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Offline DragonLady

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Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« on: December 14, 2006, 12:00:11 AM »
There have been some discussion among the mods and I about trolls and trolling behavior.  I'm writing this article about it in the hopes that it will help us discuss unusual points of view while keeping negative, divisive, and critical messages in perspective.

The best definition I can give you of a troll is:

a person who posts outrageous or thought-provoking ideas for the sole purpose of baiting
others to respond in an emotional manner.


Wikipedia offers an excellent example of the kind of emotional responses trolls are after with this nugget -intended to illustrate an early use of the word:

Quote
You are so far beyond being able to understand anything anyone here says that this is just converging on uselessness. The really sad part is that you really believe that you're winning. You are a shocking waste of natural resources ó kindly re-integrate yourself into the food-chain. Just go die in your sleep you mindless flatulent troll.

Obviously, the person who posted this was at wit's end with another poster's refusal (or inability) to understand or rationally discuss an issue -and fell victim to the troll's probable agenda by letting those emotions color his response. The name-calling, and obnoxious order (die in your sleep) are just the kinds of responses trolls want to hear

Fact is, some people get a real rush from stirring up so much trouble that ordinarily rational adults begin acting like a gang of ten-year-olds with a can of spray paint. When they succeed, every topic is vulnerable to becoming a soapbox for someone's agenda or a springboard for nastiness and disputes.  If it's allowed to continue, an entire board can become a poisonous environment, with seperate cliques of members that form "swarms" and collectively agree or disagree with other members solely on the basis of past behavior.  It's "Us" vs "Them" and woe to anyone caught in the middle!  Sometimes, people who have never posted before ask a perfectly valid question or state an opinion and are immediatly met by a hail of gunfire and name-calling.  The veterans know the topic has already been done-to-death or the issue became a 75-page monster with two heads, but the poor newbie hasn't a clue what s/he's done wrong or how s/he offended.

There's another potential side effect of trolls.  I call it "Emily Post Fascism".  I don't know who coined the phrase, but it's quite popular on several boards I'm a long-term member of.  It refers to moderators and admins who respond to trolls by over-correcting and insisting that every member be extra nicety-nice at all times and under every circumstance.  Every rant is edited, every potentially hot-button issue is avoided, every unusual opinion is censored, and every topic that becomes divisive or argumentative is closed.  Pretty soon, no one feels "free" to speak their mind, and anyone with an unusual point of view or a bad experience will be afraid to bring it up for fear of reprisal. 

Here at SG, we hope to find a "happy medium" where many kinds topics can be discussed freely and openly, unusual opinions or perspectives can be heard, respected and argued, and every person is treated like a valuable member with a valid point of view. 

It can be difficult to determine when someone is stating a legitimate -albeit unpopular or unconventional- opinion or just saying divisive things to start a war.  A few of the things I typically watch for are:

Posting an opinion or a question about a topic of little or no real interest to the poster. 

A person who claims hand sewing is the best way to fix bald tires or that sewing machines will run longer if periodically dipped in the bathtub.  When asked to back up these claims or show some kind of objective proof, they either respond by getting upset "you're all calling me a liar" or wandering to another topic to make another unusual claim.

Painting a huge group with a single, narrow brush.

"Every person who voted for Bush is rich and fat".  These kinds of comments have no constructive value, are only intended to invite dissent and counter-claims, and can only devolve into a fight.  No mountain of contrary evidence will change this person's opinion, and it's useless to try.

I should say here I've seen examples where this works a little differently.  That is, someone holds out a brush, and others begin rubbing against it.  Kinda funny to watch, but the result is the same - a war.

A person who is utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or not) or refuses to respond to reason.

A simple request: "Ralph, every time you bring up President Bush, you insult someone here.  Could you please restate your position about his policies so you aren't putting another member down?",  is utterly ignored or seen as an invitation to fight, or followed by a claim that his right to "free speech" is being trampled on. 

On that note, while you may have the right to say what ever you want, you don't have the right to say it where ever you want.  A fine distinction, but one that mods and admins everywhere take very seriously.  We can and do have standards here, and will enforce them.

