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

There’s probably a German word for that.


I got an interesting article that describes their behavior.

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There’s a deeper problem which I think goes beyond personal or group “identity” and demonstrates a problematic recursion of scientific methodology itself. Another reason why “the public refuse to believe the scientific consensus” is because of the institutionalized division between practitioners and laypeople. Science is an evidence-based discipline and does not benefit from cultivation of belief. And consensus is confined to a group of peers, so it remains amongst scientists while simply asking laypeople to believe that there is evidence interpreted by others. How this works, in essence, is that the public are paradoxically expected to take scientific consensus on faith, instead of testing it themselves, which would be an appropriately skeptical means of evaluating this consensus for themselves.


However, rather unlike the clergy, ANYONE can become a scientist. Or a cynic. In fact, of the three, cynicism has the lowest bar.

Anyone can do any of these. But since cynicism involves extreme asceticism and self-discipline, I need to disagree about it having the lowest bar, most couldn’t hack it. Properly speaking, all of these are rigorous disciplines. Clergy is probably the easiest to get away with doing poorly, since many religions require only some vague belief.

To give the Devil their due, Buzzfeed has a great profile on one of the leaders of the Men’s Rights Movement.

I think this is a fitting companion piece to Matt Binder’s article on the Vultures of Gamergate.

While the masses may be disaffected, they are surrounded by crass profiteers. Or, as is commonly known, grifters.


At the end of the day, MRAs are not that different from the early feminists. Many early feminists were criticised for not acting like good ladies (by demanding suffrage, property ownership and other rights, speaking out in public etc.), but they were willing to put themselves in harm’s way to prove their point. MRAs are also accused of not acting like good men (by not paying alimony, insulting and attacking women etc.), but they are also willing to put women in harm’s way to prove their point.



Any discussion of troll-habitats (politics, religion, sexuality, gamers) is OFF TOPIC.


OK, so getting back to the topic. While there are some good examples of responding to trolls, examples like the one in @funruly’s link involved a pretty long “dialogue” between two people, in order to confront someone who was (allegedly) fourteen years old and was basically just trying to cause a reaction. This is unlikely to happen here because there are so many more participants in the discussion and a long conversation between two people often kills whatever other discussion was going on. Maybe a fairly brief response and offer to PM them for further discussion would help, but this kind of thread structure doesn’t seem to support engaging trolls for long without destroying the conversation.

I do like the strategy here of a) allowing regular members to hide comments from new users immediately and b) deleting comments and their responses together, so people know that engaging in any discussion with obvious trolls is a waste of time. I’d say the most important thing is not to ‘bite’ - Ijeoma Oluo didn’t get involved in a flame war or give the comments any credit as honestly held beliefs, she just engaged with the human behind them and appealed to his humanity.

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You’re really forgetting what it’s like for most clergy in most of the world. I didn’t mean episcopalians. I very much meant to include monks from all faiths.

Momentary cynicism does not make one a cynic. It takes a real commitment, surely, but by your standard, no cynics exist. Unless you have an example of a living cynic who meets your standards? (some goalposts!!)

I like this, though I am wary of keeping absolutes: there are a wide variety of “trolls” and “trolling”. People often think of “trolls” in comparison to monsters that live under a bridge, as opposed to trolling as in laying out a bunch of fishing lines… which at times has an element of unfair fishing methods, but on the other hand it works very well.

Often the word “troll” seems to get centered in people’s minds, and so it becomes a thoughtless matter to react with a thoughtless tactic or strategy. “Troll” becomes a box which anyone who says anything one disagrees with can be safely thrown inside. No thought required.

This article is a favorite of mine in the past few weeks, first having come across it at ars technica. Major reason there is because I really hate this recent “red pill”, “men’s movement” crap I am seeing popping up. Frankly? I feel like “trolling” them, because their viewpoints are so incredibly weak and transparent it aches to be cut down.

For me, there is an emotional element to it: I strongly dislike their dedication to extreme hypocrisy and self-righteousness and how they seek to exalt themselves at the expense of women. Such groups are as really any tyrannical group, they are not open to free information because their beliefs are high and wide but fragile.

The difference there is I would focus on using reasoning and rely on weighty judgments accurately made… whereas these sorts rely on instinct and viciousness, censorship and every unfair tactic they can find – the fair tactic, after all, is to reason and accurately weigh matters, to not be biased, one which these guys and really all corrupted groups are as.

Sometimes it’s less “Feeding the trolls” as it is “bear-baiting”.


“Don’t Feed The Trolls is a maxim loved by trolls” @talen_lee http://t.co/Kjv8yYhYG8

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I changed the thread title from “just ignore the” to “don’t feed the”, as I keep searching for the later. Is anybody thinks I should change it back, lemme know.

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Saw a GOT gif, wanted to add an Arya gif, because Arya. To keep it on topic, she’ll take care of the trolls for ya…

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Does the rise of Sea Lioning reflect that, as a whole, civil discourse has fended off basic trolls, and as a response the trolls have mutated to better blend in with innocent bystanders?


A strong motivation for trolling is not being able to lead the discussion with ideas, being disconnected from the community, and raging against it in the most destructive way possible without being immediately banned. It’s a sad dynamic, but it will never go away.


I think of “Sea Lioning” as an attempt to co-opt superficial aspects of current progressive dialogs. It almost always ends in straight-up trolling because Sea Lioning would require having and being able to articulate a well-thought out position on something, which is a lot more work than provoking people by pushing buttons. I think it mostly hinges upon playing to the “identity” part of identity politics to try sneaking crap under the radar. As an attempt to play token ideological/rhetorical positions against each other, the whole charade easily gets blown up by framing an issue from a position which seems “out of character” for a given position. Like proudly stating “Damn straight I am a Social Justice Warrior!” when the discourse frames it as a category nobody identifies with themselves, it can be gut-splittingly hilarious, and really stir up the hornet’s nest. I used to do this with my ex also when I knew I was being set up again “Well the problem is… that I am completely hoity-toity, and you can’t respect this.” The carefully-framed rant they were getting ready is toast.

More or less. I think there is also a dynamic underlying the problem where much of society rewards people more for perpetuating problems than solving them. And when people expect things to be naturally framed as tribal conflicts, they tend to take sides and fight - even if they have no ideas or positions with regards to the issue at hand. This leaves only cheap catharsis through meaningless struggle, the conflict serving to further reenforce whatever identity they cling to.


Good series, but more importantly, that is without a doubt the best gif I have ever seen.

How the fuck do you fire a blank round near a baby and not have it go completely apeshit? My wife made ours cry by doing a tomcat impression, and he’s otherwise a ridiculously brave baby (or maybe I was a cowardly one, not sure)!

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That’s why we like you.

Different people have different ideas of what trolls are. I find trolls way less annoying than people who genuinely hold idiotic beliefs, and they by definition aren’t trolls. MRAs, NRAs, gamergaters, climate change deniers, truthers - these people all either believe what they’re saying, believe that they believe what they’re saying, or they believe that believing what they’re saying is important, useful, or valuable. There are liberal equivalents, too - I just picked a few of the more obvious ones which tend to fall on the Right. I hope it isn’t like saying ‘Candyman’ 3 times into a mirror with the lights switched off.

(note; I once made this joke about an american gun enthusiast on a bushcraft forum and terrifyingly, it worked exactly as per the urban legend). But it can’t be real, right?


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