June 15, 2009

"Folks — I think I have never commented here before, but I must say — some of you are amazing troll feeders."

"Those of you who attempt to engage [X] are giving him exactly what he wants. It is troll heaven! As long as it goes on, he can preen that he is 'correcting' all the wingnuts — you can all aim arguments, whether well-thought-out arguments or hasty blurts, it doesn't matter — why would he change his mind or tactics? Do you expect a conversion ('Oh, my God, you are all right! What a fool I've been')? Real trolls are like one of those Star Trek creatures or the "Id monster" from "Forbidden Planet" — beings who feed on negative energy and get stronger. It really is possible not to respond."

Thanks, Wally. I've said it myself any number of times. Well, not with the science fiction allusions (for which I thank you).

(Wally Ballou's comment appears after the 200th comment on the linked post, so if you want to see it, you have to click on "post a comment" and then "newer." A hassle, isn't it? But there wouldn't be all those comments if it weren't for all that troll feeding. But I'm not going to tell you to stop, because I already told you for the last time.)

***

140 comments:

EDH said...

Here's a link to the planet eating "Doomsday Machine" from Star Trek.


The Doomsday Machine looks like a huge impacted stool with a burning orifice at one end.

Somehow, I think Titus would love that episode.

MadisonMan said...

If you have to -- just HAVE to -- reply to a troll, type up your knee-capping, decapitating reply, the one that will just destroy said troll. The reply that is so witty you roll on the floor, and rub your leg out of ecstasy. You show your post to your friends and they burst out laughing because it's so damn funny. You show it to your partner and you end up in bed, on the kitchen table, in the shower, in the neighbor's vegetable garden, in your car -- the souped up '76 Caddy Eldorado convertible that someone just gives you for the privilege of reading the post -- for hours and hours of toe-curling orgasmic sex. The one that powers your hybrid car for 22 miles at 70 mpg, and then it cleans your kitchen floor and defrosts your freezer. That post? The one that will banish all trolls from blogspot for all eternity because you are just so damn witty?

Don't post it. It won't work. Just quietly delete it and have a sip of a calming beverage.

technogypsy said...

You do realize among certain segments of the Internet (young males in particular) troll feeding is a competitive sport. I've watched my teenage sons and their buddies spend hours baiting them online. I guess its better than joyriding...

mcg said...

What are you going to do if we don't stop, ban us?

downtownlad said...

I enjoyed Jeremy's comments.

To each his own.

This blog would be very boring if everyone agreed with each other. You are lucky that there at least 5% of the people here who are not wingnuts - it keeps it interesting.

iaintbob said...

"What are you going to do if we don't stop, ban us?"

I believe she said "ingnore you" but not for sure. Here is a sure-fire way to find out - be a troll for a day and see what happens! should be loads of fun on a boring June Monday

mcg said...

DTL, that's a strawman argument. If Jeremy weren't here, there would be plenty of disagreement. The true trolls here could be counted on one hand, tops.

Jeremy's Mother said...

You all must forgive my Jeremy. When he was 7, I bought him a junior sewing machine and some Simplicity patterns. My husband told me we would end up with a fucked up son, and he's right. So that's partly why Jeremy acts out on here. Ann is me. The blog is a Simplicity pattern. And you all screaming at him are his father - yelling at poor Jeremy to go outside and throw a baseball like a boy.

Under the circumstances, you can see why he is the way he is.

Palladian said...

Telling people not to feed the troll doesn't work. But you know that, don't you? Instead you respond with vague contempt for your good-faith readers.

Oh well.

mcg said...

I believe she said "ingnore you" but not for sure.

I don't comment here for her benefit. Her ignoring me wouldn't be much of a deterrent. Perhaps if everyone ignored me, yes. But what's the chance of that? All I'd have to do is start acting like Jeremy and I'd rope in a few every time.

Here is a sure-fire way to find out - be a troll for a day and see what happens! should be loads of fun on a boring June Monday

Not a bad idea!

Look, my point is this: Althouse's continued calls to ignore trolls like Jeremy are clearly ineffective. People just don't, for whatever reason. If she wants trolls to stop, she'll clearly have to do something else. The fact that she doesn't is evidence to me that she really doesn't care about it as much as she says.

Lem said...

I admit to trollish behavior sometimes out jealousy for all the attention they get.

I’m an “attention starved” celebrity ;)

mcg said...

And Palladian's point is spot on. Her responses to the "troll problem" insult many of the people who I enjoy reading here. I'd expect that kind of reverse blame game if this were Obama's blog but Althouse should be better than that.

Fred4Pres said...

This reminds me of driving in the car and the kids fighting in the back seat.

Don't make Althouse pull over.

Trevor Jackson said...

Althouse is in a bind. If she starts banning people, if such a thing is really even possible, is she in essence endorsing (or at least condoning) those comments she doesn't dump?

Many of the Carla Bruni-Michelle Obama photo caption contest entries are some I'm sure she'd probably prefer not to endorse.

mcg said...

If she starts banning people, if such a thing is really even possible, is she in essence endorsing (or at least condoning) those comments she doesn't dump?

Of course not. Next easy question?

rcocean said...

The obvious alternate is to limit his posts per thread to ONE. Then he can't say he was banned. Of course, that would mean a lot of extra work for Althouse - so not likely.

Lem said...

I'd expect that kind of reverse blame game if this were Obama's blog but Althouse should be better than that.

In defense of Althouse it would take way more time for her to police the blog, time that if my assumption is correct, would go remunerably unrewarded.

mcg said...

