May 22, 2009

I'm telling you for the last time.

If there is a troll here who talks too much, don't talk to him. That's what he wants and that makes him talk more. Don't post to bitch about it. If you do, you are the problem. Get it? You are the problem.

ADDED: If you want to interact with another commenter, go right ahead. But if your point is to make him stop, don't get him fired up by talking to him. And don't debate with him and also tell me I should do something to get rid of him. If you consider someone a troll, don't talk to him. On the other hand, if you are worried that you might be the troll, put that energy into writing better comments. Be concise and interesting. Be creative or funny or something

180 comments:

mccullough said...

You are unhappier than ever

Seven Machos said...

I'm the problem.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

john said...

Would you repeat that, please.

Donald Douglas said...

Trolls?

Geez, I need to comment over at Althouse's more often. This comment section is like a coffee shop where you already know everyone and nobody has to say, "Can't we all just get along ..." Shoot, throw in free wireless for everyone and you're in blog heaven!

EnigmatiCore said...

As someone who has not posted about any trolls in God knows how long, if ever... I feel completely qualified to argue here.

"That's what he wants"

This is a poor assumption. A troll generally wants to disrupt. If a troll accomplishes this by getting replies, that is one way it accomplishes its goal.

However, you will find that if trolls get ignored, trolls continue. With more advanced bulletin board software, where you can turn someone into a Sixth Sense style ghost (they're gone and they don't even know it as they see their posts but no one else does), you can easily see this phenomenon. Most of them will keep on posting. Some will even post more. You would think they would get tired of being ignored and go away, but they don't.

That's because the other way that trolls accomplish their aims is by driving away people who don't like dealing with them. Those are the people who don't reply to the trolls but instead just stop reading where the trolls are. Trolls know these people exist and know that they get to them, too, even if they aren't getting into the back-and-forth.

Besides, all it takes is one person to feed a troll to blow the ignore strategy out of the water, and it does not even have to be a person. Sockpuppets are oh-so-easy to make.

The only way to solve the problem of trolls is by getting rid of the trolls.

Doing so has its own set of problems, though-- time consuming, causes complaints especially from free-speech lovers with which the person dealing with trolls may generally agree, and the occasional well-intentioned person and/or comment that gets waxed in the troll eradication effort. As such, I am not saying you need to try to get rid of the trolls, Althouse.

However, you are kidding yourself if you think that ignoring them works. It doesn't. And getting frustrated with those, who either haven't tried ignoring them or have tried ignoring them and concluded it doesn't work, isn't going to work either.

Seven Machos said...

Althouse -- It's your salon. And I am going to follow your edicts completely. I just hate to see good threads ruined. I hate to see Palladians leave in disgust.

Take the thread below. There's disagreement. But it's great fun because no one is willfully attempting to disrupt the conversation.

Big Mike said...

@EnigmatiCore, has anybody found a fool-proof strategy yet? Or, like computer software, does the world just keep finding better fools?

rhhardin said...

It occurs to me that I need more bridge pictures. I doubt I have more than three.

Bridges of Ohio tend to be built over pipes and filled in with dirt.

Jeremy said...

Yeah!!!

rhhardin said...

It's not like San Francisco, where you can put a dog in front of the Verizon Golden Gate Bridge and snap away.

Assuming the budget problem is solved.

Donald Douglas said...

" ... causes complaints especially from free-speech lovers with which the person dealing with trolls may generally agree ..."

Is there really "free speech" at someone else's blog thread? I can't go swimming in private neighborhood pools without an invitation. "Salons" have memberships ...

john said...

That would be a free swim issue.

John Lynch said...

Yeah, EC is right.

Free speech is a subset of the real world. It is everything on a blog, since this little world is nothing but speech.

THAT's why it's more important to police what is said than in the "real world." Speech can be much more disruptive here than outside. That's why it's often vital to maintain the integrity of your own little corner of the internet.

There's plenty of places to spam the same things over and over, and it does not have to be here. Althouse.com is not the entire internet or the end all be all of the blogosphere.

Seven Machos said...

Althouse's backyard pool is full of trolls, swimming merrily.

EnigmatiCore said...

Bike Mike-- the fools do keep... mutating, no doubt.

I don't think there is an answer.

Jeremy said...

If not for what you call "trolls" you could have about five people commenting and would never know who was who.

You can go through 95% of the comments and there's almost no real discussion or debate.

As to political topics...everybody agrees...with everybody...about everything.

The only discourse is when Ann posts something about cafes or dogs or women being unhappy.

And even then damn near everybody agrees about damn near everything.

All of the blog sites would die a slow death without somebody to stir the pot.

EnigmatiCore said...

DonDoug- no there isn't, except for when yes there is, and the debate is beside the point.

ElcubanitoKC said...

EC, I agree with you. I would also add that they not only continue, but get more personal, more ofensive and more confrontational.

What has to be flowing in one's veins in place of blood to just not reply?

Seven Machos said...

We hot-blooded Latins cannot restrain ourselves! Know you not honor? Know you not passion?

Maxine Weiss said...

So, what I did is a created 300 brilliant, witty, and clever people to "Friend" me on Facebook, and write totally imaginary, made-up comments on my Wall posts.

Speaking of Facebook, Althouse isn't doing enough Status Updates on her Wall. All she does is link back to her Blog. I'm telling you Facebook Friends demand original content unique to Facebook.

Totally wrong to assume fabricated Facebook Friends have the same needs as the fake commenters on the blog. You better start differentiating between the two.

Love,
Maxine

Dale said...

Thnk you for letting me know that I am the problem Ann.


I appreciate knowing that my good faith comments made here are in your mind the equivalent of those who come to harass and hijack the valuable contributions that some very talented (beyond me) people also make in good faith.


Nice to know where I really stand after all this time.

Congratulations on your wedding. Hope you both are truly happy.
See ya around (but not here again).

The Drill SGT said...

If there is a troll here who talks too much, don't talk to him. That's what he wants and that makes him talk more..

LOL, So that is why nobody posts back to me :)

John Lynch said...

EKC it's pretty easy. You ignore people all the time in everday life. The internet puts people in one place, and there's the illusion that we have to deal with them and can't just walk away or get in the cab.

