aren't the people with whom we simply disagree. They aren't the ones who love all things Jersey Shore. They are the ones bait us with blatant stupidity. They are obvious. And they are hungry for your attention.

    So, please, don't feed the trolls.

  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I was gonna respond to pern's post, but then I took his advice.
  3. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Must ... follow ... suit.
  4. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    All momentum that was gathered on post 1 of this thread, suddenly fell off the cliff immediately after post 2.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    You know, Pern, you could just post a pic of a gorilla throwing shit. It'll have the same effect and take less time.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Not meant to be a criticism of you, Pern, but I think some people way overthink this. It's a message board. We all get that. This board has worked great over time because of all the different --and some big -- personalities, and the fact that there are some bright-as-all-hell people here who have a gift for communicating on a forum.

    Post to your heart's content. It makes the board more interesting and fun. Respond to those you feel like responding to, ignore those whom you don't. There is plenty of bandwidth to go around. And there is something here for most of the regulars, which is why we have such a stable group of regular contributors.

    As for "trolling," if you think someone is being a jackass just to be a jackass, there is nothing forcing you to do anything but skip right on by. The moderating crew goes out of its way to give people a long leash. We want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But eventually, if someone is just clogging up the board with stuff that drags it down, we'll put an end to it, as well as an end to the people who contribute to the mess by continually responding and baiting that person's behavior.

    The best way to handle this board is to post on the threads you are interested in and respond to the posts you find worth responding to. You really can't go wrong that way. Which I guess is pretty much what Pern said.
  7. Raisin Ham

    Raisin Ham Member

    I Feel So Unloved Right Now
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    If Raisin Ham's considered a troll, I don't know if I want to come around here anymore.
    I also feel it is unnecessary to denigrate anyone's preferences for Red Bull, porn (Internet or otherwise) or hating strangers.
  10. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Does 15-line+ response averages make one a troll?

    Just wondering.
  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    You know, I tried it your way, pern. I really did. Figured I'd ignore the troll and it would get bored and go away.

    Didn't work. Troll apparently didn't have anything else to do in its angry little world. Plus, there are still just enough idiots out there who think the troll is smart or cutting-edge cool.

    Hey, Junkie just came back from his self-imposed exile and scolded me for being mean to the troll. Said we'd probably run this poster off in time, because that's what we do.

    Heh. One can only hope.
  12. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    When are we gonna have the thread counting down Junkie to 50,000 posts self-deleted? Anyhoo, Buck, Buck Raiasin Ham surely isn't what pern is referring to.

    And Ky, I don't think you fully understood my post to pern. And chef, since doodoo deleted his post, I look like your thread killer
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