New poster watch (this could be a bit creepy)

Time and again, new posters get accused of being obvious shills/trolls/astroturfers/bad-faith-posters because they had the temerity to only join the bbs in order to post on a topic they were interested in (the implication being that they should have joined earlier and posted in topics they were not interested in, like the rest of us?).

This thread is to talk about that, and look at instances of new posters appearing.

Which might be creepy. In which case, it will go away.

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Continuing the discussion from Anita Sarkeesian's new video is about what games do right:

For clarification, I believe that @Daedalus was being sarcastic as @Phrenological’s post was neither hyperbolic nor missing the point; rather, it was critiquing an older (3 month) user for same.

Has also posted twice as much (okay, two posts) in other threads than in this one. And has passed out 12 likes. If it’s a drive-by, it’s a contributing drive-by.

So far, mark this one down on the side of “see, not all new accounts that post in hot-button topics are trolls”.


all of us were new members at some point. do you think it would be fair to say that most people who do create profiles and join the discussions probably did so because they saw a discussion they felt compelled to comment on? that was the case for me. i see a qualitative difference between someone who comments only on one post and who is so insistent about commenting on that one post that they get put in timeout on the one hand and someone who goes on to comment on other posts, distributes likes, and generally participates in the site.

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I tend to give new prayers the benefit of the doubt. However, there are those that are drive-by shills, and there are those “older” who treat new members as though all of them are guilty until proven innocent.

Hence my analysis.

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I don’t really see the creepy issue(so long as you stick to what they do on BB, or explicitly note on an external source, no doxing, even if that is often rather trivial); but I’m not certain that the task will be productive.

As best I’ve been able to tell(in my unscientific watching), the people you don’t want tend to pop up when a topic of their fixation does, spew assorted low-value chaff, and then go quiet more or less as soon as the topic that brought them stops twitching.

Unless they are a troll with a desire to plague BB specifically, rather than move around the internet following their topic, in which case the mods are going to have to sort them out; a new account tends either to be an actual person or a relatively short-term problem(sometimes not even leaving a specific thread).

The history of somebody who turns out to be a real person might be interesting, in some cases; but it’s not really anything that BBS history doesn’t capture, and it’s obviously of no defensive value.

The history of a drive-by troll might be of defensive value, except that they’ll likely have driven by before the historians have hit the scene.


The thing is, treating a legitimately passionate new user as a drive-by can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

New user: hot button topic I’m interested in blah blah blah.

Old user: you’re just a shill for Big Handbags (or whatever. Autocorrect!).

New user: I shan’t be coming this way, again.


As long as the guiding principles adhere to the rules of this sandbox, I think its cool. Cause thus sandbox has pretty chill rules.

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Huh, I just looked back at my first post to the BBS. It was commenting on the agony of stepping on a lego barefoot. This was on an article talking about an amputee who built herself a prosthetic leg out of lego. Not hotbutton, or something I’m passionate about.

Although, I was around when we were still using Disqus comments. And I’m pretty sure I jumped into something on intellectual property law (likely patent law, because that’s an old wheelhouse I’ve worked a long time) for my first comment waaay back.

ETA, Here’s the permalink to the article I first BBS posted on:


that is pretty much my approach, even if by inadvertence. if a discussion is going on around a controversial topic there are times when people start making exceptionally emphatic posts that get the attention of falcor at which point i frequently check to see what the user’s posting history is like and whether the posts fit in with their style. it is at that point i will notice that someone is new.

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You guys are all the pocket of Big Handbag.


We here all know that Big Handbag has deep pockets

I'll just see myself out

Hah, I’m also not “new” exactly, I just lazily created another account to log in at work instead of logging in under my usual.

Sorry to accidentally make those stats look better than they are :wink:


Don’t even tempt me, several threads have me humor-happy. They shouldn’t bleed over.


I actually have a few accounts. Not to make trouble but alternate tied logins are… Complicated.

Yeah, when I start commenting somewhere new, I try to keep it low-key, humorous, and brief. And only after a good period of lurking to get a feel for the community. Anyone jumping in guns blazing is probably not going to get the best reaction from an established community.


This seems true to me too. People looking to join the community tend to be more cautious at first. That being said, there have been times when someone has been so wrong on the internet (somewhere else), that I’ve thought about having a burner just to tell them how wrong they are… But that’s not a community I’m usually interested in joining and I’ve rarely done that. I certainly didn’t do that here…

See, they do exist!

I just joined the BBS after being a lurker for a while

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