It is not possible to ban individual commenters on the Blogger platform. Repeated suggestions for her to move to a real blogging platform have gone unheeded. That said, I'll bet that if she asked for it, one of her more scripting-savvy commenters could construct a sniffer that would automatically and immediately detect and remove comments from users selected by name.

Ann Althouse said...

"Instead you respond with vague contempt for your good-faith readers."

When I have repeatedly asked you not to feed someone you regard as a troll and you continue to do it, you are not in good faith, so I don't know who you are talking about. But I am contemptuous of any whining to me about a troll that the whiner has baited.

Fred4Pres said...

Don't feed the animals.

Lem said...

Let's pretend we are in the subway.

If you see something, say something.

You see somebody feeding a troll, shame them. Call them on it, tell them to stop.

Joseph said...

How do you define a troll? Someone who aggressively disagrees with the poster or other commenters? As far as using personal attacks, Jeremy doesn't seem very unique in the Althouse commentariat.

Why do "trolls" like Jeremy who seems to mostly offer contrarian lefty arguments so annoy Althouse but Cedarford who regularly offers vile anti-Semitic venom goes on without objection.

LoafingOaf said...

Wally: That blogpost was sorta trollish from Althouse. She wanted to sock Sullivan because he was mean to her pal, InstaPundit, the other day. InstaPundit then linked to that post claiming Sullivan was hit "hard", which I don't think is accurate but Althouse gave InstaPundit the chance to claim that after he was feeling stung by Sullivan's hit the other day.

See, these bloggers are all on "teams", and the hidden motives behind some of their posts are related to that.

Lem said...

How do you define a troll?

It's like porn - you know it when you see it.

Ann Althouse said...

"The obvious alternate is to limit his posts per thread to ONE."

I don't even have the ability to do that here. I can't ban people either. I can only delete, and frankly the things Jeremy writes do not fit my standard of deletable. He may be boring, but he is on topic and making arguments. His frequency is irritating, but it is tied to people talking TO HIM.

traditionalguy said...

When I first read Wally Ballou's comment, I figured it was planted by the Professor since it is well written and to the point. I watch the trolls enjoy slaping down other commenters just to get an angry response out of them. Then for 2 hours no intelligent comments are made while various Troll police one up Jeremy's insults. The definition of insanity comes to mind. Ignore the trolls by thinking and talking about something else. Hey, I like the Forbidden Planet movie. For the 1950s this kids sci-fi story actually contains adult content, and the acting is above average.

LoafingOaf said...

Also, Althouse approves of some trolling. Palladian, for example, is often quite a big troll, yet he is one of Althouse's fave commenters. He's also such a hypocrite he'll actually suggest other trolls should be banned just minutes after he was busy trolling someone himself!

Joseph said...

Am I a troll?

dbp said...

Here is what I do: When I see one trollish comment, any further comments by that poster get scrolled past.

What makes this not work sometimes is that real commenters get caught-up in flaming the troll and only then does the thread die.

mariner said...

Joseph:
Why do "trolls" like Jeremy who seems to mostly offer contrarian lefty arguments so annoy Althouse but Cedarford who regularly offers vile anti-Semitic venom goes on without objection.


That's transparently silly non-equivalence.

The difference is easy to spot, for those who care to actually know the difference: how many comments does "Jeremy" post, compared to Cedarford?

mcg said...

Apparently, the following Althouse commenters are not "good faith" commenters: Dust Bunny Queen, Diamondhead, Palladian, rhhardin, Lawgiver, Jim, Brent, traditionalguy, mdulakthomson, section9, Crimso, knox, Terrie, Hector Owen, Fred4Pres, Fen, Mark, Tom... and that's just from that one post. (I would be included if I examined other posts...)

You show me an Althouse with only "good faith" commenters (by her definition), and I'll show you a blog she'd have no interest in continuing.

Joseph said...

So the issue is frequency of posting? It seems to me that there are lots of regular commenter who presumably are welcome members of this community who post very frequently, e.g., Palladian.

I'm genuinely confused as to what makes someone a troll. Althouse admits above that Jeremy mostly posts on topic and I don't see him standing out as being particularly nasty compared to other regulars. So, to avoid being a troll, you should just limit the number of posts? That just seems arbitrary and odd to me...

Lem said...

Am I a troll?

If you think you might be a troll, you are not a troll ;)

traditionalguy said...

Joseph...No,trolls are like the Three Stooges of the Blogosphere. New commenters are tested by certain self appointed troll police to see if they have the power to stay rationally engaged when under sudden attack. The exhibition of creativity and insight by a new commenter can also bring a charge of trolldom since that is unfamiliar to some. Be strong and of good courage.

LoafingOaf said...

Most of the trolls on this site are of the conservative persuasion. Just the other day that troll, Fen, told me I was "scum" and would probably like Sharia law and Muslims raping children just because I didn't think Letterman's joke was a big deal. In that thread, one of the conservative trolls also started posting un-provoked weird shit at me (again) about Palin's vagina biting my leg.

If Althouse started cracking down on trolls, she'd have to crack down on the right-wingers most of all. They think they own these comment sections and people who disagree with them are "trolls" if they don't admit they have been proven wrong by the supposed brilliant comments by the Republican partisans. Yes, the right-wing partisans welcome divsersity in these comment sections, but only if you get down on your knees and thank them for setting you straight by the end of a thread. If you don't, you're a "left-wing troll" who has become tiresome to deal with and should be banned.

Henry said...