A person who's mission seems to be not to discuss or even debate, but to end a rational discussion every time it appears.  

- A person who only posts on one topic, and absolutely must have the last word -sometimes returning months after a topic has died to restart it, with the same statements and comments made the last time around or to respond to a simple notice that it has been archived or moved.   This is different than posting new developments or asking questions (or for clarification) or even sharing a new idea.  I'm only referring to those who want to re-hash or relive the same conversation all over again.

- A person who posts complete gibberish, in a foreign language, or with so many spelling errors and type-o's the message is entirely incomprehensible.  No offense to those who don't speak english very well or never learned to spell; I'm only referring to those who simply cannot get an idea across no matter how hard we try to decipher.  This person usually posts sheer gibberish in several different places; each looking like it might be a sincere attempt to communicate, but utterly lacking in actual communication.

- A person who posts dozens of dead links or unrelated images or a laundry list of quotes that seem like they should make some kind of sense, but just don't. 

This person kills the discussion because too many other members think "Gee, I guess I just don't know what to say to that". 

A person who repeatedly "forgets" simple things like obvious facts, earlier comments, and moderator requests.

"Gee DL, I completely forgot you asked me not to post any more pictures of dead children" comes immediately to mind.

A person who derails topics by nitpicking other's grammer or spelling, or by being facetious.

"You asked if I cut my hair.  No, I had my hair cut. I didn't cut it, the barber did...." 

This is usually just cause for an eye-roll, but I've seen it get really ugly. Especially when this person posts in like manner all over the board.

There are more -I simply don't have time or space to list them all.  A search on Google will probably lead you to lots of sites with other examples or other definitions.  In the end, the result is the same -someone tries to disrupt the whole board.   And, the issue gets stickier with the fact that every ordinary, contributing member may at one time or another post something that smacks of one or more of the items on the list.  It's hard to draw the line in the sand that truly seperates the good, the misinformed, and the trolls.


There's another kind of "troll" that I call the emotional vampire.  Instead of trying to make a whole board respond, this person targets a single member or group of members.  Sometimes, there's some weird pattern -every member with a name that starts with "R" or every person who posted to a particular topic.   They often "suck" their victim's good feelings dry. 

"Thanks, Ralph, for your suggestion I take a Tylenol for my headache.  Will it help my upset stomach, too?  And what effect will it have on my liver condition?  Huh?  Maybe you think I should have a few glasses of wine with it? Or maybe you think I should just ignore my aches and pains and not post here at all?"

You may know a person like this in real life -someone who makes you miserable everytime you cross paths.  And on a message board, that person's name can make you dread reading a topic.  You just know everything they say will make you feel like hitting something. 

So...what to do about it? 

We need to bear in my that just because someone posts a potentially inflammatory or critical message, that person is not neccesarily a troll.  Lots of unusual ideas lead to more unconventional thinking -and many times good things come of it.  There have been lots of wonderful inventions, philosophies and religions that have been born of devisive ideas that a number of people didn't want to hear, couldn't comprehend, or felt went against everything they believed in.  I don't want to stifle those kinds of conversations, or scare anyone away from hard issues.  However, I do want to keep the peace, and let our exchange of ideas be healthy and helpful for the largest number of people possible.  I don't want to see us divide into elitist groups or become close-minded toward new ideas, techniques, or methods. 

Here are the best suggestions I can make for members when dealing with obvious trolls:

-What NOT to do:

Don't publicly label a person a "Troll" on the basis of a few unusual or divisive posts.  The label can be very damaging, and can follow a person from one board to another.  It isn't fair to have one's posting career shot down as a result of a few ignorent or uninformed posts.   If a person is a newbie, or usually contributes in a reasonable and rational manner, and unconventional idea or inflammatory point of view about a few subjects is not reason to discount everything he or she has to say. 

