"Don't feed the trolls" they keep saying. and it keeps not working

OK, I read the article. I have a solution. Turn off comments on sites you control. Don’t use Twitter. It’s full of twits. Don’t post on other sites that offend you. Don’t let your youtubes get full of crap, and if one does, turn off the comments. If anything on your Facebook bugs you, delete, defriend, deny, devour, delight in destruction. For anything else out of your control, say comments on a site you published on that you can’t control, when you hit the first offensive one, tune the whole thing out. Just leave. Fuck them. IGNORE.

Yes, they are calling for your silence, but what in god’s name do you have to say to an idiot?

Anyone who can type has the ability to spew poison and filth. So fuck them, if they think they are getting anywhere with their bullshit. Same thing for TV. Fuck them, they suck. Tune into things that MATTER. Leave the rest behind.


Never argue with an idiot. The will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


Or, as George Bernard Shaw put it:
“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

The trouble is, the internet is a device that can deliver a never-ending stream of pigs direct to your front room. Some of the pigs squeal louder than others, some of them seem to have swallowed dictionaries, and some of them will squeal that you’re the pig, even as they attack you.


That was the same story @funruly linked an article about.

Both of those are eye-openers.

I’m reminded of this…


A good amount of spit-up, too.

Back in the “real” office, today. Home-office Thursday and Friday. A combinations of plans and un-plans (weather) are making this a 4-day work-from-home-a-palooza. Luckily, my eldest is finally appreciating that when daddy is in the office-playroom and he says “I’m in the office” it really does mean that daddy can’t play Angry Birds.

That’s pretty much how I imagine myself coding whilst holding a baby, as well.

My manager might focus a bit more on the broken-windows aspect, however. So, not to much coding with babies.


His head really does smell wonderful, still, even at 9 months.


I KNOW!!! Babies smell great! What is it about the baby smell? Why do they smell so very good? Now, teenagers… eh. Not so much. Go sit over there, teenager. You don’t smell like a baby anymore… :frowning:

Oh! Also, just say this to your manager when he whinges about the broken windows, especially if you are doing your damn job…This is my second favorite baby-themed gif (and I’m not even sure what it’s from, although… WASH!!!)


I think you’re largely right, but sadly, sometimes, you have to engage them in some parts of your life, online or off. Sometimes they just can’t be avoided. Also, if you enjoy posting in comments on message boards, do we really want to let trolls control the debate or discussion? I don’t know about that either. I realize some people just do it for the lulz or whatever, but why should we let them control what happens online?

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keeps 'em off the streets?

True enough. But it’s hard to know how well people blend in to the rest of society. I’d suspect that some people are just as trollish IRL as they are online, but I’d also suspect that some people who troll online see it as an outlet, and are perfectly nice IRL…

I hear ya, and you are right, ignoring EVERYTHING is not the solution. What I wrote can definitely be taken to an absurd extreme. Same the other way, to respond diligently to every single trolly trololo that passes through… There is a relatively calm medium, I think. Not always calm in a forum sense, but calm in a personal sense to go “pff, whatever, you idiot.” But not actually type it out and run it into the ground. YES, some idiots deserve a good boot heel now and then. I think we’ve all been that idiot, and dished to that idiot, and will again. So these things are gray not set in stone.

As far as controlling the message and the flow… I’ve been on lots of forums with lots of different discussion styles. The way a conversation goes online is AS MUCH a function of the site’s setup as it is the participants. The tech plays large. To truly control a conversation, lots of stuff must needs be deleted constantly. Which requires moderation. Which requires labor, willing labor, to be in the watchtowers and cleaning up the toxic waste spills.

So, how about a forum in which ANY participant can simply delete any other participant’s comment? Now, wouldn’t that be an interesting Milgram-esque exercise?


For people just watching youtube, use Adblock Plus and these filters


Just remember to turn it off when you actually want to read the comments.