If you let people into your head, let them bother you, then that's YOUR fault. When you expend energy being angry and waste your time replying, you're letting them control your actions.

I spent some time in gaming forums and places like that, and it's much worse than here. You just have to decide that some people don't matter and aren't worth the energy to engage them. It IS annoying when they fuck up a blog or forum, but it isn't YOUR problem to fix it. Just like in real life you wait for the police to take care of the domestic disturbance next door.

If the police don't take care of it that's a problem, but unlike in real life it's easy to move. I've done that a few times. Some blogs I don't bother with the comments section because it's pointless but the blogger is still interesting to read.

Maxine Weiss said...

So much fun chatting with people who don't exist !

And, don't try to steal my glorious Buddy List from MySpace either.

Love,

EDH said...

If there is a troll here who talks too much, don't talk to him.

You talk too much.

Mrs. Gertruda Stopplemoor said...

Why Maxine, you are simply the cat's meow.

I've never seen anybody scamper up the social ladder as quickly as you.

garage mahal said...

You talk too much.

Oligonicella said...

One real problem is the "one person's troll" thingie. For instance, Titus, whom you have said you like, would definitely be considered a troll elsewhere. As would the bulk of us, no doubt.

mcg said...

If the police don't take care of it that's a problem, but unlike in real life it's easy to move. I've done that a few times. Some blogs I don't bother with the comments section because it's pointless but the blogger is still interesting to read.

Yes, her commenters can just leave if they finally get too fed up with trolls. But that's not what Ann really wants. I believe she genuinely treasures her commentariat. Allowing the trolls to stay (and by my count, there's 1, maybe 2) damages that which she treasures.

As logical as the tired old line "just ignore them" may be, it is tired and old for a reason: it works about as well as your average abstinence campaign. Banning individuals from blogs isn't perfect either, but it is far more effective. Cedarford has been banned from Ace of Spades, and he has gone his merry way. (That is not to say he is considered a troll here; I'm just saying.)

I repeat my call for an enterprising commenter to design a blog for Althouse that employs modern blogging technology. It can duplicate the visual style of this blog down to the pixel if she so demands, but under the hood it could provide her considerable power including, but not limited to, banning individuals by name and/or IP.

OldGrouchy said...

Really, so how will "we" know which is which, eh?

Must be a slow blog day, eh!

Pogo said...

I mostly ignore, but I have bad days when I see the same punk hanging around posting over and over and over and over again, and I have to kick him in the shins.

There's no real discussion intended, just a tweaking of the nose, because I'm tired and pissy.

EC is right.
It can't be solved by Althouse or by ignoring, though ignoring helps.
But yeah, if I'm the problem, then, well, yeah.

mcg said...

You Talk Too MuchWhat are those strange devices they are holding to their ears? You know, the ones with cords connected to them?

John Lynch said...

According to this, a troll is someone who is "boring, verbose, and repetitive." I think that rules Titus out, and I had better watch it...

jimbino said...

Look, the rule is this: anybody who says something in my presence that demands a response will get one. Any blogger who allows her digital signal onto my property, Ethernet, airspace or WiFi space and who posts something that demands a response will get a response.

She may post adhesion contracts until the cows come home, but as long as she offends me I will still respond until she packs up and leaves cyberspace, just as I would in a public park.

Trolls of the world, unite!

Jeremy said...

What a bunch of pussies.

I visit any number of blog sites and I have never heard so much whining about what Queen Ann and you idiots refer to as trolls.

It's like a bunch of little kids who have been warned by their mommy.

A group of people who think of themselves as adults, demanding there be no opposing viewpoints from those of their own.

Gutless.

Donn said...

EnigmatiCore hits the nail on the head @ 4:32.

Also, Ann conveniently leaves out the fact that she herself stated she would delete said troll's postings, and then failed to continue after a few early attempts.

Of course, I realize it's Ann's blog and she can do whatever she wishes, but like me, I am sure there are many many others who no longer (or seldom) post here due to the one troll we all know this conversation is really about!

EnigmatiCore said...

Jeremy, you almost sound like you think you are considered a troll.

Not sure why that is.

Fen said...

On another note, The Speaker of the House was misled. Again.

Please, any chance you Dems could replace her with someone who, ya know, pays attention in meetings and isn't fooled so often?

"Bush misled me"

"CIA misled me"

"Ahmadinejad misled me"

dbp said...

Ignoring trolls may or may not encourage them. My observation is that they respond to responses, so if there are no responses that should help.

At the very least it makes working your way through the comments section much faster and easier.

I see certain names and just scroll-on-by.

Also, if you are in comment mode, you can click on the orange box with a white "B" in it and it will collapse that comment--makes scrolling faster.

ElcubanitoKC said...

JL, it can be easy in some cases, I give you that, but there is a limit to everything.

(I'm on the bus going home at the moment. I'll elaborate further when I get there)

OldGrouchy said...

Fidel allows buses?

EnigmatiCore said...

You know what would be really cool?

If Google/Blogger would allow each user to tag any other user as 'ignored'.

You would still have to deal with replies to replies, but that would help so much.

I think Althouse should get right on convincing Google to work on this.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse : That's what he wants and that makes him talk more. Don't post to bitch about it. If you do, you are the problem. Get it? You are the problem.

I remember the other day when someone said something about how they thought Althouse was posting troll bait and Althouse argued with her about it! So don't feel too bad you guys, just remember you're boring the hell out of all the other readers. Instead of venting your frustrations at trolls, vent them at your kids and significant other, or get drunk; like normal people.

David said...

Dale said...

. . . . .
Congratulations on your wedding. Hope you both are truly happy.
See ya around (but not here again).
See, it works.

Bob Sacamano said...

If we were given the opportunity to waterboard trolls, would that create more trolls?

ricpic said...

Is this about the Do You Notice Anything About The Picture Of Obama? thread on Thursday? It was an awful thread that degenerated into an exchange of insults. But if it's not about that I'm confused.

hdhouse said...

her sand. her sandbox.

A possible rationale is that her blog is referenced from one end of the internet to the other. Do you see the hit-o-meter?

Bad trolling (is there good)hurts her blog's reputation and cheapens the product.

She's right.

Pogo said...

ricpic,
It was the Photos from Rome.



I keed.

