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Re: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Dec 23, 2007 at 10:21 UTC ( #658760=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!

I've been using this for a couple of days every since a friend pointed out that Fletch had posted an almost identical technique. I don't see the drivel any more and I'm quite happy about this.

As for censorship, it's clearly not censorship because this is something people choose to do. However, what if blatantly offensive monks who clearly have no desire to be here other than trolling get censored by the powers that be? So what? This is not some grand philosophical experiment. It's a Web forum where people come to discuss Perl. When you have juveniles who've nothing more meaningful in their life than to piss about on a Web forum, there's nothing wrong with kicking them. For quite some time I've been considerably less active because I'm sick of the trolling and the fact that no really seems to care about it. I suspect I'm not the only monk who's gotten fed up with the trolling and left or cut back on their participation. Is that what we really want out of Perlmonks?

Update: I just noticed the other CSS hacks. Those are fantastic. I'm half tempted to add Anonymous Monk to that, but sometimes there's good stuff there.


New address of my CGI Course.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!
by shmem (Chancellor) on Dec 23, 2007 at 15:45 UTC
    I'm half tempted

    Temptation is a bool switch ;-)

    Happy holidays!


    _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                  /\_¯/(q    /
    ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
    ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
Re^2: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!
by cmv (Chaplain) on Dec 24, 2007 at 02:41 UTC
    I heartily agree with Ovid about trolling getting out of hand! My take on something to consider might be to impose restrictions on monks with too much negative xp. This is the inverse of what we already do here: granting privileges to monks who gain xp. Maybe something like being restricted to one post per day as your xp gets worse? Although this implies that new monks will have to have some similar restriction (5 posts per day?), otherwize trolls would simply keep on creating new id's - does that seem reasonable too? I don't know...

    I confess I can't come up with a great solution for this, but the problem does seem to want for one.


      That only is a solution if you disallow anonymous posting (and even then it can still be thwarted by creating a new throw-away account every so often).

      As to the broader questions, not just this particular proposal...

      The more voluminous of the latest batches of trolling has been announced as a Holiday special that will likely end as the author's pathetic life again becomes busy enough to direct their loathing to less childish activities, as it had done for quite a while prior to the holidays.

      IMHO, if there hadn't been an avalanche of people willing to devote so much attention, the lack of encouragement would have meant a small fraction of the number of nodes before the author would have tired of baiting with little satisfaction in response.

      As Petruchio has implied many times, the monks get the level of trolling that they "ask for". So who are the gods to deny the monks from interacting and encouraging what they choose to. For example, there is a local sock puppet that some find to be an egregious troll while some claim to find entertaining.

      Then there is the sentiment, that PerlMonks isn't broken (slightly edited): "If you keep making changes in order to deal with increasingly unimportant 'social-issues' you will find yourself on a slippery slope leading down to a totally inwardly facing cabal of sycophants." And we wouldn't want that.

      Destructive behavior is usually much simpler than preventing destructive behavior. There are good reasons why the standard wisdom is "Don't feed the trolls" not "Ban the trolls" (which would more honestly be stated as "Try to ban the trolls").

      I can certainly sympathize with the desire for the gods or some technical mechanism to save the monks from themselves. And there have been times when such measures have been used, with varied degrees of success.

      But when, for example, one of the gods appears to make a personal project of carrying on an extended discussion with "the troll" and there is no shortage of other, high-level monks joining in (even when the subject lines of their replies contain "Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!"!), and an entire army of monks risks losing XP themselves in order to ensure that Worst Nodes is a shrine nearly devoted... Well, it seems beyond presumptuous for other(s) of the gods to interfere, frankly.

      The last time I took steps to ban a troll, it worked out fairly well. The troll did return, but it took quite a while. And part of the reason I took those steps then was because people had mostly stopped feeding that troll for some time. The bug spray isn't the first step if you've still got sugar or rotting meat strewn all over the floor. It is best if the motivation to try to figure out how to beat the ban is quite low before trying such. So everybody stop making trolling so darn entertaining first, then extra discouragements can be considered.

      Next, we have several people who think they are much too clever for some pathetic old troll and so reply but declare (or simply silently believe) "I am not feeding the troll". No, the troll is not more clever than y'all. Trolling isn't a game of wits. If one has so little of value in their life and so poor of socialization that they commence trolling in earnest, then there is no attention that isn't a reward compared to their pathetic lot. So those who think you aren't giving the type of attention that is desired, wake up!

      Then there are the people feeding the troll feeders. I've down-voted a ton of troll fodder and almost always I find that no small number of monks have already up-voted it. So it is no wonder so many keep dishing out the troll chow. And nobody should be shocked that we have so much business at our groaning board.

      - tye        

        But when, for example, one of the gods appears to make a personal project of carrying on an extended discussion with "the troll"...

        It was an experiment, and it was well worth my time, as I learned a few things.

        Other than that, I agree with you totally. I haven't been able to think of a single technical measure that's both worth anyone's time coding and sufficiently intelligent that it won't escalate into an arms race.

