Poll

Should we update the Conduct section of the Rules to address trolling?  

Yes.
4 (33.3%)
Yes, but with a different standard (see my comment).
1 (8.3%)
No.
7 (58.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?  (Read 4086 times)

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2018, 10:00:35 PM »
I would not support the proposed modification.
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Offline xenu

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2018, 10:28:45 PM »
I think we should leave it up to the mods. Most situations are unique.  The mods should get together and vote out or in on each situation.
The way we should all deal with trolls is to just ignore them. I do. Trolls want feed back and to stir shit up. Ignore them and they are screaming into the void.
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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2018, 11:06:42 PM »
I think we should leave it up to the mods. Most situations are unique.  The mods should get together and vote out or in on each situation.
The way we should all deal with trolls is to just ignore them. I do. Trolls want feed back and to stir shit up. Ignore them and they are screaming into the void.

Most situations are not unique - at relevant levels of detail.

Right now our community dumps energy into good-faith arguing with people who are clearly manipulating us: Trolls. That's not the same as "I don't agree with you on [topic]." It's a persistent pattern of disruptive behaviour.

I'm not in favour of a ream of regulations, but I think we need something to guide our Mods to deali with trolls effectively. Right now 'troll' is not considered a real threat to the community. I think recent events in social media manipulation provide ample evidence that trolls are a real threat that should be dealt with at least as vigourously as persistent vulgarity. To that end, a Rule to address persistent disrupting of the good faith discussions in the community needs adding. I can't imagine the Mods helplessly disussing their impotence in dealing with a polite saboteur who drains our Skeptical efforts away from meaningful discussions. I can imagine them not having a basic anti-trolling rule to base their judgments on.

So yeah, I'd like to leave it up to the Mods - as long as they have a basis for dealing with trolls.
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Online brilligtove

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2018, 11:07:45 PM »
I would not support the proposed modification.

Please discuss.
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Online brilligtove

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2018, 11:10:07 PM »
(click to show/hide)
]

This actually sounds pretty good. I agree with the Tu-Quoque as long as it's the fallacy where someone is claiming your statement is false because you're guilty of not following it. I don't think there's anything wrong with simply pointing out hypocrisy or inconsistency. The dog whistle seems like it's assuming intent. Some dog whistles are still legit statements without a more nefarious intent to signal to horrible people or to take a further step to something worse. For some, just criticizing Islam is a dog whistle.

Yeah - but I also trust the mods.  They make calls on this sort of thing all the time.  And most of the time they assume good intent - especially for first time posters.

I trust them too. It's when the assumption of good intent is drained away and persistent disruption of the community becomes prominent that we have a real troll. (It can be polite disruption, but it is still a form of sabotage.)

ETA: We have many ideologues here who argue in good faith. We often challenge each other's assumptions. Sometimes an individual is able to incorporate new evidence and arguments into their worldview. Whether it's cars, carbs, climate change, or cultural appropriation, we have had many productive, passionate disagreements that don't instantly descend into "eat vomit you ignorant fucklip asselbow!" I see more "you're a damn dirty liar" being thrown about now, though, and I suspect that trolls are poisoning our attitudes to each other.

I like this deeply flawed community, and want to see it get better at being a community. Trolls... they don't want that at all.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 11:19:29 PM by brilligtove »
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2018, 11:13:31 PM »
The problem I have is with setting up a system that attempts to ban people on the basis of (the popular perception of) their motives, rather than on the basis of their behaviors.  If there are behaviors that are not currently covered by the rules but should be, let’s talk about it and fix it.  But let’s not create some brand new “vote people off the island” system.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2018, 11:19:29 PM »
I would not support the proposed modification.

Please discuss.

Pdb is not a troll.
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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2018, 11:21:13 PM »
I would not support the proposed modification.

Please discuss.

Pdb is not a troll.

Please discuss, as opposed to declaim. Pdb is an example I used to provide context for my proposal. What are your thoughts on the proposal independent of any one user?
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Online brilligtove

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2018, 11:24:15 PM »
The problem I have is with setting up a system that attempts to ban people on the basis of (the popular perception of) their motives, rather than on the basis of their behaviors.  If there are behaviors that are not currently covered by the rules but should be, let’s talk about it and fix it.  But let’s not create some brand new “vote people off the island” system.

That's a fair criticism. The proposed rule change covers a set of behaviours that are not currently addressed. Basically the rules say, "If you're a belligerent asshole, abusive, or threatening we'll give you the boot." They do not cover the polite saboteur.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2018, 11:32:53 PM »
I would not support the proposed modification.

Please discuss.

Pdb is not a troll.

Please discuss, as opposed to declaim. Pdb is an example I used to provide context for my proposal. What are your thoughts on the proposal independent of any one user?

I've already indicated my thoughts in the poll. The rules don't need to be changed to account for trolling behaviour, especially since we can't even agree on what that means. You're trying to put power in the hands of the users when the task is already being adequately performed by the mod team. There is no need to change the rules.