SteveR said...

I said I would and have, specifically to the one to whom this is aimed. To the extent that Ann might be accused of baiting them, its only because its hard to stimulate thoughtful discussions, without getting some mindless comments since some people seem to enjoy that. They might not go away but they can be ignored.

rhhardin said...

Danny Gokey Interviewed by Armstrong and Getty, about halfway through the 38 minute clip (3rd hour today).

The beginning covers the controversy whether dragging a dead incredibly obese woman across the lawn with a tow truck was dignified enough under the circumstances.

NKVD said...

hdhouse wrote ")hurts".

The troll has outed himself.

Pastafarian said...

I'd hate to see any of the liberal commenters leave, even trolls. Someone earlier in the thread was right -- you do need someone to stir the pot.

Althouse lists 3 characteristics of trolls -- dullness, verbosity, and repetition. I'd like to suggest a couple more -- the use of ad hominem tactics and outright insults, and thread hijacking.

The Troll Who Shall Not Be Named is guilty of all 5 of these, to varying degrees. Maybe he could try:

a) Limiting the number of his comments to, say, an average of 5 per post;

b) Making a different point with each comment;

c) Limiting comment length to an average of, say, 200 words or less;

d) Avoiding the use of 7th grade insults and invitations to "suck his cock";

e) Stay at least close to the original topic of the post.

...and then I'd consider him a valued contributor to the discussion. I really wish that he would. If he can't do this, then Althouse is right -- we should pretty much shun him, because he'll ruin an otherwise good discussion.

And I know that Althouse adores TitusWhoPinchesLoaves; but I cannot abide him, so I put him in my Troll column and pretty much ignore him. He probably does the same to me.

Pogo said...

Is it better to have pinched a loaf than never to have loafed at all?

Darcy said...

Did Palladian leave? I don't want to dive into the nastiness to find out, but I hope not.

Pastafarian said...

There are more things in heaven and earth, Pogo, than pinching loaves.

And if Palladian left, somebody needs to go get him back. I'm not sure if I'd read this blog without his comments.

ricpic said...

Everyone and his kid sister said Pogo at 10:13 was superb, spot on, gangbusters, hit a homer, etc. etc. I'm afraid it went to his head. There's only so much praise a pediatrician can take without delusions of brain surgeon omniscience kicking in. ;^)

Jason (the commenter) said...

Darcy : Did Palladian leave?

He seems to quit, or threaten to, ALL the time. He'll be back, if not as Palladian then as another character.

Pogo said...

Nice post, BTW, Pastafarian.

Pogo said...

No need to worry, ricpic, I'm too full of shit to get full of anything else.

I'm humble because I have alot to be humble about.

Methadras said...

Why are the trolls getting under peoples skin so much around here. You would think that we were a bunch of persnickety, effete masses who don't want to deal with the little people. Come on, if you can't take a troll and listening to his braying, then your skin is way to sensitive and way to thin. Get in there and fight I say, but that's just me. I'd hate to see someone like Palladian go because of a troll, but honestly you can't blame the guy can you?

I'm sure I'm not the most well loved individual here, but I'd rather be a bitter clinger than a rare clumber. Either way, this blog is fairly unique and it's commentariat are fairly diverse.

holdfast said...

Signs of the troll:

(1) It cuts and pastes from Daily Kos, TPM, TNR, The Nation, Mother Jones, Paul Krugman or Jorno-List;

(2) It dwells in a basement (usually mom's), being paid to comment/troll/moby by some Soros-funded entity;

(3) Its name is Jeremy;

(4) It starts by "stirring the pot" but then never acknowledges replies / counterarguments and instead repeats itself, changes the subject or flings insults and/or its own feces;

(5) Its name is Jeremy;

(6) Its repeats itself (whoops!).

PatCA said...

I don't see where "it" happened, whatever it is...

Donn said...

Pogo:
I'm humble because I have alot to be humble about.
Starting with learning how to spell "a lot."

8^)

Jason (the commenter) said...

We probably didn't see "it" happen because we don't pay attention to trolls. Life's better that way :)

Randy said...

Wondering who is Dale and why does he think this post is all about him?

ricpic said...

Memorial Day weekend. Do these three day weekends, these seasonal markers, get anyone else down? Or am I the only one? Well, since I can't stand the things I'm going to hop in the car and go off in search of America, as the song says. Gonna drive down the Trail of The Lonesome Pine in Virginy and Nawth Car'lina. Hope y'awl have fun too.

Tibore said...

Okay, I've not been here enough lately. What caused this thread?

William said...

I think the trolls and the vitrioholics have a co dependency thing going on....Here we are all pixels in cyberspace. It's amazing how we wish to evolve into something physical. Althouse and Meade, for example, have reached a high level of evolution. But the other posters also strive for a physical presence by making jokes, by mild seductions, by disgusting remarks, by snarls of anger. Anything that requires a physical response from the reader. More physicality equals a greater level of evolution.....This is an argument for the existence of God. If God were pure thought wouldn't he need creation to express his thoughts?....Here on the internet we can have any identity we choose. Paradoxically, we cannot chose to be non existent once we have posted a comment. Trolls are probably computer programs designed to mimic humans. The angry responses they receive, the cluster of pixels that congregate around them, give them an evolving sense of their own physical identity.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Tibore : Okay, I've not been here enough lately. What caused this thread?

There are trolls, just like always. Every once in awhile it's good to vent about them.

And if people learn how to deal with trolls it may help them with their real life relations, so it's all good.

Palladian said...

I'm still here, less than I used to be for various reasons. If I do decide to cease commenting here entirely, it won't be after leaving in a public huff, which is just silly. I'll just go if I ever want to go.

I made my opinions regarding trolls known before. As far as I'm concerned there are only three trolls who post here, and two of them have reduced their presence significantly. They might all be the same person, who knows? The trolls do make the comments section here less attractive and ignoring them does not work. Althouse doesn't want to change blogging platforms even though Blogger is a terrible, dated and poorly maintained wreck, so it's no use suggesting she change.

I do not appreciate your insinuation that I use multiple accounts to post comments, Jason. I have never posted a comment here under any other name than Palladian. You seem to have some sort of problem with me. I'm much easier to ignore than a troll. I suggest you try.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian : I do not appreciate your insinuation that I use multiple accounts to post comments, Jason.