I grew up trying to tune in to far-away baseball games on a crummy AM radio. Ignoring trolls is like ignoring static. It's not that hard. When you see the troll moniker, just skip to the next commenter.

The problem with feeding the troll isn't with the troll -- its when you skip over the troll comment to an otherwise interesting commenter who is referring back to the troll.

Jason (the commenter) said...

"Not respond to trolls? But you have to! Every time they show up and say anything, even if it isn't troll-like, you've got to jump right on them and keep it up for hours and hours and hours and hours, as long as it takes. It also helps to talk just like them. Make sure you cuss if they do, type in all caps if they do, repeat any annoying turn of phrase they do."

If the people who feed trolls wont stop, why do they think the trolls they feed will stop?

William said...

I have often wondered why the Obama children seem so much more poised and attractive than the Palin litter.

Darcy said...

Oh, for goodness sakes.

Fen said...

Ann: But I'm not going to tell you to stop, because I already told you for the last time.)

And hows that been working for you? Getting *everyone* to stop responding is like herding cats.

I come here to get rational and civil opposition opinion. If thats drowned out by someone who is *deliberately* trying to disrupt the discussions, there's no reason to drop by.

Lem said...

My frequency of comments sometimes is do to my monologues.
It would appear I have no problem talking to myself.

Howya doing good looking? – don’t call me good looking.

Henry Buck said...

I think that baiting a troll is useful to society as a whole. While Jeremy sits in front of his computer, banging away his nonsense, he can't do any real harm in the outside world.

I usually just scroll past his stuff without reading it, so his postings don't really matter to me. But by simply typing one or two short sentences, we can keep him safely quarantined from normal people for hours at a time.

Fen said...

LoafingOaf: Most of the trolls on this site are of the conservative persuasion. Just the other day that troll, Fen, told me I was "scum" and would probably like Sharia law and Muslims raping children just because I didn't think Letterman's joke was a big deal.

Thats not trolling. I said I consider you scum because you are titilated by rape jokes about your political enemies.

If Letterman had made a funny about Bill Clinton giving the Obama girls a box of cigars for the b-day, you'd exhibit fierce moral outrage.

Your ethics are situational.

MadisonMan said...

Palladian, your skin might look fabulous, but it's awfully thin if you can't take a very mild rebuke.

I find the trolls here very mild compared to USENET.

mcg said...

If the people who feed trolls wont stop, why do they think the trolls they feed will stop?

They don't. That's the point.

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

"If Althouse started cracking down on trolls, she'd have to crack down on the right-wingers most of all. They think they own these comment sections and people who disagree with them are "trolls" if they don't admit they have been proven wrong by the supposed brilliant comments by the Republican partisans."

You are correct.

Ann Althouse said...

"'But I'm not going to tell you to stop, because I already told you for the last time.' And hows that been working for you? Getting *everyone* to stop responding is like herding cats."

Uh, yeah. That's why I said I'm not going to do it. Jeez.

onparkstreet said...

It's at times like these that I am glad I am a narcissist. I only ever read and reread my own comments....Beautiful! Brilliant! Fabulous!

signed,

deluded but oddly happy OPS

traditionalguy said...

The troll is frequently an expert in Sacha Cohen tactics, trying to emulate a hateful enemy of the traditionals and the libertarians. This troll conduct works as intentionally waiving a Red Flag in the face of bulls. Therefore they hi-jack the dicussion away from far more interesting obsevations and inputs by people with experiences instead of ideological theories. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just boring everyone.

Lem said...

I think it would also help if we posted when we agree with Althouse and with each other stating (as clear as we can) an additional reason why we agree.
Sometimes it seems we only post when we disagree.

Oligonicella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

They think they own these comment sections and people who disagree with them are "trolls" if they don't admit they have been proven wrong by the supposed brilliant comments by the Republican partisans.

Again, enough with this stupid strawman. Nobody here, and I mean nobody, defines "troll" that way. There are plenty of people on here who disagree with me (which means they are wrong, of course), even rudely at times, who are not trolls. If I had a troll-hammer on this forum, I'd wield it maybe twice.

Jennifer said...

Seems like most are missing the point. True, a troll may or may not actually go away when ignored. But the impact of that troll's comments on any given thread is significantly less when there aren't 321654321653 responses to it.

I will say that the responses often start out very witty. Not such a big deal. But, then everybody gets dragged down to the mat and it's a ridiculous back and forth for-ev-ver. I use the term back and forth very loosely.

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"He may be boring, but he is on topic and making arguments. His frequency is irritating, but it is tied to people talking TO HIM."

Opinion, not fact.

If he's on topic and making arguments albeit boring and you have no problem with that, how the hell is he a troll?

Moreso, this post is about the troll. Shouldn't you be ignoring him and his fallout?

mcg said...

Seems like most are missing the point.

No, we fully understand that's the point. The point is that said behavior is not going to stop just because Althouse has said it should. That is plain practical fact.

Freeman Hunt said...

He doesn't post spam. He doesn't post creepy things. He doesn't comment on people's real lives. Therefore, I have trouble getting worked up about him.

Jennifer's right that the comments only get ruined when the thread becomes all about arguing with him. And really, they only get ruined when arguing with him becomes arguing about whether or not he's a troll.

The main complaint seems to be that he's prolific, but it's true that his posts are usually responding to someone else. Lots of people respond to him, and he types fast (obviously), thus he's prolific.

john said...

Lem said...
Sometimes it seems we only post when we disagree
.

That's not right at all, you jerk.

Darcy said...

I've found Jeremy's comments creepy and pretty aggressive. Intentionally agitating and pretty disrespectful of some female commenters (I'm kind of old fashioned that way?).