Don't post a Thank-You and Goodbye thread.  If you feel you wish to leave us because of a troll, someone's trolling behavior, or hostilities a troll has created and must tell someone, please pm a moderator.  If you post a "You all stink!" thread, you are feeding the trolls, and they've won something -your departure.  Remember, this is just what they want!  A real troll will see this as a rats-leaving-the-ship response, which will fuel hours of inane cackling, hand-rubbing, and further similiar posts.   The ultimate goal is to disrupt, divide, tear down, and destroy.  Every member who responds by leaving or changing their own posting behavior is ultimately encouraging a troll to continue trolling. 

What TO DO:

The only really effective way to deal with trolls is to fail to respond. When you try to reason with a troll, he wins. When you insult a troll, he wins. When you scream at a troll, he wins. When you leave a board -for an hour or a year, he wins. The only thing trolls can't stand -and won't tolerate- is being ignored.  When you pointedly ignore a troll,  he may initially step up the attack.  He may take his trolling behavior to another topic, another victim, to pm's or to another board.  He may change -like some kind of evil mutant chameleon- from one tactic to another to another 'till he's used up his whole bag of tricks and every baiting technique he knows.  But if you go on ignoring him, he will get bored and will go looking for greener pastures -and a group of people more compliant to his game.

Report the posts.  There is a link at the bottom of every post to report a questionable or topic or message.  Just click it, and our moderation team will receive a message to review it.  We may not do anything right away, but we will look it over, and decide what action -if any- is merited.  We try very hard to be open to suggestions, to give everyone a wide berth, and to make sure everyone feels welcome to speak their minds.  But if someone just wants to cause trouble, we will take action to ensure that SG remains a healthy and supportive environment for as many members as possible. 

This gets more difficult if there are many posts to a topic, or numerous replies to a spammer or troll.  We have to decide whether to close a topic that has many valid, contributory posts on the basis of one or more troublesome ones, or whether to edit replies that -intentionally or not- encourage a troll. Sometimes, it takes us several days or numerous posts before the line is unquestionably crossed, and a topic simply has to be closed or censored.  Lack of immediate action doesn't mean we're ignoring it or failing to address the issue.

If a potential troll has started a topic that seems to have some merit for you, and you think you might like to discuss or debate it, you (or the moderators) may invite him to take it elsewhere.   My other board, Reality Cafe, is a fine place to continue discussions that are off-topic here - politics, religion, and other "hot button" topics that may have to be closed or discouraged here are welcomed there.  A person who is decidedly a "troll" here may be a welcome and contributing member with unusual insights and fresh ideas there. :) 


And, one final note:
I know that on some forums members often claim they enjoy troll-baiting & troll-bashing. I'd like to ask everyone with that hobby to amuse themselves with it elsewhere.  This is a sewing site, let's keep it that way. ;)
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Offline Gorgeous Things

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 12:30:47 AM »
Amen Dragonlady.  Thank you for this very thoughtful post, and thanks to you and the mods.

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Offline Karla

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 12:51:44 AM »
Karla, with her desk facing the wall:

I will not feed the trolls.
I will not feed the trolls.
I will not feed the trolls.
I will not feed the trolls......
   :-X

Offline LindaE

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 12:58:10 AM »
I agree DL thanks for the information.    I agree with Karla and Ann  ditto.  :coffee:
Linda E.
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Offline LindaL

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 01:50:35 AM »
DL, great post.  I was on someone's blog who referenced your post.  I am glad she did.  I have not heard the term Forum Troll before, but I have experienced this before.  I think you and moderators do an excellent job here and love coming to SG for reading.
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Offline Terri B

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 02:41:49 AM »
Thanks for reminding us DL.  I think we've all experienced this on one board or another.  It's amazing how quickly things come unraveled and degenerate.

Karla... :rotfl:  ;D

Offline peter

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2006, 03:21:27 AM »
Thanks DL and all moderators for the time you've taken to explain all this.  I've seen this on other boards but didn't really understand what trolls were all about.   Thanks to all involved for your time and effort.  It really shows in the quality of this board.
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Offline Lisa Laree

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2006, 03:39:36 AM »
Very well stated!  It's a shame that these folks have to get their jollies this way....