Sorry, I was just saying you're a character. If you left that's just part of your story.

NKVD said...

Leave in a huff. Or, if that's too soon, in a minute and a huff. Eighty year old jokes are the best.

Jason (the commenter) said...

They say in the Koran that there's not a sparrow that falls from the sky that isn't recorded in a book.

I think about how Althouse has to read everything here and how most of it must be pretty boring. Then I think about everything that must be recorded for God to go over and how boring that must be.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian : You seem to have some sort of problem with me. I'm much easier to ignore than a troll. I suggest you try.

Don't worry Pal, I'll stick around to keep you honest!

NKVD said...

Miss Ann has said that she only reads selected posts. Simpler that way. Half a loaf is better than none.

Jennifer said...

I really hope people heed this advice. I have never been able to comprehend why commenters I regard as intelligent, witty and with significant value to add waste their time rolling around the mud with trolls. There are enough people of varying opinions here to manage an actual discussion. Ridiculous back and forth with those who have no point just makes the threads a pain in the ass to read through.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

(1) Don't let strangers on the Internet get under your skin.

(2) Trolls are, as Pogo sort of said, for having fun with when you're cranky.

(3) The main troll everyone complains about really isn't too bad. He's not creepy. He doesn't write bizarre, personal things. At times he does contribute to discussions. Sometimes, as in the women and happiness thread, he's even funny. He's not vicious, and so he's highly ignorable if that's what someone wants to do. I just don't see the big deal.

The only reason he "ruins" threads is because everyone freaks out when he posts. Don't freak out, and the threads won't be ruined.

Randy said...

Kudos to Freeman & Jennifer.

mcg said...

(2) Trolls are, as Pogo sort of said, for having fun with when you're cranky.

That is what I am most guilty of, I admit. (Though last night I ignored the true troll and derived my enjoyment from a non-troll who seemed off his meds :))

mcg said...

He's not vicious,

Hmm, methinks you didn't read the thread that prompted this one, then.

Freeman Hunt said...

That is what I am most guilty of, I admit.

Same. But maybe it's okay to do that sometimes? At least on the threads that have already sort of petered out?

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh. No, I didn't. Which one is it?

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

Here is the offending thread.

former law student said...

The Drill SGT said...

LOL, So that is why nobody posts back to me :)

Naw,it's your flattop haircut.

It intimidates people.

Wondering who is Dale and why does he think this post is all about him?

Re Dale:

You're so vain...
You prob'ly think this blog is about you

Jason (the commenter) said...

John, that was it?

The only thing offensive for me was Althouse's comment! But those people at the end who were only talking about each other, that was ridiculous. They all looked like fools and I laughed. If you skim over it, and don't take it seriously, it wont harm you.

You guys need to learn to laugh more. Otherwise you'll end up unhappy (like women).

knox said...

It's impossible to ignore when a troll comments 10 times or more in one thread, I don't care what sort of Zen-like commenting skills you have.

But now we're on the subject, the sockpuppets are really starting to bother me. There are at least 5-6 characters hanging around here regularly now who are fakes. Or sure seem like it. Being able to ban someone's IP would solve that problem, too.

Pogo said...

"Starting with learning how to spell "a lot.""

Don't you think 'alot' should be the spelling?

Even just alittle?

Jason (the commenter) said...

knox : It's impossible to ignore when a troll comments 10 times or more in one thread

Post a picture of a puppy or respond to someone who you DO want to talk to, or just decide the thread is over with and move on.

Donn said...

Don't you think 'alot' should be the spelling?

Hey....I don't make the rulz!

Pogo said...

If only internet trolls were cinnamon rolls.

Randy said...

If only internet trolls were cinnamon rolls.LOL!

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

There's something to be said about a contrarian antagonist who may be annoying as fuck, but only posts once per thread -- who is funny, charming, witty, who has impeccable taste in music and has NO tags. No history. No tiresome baggage! Sort of like a good spook. I mean who would want to join a tag circle jerk with trolls and nazis? Not me.

Oh and sorry, but I'm taken.

LoafingOaf said...

I love seeing that dude, Palladian, posting about trolls as if he's not a troll himself. Just because Palladian kisses enough ass so as not to be deemed a troll by the blogger of this site doesn't mean he isn't a troll.

Since Althouse approves of some trolls, no one should complain about any trolls here.

Outside of that, I was wondering if Althouse was ever gonna post an actual postion on torture (if I missed it, link me to the post). I think her boyfriend posted a pro-torture comment sometime recently, but Althouse makes sure she creates threads on the issue without ever taking a postion herself. Maybe she should clear that up if she isn't a coward. No one forces her to create blog posts about the issue, but if she posts all these blog posts on the topic but never reveals her own position it seems yella.

Palladian said...

"I love seeing that dude, Palladian, posting about trolls as if he's not a troll himself. Just because Palladian kisses enough ass so as not to be deemed a troll by the blogger of this site doesn't mean he isn't a troll."

Haha. Everyone hates you! And you're bitter because of it. But no, you're not one of the trolls. You're just an asshole!

Congratulations for getting through an entire comment without mentioning that dread eternal feminine of your nightmares, Sarah Palin. It must have been difficult, what with her pussy still gnawing on your gangrenous shin.

"I think her boyfriend posted a pro-torture comment sometime recently..."

Every comment you post is a pro-torture comment, because every comment you post is torture to read.

Anyway, why don't you write some more, so we can have you arrested for violating the Brussels Conventions or whatever they're called. Go on, post something about Sarah Palin! You know you want to!

Seven Machos said...

Please don't tell me I should be blogging about some other subject. If you have a tip on what I should blog, email me at annalthouse (at) gmail (dot) com. Otherwise, express yourself. Be interesting. You can digress, but digress creatively. Amuse us!

Palladian said...

"Amuse us!"

Asking PinchingLoaf to amuse anyone is like asking FDR to run the 100 yard dash in 1945.

Seven Machos said...

I do love that Oaf took the opportunity to flame in this thread about how Althouse wishes we could get our shit together and be civil. In its own sorry way, that's amusing.

Kirk Parker said...

