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Discussion and Trolling on K5

By 11223 in Meta
Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:17:34 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

There's been a number of stories recently that have caused the cries of "troll!" to be quickly raised. None of these stories are really trolls on purpose. They're simply attempts to create discussion, and all discussion springs from conflict of ideas. The best discussion pieces will naturally be those that emphasize this conflict. The best trolls emphasize this as well.


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The best trolls are able to capatilize upon people's innate tendancies to strongly defend their opinions. If you know that there are vocal members on both sides of an issue, an post strongly on one side or another of that issue will be sufficent to arouse defenders of either side into a long flamewar. The topic is likely to be something that is highly opinionated, without a deciding factor of technical merit.

The best discussion pieces also cover issues that there is a strong division of opinion on. No worthwhile discussion is likely to lead from an opinion to which everybody agrees. Once again, these pieces are likely to hit all the right buttons simply to elicit discussion.

There's one difference between a troll and a worthwile discussion piece: while the troll does not necessarily believe what they say, the poster of the discussion piece does believe in what it is they say. Unfortunately, this is little difference, because there is no real way to tell if somebody believes what it is they say.

So, it seems that a discussion-centric site must get the kinds of posts that are apt to be labeled trolls, as long as it accepts topics that are of opinions and not technical merit. (Here's the "inspire discussion through controversial opinion" part of it.) I hereby propose that we change the motto of K5 from "technology and culture, from the trenches" to "technical discussion for IT nerds", so as to aviod "trollish" posts and restrict the realm of discussion to areas solely of technical nature.

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Discussion and Trolling on K5 | 71 comments (60 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Your Proposal (3.38 / 13) (#1)
by rednecktek on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:14:13 AM EST

I hereby propose that we change the motto of K5 from "technology and culture, from the trenches" to "technical discussion for IT nerds" ... <SNIP>
No thanks, K5 is about more than just tech issues. Damn, you're making us sound like that other site. (shudder)

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
...pry it from my cold, dead hands. (4.14 / 7) (#4)
by elenchos on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:22:41 AM EST

Yeah.

"Technology and culture, from the trenches" is absolutely brilliant, totally cool, exceedingly accurate, and should never be changed for any reason.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

A catch 22 on discussions (3.37 / 8) (#3)
by Akiramoeba on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:20:14 AM EST

I posted 'Mongoloids are not human' a moment ago. It was moderated out (no problems with that by itself) on account on it not being fleshed out enough. I can only agree with that feedback (and I was glad I got some before the subject was buried), but I can't help feeling having got stuck in a catch 22 situation, where I want to start a discussion to flesh out its implications, only to get rejected because it is not fleshed out enough.

To me, the title statement should have sufficed - I would have preferred to omit any further comment - I think it would have made the statement more poignant. I was interested in immediate reactions.

Maybe I'll try again later



Trolling for change... (2.60 / 5) (#5)
by Da Unicorn on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:28:26 AM EST

Personally, I think a good troll is quite entertaining as is a good Holy war or Flame war. I adamantly reject your proposition to change our motto.

The whole point of this type of site is to get you to think and perhaps react to what you read.

This is the "real world" (well, virtually real anyway). The way to combat your idea of a troll is, of course, the dump it option.

One users troll is another users pleasure.

Change is good, as long as things stay the same while its happening ;=0.

Personally I prefer a cast net to trolling, its more efficient.

Da

Sarcasm! Sarcasm! (2.50 / 4) (#6)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:30:36 AM EST

Ye gods, that statement of mine (Here's the "inspire discussion through controversial opinion" part of it.) didn't set off your sarcasm-o-meter big time?

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

You mean irony... (none / 0) (#65)
by Parity on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:14:12 PM EST

Sarcasm, from 'to bite' is irony used specifically for the purposes of insulting or personally hurting someone. (Where irony, generally, is saying the opposite of what you mean... 'Oh, I know, we should sell all our nukes to third world countries to pay off the nat'l debt, that'd take care of all our problems really quick... ' or 'If we don't allow opinions on the site, we won't have trolls!' ... )

... and, furthermore, the post you were responding to shows many signs of being irony itself. (If 'A good troll is as entertaining as a holy war or a flame war' didn't sound ironic, then maybe something as Orwellian (in the animal farm sense) and self-contradictory as 'Change is good, as long as things stay the same while its happening' is a clue?)