Whatever. We're all trolls, I guess. That's something new that I've learned today.

john said...

Sorry Lem, it just seemed funny at the moment.

Freeman Hunt said...

What has he posted that's creepy? (I haven't read through every thread. I might have missed something.)

Lem said...

Wikipedia

Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they — and the troll — understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll's enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group.

Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling — where the rate of deception is high — many honestly na├»ve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one's online reputation.[9]
.

Lem said...

Sorry Lem, it just seemed funny at the moment.

I was away

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Here is what I think about the recent Troll infestations.

Let us assume that Palladian is correct, that Jeremey is a Psychology teacher at a modest junior college.

Let us also assume that the Jeremey Toll persona is being controlled by more than one person, as seems to be somewhat evident (or the real Jeremey has a split personality disorder)

The co-trolls and add on trolls, like the Jen troll that usually appears in the threads and is vapor locked onto Jeremey's virtual butt, are probably students.

I think that we are being used as a psychological class experiment. There have been many serious studies about the personality types, flame wars and the dynamics of internet discussion groups.

Here is a web site devoted to disrupting and destroying productive chats and discussions. In fact, they almost ruined a discussion board that was for investment professionals, giving out bad information and generally being pains in the ass, until the moderators began moderating and banning IP addresses. Plus, the rest of us on the professional board got sick of them and trooped on over to their forum and had a great deal of fun trolling and disrupting. :-)

So.... Ann....how do you feel about being somebody's class project?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Never wrestle with a pig. It gets you dirty, and the pig likes it.

Count me with those who scroll past Jeremy, Loafing Oaf, and so on, but want to read others' comments and then am disappointed to find that they are responses to those trolls I just ignored.

If you'll ignore them they won't stop posting, true, but then the thread won't go off-topic either. Jeremy did one of his shotgun comment things somewhere recently and somebody said, ok, thread over. Well, only if we play his game. Why do we have to play his game?

Darcy said...

I think his frequent retort for people to suck his dick is pretty creepy. Is it just me who thinks that? And especially so when he directs it at women here, as he has.

I really didn't want to get into this, though. Jeremy is here to stay. That argument is over.

Just finding it sad.

OldGrouchy said...

The only commenter worse than a troll is a sockpuppet troll!

However, a good bottle of Sierra Nevada helps get over reading a troll's, or ST's, comments. Cheers.

Lem said...

This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one's online reputation.[9].

This is exactly what happened to me when I first came here. Michael was the other party.

buster said...

Joseph said:

"Why do 'trolls' like Jeremy who seems to mostly offer contrarian lefty arguments so annoy Althouse but Cedarford who regularly offers vile anti-Semitic venom goes on without objection."

This is nonsense. Virtually every comment by Cedarford contains interesting insights and arguments. The anti-semitic stuff is a sideshow (assuming it's not just a schtick), and doesn't change the fact that Cedarford's comments almost always make the thread better than it otherwise would be.

Jeremy's comments *never* contain actual arguments or insights, even bad ones. His comments are nothing but insults.

john said...

A couple questions I have not heard asked and answered: Is there a left/liberal equivalent to Althouse's blog somewhere in the internets? If there is such a site, have any conservative commenters here attmept to "engage" the liberal regulars on that site, and, if so, how were you treated? Like a "troll"? Were you banned or deleted?

These are not baiting questions. I honestly do not know of such a site. I guess I need to get around more.

I do like some of the contributions of the liberals here, such as MUL, sometimes DTL, oaf, Garage, one time even Jeremy.

LoafingOaf said...

I said I consider you scum because you are titilated by rape jokes about your political enemies.

I said the joke (it wasn't a rape joke -- it was a joke about Bristol getting knocked up) wasn't that big a deal and Palin was manufacturing a week-long scandal. I also said Letterman's joke was "lame", though I don't think it's wrong for comedians to make jokes abut Bristol getting knocked up.

If Letterman had made a funny about Bill Clinton giving the Obama girls a box of cigars for the b-day, you'd exhibit fierce moral outrage.

Your ethics are situational.

You don't know what I'd exhibit in any situation. You seem to think I'm some Democrat or something. I despise Bill Clinton and am not part of any wing of the Democratic Party. I'm not sure why or how a comedian would make jokes about Obama's kids, though, given their age. When they get older, maybe they'll do some things that will cause jokes to start flying, like the Bush twins and Bristol.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Darcy : I think his frequent retort for people to suck his dick is pretty creepy.

I think it's insulting; he's never asked me!

Darcy said...

LOL, Jason.

Randy said...

This is not rocket science. If, after prior experience, I figure out someone seems like a troll to me, or their comments are usually objectionable, I just avoid reading them. I usually avoid responding to responses to them as well. My personal problem with the troll is solved. What others do is none of my business. When I run across complaints about trolls, I admit to wondering why so many who persist in feeding trolls refuse to accept any personal responsibility for the resulting melee.

I think Althouse's request is reasonable, clear and quite easy to follow for those who wish to do so.

Joseph said...

Virtually every comment by Cedarford contains interesting insights and arguments. The anti-semitic stuff is a sideshow (assuming it's not just a schtick)



I agree that Cedarford often makes more nuanced points but, for me, the injection of "its all the Jews' fault" undermines the legitimacy of anything else he says.

Jeremy's comments *never* contain actual arguments or insights, even bad ones. His comments are nothing but insults.