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I can’t decide whether I like that approach or don’t. In a way, it feels like yielding territory, like surrendering to the assholes and letting them take over the internet.

On the other hand, I did this long ago with multiplayer games. I haven’t used my headset in years, don’t play anything competitive and don’t do raids or heavily group-dependent stuff in MMOs.

And I do it with news and political sites too, when I remember to. My anger and bitterness and despair aren’t going to fix the shit that’s wrong with people.

I just don’t know.

Thats a big “if”. In my experience, the primary goal of bullying is to make the other person feel as wretched as possible

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Me either, really. I’m just bloviating possibilities. It totally depends on the day. Some days people really bug the piss out of me, get my knickers all in a twist. Other days, they could insult me in the worst way and it just bounces right off me.

What kinda day is it gonna be today, punk? heheheh

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I think that they key to deciding whether or not to ignore the troll is to try to gauge their intent. What is motivating the lame communications?

The situations which it helps to ignore, online and in meatspace, are those many instances where the goal is simply to provoke. Just to get a reaction from people for amusement. The internet has made it easy for somebody to be a docile passive-agressive worker and then entertain themselves by cracking open a drink and watching the riot ensue when they say “Let’s kill X!”, or “Eat babies!” or whatever. My experience is that most people who make offensive comments do so because they are immature and think it’s funny to push people’s buttons.

My next category are the large herds of people who identify with an ideology. So they proclaim their tribal allegiances by regurgitating certain things for all to hear. Usually I deal with such people by giving them some benefit of doubt, playing devil’s advocate for the sake of argument. This tends to somewhat bypass the initial us-vs-them impulse which would cause either of us to stop listening reflexively. Somebody might learn something, stranger things have happened. Often one of the best ways to show somebody the limits of their thinking is not to complain or denounce it, but to ask the right questions to lead them to the regions which demonstrate how fuzzy their thinking is. I feel some compassion for this group because they tend to just have the unfortunate conditioning of finding it more important to “fit in” with a group than to think clearly. People always start this way as children, and some grow out of it.

The toughest nut to crack are the real ideologues. These tend to be crusader types. People who have thought about whatever concerns them long enough to deeply rationalize whatever their stance is. If they are people who simply seem to hold values or convictions that I find offensive, I might talk with them, for sake of getting a window on another belief system. These are often people who can be smart or practical enough to agree to disagree. More difficult are those who desire to channel their ideology through followers - these are the dangerous ones. Often the substance of their ideology takes a back seat to the drive for followers, so questioning them is more likely to get people shouted down or harassed. Such people tend to be manipulative/sociopathic types. Arguing with them tends to be worse than useless. Better to think strategically and engage indirectly by taking note of who they are and informing people in your network.


I think you’re right… Here, there are some people who I regularly engage with, even though I disagree with them on a number of issues, and they can be off-putting at times in the way they argue. Sometimes, new accounts pop up with some non-sense, and they just get a dismissive gif.

Part of the problem (probably more so on other forums) is figuring out when to engage and when to dismiss. Sometimes, honest engagement and dialogue can get you far. I think there have been two recent stories linked about that - one with the racist troll on Twitter and the other the TAL story with Lindy West (forgive my laziness for not linking to them…). Other times, it just gets you sucked into a debate the other person doesn’t really care about winning, other than being right and making you look bad. But sometimes, online it’s hard to suss out the difference.

Te he…


She is obviously an amazing human being. It takes real patience to stay calm when being needled. To do it when under full blown attack is superhuman.

And dammit, why did you make me read that? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I just had to sneak out of the office so the guy opposite didn’t see the tear in my eye … :worried: :cry:

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But maybe your/our patience, forbearance and good humour might?

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Gorram gifs… yeah, I’ve blocked animations, but still, I’m phoning angry that these aphoned things are so phoning common…

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I’m sorry. I shouldn’t post them so much, but they are just so impactful for dealing with these sorts of trolls… :frowning: I’m a terrible person… sorry…