Seven is not the problem. Yes, he and I were really going at in the "unhappy women" thread, but there wasn't anything trollish about his comments as far as I can see.

Seven Machos said...

Kirk -- It's from a thread below, when I duked it out for reasons only known to myself with a troll. To my everlasting shame.

Althouse is right. Mostly.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Jason (the commenter), all fools?
Interesting. I thought better of you.

Goodnight.

Kirk Parker said...

Seven,

Oh. Duh. Somehow when I first read it, I thought you were saying you were the troll, but on rereading it I have no idea how I got that impression.

Oops, nevermind! :-)

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I hate it when people here say things like "Hmm, I thought better of you," or, "You disappoint me" in response to people they either a) don't know, or b) frequently spar with.

It's like, shut up! No you didn't (think better of me)! And no, I did not (disappoint you)! So phony and arrogant.

Beau said...

Here is the offending thread.

Struth, there's more than one troll on that thread.

Back in the day when the only way to comment was in the Usenet community, when a troll left a group many groups died a short time later. A bunch of people agreeing with each other can be very, very, dull.

peter hoh said...

Enough with the trolls. How do I get rid of the rabbits?

Seven Machos said...

Peter -- There's very little you can do right now. It's duck season.

peter hoh said...

Well, I got my ducks in a row. It's the rabbits and squirrels that are driving me nuts.

/Celtic accent off.

Seven Machos said...

Am I the only person here who still loves a good Bugs Bunny reference? Is that not common currency?

I tell you what. These kids today. Get off my lawn!

peter hoh said...

You got goats?

jeff said...

'Back in the day when the only way to comment was in the Usenet community, when a troll left a group many groups died a short time later. A bunch of people agreeing with each other can be very, very, dull."

Someone who disagrees and someone who is a troll are two entirely separate entities.

Palladian said...

"Someone who disagrees and someone who is a troll are two entirely separate entities."

Exactly. Take Zachary Paul Sire or garage mahal or even semi-literate old codger hdhouse. I don't agree with much of what they say, and I usually hate the way they say it, but none of them are internet trolls.

Quality discussion isn't about agreement. What I (and I assume most others here) call trolling is something else entirely.

DBrooks17 said...

I am one who rarely comments these days due directly to the asininity in the commments--troll, or not. I think Ann keeps them around for several reasons; one not mentioned is it keeps traffic numbers higher. If that is inaccurate, I apologize, but, if it's true, that's a poor excuse for soiling enlightening discourse. I find it difficult to wade through the comments, and I am convinced that some comment here in an effort to drive off reasonable dialog. It's juvenile and disturbed. The argument that Titus's bowel movements, and Jeremy's repetitious and pervasive nonsense add anything substantive to this site is farcical.

Penny said...

"I'm telling you for the last time", says Althouse.

This could get VERY interesting if Ann is true to her words. From my perspective, it doesn't appear to be in her nature to either mother us, or to overpower us, simply because this is her blog.

WEATHER REPORT: High pressure areas over most of the United States through the holiday weekend, followed by a low pressure line swooping down from Canada late Monday. It's still a little too early to say exactly how strong local storms will be, but we will keep you posted.

Inspektor Friedrich said...

This morning I stumbled across the trainwreck of a comment thread that precipitated this latest silly example of blogospheric Sturm und Drang. The not surprising result is the Professor striking a dramatic pose, holding the back of her hand to her forehead and proclaiming, "Oh, you people! Don't you know how to take care of my blog?"

DBrooks, you are exactly right: The comments here are mostly repetitive, jejune, and silly. And it doesn't take much convincing to understand that some in fact comment here to drive off others, the "Jeremy" character having stated that quite explicitly.

This site is perhaps the most frustrating place on the internet if you're an adult interested in adult conversation. It has threatened over the years to be eclectic, intelligent and interesting. Some of the commenters are best I've seen. The level of writing can be fantastic.

But its potential has never been realized, in part because the Professor seems more intent on driving up numbers and becoming a pop culture diva than maintaining a place where people who are not complete idiots can feel comfortable.

I once had high hopes for this blog, read it religiously, and had great regard for its proprietor.

Not so much any more.

The Drill SGT said...

former law student said...

Naw,it's your flattop haircut.

It intimidates people.
.

1. You need to get out and see more soldiers. Buzz cut is in for trainees. For Drill SGTs? High and tight (the inverse of a flattop) is the way to go.

2.Not that I have any hair on top.

Bissage said...

I had a dream this morning. I got out of bed and went straight to the computer and wrote something that has a title.

I call it Adrienne Barbeau.

Bissage said...

Adrienne Barbeau.

We were lying side by side in my dream, on a grassy hill in the sunshine, with many others when her skirt rode up and I patted her fanny and gazed admiringly.

But another man might notice so I nuzzled at the nape of her neck confessing with the quietest whisper my deepest secret saying “I had a crush on you in high school” and she smiled broadly and said “I know.”

Bissage said...

Deep.

traditionalguy said...

Have a nice weekend all you Troll Warriors. IMO it is easy to become trollish by aggressive argument on an emotionally important subject by a novice troll. So err on the side of patience, even if you already know all the correct answers yourself. The beauty of a blog like Althouse is the real adding to our knowledge by interacting with the other points of view we have never heard before. Meanwhile, the entertainment Greats oil the talk atmosphere here with a pleasant humor and real creativity, and the opinionated ranters just keep rolling along.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Deep indeed, Bissage.

I had the same dream about Marcia Brady. And Valerie Bertinelli. And Bionic Woman. Cheryl Ladd, Jennifer Marlowe, and Bailey Quarters.

Even Mindy, sorta.


Not Tootie, though. Nuh uh.

But same exact dream though.
Weird.

Pogo said...

Well, you weren't in it.

No offense.

Bissage said...

(1) Absolutely none taken, Pogo.

(2) But I can’t talk anymore.

I just found out I have to take a final exam!

And I haven’t attended a single class!!!

I haven’t read a single thing!!!

I’M GOING TO FAIL!!!

OH, NOOOOOOOOOOES!!1!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!

(3) Heh.

Pogo said...

Oog.

That dream, plus the one where I am in class with PJs on were bad enough, but they paled in comparison to my actually going to a dance freshman year and having my winsome date ditch me for the girl's room as soon as we entered the gym.

