Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Troll Hammer

Some of you may have noticed that comments are now moderated on JoshuaPundit, which means your comments may take a while to show up on site after you've posted them. I'll try and publish them as soon as possible.

I dislike having to do this,but we've been subjected to a number of fairly disgusting troll attacks lately, and this is the best way of dealing with them, without giving them the attention they crave so desperately.

For those of you who don't know, let me explain what a troll is, and why letting them on the board is a colossal waste of time and energy.

A troll is someone who corrupts the comment board with a screed often totally unrelated to the piece he or she is commenting on,usually based on repeating what the French like to call an idee fixe , what amounts to a set `script'.
Personal, usually semi-obscene invective, hatred and name calling is par for the course, and the sure calling card of a troll.

Most trolls by far are denizens of the Angry Left, where this kind of behavior is normal, but unfortunately they aren't limited to that group.Essentially, they're usually immature children without an adult perspective. My pal ShrinkWrapped (a licensed therapist) and I have had a couple of interesting conversations on this topic, and were both struck by the ability to understand the Angry Left by putting it in the context of child psychology (`you impede me or disagree with me, therefore I hate you and you're evil').

The troll's game is a simple one...to get maximum attention and to cause maximum disruption, and they set it up as a no win situation if you decide to play.

Trying to answer one of their spittle soaked screeds logically only feeds them and begets more of the same.If they come out with something so patently ridiculous ( like the various 9/11 `truthers' for instance) that you simply tell them it doesn't warrant serious discussion, then you get another screed about `being just another chicken hawk neocon Nazi who's scared to discuss the issue'.

Answer everything they come up with logically and challenge their `religion' to the point where they have no answers, and they'll start screeching about `personal attacks' and start yakking about what a Nazi you are and either run off and/or simply post the exact same crap comment unchanged on another post the next time they crave some attention,like nothing happened.

In short, any attention you give trolls simply massages their outsize craving to be taken seriously and breeds more. So the hammer has to come down.

I've never run JoshuaPundit as an echo chamber and most of you know that I like debate and have no problem with people disagreeing with me.

My ironclad rule is a simple one - a respectful and polite post always gets a respectful reply from me. Especially if the person is factually challenged.I regard it as part of my job to correct the errors in such people's thinking (!!)

But I won't waste my time or yours with trolls anymore.


Anonymous said...

I used to comment on a politics related forum a couple of years back, and the number of trolls from the Right was just as equal if not more than from the Left. Maybe you get so many angry liberal trolls because you host a conservative website?

In any case, I think it's unfair to say that the Left inherently has more "trolls"

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Nazar,
I dunno if I'd call this a `conservative' site, although I concede that lots of people would.

Based on my definition of what a `troll' is and how they operate, I would definitely say that in my experience, there are more on the left..although as I mentioned, they in fact exist on the other side of the spectrum and I have no use for ANY of them, regardless.

As a matter of fact, I excised one right wing troll a couple of days ago over certain comments he made regarding homosexuals. Although he at least had the guts to include his name and contact info

Empirical proof of this is the popularity of leftist sites like Democratic Underground and Daily Kos. I can't think of any `conservative' sites that feature that level of insanity and enjoy the popularity of these two.

I feel bad about moderating comments,but the site is popular enough that it's starting to attract trolls, and this is the only way to get rid of them..deny them the attention they seek.


Anonymous said...

troll hammer, huh?
you should be looking for a monkey hammer.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, you can go hammer yourself, mandrill fart!

Pete North said...

This is fast becoming my favourite blog.

Freedom Fighter said...

Thanks, Peter! Drop by more often...