Trolling for trolls... a running documented list of IDs?

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#1 Fri, May 4, 2012 - 6:39pm
Ottawa, ON
Joined: Sep 13, 2011

Trolling for trolls... a running documented list of IDs?

That Turd even had to bother with a post like this one is a sad testament to what happens at the end of the Keynesian Experiment. There is confusion and divisiveness, as well as cooperation and community. The main discussion board comments were getting kinda infested with troll-talk around this time, rather than the variously funny, interesting, informative and potentially profitable information we come here to share and enjoy (and hopefully profit from).

I am guilty of arguing with folks on the main board, those that I think are wrong, and whose thoughts can be refuted through reason. But sometimes - ever get this feeling? - you run across someone who seems evasive, un-genuine, negative, unwilling to accept reasonable argument, or even to agree to disagree, and who resort to name-calling and my-resume-is-longer-than-yours-so-I-must-be-right? Maybe that's a troll.

The moderators here have stated they like to run a very light hand when it comes to censorship, and I applaud that. But, I recall a time on some Yahoo stock boards paying attention to what was being posted, by whom, what they had said previously, when IDs were created and messages sent relative to market events etc and determined to my satisfaction that some of the IDs were not only posting drivel, but were actually fake IDs, used by real people to disrupt discussion. And they had lots of them. I began to track the IDs carefully, and assisted the board in their maintenance of ignore-lists so that the board became readable again.

There was no censorship involved, just a lot of people cooperating on achieving a consensus view not of who spoke truth and who falsehoods, but who was posting with an agenda, under false pretense, and who was not, based on analysis of the poster's entire post history. Documentation can be provided, and users can then decide for themselves whether to ignore the user or not. People can argue who belongs on the list, and which version is the list.

(I think it should be a built-in blog function, actually: automagic sock-puppet detection through packet analysis, content, and user-feedback. Expect it in a blog near you soon, you heard it here first. ;-)

With such a list, real newcomers can check to see if a suspicious comment is from a suspected troll. It might be hard to maintain the list, as it becomes a game of whack-a-mole as sock-puppet IDs appear and need to be added, should the blog actually be under attack, but if in fact there are folk out there actively trying to sabotage the truth, it is worth the effort, as it makes the board so much more readable if done in concert. I remind all that this is not censorship. It is free self-organization and specialization of function. The same principles that make pencils.

I'll lead off by excluding myself from the list (feel free to put me on it!) but I don't think I am close enough to the action to speak with certainty about who belongs on the list.

The list is thus currently null. Anyone want to nominate me? Anyone else?

Perhaps someone with more site familiarity could point out the ignore_user function and how to use it?

Might I also be so bold as to suggest to the moderators that troll and sock-puppet discussion be directed here if they get out of hand and begin to pollute the main board?

Good luck to all those non-sock-puppets out there.


[Moderator Note: Moved to the Site Feedback forum]

Edited by: bbacq on May 22, 2012 - 11:55am