I spell 'confidence' with a capital K.

TMink said...

I would welcome Palladian posting with multiple screen names. But then, I am Maxine.

Trey

1jpb said...

Althouse spends too much time listening to Rush. It seems as if she's unconsciously implementing Alinsky's rule #12, which Rush likes to talk about and credit to BHO.

But, I think she should become more familiar w/ #9. She, like many others here, are thin skinned whiners.

[Aside: rule #5 does seem to work (or at least elicit a reaction) with the crybabies here. And, ironically, at the same time many conservatives can't take #5, they (especially the professional conservatives, e.g. Rush) are extreme users of rule #5 against others. Babies.]

OldGrouchy said...

@1: Please don't forget about the Fiji Islander rule #1: Shoot'em, kill'em dead!

Beats Alinsky's rules every time!

Issob Morocco said...

Best method for eliminating Trolls is the Billy Goat Gruffs. Call your local Gruff to hear how you can be troll free for the cost of a toll free call.

Paco Wové said...

Inspektor Friedrich: word.

former law student said...

That dream, plus the one where I am in class with PJs on were bad enough...

Thousands of co-eds have been living that dream every year recently. (with flip-flops, no less) Kinda takes the sting out.

Dan from Madison said...

DBrooks17 nailed it.

As the community gets larger, the amount of idiots - and therefore idiotic comments - increases. I would love to comment here more but just can't spend the time to plow through 100 plus comments anymore. Just don't have the time or energy for that anymore.

Typically if you can't read the comment string, you can't make an intelligent comment on the original post at the end, since the thread has already devolved into many tangents not related to the OP.

I hang out at smaller blogs now for the most part. That keeps the signal to noise ratio much lower and makes my blog time more valuable.

I still like reading Ann's posts, but just can't rationalize commenting on them anymore.

Pogo said...

fls said :"Kinda takes the sting out."

Yeah, that anxiety has since become standard clothing among many age groups.

Donn said...

This site is perhaps the most frustrating place on the internet if you're an adult interested in adult conversation. It has threatened over the years to be eclectic, intelligent and interesting. Some of the commenters are best I've seen. The level of writing can be fantastic.

But its potential has never been realized, in part because the Professor seems more intent on driving up numbers and becoming a pop culture diva than maintaining a place where people who are not complete idiots can feel comfortable.

I once had high hopes for this blog, read it religiously, and had great regard for its proprietor.

Not so much any more.


Bingo! Exactly right.

elHombre said...

I set the spam filter and still got spam.

I put my numbers on the no call list and still got called.

I ignored the troll and still got slimed.

I am an enabler.

Woe is me.

elHombre said...

Simon, where are you?

Bissage said...

We always try to give our fellow Althousians the best value for dollar.

So coming right up is "Adrienne Barbeau."

New and Improved!

Now with 20% more deep.

Look for our coupon in your Sunday morning paper!

Bissage said...

Adrienne Barbeau

We were lying side by side in my dream, on a grassy hill in the sunshine, with many others nearby when her skirt hiked up all by itself and I touched her fanny ever so gently and gazed admiringly.

But another man might notice so I nuzzled at the nape of her neck confessing with the quietest whisper my deepest secret saying “I had a crush on you in high school” and she smiled broadly with love in her eyes and said “I know.”

Bissage said...

Deep.

Donn said...

Simon, where are you?

Yes, good question. Where did Simon go???

AJ Lynch said...

Bailey Quarters. Yumm!

elHombre said...

Old Grouchy wrote: @1: Please don't forget about the Fiji Islander rule #1: Shoot'em, kill'em dead!

Beats Alinsky's rules every time!

Oh-oh. You're warning them. Why are you warning them?!

elHombre said...

I touched her 'fanny' ever so gently....

This is ever so much more fun in the grassy hills near Auckland!

Largo said...

"""
Am I the only person here who still loves a good Bugs Bunny reference? Is that not common currency?
"""
You gave it only about ten minutes Seven. (BTW, you're wrong. It's rabbit season.)

Interesting that yours was one of two jokes that have a connection to 'Ducks'. Who noticed the other?

Largo said...

@Seven: Come back with my cane!

jeff said...

I envy you who found themselves in class wearing pjs. My dream was the same only no pjs. And then just suddenly noticing it. And no one else noticing it until then. Maybe I should have gone to college in Berkeley.

Pogo said...

Was there ever an ad aimed at high school girls called "I dreamed I went to Social Studies in my Maidenform Bra"?

PatCA said...

"I'm telling you for the last time."

Or she will open up the car door and kick you all to the curb, even if it's dark out and you're a million eleventy miles from home.

Remember, no one can hear you scream on the internets.

former law student said...

Simon, where are you?

Could he have had a crush on our gracious hostess, hopes now crushed by her romance?

It's hard to see the screen through a film of tears.

"I dreamed I went to Social Studies in my Maidenform Bra"?

No, but there was an ad, "I dreamt I led the St. Patrick's Day parade in my Erin-go-bragh."

downtownlad said...

Wingnuts think that any commenter who doesn't buy into Rush Limbaugh's agenda is a troll. They can't tolerate dissent, and they are perpetually outraged.

Oh my God! Wanda Sykes made a joke. And it wasn't funny.

Oh my God! Obama ate an arugula salad. And he ordered orange juice in a dinner. And he put mustard on his hamburger!

Oh my God! Obama is implementing a stimulus plan during a recession! We must have teabagging parties!

It's quite amusing actually. You have to be pretty insecure if you go ballistic every time someone presents an opposing viewpoint.

Mrs. Juanita Frankenhoffer said...

The best way to get banned around here is to question the masculinity of the Althouse sons, and their noticeable lack of enthusiasm for team sports.

That a mother could raise to children of the male species, and not one of them shows an interest in anything athletic......highly unusual !

Love,

elHombre said...

Could he have had a crush on our gracious hostess, hopes now crushed by her romance?

Here's FLS displaying his vaunted genius for observing the [nearly] obvious.

---------------------

Wingnuts ... can't tolerate dissent, and they are perpetually outraged.

Here's DTL projecting -- again.

Hey. This is fun!

JAL said...

I believe Simon absented himself before the Professor and Green Jeans Meade made The Announcement.