Of course, I could be wrong; but that's the way I'd bet.

Parity None



[ Parent ]
This was a troll right? (3.25 / 4) (#7)
by joto on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:41:45 AM EST

I hereby propose that we change the motto of K5 from "technology and culture, from the trenches" to "technical discussion for IT nerds", so as to aviod "trollish" posts and restrict the realm of discussion to areas solely of technical nature.

This was a troll, right? Anyway, it was a good one, it annoyed me so much I had to write this reply.

I think people are being a bit oversensitive about trolls, it's not that dangerous to have been trolled, as long as you don't answer the troll in the same incoherent manner. Actually some trolls are fun!

Technical trolls generally suck, though (Linux sucks! Windows rulez! Perl sucks bigtime! Java is slow! C++ sucks!). And besides, we have newsgroups ending in ".advocacy" for them.

Trolling (3.42 / 7) (#8)
by Bad Mojo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:43:23 AM EST

It's poor arguing. It's more than possible to be a devil's advocate, encourage discussion, or use hyperbole without being a troll. What you term a `good troll' is someone just getting someone else to rise to defend their position. The result is the same, but a better response than trolling is MORE than possible. It's just HARD to write well and so few people do it. It's easier to sterotype the opposing view and just act like someone who beleives it.

"I hereby propose that we change the motto of K5 from "technology and culture, from the trenches" to "technical discussion for IT nerds", so as to aviod "trollish" posts and restrict the realm of discussion to areas solely of technical nature."

This is just stupid. I don't even know if it's worth my time to point out how asenine a restriction like this would be.



-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

Anne Marie / enterfornone (4.33 / 3) (#9)
by Refrag on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:43:41 AM EST

If AM & EFN are the same person, his full-time job must be submitting stories to Kuro5hin. Rusty, why didn't you tell us you hired a reporter? :)

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Then again... (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:03:32 AM EST

Since neither Anne Marie or enterfornone has commented on this, perhaps you could use the "never in the same room at the same time" argument to suppose that I am both of them?

Or maybe the very fact that they haven't posted here is convincing argument that they aren't me?

Uggh. Now my head hurts.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

you (3.50 / 2) (#16)
by Refrag on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:05:47 AM EST

No, you're Signal 11.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Haha! (3.33 / 3) (#17)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:07:45 AM EST

Oh, dear gods, this is great. I suppose that I'm also Enoch Root, right?

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Enoch Root (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by Refrag on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:10:19 AM EST

No idea who that is. Nor you, it's just that you lumped yourself in with the other trolls so I said you were probably Signal 11.

S11, AM, and EFN are the only trolls I recognize here. I'm not sure if S11 is a troll here or not, but the others are.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Couple of points... (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:37:13 AM EST

Signal 11 isn't a troll. He may be a jerk sometimes (there's no dening that, Siggy!) but it really isn't fair to call him a troll.

Secondly, there was a big conspiracy a couple of months ago on Slashdot about Signal 11 being Enoch Root. Most ex-/. refugees should recognize this.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Signal 11 (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by Refrag on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:41:17 AM EST

I didn't say that Signal 11 is a troll here. He definately was one on Slashdot, though.

Nope, I definately don't recognize the Enoch Root name.

Then again, I am of the opinion that most people with diaries here are trolls. :P

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Signal 11 != Troll. (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:45:04 AM EST

Signal 11 was a Karma Whore on Slashdot, not a troll. While there's a fine line between them, he didn't stray it.

I'm a troll, you're a troll, everey-body's a troll, troll, troll...

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Oh yeah ? (2.00 / 1) (#56)
by Phage on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:51:41 PM EST

What about this ?
If it looks like a troll, and smells like a troll, then it probably is a troll !


I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
Canthros
[ Parent ]

So All We Have To Do... (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by greyrat on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:58:25 AM EST

...is kill you off and the whole troll problem is fixed! How cool can it get! #8^D
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
Brilliant (3.77 / 9) (#10)
by theR on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:46:12 AM EST

I hereby propose that we change the motto of K5 from "technology and culture, from the trenches" to "technical discussion for IT nerds", so as to aviod "trollish" posts and restrict the realm of discussion to areas solely of technical nature.

Brilliant! I hope you intended this to be a classic example of a troll to drive home what I see as the point: trolls and perceived trolls are going to happen unless we take drastic measures that aren't really needed or wanted. Even if such drastic measures were taken, trolls would still happen anyhow.