I see the sign at the entrance to Stitcher's Guild:

Please do not feed the trolls

 :-X
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Offline LindaF

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2006, 04:02:32 AM »
DL and the other moderaters,
Thank you for all the time and effort it took to put this together and explain it in the most succint way.  I learned alot tonight. I have never heard of this troll stuff before and I feel much wiser because of your input.
The time it took to put this together goes above and beyond what you do for us so that we can have a great sewing community. 
Thanks again,
Linda
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Offline Loomchick

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2006, 04:24:43 AM »
Step 1 - Curtsey to the moderators 

Step 2 - Thank moderators for taking so much care and time in managing Stitcher's Guild and making it a great place to visit and interact

Step 3 - Profess obedience and loyalty to creating and maintaining a positve and constructive atmosphere

Step 4 - Curtesy again to moderators

Step 5 - Breathe a huge sigh of relief that I can come to Stitcher's Guild and participate without the burden of moderating.  Leaves more time for me to sew and do other things.
Robyn

"Your attitude about who you are and what you have is a very little thing that makes a very big difference."  -  Theodore Roosevelt

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2006, 07:19:37 AM »
You're very welcome, everyone.  :)
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Offline Pinkscissors

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2006, 03:47:48 PM »
I must live a very sheltered life because I didn't know there were such things as "trolls". So many, many thanks to you, DL, and the mods for protecting me. :)

Offline stitchology

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2006, 05:04:22 PM »
I'll sit with Karla and follow her good example.  :-X
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Offline peter

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2006, 08:59:08 PM »
A timely article just arrived in my email.  David Pogue, of the New York Times, wrote an article about the demise of online etiquette.

A link to the article.
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/technology/circuits.html
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Offline Pinkscissors

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2006, 09:46:56 PM »
Interesting article, Peter. Thanks for sharing. I agree with quite a few of Mr. Pogue's comments.

Offline Carole

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2006, 09:48:58 PM »
A great article and thank you, Peter.  I have sent it on to my son who is in the computer business!  I hope he reads and passes it along also.

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2006, 10:27:21 PM »
Terrific article!  I agree with a whole bunch of the points he made, and think it's really sad that so many online communications can be so nasty in nature.  :'(
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Offline Georgene

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2006, 03:17:35 AM »
I saw that David Pogue article today, and then along comes DragonLady's in-depth explanatory post. Thank you DL, for your pithy observations.

One has to wonder "what are they thinking?" and "was this the way their parents raised them to behave?" when this troll-like behaviour is displayed. The boob-ocracy! Sometimes there can be a veneer of extra niceness that is annoying (that Emily Post thing - I prefer Miss Manners, or even Dan Savage for my advice columnist), but I'll take it any day the corrosive tone taken by some.

Offline Loomchick

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2006, 08:37:21 PM »
The article reminded me of two employees I had years ago.  Their offices were side-by-side . . . and at least once or twice a week, an entire day of work would get derailed as they spent the day emailing each other nasty comments . . . one after the other . . . both trying to get the last unkind word. 

This had been going on for quite a while before I took over the department . . . As soon as I took over the department, I was stunned to read these communications between two well-educated and talented 30-ish-year-old women.  After less than two weeks, I sat both of them down in my office and told them we were going to speak openly about what was troubling both of them so much.  They both looked at me with wide eyes and said absolutely nothing . . . after a few minutes, both claimed there weren't any problems between the two of them and had no idea what I was talking about (even though I had copies of their emails on my desk).  I nearly laughed out loud . . . it was like confronting two young children that have been fighting and when asked what the problem is say "Nothing."

There were other issues with both of these young women . . . they had so much potential, but just couldn't behave in a mature manner when it came to using technology.  When I spoke with each of them individually, I got completely different stories from both them.  I had to explain to both of them that this behavior was unprofessional and would not be tolerated any longer.