The problem I have is with setting up a system that attempts to ban people on the basis of (the popular perception of) their motives, rather than on the basis of their behaviors.  If there are behaviors that are not currently covered by the rules but should be, let’s talk about it and fix it.  But let’s not create some brand new “vote people off the island” system.

That's a fair criticism. The proposed rule change covers a set of behaviours that are not currently addressed. Basically the rules say, "If you're a belligerent asshole, abusive, or threatening we'll give you the boot." They do not cover the polite saboteur.

So now you're going to need to define what "polite saboteur" means and why there should be a rule against it.
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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2018, 11:48:06 PM »
I would not support the proposed modification.

Please discuss.

Pdb is not a troll.

Please discuss, as opposed to declaim. Pdb is an example I used to provide context for my proposal. What are your thoughts on the proposal independent of any one user?

I've already indicated my thoughts in the poll.


Twelve words clearly articulate your thoughts? You usually have a more nuanced position.

The rules don't need to be changed to account for trolling behaviour, especially since we can't even agree on what that means. You're trying to put power in the hands of the users when the task is already being adequately performed by the mod team. There is no need to change the rules.

The problem I have is with setting up a system that attempts to ban people on the basis of (the popular perception of) their motives, rather than on the basis of their behaviors.  If there are behaviors that are not currently covered by the rules but should be, let’s talk about it and fix it.  But let’s not create some brand new “vote people off the island” system.

That's a fair criticism. The proposed rule change covers a set of behaviours that are not currently addressed. Basically the rules say, "If you're a belligerent asshole, abusive, or threatening we'll give you the boot." They do not cover the polite saboteur.

So now you're going to need to define what "polite saboteur" means and why there should be a rule against it.

That's splitting hairs that don't need splitting. The rules also cite pornography, obscenity, and fucking profanity, if you can believe it the cunts. These are wildly subjective concepts with Venn diagrams that may barely kiss across cultures if they intersect at all. (Heck, I got shaky typing in that last crossed out profanity from my Toronto kitchen. I also know Aussies who would be baffled by my sweaty palms.)

We can have a perfectly usable definition for trolling without having a perfect definition of trolling. It's culturally contextual, of course, but can still be a useful guideline.

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2018, 12:03:30 AM »
The problem is that “trolling” is a concept that is fundamentally dependent upon intent, and I do not think that our moderators should be imputing intent to members’ posts.  If you can come up with specific behaviors that trolls engage in which should be prohibited regardless of who is using them or their motive in doing so, then I have no problem considering them. For instance, I have already suggested some behaviors that are not currently prohibited but that I believe should be (promoting bigotry and inciting hatred or violence against individuals or groups).  These are behaviors which, while subjective, are concrete and do lot require moderators to pretend to peer into the hearts and minds of those who engage in them.

Can You describe other behaviors like these that you think we should consider banning?
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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2018, 12:25:28 AM »
The problem is that “trolling” is a concept that is fundamentally dependent upon intent, and I do not think that our moderators should be imputing intent to members’ posts.  If you can come up with specific behaviors that trolls engage in which should be prohibited regardless of who is using them or their motive in doing so, then I have no problem considering them. For instance, I have already suggested some behaviors that are not currently prohibited but that I believe should be (promoting bigotry and inciting hatred or violence against individuals or groups).  These are behaviors which, while subjective, are concrete and do lot require moderators to pretend to peer into the hearts and minds of those who engage in them.

Can You describe other behaviors like these that you think we should consider banning?

I fundamentally reject that premise, and point you to the behavioral based definitions I crudely outlined.  Trolling may be about intent, but it is possible to curtail behavior that is basically trolling.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2018, 01:17:29 AM »
Twelve words clearly articulate your thoughts? You usually have a more nuanced position.

No, one word clearly articulates my thoughts. The word that is attached to the poll option that I put my vote on: "No".
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Who wants to modify the Rules to deal with trolls?
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2018, 01:19:02 AM »
The problem is that “trolling” is a concept that is fundamentally dependent upon intent, and I do not think that our moderators should be imputing intent to members’ posts.  If you can come up with specific behaviors that trolls engage in which should be prohibited regardless of who is using them or their motive in doing so, then I have no problem considering them. For instance, I have already suggested some behaviors that are not currently prohibited but that I believe should be (promoting bigotry and inciting hatred or violence against individuals or groups).  These are behaviors which, while subjective, are concrete and do lot require moderators to pretend to peer into the hearts and minds of those who engage in them.

Can You describe other behaviors like these that you think we should consider banning?

I fundamentally reject that premise, and point you to the behavioral based definitions I crudely outlined.  Trolling may be about intent, but it is possible to curtail behavior that is basically trolling.

Who decides whether a particular behaviour is trolling? I can see this re-opening the discussion about downvoting posts, and I remind readers of the objections made to that possibility.

Let the mod team do their jobs.
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