I have often said the same basic thing you are saying. Any comment with a minimum of thought will seem like a troll to somebody. There is no way to avoid it and, in my opinion, no need to avoid it. I also think that what I consider good trolls (trolls meaning those that are intentional) are often the true opinions of whoever is doing the trolling and can lead to some excellent discussion.



You hit the nail... (2.80 / 5) (#12)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:00:50 AM EST

...right on the head. Thanks.

The key difference between K5 and "that other site" is the very fact that people recognized this, and that it wasn't a troll article but an article about trolling designed to get people to see this.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Another point (3.16 / 6) (#27)
by theR on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:11:36 AM EST

I would also like to point something out to people who think all trolls are bad. Look at the responses to your statement. In this case, as in many cases, whether you believe what you said or not is immaterial. People who can't see the statement for what it is will react as if you meant it and people who see the subtle (or not that subtle) hints will react differently. Either way, though, it is generating discussion. Not flames, insults, etc., but discussion. Functionally, a troll does not have to be any different than something that is not a troll.

Note that I am not advocating trolling but merely stating that, like anything, there is good, bad, and mediocre. Each of us has to judge for ourselves and I would hope that preconceived notions regarding trolls would not overly affect postings with merit, whether or not they are considered to be trolls.

I don't consider myself a troll, but neither do I consider 'troll' a bad word.



[ Parent ]
(Score 5: Funny) (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by zantispam on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:52:48 AM EST

Well done! Even though I saw the troll coming, and even though I braced myself for it, I still almost voted -1.

Bravo!



Free Duxup!
If trolls are to start debate..... (3.50 / 6) (#13)
by unstable on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:03:06 AM EST

then isnt the whole point of K5 produce trolls....




Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Exactly! (3.50 / 4) (#18)
by Andrew Dvorak on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:18:27 AM EST

And I don't know of many trolls who would go to the effort of writing 10 paragraphs just for their own amusement ;-) .

Aside from that, I think the real trolls are well managed by both the k5 staff and the peer-moderation techniques.. either that or not many trolls post comments or to the article submission queue (for fear of the k5 staff and peer-moderation? ;-).. After all, I should think it to be a great deal of trouble to have to create a new account and a new email address for each troublemaking session.



navet... (4.00 / 3) (#23)
by cetan on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:34:34 AM EST

I'm sorry but I think this comment is naive.

Posting 10 paragraphs of "comments" and creating duplicate (or triplicate) accounts is _exactly_ what trolls do.

Whether or not K5 is better at keeping the trolling under control is something that (imho) remains up in the air. I get the feeling that the trend is downward, but not absolute.

===== cetan www.cetan.com =====
[ Parent ]
Why stop trolling? (4.00 / 4) (#25)
by Phil the Canuck on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:01:22 AM EST

Why is it so important to stop trolling? There's been some great discussions attached to the alleged troll articles by AM and EFN. If that's the price of feeding the trolls, I'm more than willing to pay. The only problem in these articles are the wasted "this is a troll" posts that do nothing but add to the noise.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Because... (none / 0) (#64)
by Parity on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:05:05 PM EST

AM and EFN posts aren't really trolls, imo, they're just
controversial pieces. A real troll would be something like
a defense of fascism and an argument for creating the 4th
reich within the USA, or a fraudulent article designed to mislead everyone (George Bush to appoint Lyndon LaRouche secretary of the interior! See <<this link>> ... ) or whatever. A 'troll' is a post designed to create a knee-jerk emotional lashback reaction, and if really, really well done, it can even stimulate a multiple hundreds of posts flamewar that, ultimately, causes the demise of newsgroup/weblog/whatever, or at least creates ever lasting enmity between many members thereof.

K5 is hard to troll, so far, because we're more openminded than some sites, ... but... communities tend to create a reinforcing behaviour to bring ideas in line so that eventually the community has very homogenous ideas, and debates are only on the details... but we'll see.

Parity None


[ Parent ]
Very well put! (2.33 / 12) (#20)
by communista on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:20:16 AM EST

+1 FP
/me fucks shit up!!!!
+1 I understand .... (3.75 / 4) (#41)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:56:31 AM EST

But you're a long way from having first post :)

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Don't mod me down. (2.20 / 5) (#43)
by communista on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:06:29 PM EST

FP = Front Page Thanks!
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
Did you know.... (1.00 / 2) (#45)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:08:15 PM EST

That on KuroDot.org, they rush to see who can vote the article to the front page first?