That's simply not true. He usually is making relevant arguments. They may be wrong or banal, but they are generally on topic and substantive. And if slinging insults were evidence in itself of being a troll, a whole lot of regulars here are more accomplished in that realm than Jeremy.

Randy said...

FWIW, kudos to Wally, Laura, Freeman, jpb, Jennifer, MadisonMan (to name a few of the comments here that I recall).

Fred4Pres wins the thread, though ;-)

Aside to Lem: Rumor hazzit that Jeremy is Michael ;-). (I think he may have been "outed" on another blog, is in his 60's and lives in San Diego BWDIK?)

mcg said...

Joseph, if you're looking for a working definition of a troll, at least for the purposes of this debate, how about this one: someone whom Althouse has specifically asked not to post again.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's simply not true. He usually is making relevant arguments. They may be wrong or banal, but they are generally on topic and substantive. .

Actually they're not. If I criticize Obama's massive spending he simply responds with 'What about Bush?" which is basically the equivalent of the third grade excuse of 'he started it'. As for insults, you'd be hard pressed to find any other commenters here asking telling others to suck their dick.

The other fact that defines him as a troll is that Jeremy was formerly known as Luckyoldson then became Michael. I'll wager in 3 months time he'll have a new nickname.

Penny said...

I think it's safe to say that the majority of commenters here bristle at the thought of a nanny state, yet when faced with a situation that requires some personal restraint and responsibility, there is a call for Althouse to do a better job of policing. Am I the only one who marvels at the irony in this?

Henry said...

How do you define a troll?

It's like porn - you know it when you see it.


Trying to read Jeremy for substantive arguments is like trying to watch Deep Throat for the socially significant content.

* * *

That said, I'll repeat what I wrote earlier, that I find his comments easy to ignore. It's the Jeremy-feedback from other commenters that ruins a thread -- the idiotic insults, the leaden satire, the pointless complaining about trolls.

daredevil_66 said...

This is too funny, our resident trolls ear's must be burning but he won't even show up to take a bow? I understand Ann's apathy in getting involved. Jeremy is too easy to scroll past to get exercised about. I have my favorites here I always stop to read even if they do respond a bit too much to teh house troll.

mcg said...

Am I the only one who marvels at the irony in this?

I'm guessing so, because you're probably the only one who so easily conflates a (virtually) localized private social setting with the government.

Jeremy said...

"Thanks, Wally. I've said it myself any number of times. Well, not with the science fiction allusions (for which I thank you)."

If he or she has "never commented here before"...how do they know?

"Wally" is a lying sack of shit.

It's just a regular using a new moniker as a disguise...trying to suck up to the "pack."

And as for "trolls," without them all you would have left is a bunch of people preaching to choir.

daredevil_66 said...

Yes, without tapeworms, our existence would be so bland..so colorless.

Jeremy said...

Where's "Wally" profile?

Who is "Wally?"

Why would anyone actually believe "Wally" isn't Pogo, or Palladian or Peter or Fen or any of the other wingnuts who bitch and whine about everything they disagree with?

If "Wally" really believes in what he's spouting...let him or her identify themselves...

Jeremy said...

daredevil_66 - So you really believe "Wally" is some kind of Ann Althouse blog site savior?

DO you know "Wally?"

Do you believe "Wally" just happened to "never" post comments here before...but knows all about the "trolls?"

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Wally" is a lying sack of shit.

It's just a regular using a new moniker as a disguise.
.

Where's "Wally" profile?.

Irony at its very finest.

Wally said...

It was all a crock.

daredevil_66 said...

"An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" or "Message Board Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Forum Troll delights in sowing discord on the forums. A troll is someone who inspires flaming rhetoric, someone who is purposely provoking and pulling people into flaming discussion. Flaming discussions usually end with name calling and a flame war."

Wally said...

You people are so easy.

Wally Ballou said...

Hi Everybody!!!


It's...WALLY!!

Darcy said...

Is that you, garage? Did you finally find a way to get a tag?

Yay!

Freeman Hunt said...

See, I could never support banning Jeremy because I'm just on the cusp of converting him to economic conservatism for all time. A couple more comments, and he'll be joining the Club for Growth. I can feel it.

Steven said...

The big problem isn't responding to Jeremy. It's taking him seriously, as if he weren't a proven blind hack.

A chorus of "Sure, Jeremy, and America is still one of the largest Muslim countries on Earth, too." would be just as effective as making the point that he's full of shit as a detailed debunking, without giving him anything new to discourse about.

Wally Ballou said...

Freeman - Jeremy is the only one here who knows what he's talking about.

Stick close to him and learn.

Wally Ballou said...

Steven said..."A chorus of "Sure, Jeremy, and America is still one of the largest Muslim countries on Earth, too."

I've been following Jeremy's comments and don't remember him ever saying that.

Do you have proof or are you just saying this?

Jeremy said...

What's going on here?

Talking about me behind my back?

I don't like knowing you people are behind me...especially Palladian.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And he's schizophrenic to boot!

garage mahal said...

Is that you, garage? Did you finally find a way to get a tag?.

Haha, nope. Although I've thought about doing just that. They give tags out now in Cracker Jack boxes, I see.

elHombre said...

They think they own these comment sections and people who disagree with them are "trolls."

And as for "trolls," without them all you would have left is a bunch of people preaching to choir.

I thought these observations were kind of cool. Steaming Loaf and Jeremy, et al., ID the trolls.

It's certainly an improvement over their usual projection and closer to the truth than Jeremy, et al's, usual post.

Oh no! I responded -- and trollishly too.

Shanna said...