Maybe because there aren't as many legal questions? (Although the whole GITMO, CIA thing and President Obama amusement park position changes might have drawn out thoughtful comments.)

So I miss him also, and like it when I learned something from Simon or the Professor, or other lawyer people. (Sometimes I think I might have liked law [never crossed my mind in those years] but then I think about how incredibly boring classes in business and real estate and wills and trusts and that sort of stuff must be.)

Simon and Victoria (who seems to have gotten roadbumped again), come ground us in tide of trolls!

This post belongs in the unkempt grassy thread, doesn't it?

Theo Boehm said...

Donn and elHombre wondered where Simon went.

I can report he is alive and well on Twitter, where you can find him under his account @ExSimon. He is always an interesting and pleasant presence, as are many current and former Althousians.

He will have to tell you his own reasons for severely cutting back on blog commenting. But I think his move, and the move of people such as everyone's favorite blog friend, Annie Gottlieb ('amba') to Twitter may presage fairly big changes in the blogosphere.

Other social media, such as Facebook and its clones, not to mention Twitter, are increasingly in a position to suck the oxygen out of blogs such as this. If you're interested in chatting about current topics, personal matters, etc., sharing photos and other media, and doing so with people you'd rather be around, the new social media are the place to do it.

I can also tell you that the level of courtesy and good manners is considerably higher on Twitter than it ever was in the blogosphere. Somehow, adults seem to be in charge over there.

In this new world, blogs might remain for longer, more technical, or in-depth pieces, and were ideas may be developed more thoroughly. That makes sense, and that, in essence, is what amba did with her new collective blog venture Ambiance.

People want to read and experience something that is pleasant, entertaining, and perhaps intellectually challenging. A food fight in the comments section of a blog may, like any fight, draw some attention, but, in the long run, people will drift to where they will find something pleasing.

The new social media allow the participants largely to control with whom they interact, so they no longer need to put up with idiots and trolls to find either good company or good ideas.

Scolding the blog audience about how they should deal with trolls presupposes that there are gems awaiting the audience who exhibit forbearance. The trouble is, those who might contribute such gems are rapidly joining Simon and others in places where forbearance is unnecessary.

Trixie said...

If Son thows the ball like a sissy, why didn't Mom immediately enroll him in summer sports camp ?

Didn't it ever occur to Mom?, that sons would need to develop some sort of a sports vocabulary in order to talk to, and find common ground, with other men.....men who run corporations, and hold the keys to Sons' futures.

Son: Sports is your jumping-off point. It's your passport to the world of powerful men who can get you somewhere in life.

As usual, Mom is clueless.

Love,

JAL said...

@8:51 a.m. fls said :"Kinda takes the sting out."

Yeah, that anxiety has since become standard clothing among many age groups.


Standard way of dealing with anxiety. Normalize the thing that makes one anxious.

Where is the line on what is taboo and what is not?

Depends.

Hey Maxine -- do you know anyone with the initials "JF"?

Mrs. Alfreida Whurlagig said...

And, don't forget: sports fans throw some of the best tailgate parties around!

Ralph said...

When Carol Herman was dropping her little squirrels of wisdom at JustOneMinute during the Libby trial, someone invented the acronym SOB, for Scroll On By. Carol obligingly put her name at the top of each comment.

Donn said...

Theo,

Thanks for the info and the insightful comments.

John Lynch said...

Here's what I think of the "Oh, it could have been so good!" or "Oh, it was good and now it sucked!" well, bullshit.

I've been reading this blog for years and it has been pretty much the same. Not always the same bunch of people, but always the same sort of blog. People come and go but none of them are really irreplaceable. People who've developed relationships with each other miss them when people leave, but there's always more people who are busy forming their own.

The truth about the internet is that no one remembers you after you're gone for three days. There's exceptions, but they are rare. And usually the good ones don't make a big show of leaving in a huff. They're just gone one day, like Matt Damon.

People are really good at romanticizing things on the internet but the truth is there's always something good, and always something awful.

Theo Boehm said...

True enough, John. I've been reading this blog since the 4th month, and you're right: In many ways, it hasn't changed that much. It has evolved, but Althouse found a basic formula early and has stuck to it.

I think the problem the Inspektor and a few others upthread had, is that they expected this blog to be something that it never became.

But my point is the same one amba and others have been making: The rules of the game in the blogosphere ARE changing. The internet HAS changed in the past, and will in the future.

I was a chat room host on AOL 18 years ago, and have been around the block in the Usenet days, so I've seen a lot of changes. It's true, in many ways the basic interactions have not changed. Trolls were trolls nearly 20 years ago, and the tricks that the troll-in-chief plays around here have been around forever—even before the internet, as far back as 17th and 18th century pamphlet wars.

What's different is that the social media have improved and are becoming much more pervasive. This has already had a noticeable effect on the commentariat here and elsewhere. I'm not quite sure where it is going, but just as the Usenet gave way to the Web, the social media are going to change the blogosphere.

I also am a great believer in the pleasure principle: Given the choice between pleasure and pain, people will eventually choose pleasure. That is, of course, what trolls are counting on. Trolling inflicts enough pain, and people leave. Mission accomplished.

No one may remember you on the internet, but it's not true that we're all interchangeable cogs. If that were the case, why bother? It's all some automaton that goes of itself? Then save electricity, and shut this sucker down. Let it run as a simulation on a supercomputer or two. Same thing.

Most trolls have a more dynamic view than that. Their goal is often to change the commentariat where they infest. I have seen this happen, and vibrant, interesting online communities get wrecked before my eyes. But we're talking about THIS blog, and if you believe that nothing will ever change, and that we're all interchangeable, you must believe in the immortality of Althouse, and an unlimited supply of people filling the same roles for ever and ever.

I'm fairly religious, but I'm afraid that's one form of the Hereafter I don't care to think about, resembling as it must some updated digital circle of Hell that Dante didn't quite get to.

John Lynch said...

Theo, I've been around since Telnet and Usenet, too, but what really gave me the central insight into the internet is online gaming communities.

Yes, most people as they act on the internet are interchangeable cogs. They tend to fall into a few archetypes and you pretty much know what you're dealing with within a few encounters. If you want to be an individual you have to really work at it. That's depressing, but true.

