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Subject: Techniques for dealing with trolls (not feeding them is a bad idea? since when)

Written By: ChuckyG on 03/06/11 at 6:53 pm


Subject: Re: Techniques for dealing with trolls (not feeding them is a bad idea? since when)

Written By: Foo Bar on 03/06/11 at 7:34 pm

The guy's problem is that he doesn't distinguish between a genuine troll from someone who's merely in vehement disagreement.

That religious guy on the street who splutters condemnation?  Not really a troll; he just doesn't have any other way to express his feelings, because he's never really taken a good look at them.  He's the sort of person who would kill Hitler on his first excursion in a time machine, and it'll play out something like Wikihistory.  Which isn't too bad, all things considered; everybody comes out a little better for the experience, even if nobody's mind is changed.

But that clan of lawyers over in Westboro?  Trolls, through-and-through.  They hold no actual opinions other than "stir up controversy, wherever possible, so as to drive people to do things over which we can profitably sue for damages."  Against someone who would do this (this cartoon is SFW, but the site is generally NSFW) or this (cartoon SFW unless you have problems with dinosaur nudity and a naughty word or two), moderate deflection and reasoning aren't gonna work, because not everybody's interested in being reasoned with.  Nope, the only cure is to not feed 'em.  Not even worth discussing the history of a certain automotive product from General Motors.

For example, something like this:

It's been twenty years, and I'd be surprised if more than a few dozen people have ever changed sides, so I'm going to be completely unbiased here.  The text editors built into bulletin board systems suck donkey ballsare woefully cumbersome, and should be replaced with Javascript implementations of vi, the one true text editor.  But at least they're not emacs, the editor of heretics.

...looks trollish.  I can tell from some of the words and from seeing quite a few trolls in my time. :)

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