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Yep.... (2.66 / 3) (#47)
by communista on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:10:06 PM EST

But no reason to mod me down for assuming I meant First Post.

You know what happens when you assume....I'm not miffed, really. But to mod me to 0?? That takes tact.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
0? Where? (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:15:50 PM EST

Are you sure you got modded to 0? I can't seem to see that in the list of ratings...

And the people who modded you down simply may have done it because they didn't feel a comment that simply said that you voted it up without much else to it wasn't worth very much. Mind you, that's not my opinion, but others may feel differently.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Did he believe what he said? (4.14 / 7) (#24)
by Dries on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:48:56 AM EST

I hereby propose that we change the motto of K5 from "technology and culture, from the trenches" to "technical discussion for IT nerds", so as to aviod "trollish" posts and restrict the realm of discussion to areas solely of technical nature.
Did he believe what he just said?

-- Dries
-- Dries

What I wonder is... (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by kwsNI on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:31:07 AM EST

Up until I quit reading Crapdot about 5 months ago, 11223 was one of the biggest trolls in the forum. Why should any one believe that this whole post is nothing more than a troll?

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:32:48 AM EST

If you caught the gist of the article, the point is that it's for you to decide. However, you should be aware that there is a "no trolling K5" ordinance, and so anything that is posted is my legitamite opinion except where I clearly state that it is not so.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Well, to give credit where credit is due... (3.33 / 3) (#38)
by kwsNI on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:45:34 AM EST

You're smarter than to troll so outright ("Natalie Portman pouring hot grits down my pants" style), so very few people would ever consider you a troll.

But that wasn't my point either. I was mearly pointing out that this whole article on trolling K5 was written by one of the biggest trolls on /. (short of Sig11).

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]

Which brings us to... (3.25 / 4) (#40)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:54:25 AM EST

... the point of the article: there's no difference between an opinion designed to attract discussion stated well from a smart person and a false opinion designed to attract discussion stated well from a smart person. In other words, the best K5 articles are sort of trolls. Which is why Anne Marie, Signal 11, streetlawyer, me, and gang are all here now.

Secondly, (how often will have to say this) Signal 11 is not a troll! Signal 11 is not a troll! Signal 11 was not a troll!

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Errm, no he wasn't (4.00 / 3) (#46)
by spiralx on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:09:58 PM EST

You're smarter than to troll so outright ("Natalie Portman pouring hot grits down my pants" style), so very few people would ever consider you a troll.

Well now, that's hardly trolling is it? And thankfully, we don't have that here in any vast quantities.

But that wasn't my point either. I was mearly pointing out that this whole article on trolling K5 was written by one of the biggest trolls on /. (short of Sig11).

Not really. Whilst he did, along with many other /. regulars who got bored with the site, he was hardly one of the more prolific trolls. Actually, most of the /. trolls have been here longer than you have - myself, streetlawyer, osm and so on, and yet we don't troll this site. OTOH, after trolling so much, that sort of style can become a kind of habit even when you're being serious... ;)

P.S. Signal 11 was not a troll. He was a karma whore, which is very similar in style, but with a totally different aim.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Examples? (3.50 / 2) (#30)
by duxup on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:30:13 AM EST

I think in this one it would have been nice to see examples of what the writer was referring to exactly. There is the chance that we could get stuck on arguing the merits of individual examples and rather than the actual issue, but I think at the least it would give a better idea what the writer considers a troll and a someone making a troll like comment with value.

Personally I only throw out "the T word" on rare occasions. In fact since I've been visiting K5 I've only used in regards to one story. I only do so if I know that someone has a comment history that has show them to be a troll.

Look at the queue... (3.80 / 5) (#33)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:34:28 AM EST

First, look at all of Anne Marie's stories. Whether or not they're trolls, they certainly do raise the cries of "troll!". I also suggest some of enterfornone's recent stories as well. While none of these are really trolls, they do display some trollish qualities, thus provoking my story.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Funny, and good points :) (4.20 / 5) (#39)
by RangerBob on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:52:44 AM EST

I agree that many trolls aren't trolls on purpose. I think a big problem is that people read about K5 on sites like Slashdot, come over and check it out, and then try to post a lot of the same stuff on here. They're used to the norms over there and think that they carry out to all other discussion sites.