Thankfully, both resigned within two weeks. 
Robyn

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2006, 03:47:11 AM »
 :no_evil:.....I didn't see a *hang's head in shame" smiley, so I'll use this one. I apologize to everyone, even Fashionpig, for feeding the troll last night. I opened up a great big bag of Purina Troll Chow and poured the whole thing out on the floor.  :-[ What was I thinking? Why didn't my server freeze up like it always does when I am ranting? I had even edited it.....this was the new *improved* Troll Chow.
The fact that this was the first troll I've ever encountered is no excuse.

Again, apologies everyone.

Rene Marie

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2006, 04:53:35 AM »
No need to appologize, QueenBee.  We gave fashionpig the benefit of a doubt, which is the right thing to do.  And when his suspension is over, he will be welcome to try again to post in a reasonable and rational manner.
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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2006, 08:13:09 PM »
I have an observation and am curious about what others think.

Usually, when I've seen really nasty troll like stuff, the person doing so hasn't established their credibility in the community.   

One way I differentiat a heated discussion from a silly provocation for no good reason is to look at how many other postings the person has (assuming I don't already "know" them from prior on-line communication.)  I hope people will cut some slack to posters who's positive intentions have already been established.  And by positive intentions I mean that, bottom line, they want sewing and sewing sites to prosper just so they have more people to share the hobby with.

I know I've posted some things that people object to, and I've objected to some things that people that I basically respect have posted.  I see that sort of thing as fundementally different that a stranger coming in and setting off a stink bomb.




Offline nancy2001

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2006, 11:48:47 PM »
Sue, I completely agree with what you've written. It's so easy for a statement to be misinterpreted after it's posted online.  And once the controversy starts, it tends to take on a life of its own. In a way these online blowups are like driving past a terrible accident -- you know you shouldn't look, but it's so hard not to.

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2006, 12:37:22 AM »
Quote
Usually, when I've seen really nasty troll like stuff, the person doing so hasn't established their credibility in the community.


That's the main reason for the caution against naming someone a "troll". 

I'm a member of several boards where troll-like behavior is the accepted norm.  It's perfectly normal -accepted- behavior to call someone else a nasty name or to write in an inflammatory style.  I've seen boards where everyone writes a completely different language, based on keyboard- or alpha-numerical characters that look like accepted spellings of words (h!, h0w R y@) and a few where the only acceptable topic is one intended to start an argument.   

We don't know where people come from when they join; we don't know what habits they've formed or how they've been taught to communicate.  Giving them the benefit of a doubt doesn't hurt us any, and we may just learn something ourselves.

I don't think it's unreasonable to demand some standards of civility, and mature behavior, though.  We shouldn't have to wear flameproof undies to discuss our favorite hobbies.  We should be able to save those for the time we spend at forums were bon fires and flaming fare is loved and appreciated. :)
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Offline Gorgeous Things

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2006, 01:12:40 AM »
I mostly agree with your observation Susan.  I have also, however, seen folks indulge in trollish behavior after being on a site in an innocuous fashion for some time.  I guess I would say that it's just best to try to mind one's manners (and no, I am not referring to anyone in particular)

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Offline NancyK

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2006, 02:38:16 PM »
I am not sure if this qualifies as troll behavior, but a couple of years ago I became a member of a photo discussion group where what appeared to be on point postings would turn out to be vitupritive diatribes against someone, name included.  They were also sexually explicit and thoroughly upsetting.  They were reported as offensive and still kept appearing.  Needless to say I stopped reading this group.  Thankfully this type of behavior is absent from the Stitcher's Guild.

Offline Liana

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2006, 03:07:09 PM »
I guess I don't know if that qualifies either, but it certainly sounds horrible! :o  Glad you don't have to deal with it anymore.

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2006, 05:46:51 AM »
Quote
Thankfully this type of behavior is absent from the Stitcher's Guild.