I'm kind of late (damn work!) but I think the reason people respond to Jeremy is because when you see an obviously inaccurate statement, or a flat out lie, you don't want to let it stand. I try to scroll through the insults and repetitious nonsense, but if someone says "today is friday" when it's Monday I might feel the need to correct them.

In the discussion about the Palin insults and whether they should be ignored or not...I think that's a similar dilemma. Should you let untruths and insults stand, lest they be taken for truth or considered ok? There may be no good answer to this question, but I wouldn't call anyone out for their decision either way.

Big Mike said...

Guilty as charged and throw myself on the mercy of the Professor.

I already know that I'm not going to change the opinions he-who-must-not-be-named, but sometimes it's fun to point out the factual errors and opinions masquerading as facts and poke him. I suppose that's why people liked bear baiting back in the Middle Ages.

I treat it as a win whenever he is reduced to suggesting I engage in self-copulation or perform fellatio (though we'd have to arrange to meet at Room 142 in Bardeen Labs since I question whether I'd be able to find the appendage he is referencing without a scanning electron microscope).

But I'll stop if I'm bothering the rest of you, and especially if I'm upsetting you or Meade, Professor.

Ralph L said...

Jeremy said...
What's going on here?
Talking about me behind my back?
I don't like knowing you people are behind me...especially Palladian.

Intentional or not, that's the funniest thing you've posted. Now lube up and bend over.

Jeremy said...

Shanna said..."I'm kind of late (damn work!) but I think the reason people respond to Jeremy is because when you see an obviously inaccurate statement, or a flat out lie, you don't want to let it stand."

It's funny you say that...because that's exactly the reason I respond to so many of the distortions, inaccuracies and flat out lies posted here by people like yourself.

You can probably dispute what I have to say or offer a counter argument to it, but show me where I've intentionally lied about something.

What drives most here crazy is that I just think Bush & Cheney did a horrible job running the country, I can't understand why most here continue to support their policies and decisions (especially after what we've seen over the past 8 years), and of course, the fact that I support Obama's attempt to help the country through the mess we're in.

The constant whining about literally ANYTHING Obama says or does, after only 5 months in office is a waste of time.

Short of an impeachment, the man is President and deserves and will obviously get a shot at straightening out the situations at hand.

Shanna said...

You can probably dispute what I have to say or offer a counter argument to it, but show me where I've intentionally lied about something.

I am not one who generally goes around yelling "liar", so I made a point to say "an obviously inaccurate statement, or a flat out lie".

Jeremy said...

Big Mike said..."...it's fun to point out the factual errors and opinions masquerading as facts and poke him. I suppose that's why people liked bear baiting back in the Middle Ages."

Point out the "factual errors."

Jeremy said...

Ralph L said..."Intentional or not, that's the funniest thing you've posted. Now lube up and bend over."

I say all kinds of things that are funny. Most here just don't have much of a sense of humor.

As for the lube n' tune...talk to Palladian or Titus about that sort of thing.

Jeremy said...

Shana - If what you say is true, that you're talking about "an obviously inaccurate statement, or a flat out lie"...why can't you provide an example?

If I call YOU a liar don't you think I should be able to back a statement like that up?

Many here think that just because they disagree with my opinion I must be lying.

That's a bad faith argument.

AlphaLiberal said...

Bah humbug.

"Trolls" does not mean "people who disagree with me," as so commonly used here.

And, Wally is kidding if he thinks most cons here actually make arguments. Some do, most don't. Most reply to real arguments with attacks, insults and straw man arguments. They can't back up their own opinions with real facts they can point to.

And, they constantly misrepresent what liberals actually say and stand for.

It would be nice if we could have civil dialog. But when such debate tactics are the norm, it's not going to happen.

Shanna said...

I explained what I meant (I have no intention of calling anyone a liar in general, but there may be an occasion when you see something that is a true "lie", which is why that was included as a clause in my comment) and I'm not about to go through a million comments to find examples of inaccuracies. Not everyone has that much time. I'm making a general point.

Jeremy said...

Shanna - "...I think the reason people respond to Jeremy is because when you see an obviously inaccurate statement, or a flat out lie, you don't want to let it stand."

That's ridiculous.

Many here dispute or argue literally anything I say or opine.

It has little if anything to do with what you describe.

Juris Dentist said...

Did Palladian threaten to stop posting again?!

Waaaah!!!

Jeremy said...

Juris Dentist said..."Did Palladian threaten to stop posting again?! Waaaah!!!"

It's tough typing with a sandwich in one hand and a dick in the other.

Wait until his break.

Lawgiver said...

You can probably dispute what I have to say or offer a counter argument to it, but show me where I've intentionally lied about something.


It's tough typing with a sandwich in one hand and a dick in the other.

I'll have to take your word on this one Jeremy, it's something I have no experience in.

Palladian said...

If Jeremy's constant personal attacks on me and other commenters (which he can make with impunity because I and others are not anonymous and he, ostensibly, is) and his constant homophobic insults (read his comments in this thread, for example) are acceptable, non-trolling behavior, and the kind of thing you want to encourage in the comments of your blog, that's your decision. So be it.

"Did Palladian threaten to stop posting again?!

Waaaah!!!"

I don't make threats. And you, who have spent years obsessing over Ann Althouse's supposed narcissism, have little room to talk about whining, little man.

daredevil_66 said...

This is a great forum to keep jeremy pinned down while the grownups go to another thread, kind of like the card table for the tikes when it's Thanksgiving. Hey Jeremy, President Obama is not a good president! Now refute that!!!

garage mahal said...

