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No trolls welcome at ArsTechnica

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
ArsTechnica has begun a zero-tolerance "no trolls" policy. Unlike the definition that some here use (complaints about Apple or it's products generally draw the tag), they are referring to the true trolls: Those that personally attack others rather than intelligently arguing an issue.

From ArsTechnica:
"Effective immediately, we are adopting a hard line against blatant trolling in article discussions . .

We are going to give trolls an immediate 24-hour timeout upon their first infraction—with no warning. Additionally, troll posts will be subject to deletion if judged egregious or made by a new account. (Experience tells us new accounts that troll are almost always sock puppets, and those that are kicking off a new account with trolling aren't welcome). What's an egregious troll? Any troll that personally attacks someone else in our community. If you're not bright enough to criticize ideas without personally criticizing individuals, we're not interested in having you around. If a user chooses to venture into the territory of trolling others, it is their fault and their fault alone for what happens to them next. We will not weep for trolls, nor will we feel any remorse. . .

The requests for increased moderation come from all corners: people complain about Mac fans trolling Windows 8 threads, Windows users trolling iPad threads, and Android acolytes trolling yet others. The takeaway is that trolling is a universal problem and it isn't caused by one topic, one product, one writer, or any single item. Really, trolling is about one thing and one thing only: an individual's capacity for intelligent disagreement. There is only one person responsible for trolling, and that's the troll. There are no other excuses for it.

Anti-trolling efforts aren't about silencing discord or competing points of view, although the unimaginative troll will always claim that it is. Moderation is about creating a space for intelligent discussion, which includes dissent. But people are not free to dissent in whatever manner they wish. By personally attacking others or making asinine, substance-free posts, trolls hurt discussions. And we hear from too many people on a daily basis—people with smart and interesting points of view—who won't go into the discussions because of the trolling.

. . . Worried that your inner hater will be oppressed? Don't be. Be as critical as you want. Dissent as much as you want. Just remember that if you start personally insulting others, accusing them of crimes or moral failings, or engage in otherwise mindless behavior indicative of someone lacking a proper frontal lobe, you can and will be moderated. If you don't want to be moderated, it's easy. Don't troll."

ArsTechnica should be applauded for recognizing that personal attacks, vague accusations of dishonesty and moral failings, or simply claims that others lack intelligence was keeping good discussions from becoming great ones. I think it's a policy well worth considering here at AI, and following it would encourage a larger community of contributors.

Just a thought. Comments?

http://arstechnica.com/staff/palatin...on-threads.ars
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Just a thought. Comments?

You're always welcome here, Gatorguy, at least for me.

Seriously though, might this go under http://forums.appleinsider.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12 if you want a specific discussion and formulate recommendations for the mods?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

You're always welcome here, Gatorguy.

More seriously though you should see Political Outsider here on AI if you want to see how nasty things can get.

I wasn't thinking of myself when I wrote this. I don't get intimidated easily, but there's others what wouldn't think of taking part in discussions for fear of things getting nasty. We're really limiting the forum by scaring potential contributors and forcing them to the sidelines.

I looked at an article in the Political Outsider forum earlier this evening where the the mods had to get involved due to the insults and language. No one benefits when things turn personal.
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I wasn't thinking of myself when I wrote this. I don't get intimidated easily, but there's others what wouldn't think of taking part in discussions for fear of things getting nasty. We're really limiting the forum by scaring potential contributors and forcing them to the sidelines.

I looked at an article in the Political Outsider forum earlier this evening where the the mods had to get involved due to the insults and language. No one benefits when things turn personal.

yea I've been warned twice and as such am trying to avoid any and all personal attacks. My tone can still come off as "dickheady" but I try and have reasonable discussions or voice my opinions clearly.

Granted my opinion doesn't go over well with the more hardened AI users...but it is what it is.
post #5 of 8
I got an infraction last year so I've learned my lesson. As for the others, just report any personal attacks you come across.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I got an infraction last year so I've learned my lesson. As for the others, just report any personal attacks you come across.

You're nobody until you've had at least one infraction...
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post #7 of 8
You mean a real troll like this:

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Just a thought. Comments?

Interesting, I left there years ago due to the trolling (as I have several other fora). I probably won't go back because of this, but it's good to see someplace on the net is finally fed up enough to try to clean up it's own corner.
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