      I don't know that it's so much trolling (in general) getting out of hand in as much as one particular troll making an enormous spectacle out of themselves. Others (such as Mr. 223-years-and-or-degrees) are gnats in comparison to the programming legend in his own mind.

      The cake is a lie.
      The cake is a lie.
      The cake is a lie.

        I think the difference is that this time it has become a personal grudge and a means of settling old scores.
Re^2: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!
by Hercynium (Hermit) on Dec 24, 2007 at 04:43 UTC
    While I can understand your rationale for wanting to exclude Anonymous Monk, I'd like to add a reason not to. (Not that you haven't already thought of it, but I'd just like it to be out there)

    Sometimes I post as an AM because I don't want to appear as if I am begging for XP. Other times, it's because I'm almost embarrassed at having to ask a simple question - or at least a question I thought should have been simple.

    I'd really hate to miss out on being able to contribute to (or benefit from) the incredible folks such as yourself who make up PM because I didn't include my username in an otherwise worthwhile post! (how's that for a run-on sentence!)

    Just my $.02

    (BTW, I was tempted to post this as an AM, just for the possible irony that somebody who might find it interesting may already be blocking AM posts)
      I seriously considered posting anonymously because of the XP reason and because the message was far, far more important than the messenger. However, I also felt I needed to give Fletch and perrin credit and I did not feel it was appropriate to mention their names without mentioning mine (e.g. in case there was any retaliatory downvoting).
Re^2: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!
by Argel (Prior) on Dec 26, 2007 at 19:40 UTC
    That’s the original thread that inspired it all. The only problem with linking directly to it is everyone would assume Cop was the troll. I talked about this in the chatterbox and the suggestion was to keep things generic. I think that was sound advice and so I followed it.

    However, I did want to give credit where credit is due, so I mentioned Fletch and perrin and the Monks in the chatterbox that helped in the OP. It was the best compromise I could think of.

Re^2: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 27, 2007 at 18:44 UTC

    "I suspect I'm not the only monk who's gotten fed up with the trolling and left or cut back on their participation."

    I am not taking either sides, after all, no side comes out as rightious in those flame wars.

    However there is no need for you to threaten the community just because you didn't win. In the past the community was never hurt because of anyone's quitting, regardless who he is. Abigail did so twice, so what? tilly did it once, so what? If you leave, there might be couple of thread about it - memorial services and that's it.

    I am not taking your side or your opponents' side, but you should have a better understanding where you stands and whether you can hurt the community by quitting.

      I'm not trying to "threaten" the community and I seriously doubt my leaving would hurt it. The negativity that's arisen here is affecting me. If I stay away, it will be for the same reason I left car sales so many years ago: it was turning me into a bad person because I, like many others, tend to absorb the local culture.

      A few years ago on this site, someone sent me a /msg telling me that they thought I was one of the most accessible of monks. I doubt anyone would say that today. I'm no longer as casually amiable online as I used to be.

      Will I leave Perlmonks permanently? I seriously doubt it, but this isn't the place it used to be and I feel like a stranger here now.


      New address of my CGI Course.

        Taking a break from something can be a good thing and maybe that's what you need to do. However, I’m concerned that you are avoiding the real problem -- you are letting the troll get to you when you need to let it go. That's something that can be very hard to do, but if you can work on that you will be a happier person in the long run.

        There’s an implied “ignore the troll” when people say “do not feed the troll” – that’s because ignoring them is in essence starving them. The next time you feel like responding to a troll take several deep breaths -- and then just let it go. Just ignore it. It’s beneath you to respond. I hope you give that a try and I hope you stick around. PerlMonks may not die if you leave but I am sure several of us will miss ++’ing your interesting posts.

        A high percentage of top posts are actually written by anons. becuase anons say what they menat to say. But how did people on this site treat anons? That explains the cut back.

        Let's put aside whether the word threaten was precise, although you certainly came out that way, you were probably somewhat emotional. It is good that we are all on the same page that no single person's quitting or cutting back will impact the forum.

        Now why is the forum a different place now? The first thing pop up in my mind - which could be categorized as trolling by some: the scale of talents that this site attracts has went down significantly, not becuase the forum itself or all those disagreements (some of us call trolling), but because the overall downfall of perl in this entire world - not just this web site.

        Without all those talented people (I am certainly not indicating that all the people left are not talented), the quality of posts obviously will go down. I don't want to elaborate on this, but take a look at all those meditations, that's probably the best place to see what kind of people are left. True enough that tone the main function of this site is to help newbies, but ...

        It is not difficult to imagine that most of the top talent industry follow the wind, the trend. Like it or not, that a fact. I am not indicating anything, but the fact you were a car sales explains some limitation of your views and knowledge.

Re^2: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!!
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 27, 2007 at 04:01 UTC

    "I suspect I'm not the only monk who's gotten fed up with the trolling and left or cut back on their participation."

    If you get out of the kitchen, we will still have wonderful meals.

    If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I noticed that some people on this forum simply cannot take disagreement well. The only purpose of online forum is for people to seek truth. If truth hurts you, you really need to rethink about yourself.

      More ice in your drink

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