I'm not a quitter Ann, you can always count on me, well, maybe the rest of my life.

Hoosier Daddy said...

AL said And, Wally is kidding if he thinks most cons here actually make arguments. Some do, most don't. Most reply to real arguments with attacks, insults and straw man arguments..

Another rich example of irony. Alpha of course looks at an 89 year old lunatic who pretty much hated everyone as an example of right wing extremism.

When shown an incident with an American Muslim who shot a US soldier in retaliation for the 'Koran flushing' fabrication Alpha calls that a tragic and isolated incident. Nothing to see here, move along.

Alpha of course has run his mouth off on a few other matters that proved false and simply chalks it up to 'misspeaking.'

So while you're not demanding oral sex from commenters, your willingness to have an honest debate is just a tad north of Jeremy Michael Oldson.

reader_iam said...

FWIW,IMO there really is no point to this. The line's been drawn and it's clear and has been clear, at least to me, since Friday, 3/13, the day Althouse wrote the (to me infamous) words, "Will you cut it the fuck out!" to people who theretofore had never been considered trolls, at least to my knowledge, in a manner of address I could not then, and cannot now, recall her ever using toward any commenters, even trolls, even in the days of Quxxo, Mary, Maxine in her creepy phase, etc., or even Steve Simels (sp.?) or Dave(TM). That was the epiphany for me.

Again, for whatever it's worth, and IMO, Althouse has made herself as clear as day with regard to her stance and what she will and will not tolerate, and what path she wants people visiting her blog to take. I see zero evidence that she's persuadable to a different stance, and therefore--at least it seems to me--it's arguably even more pointless to try to change her mind or keep expressing disagreement with her stance than it is to engage with whatever troll (or whatever term) of the moment.

I think the choice is either to accept the terms or go (not that I'm saying that's an easy choice; I loved this place, too).

Anyway, that's my 63 cents, and I'm sorry if it annoys anyone. This is the one time I plan to weigh in on the topic here, so you won't have to hear it again.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian : If Jeremy's constant personal attacks...

The wisdom of children's cartoons can solve your problems (it rhymes and everything!):

"To stop those monsters, one-two-three,
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free.
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee...
(Guarantee void in Tennessee.)
Just don't look. Just don't look.
Just don't look. Just don't look.
Just don't look. Just don't look."

Nothing scares Jeremy more.

Big Mike said...

I was tempted to give Juris Dentist half a point, but then I belatedly realized that the object of what he-who-must-not-be-named posted at 4:09 was Palladian, so the score really belongs to him.

No one here at the end of the thread seems to have gotten he-who-must-not-be-named to demand oral sex or suggest self-copulation, so perhaps you should try harder.

Or, maybe, perhaps you should do as the Professor suggested in her original post and simply stop trying. Just a suggestion.

montana urban legend said...

@John, you can troll my site (or any site I could lay claim to) any day.

Honestly, as someone who undoubtedly gets under the skin of at least a few of the commenters here, I find this discussion fascinating. (I wasn't originally going to comment, but just bookmark it [something I rarely do with blog comments] under the category "Interesting or Weird"]. I'm also incredibly surprised with Prof Althouse's 10:43 AM comment. Of course, I'm inclined to agree. But then again, despite my own copious quantities of snark, I'll be the first to admit that I love the quality of the comments here and what the blog and commentary could be capable of too. So take that honest compliment and make of it what you will.

What prompts me to post sharper, perhaps even sometimes "nasty" (by some standards) commentary are basically narrow-mindedness and hypocrisy. Given the fact that Prof Althouse's comment is directed at conservatives, I'll admit that I don't have a problem when they point out hypocrisy (or short-sightedness) on the left - especially when it's well-stated, earnest and meant as something more substantive than a one-liner or pot-shot. I think it's healthy and like the fact that it exists. I sometimes (often, depending on the commenter) agree with it, in fact. That's one of the things I like about this site.

But that's also precisely why I find it so aggravating that the conservatives here are so averse to admitting to their own side's faults, failures and gaping hypocrisies - and when they take offense when those things are even mentioned - let alone convincingly proved.

And I think the comments regarding how Cedarford fits into this discussion have been generally apt.

But it amazes me how quick people are to make the accusation of sock-puppetry. I realize there has been a history of that sort of thing here. But doesn't an over-eager willingness to resort to the accusation sort of make the case that like-mindedness has actually become too valued here and that dissent is not well understood or appreciated? I mean, for crying out loud, someone accused Andrew Sullivan of posting pseudonymous comments here just last night! Just how unrealistic does one have to be to do that? Means and motive aside, how about the question of opportunity, anyone? I know a bunch of you hate the guy but he was uploading Twittered posts on the revolution in Iran, like, every 10 minutes yesterday. How solipsistic does one have to be to assume that it was the heavy hitter Sullivan coming in here and doing that? What an incredibly outlandish suggestion.

jeff said...

"If Althouse started cracking down on trolls, she'd have to crack down on the right-wingers most of all. They think they own these comment sections and people who disagree with them are "trolls" if they don't admit they have been proven wrong by the supposed brilliant comments by the Republican partisans."

You are correct."

Actually, no you are not. We went thru this awhile back. But it's her site and if Jeremy is the type of commentator she wishes to encourage, so be it.

Big Mike said...

@montana, but you haven't posted anything at all since May 23rd, and nothing of interest since almost a week before that.

It wouldn't be any fun to troll your site -- aside from Trooper and a couple from myself I don't think anybody's commented in months.

Randy said...