I think you do hit on what a major part of the problem is. Discussions deteriorate into flamewars because many people can't accept opposing points of view. They feel that opposing points of view are personal attacks against them (I was once accused of attacking all MFC programmers simply because I said that I thought Qt was a better toolset). One should defend their own beliefs (or else what's the purpose in believing in them), but they should also try to remain open minded enough to accept that they might be wrong.

If you think sites like this are bad, try reading through scientific journals or go to a research conference once. The discussions that happen there are far more worse flamewars than this place is capable of generating. Not only do the ideas get attacked, but the people themselves are often attacked.

Question, Comment (3.40 / 5) (#44)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:07:17 PM EST

First of all, if we change the name, then the trolls have already won.

Second, am I a troll?

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto

Forgotten Poll Choice..."I Don't Care" (3.33 / 3) (#52)
by GlennC on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:29:30 PM EST

I personally don't know if Anne Marie, 11223, Signal 11, etc. are all the same person or not.

Guess what? To me, it doesn't make a difference.

That's my take on it. Take it for what you think it's worth.
There *is* a default poll choice... (2.00 / 1) (#53)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:41:41 PM EST

Inoshiro!!!!!

OK, I got that out of my system now.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

Satire & other thoughts. (4.40 / 5) (#54)
by Parity on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:29:49 PM EST

It has been my observation that the vast majority of 'net people have no idea how to recoginize a satirical essay. Were you to (after modernizing the language) post Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' to a web-forum it would quickly be shot down in flames as a troll.

The subtle art of satire has been replaced with 'substitutionism' ... You know, like,

" There's been a number of proposals recently that have caused the cries of "partisan!" to be quickly raised. None of these proposals are really partisan on purpose. They're simply attempts to create progress, and all progress springs from conflict of ideas. The best progresss-inducing proposals will naturally be those that emphasize this conflict. The best partisan proposals emphasize this as well."
Well, you get the point.


(Just so you know, I essentially automatically give all such posts a -1 on the other site and a 1 on this site. If you want to draw a parallel, draw it in prose, not search-and-replace. Thank you.)
Worse yet, this simplistic method of 'debate' and the increasing habit of taking all words at face value results in the vast majority of discussion time being spent reiterating and re-rebutting the most obvious points of any given issue... which defeats the whole purpose of a discussion site. If I wanted a shallow analysis that any moderately educated person could spout after reading the summary, I'd be watching the six o'clock news.

Anyway, as K5 grows, the problem is going to become worse before it becomes better (because trolls are attracted to populations; the more trolls their are, the more likely valid opinions will be taken as trolls, leading to non-center opinion posts to die the same death as satire, as per original poster's complaint). I think K5's rating system will scale better than the other site did, but I sure hope rusty or some insightful k5ers have some ideas about improvements; I think the Trusted User system is -the- key. Possibly, a 'really, really, very trusted user' layer will need to be put on top of that in order to take care of dedicated trolls. (ie, someone who can click a check box to unilaterally 0 the rating of a post pending site-staff review; otherwise, a dedicated troll could use several accounts to slap 5s on his posts and make it take -many- trusted users to 0 the troll... possibly more trusted users than will even -read- a given section-page story... or is that self-solving since few readers means a small audience which attracts less trolls? Hmmm.)

Anyway, that's my complaints, thoughts, and suggestions for the day.

Parity None

Nothing new (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by fluffy grue on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:13:31 PM EST

Jonathan Swift himself was institutionalized because people thought that he was serious.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Jonathan Swift (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by gds on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 07:38:42 AM EST

Jonathan Swift himself was institutionalized because people thought that he was serious.

I don't think that's true -- Swift was committed but that was over a decade after the publication of A Modest Proposal and was the culmination of a life long illness. Swift write vicious satire and he was sometimes taken seriously, but it was not his intention -- his writing was intended to expose idiocy, not simply coast along on top if it.



[ Parent ]
Jonathan Swift (2.00 / 1) (#61)
by gds on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 07:39:10 AM EST

Jonathan Swift himself was institutionalized because people thought that he was serious.