One way to get noticed is to constantly spam. It works, in that everyone notices you. The nature of online groups is that frequent posting confers status. Squeaky wheels, etc.

I've seen game developers fundamentally change gameplay based on a few spammy forum junkies. Within a community quantity can trump quality.

Short posts are more likely to be read than long ones. So, the most efficient way to get noticed is lots of short posts. The best commenters make their posts funny and interesting while remaining brief. The few exceptions here, like Sir Archy, produce such good quality that they are always noticed despite being infrequent.

Online communities have a life cycle. Few people are there for the whole lifetime of the community. They come, stay for a while, and leave.

People are always full of theories about why communities die: some change that was made, someone who left or some troll that showed up, but the truth is that people just get bored. People mature and become interested in different things (yes, I think that spamming the internet is more of a phase than a normal way of life for most people).

A lot of commenting is driven by traffic, but repeat business is drawn by whether the comments section is fun and interesting.

As to whether the internet is going to change and social networking and twitter are going to replace blog commenting, I think you're right that the move to more exclusive networks is where we're all going.

I believe that the ideology that "the internet must be a free speech zone!11!" is a dead letter with anyone who's dealt with the reality. Exclusivity is a good thing.

The blog itself is good enough to make it because Althouse says things people want to hear. It's the community that's the issue.

Windbag said...

I wanted to post something, but I'm afraid that I might be the troll, so I'm not going to post anything in this thread.

Theo Boehm said...

C'mon, Windbag, don't be silly. This has turned into a pretty good discussion, which may be what the poor Inspektor had in mind before his snit fit.

Für der Inspektor:
"Missout order, zer iss Chaos!"

Ralph said...

This is KHAOS! We do not troll here!

mcg said...

Wingnuts think that any commenter who doesn't buy into Rush Limbaugh's agenda is a troll.

For the record, DTL, this is complete bullshit and you know it. There are maybe 2 trolls on this site by my count. Numbskulls like you, on the other hand, are legion.

John Lynch said...

I'm seeing an assumption that everyone can be concise, funny, and interesting.

Or maybe the implication is that if you can't, don't post.

The trouble is that very few posters meet that qualification all the time, and they need everyone else as foils when they are on their game.

It seems to me that the style, the persona of the commenter matters more than what they are saying. It's not what they say at all. So perhaps we should all take funny names and work on our one liners, or take up poetry.

Sometimes you need length, and if you want to make a point you have to be serious, and sometimes the truth is boring.

I respect people who can say a lot in an interesting and funny way, but it's rare that the quip holds a deep truth. More often the one liner is empty inside. Verbosity can be boring, but so is flippancy.

JSF said...

I enjoy visting Althouse, I have been reading her for years. Her insights into the Politico world are very cool (She calls Bullshit on everybody -- that makes her different).

I've been a Liberal Dem and a Conservative Republican, and I've met everybody throughout my journey. The best debates are give and take -- win some, lose some.

I tried to attack The Troll Who Goes By Many names because his attitude is....take my side or you are a fool. In the political side (not even policy), you only have two things: Convert someone to your view or castigate someone who does not. The political debates are almost like First date dinners -- a little flirtation and a little give and take.

The Troll Who Goes By Many Names acts as if the two party system is to be dismatled. I have fought for Democrats as a Republican (ever heard of Alan Hevesi or jack Chartier?); As a Liberal Dem, I argued for Free Speech rights for Republicans. The two party system is flawed, but it is the best thing we got.

Before I ramble too far, I consider Althouse to be the Blogging Poltical center, convince her and you've won the arguement. And a partisan, I say G-d Bless Beth, Madisonman, HdHouse (even for his snarkiness), and Alpha Liberal (a true partisan hack, it takes one to know one). They engage, they go back and forth.

I run a Blog and I enjoy the debates. I put my views there. I support anyone who puts their views out into the ether and defines themselves. The Troll Who Goes By Many names has no Blog, thus only exists to silence those of us who have differing ideas.

LoafingOaf said...

Palladian: Congratulations for getting through an entire comment without mentioning that dread eternal feminine of your nightmares, Sarah Palin. It must have been difficult, what with her pussy still gnawing on your gangrenous shin.You post about Palin more than I do, what with your diva worship thing going on. Palin was rejected by the American people to the dismay of commenters here who actually did YouTubes declaring "I am Sarah Palin". She went back to Alaska to kill more wolves in barbaric fashion (Michael Vick went to prison for being less barbaric to canines than Palin), and deal with her messed up family (I told you Bristol wouldn't be getting married). Apparently she's gonna write some stupid book that will instantly land in the dustbin of history, but no doubt you, Palladian, will line up for an autographed copy.

Every comment you post is a pro-torture comment, because every comment you post is torture to read.The Althouse commenters take blog commenting too fucking seriously. You're all a bunch of Cliff Clavins of the Internet, thinking you have fascinating things to say on every topic posted. Yet most of you are internet addicts. Whcih is why I wasn't surprised that you were monitoring the comment sections and posted your reply within minutes. Go outside. The weather's nice.

Go on, post something about Sarah Palin! You know you want to!The bitch deserves to get her face eaten off by a pack of wolves.

LoafingOaf said...

BTW, thank you to Barack Obama for signing that important credit card legislation into law this week. It's time the dirty credit card companies were put in check. They're more crooked than the mafia, but the Republicans never cared.

dualdiagnosis said...

Where's Jen?

I miss her.

amba said...

Titus has redeeming features. You have to do a selective ignore on him. Hold your nose and bypass his loaves, and he's actually a rather affecting character. So it's not offensiveness per se that's the problem, it's offensiveness + dullness - originality.

The sad thing about troll-hijacked threads is that they are so boring, people go away and miss the good stuff.

amba said...

Inspektor Friedrich and Paco Wové: give it up. There's no such thing as pure high culture anymore. Anything that reaches high has roots in the low. Pop culture is where the vitality and a lot (alot?) of the smarts are. You just have to improve your skill at picking it out, like the bird from the foliage.

asope said...

When no other leader bowed to the Emperor that day, it makes Obama look silly. Even if it's not degrading, Obama just comes off as trying too hard to be authentic and atuned to other cultures and failing miserably.
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