Context for Reader_Iam's comment above is available here. (See Althouse's comments @ 9:05PM, 11:32PM, 10:47AM, and 10:55PM.) I definitely recall this episode as well but my reaction to Althouse's comments was completely different. They didn't strike me then as being unreasonable under the circumstances. They seemed to me reflective of increasing frustration (BWDIK?). Anyway, they're consistent with Althouse's comments here, and it seems to me, her general attitude towards the issue over the years.

montana urban legend said...

But Mike, how fair is it to put me in that position when Professor Althouse gets to thrive off the controversy that already exists in her comments section? (Ok. Poor excuse).

I must need inspiration!

Honestly, I haven't checked my own site in forever. Part of it must be waiting for inspiration, part of it must be humility. (I humbly admit to being a nobody in the blogosphere). Give me some of your ideas - and a shop of your own to frequent - and I'm pretty sure something could develop. As I've told Trooper York, I thrive off the back-and-forth. I'm well aware of my own propensity for bloviating and that's why I expect that others should relish the opportunity to help keep me in check as well. As we all should.

john said...

MUL - thank you. Given that even Trooper has linked to your blog, I'll sneak a look for a while, then test the water with my big toe.

BTW, Wally Balleau is Jeremy's sock puppet. It was so easy to get an ENTIRE Althouse blog devoted to himself.

john said...

Like Jen.

montana urban legend said...

I think that Trooper York is an incredibly magnanimous guy and am astounded by the amount of humanity he conveys on such potentially artificial media as blogs devoted to politics and current events. He's sort of a giant of a person that way. I also love his mythical narrative histories. Those are pure genius.

With the frequent exceptions that he notes - made possible by my own eclectic observations, he seems to view us as being on opposite sides of a political spectrum. So I always try to see his view. He's a Libra and disposed to balance, and appreciates reason. As I said, he's a giant of a guy and I try to accommodate him however I can.

That said, he'd probably tear me a new asshole for my take on l'affaire Letterman-Palin. But my philosophy on the blogosphere is that one should be free to try out different perspectives and see where they take us. Reason devoid of humanity is a cold thing. But humanity devoid of experimentation and reason is like mushy, stale oatmeal.

Issob Morocco said...

But the trolls are so cute when you feed, them. They froth about the mouth, spewing personal invectives and hate disguised as learned discourse. It will be hard not to toss a few morsels to them every so often, so we can view their response like Pavlov's dog.

john said...

Proof:

1. Google Wally Balleau, and the second name to come up is Jack Sparrow. Very Interesting.

2. Take the inverse number value of the letters in "Jeremy", and sum them.

3. Take the inverse number value of the letters in Jack Sparrow, and sum them.

4. Compare the ratio of the sum of the number of letters in each name (11/6) to the ratio of the inverse number values.

They are the same to 2 sig figs.

Sockpuppet. QED

montana urban legend said...

I think it's more than likely that pseudonymous nobodies would sock-puppet. But not Sullivan. And once other known bloggers, such as Amanda Marcotte, get outed for sock-puppeting, I doubt they'd repeat the experience. What's the point?

john said...

Not Sullivan, but Jeremy.

montana urban legend said...

I know, I know. That I don't have reason to doubt.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Montana: While we rarely agree...I would never categorize you as a troll. More of an interesting sparring opponent which whom I will rarely agree..not ever..but rarely.

What drew me to this blog was the mix of viewpoints and the ability to have some rational...adult...debate. I enjoy a lively and challenging debate.

However, with the intrusion of the mindless spambot trolls like Jeremey/Michael/Oldson, the conversation has become excessively tiresome.

Ok...It CAN be fun to poke holes in their fuzzy pinatas. but it seems decreasingly worth the enjoyment or time spent.

Elliott A said...

I often see these discussions as a microcosm of the larger debate on these subjects. There are always trolls. They do provide a good lesson to many to isolate their comments from the real ones. Politicians throw crap out there all the time. Learning when to ignore them is a noble endeavor.

montana urban legend said...

I honestly feel touched, DB. My assumption was that I was widely thought a pariah here. So, thanks for that.

(I love your new Beaker avatar, BTW).

Anyway, while I don't doubt Jeremy and Michael might be sock-puppets of each other, that "Oldson" character always stood out to me. That was seriously the only character here who Freaked... Me... Out. And there was something so characteristic in the posts. Long yarns about doing strange things in Cali. He'd go by different variations of that name - "Eldson", etc. Various mispellings as well. Maybe I'm thinking of someone else?

Wally Ballou said...

Hi - I am the real, actual Wally Ballou - at least the one who wrote the above. Someone else is commenting here as Wally, and someone else as "Wally Ballou". I didn't know that was possible. I'm not trying to spread any discord, and I shouldn't have singled out anyone by name (thanks for the insult, though, J.). Just my advice to smooth the waters a bit. Not everyone I disagree with is a troll, but people who continually write nasty, angry comments in order to provoke a rise out of others probably qualify.

Wally Ballou said...

Oh, and I do have a profile, although I never added any details. However, someone else added a comment "this is funny" with my name and my Wally picture (!) and their profile was blocked. Again, I didn't know that was possible. Looks like blogger is lamer than I thought, or someone has mad hacking skillz.

Wally Ballou said...

One more and I will go away - this very thread has bogus Wally Ballou comments - complete with picture - above (near the beginning). Looks like it is time for me to drop that persona for good. Like I said, I don't think I have commented here before, though I have dropped in from time to time. Bye all - hope the thoughtful exchange of contrasting views manages to crowd out the nasty, childish hair-pulling some day.