I don't think that's true -- Swift was committed but that was over a decade after the publication of A Modest Proposal and was the culmination of a life long illness. Swift write vicious satire and he was sometimes taken seriously, but it was not his intention -- his writing was intended to expose idiocy, not simply coast along on top if it.



[ Parent ]
Not just for 'a modest proposal' (none / 0) (#68)
by fluffy grue on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 06:44:24 PM EST

I mean, he wrote more things than AMP. I never said it was just that essay which got him institutionalized. :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Swift... (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by Parity on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:58:04 AM EST

I don't know the history of his institutionalization, but I do recall that it's guessed only about a third of the readers took him seriously. OTOH, as a classroom exercise most Americans (~90%) take it seriously. Only approximately 50% of Brits take it seriously. I don't know how well satire goes over in other countries. Which, FWIW, goes to show something about our perceptive skills in the 21st Century compared to the 19th, and in America compared to England. Someone ought to dig up numbers for Australia, Canada, and New Zealand... (I don't think it'd work as a fair test in a non-english speaking country... ) Unfortunately, my ref is lecture from my English professor when I was in college, which doesn't help me check the other numbers...


Parity None


[ Parent ]
A flaw in the school system (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by Karmakaze on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:29:26 AM EST

OTOH, as a classroom exercise most Americans (~90%) take it seriously.

I suspect this is shaped by the fact that it is presented as a classroom exercise. The American school system actively discourages taking texts at anything but face value, unless you are told otherwise beforehand.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
Exactly. (4.40 / 5) (#57)
by Inoshiro on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:14:38 PM EST

"There's one difference between a troll and a worthwile discussion piece: while the troll does not necessarily believe what they say, the poster of the discussion piece does believe in what it is they say. Unfortunately, this is little difference, because there is no real way to tell if somebody believes that it is they say."

Which is precisely why I've always defended people when they've been called a troll. Proper trolls are indistinguishable from real people with real ideals, except in the troll's own mind. And I don't think that matters enough that people should be gagged over it. It's a quantum thing :)

"Poor" troll, bad immitators, and spammers are not worth the electrons used to recreate their thoughts. I wouldn't call posting goatse.cx links constantly a useful contribution.



--
[ イノシロ ]
Trolls are offensive (none / 0) (#70)
by MalbaThaan on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 01:05:13 AM EST

You can discuss ideas passionately without offensive language. Trolls don't.

[ Parent ]
uh-uh (none / 0) (#71)
by Inoshiro on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 06:06:36 PM EST

I'd say "good" trolls do. Trolls aren't people who go off and swear about things constantly, it might "Reveal" their intentions.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
AnneMarie and enterfornone? (2.00 / 1) (#58)
by Sheepdot on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:38:39 AM EST

How could they both be the same person? They hold like extremely opposite views. I hope that was a joke. :)


NS (2.00 / 1) (#59)
by Holloway on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 06:34:43 AM EST

Troll Law 1: An effective troll will deny being a troll and avoid the label.

In the short-term a good troll would adapt their opinion to get a reaction. Any opinion will do.

In the long term it becomes more effective to make up characters (read: logins) and be consistant about playing out the role. Flip flopping about ones opinions is too obvious.

ps. Anne Marie's a troll, or an idiot - take your pick deary.
ps2. troll laws.. har! har!


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

I'm not debating that (none / 0) (#66)
by Sheepdot on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:50:02 PM EST

I just didn't understand why someone would say they are the same person. Anne Marie says stuff to upset people, enterfornone actually has some way of going about what he has to say.


[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter (none / 0) (#67)
by Holloway on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:59:56 PM EST

I just meant that other people think enterfornone is a troll. Anne Marie is a troll (or an idiot). They might be the same person.

It's just wild speculation of course. Perhaps someone thought they had the same writing style. Goodness knows I have difficulty shedding mine when I troll (not on kuro5hin).

Um, wild speculation. Yessir.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

They're not (none / 0) (#69)
by spiralx on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 07:55:58 AM EST

I just meant that other people think enterfornone is a troll. Anne Marie is a troll (or an idiot). They might be the same person.

enterfornone isn't a troll. Anne Marie was a troll on /. but mainly seems to be posting controversial stories here. And yes, (s)he does have another account which (s)he posts with normally. And no, it's not enterfornone and I'm not saying who it is.

HTH.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Discussion and Trolling on K5 | 71 comments (60 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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