And will remain that way.  :o ;D
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Offline knotsnstitches

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2008, 05:03:31 PM »
I am relatively new here.  Not being really familiar with things on this forum, I am not sure about something, so I'll ask.  Shouldn't there be a spew alert or something that could be inserted at the point one is going to type such hilarious comments as "flame proof undies"? I needed that sort of laugh today, and fortunately I knew just where to get it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Any offers to help clean up the mess?  I have to go check my undies. 
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 05:05:27 PM by knotsnstitches »

Offline nehmah

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2008, 01:21:13 PM »
What an unusual type of behavior. I've not yet been around such a person, or if I have, I didn't know it.   ::)
Nehmah

Offline Mike

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2008, 09:46:08 PM »
This forum is relatively immune to trolls because of its intended audience and purpose, not to mention active moderators and membership composition.  Only the most subtle and patient of trolls would find refuge on a such a forum as this.

Like anything else, trolling is not black or white, but many flavors of gray.  There is a culture of trolling that shrouds many places.  Where this forum is thankfully and relatively untouched by trolls, oddly enough, trolling has become socially acceptable behavior on some forums, imageboard, etc. throughout the web.  Granted, with each generation and as more and more users access the internet, trolling will probably never disappear.  But thankfully hormone levels do change.

Being a former troll, guilty of engaging in such behavior in the past (mostly during my high school years), I will admit that I lapse every now and then even today.  Immature and childish?  I completely agree.  Indicative of my social interaction and behavior everyday in my real life?  Oh, definitely not.  A result of a lack of parenting and discipline by my parents growing up?  (Hell) No.  Of course, that's not to say all trolls behave differently on the internet than they do in real life.

For me, being a shy and insecure misfit in high school, trolling was a result of my real life.  For example, I skipped lunch my last three years of high school and went to the library because I dreaded having to find somewhere to sit and eat alone.  My inability to find an outlet to express my emotional frustrations, loneliness, and feelings of isolation, resulted in relieving this stress through less admirable means- trolling.  The sense of anonymity provided by the internet enables one to behave in manners unbecoming of social interaction in the real world with minimal repercussions in their real life.

Alas, I am neither defending nor justifying trolling.  I'm simply attempting to help enlighten on the issue from my own personal experience.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 09:48:11 PM by Mikeru »
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Offline Karendee

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2008, 11:38:04 PM »
Mike,

I find it very mature emotionally for you to understand the reason why you engaged in certain behaviors at different times in your life. Your introspection, understanding and expression of behaviors is quite progressive for someone in your age group. Congratulations on your success.

Karen

Offline Morzel

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2008, 08:14:01 AM »
Thanks, Mike, for this insight. Admitting to being a former troll and, above all, suceeding in changing this behaviour is big!

This whole thread was a most informative one to me - since reading it (a year ago) I feel I am prepared for such a thing. It is just like my mother always says - continual friendliness disarms...
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 08:24:43 AM by Morzel »
Eva

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2010, 09:06:07 PM »
Bumping this topic up for those who have not read it.  Please remember that the main objective of a troll is to divide the board.  They work to pit the  members against the moderators, the members and moderators against each other, and turn the population into "us" and "them".

Please don't allow that to happen here.  Ignore the trolls, and moderate your own comments so that you are not causing or allowing more division, as it only weakens the whole community.
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Offline Emily

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Re: Forum Trolls and Emotional Vampires
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2010, 09:24:01 PM »
Dragonfly, great article. In another forum I belong which happens to be an immigration forum that I volunteer; we've had some pretty nasty trolls, and emotional vampires as you've called them. Do you know what's true of both? They really seem as immortal, but if you ignore them they do die! I can't tell you how many times we've banned members for trolling, and they come back with new account information which can be identified by their isp or they get semi smart and come back using a different isp; a neighbors computer or they go to the library, or maybe they do this at their job. Maybe because itís an immigration site the troll getís a better audience because itís an emotional time for people immigrating to another country. Iíve noticed that the groups with the most emotion in them are the ones that have the most trolls and vamps. It really is best to ignore outlandish claims like your sewing machine examples even when they make you want to burst out laughing, and I think at times it can be easier to do that than with vamps. It is more difficult I think to ignore the emotional vampires because those are the ones that feed off of emotion just a tad bit more.
 
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