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Journal sanityspeech's Journal: HOWTO: Dealing with trolls.

I've been a slashdot reader since the fall of 2004. It didn't take long for me to discover the odious phenomenon known as trolling . In fact, the first comment I posted dealt with this very issue.

YCrCb was kind enough to reply to my post, and I realized that I just got acquainted with the infamous "Slashdot Trolling Phenomena". Immediately, I did some research with google and discovered that trolling in and of itself is nothing new. It may even be as old as the Internet.

I was pleased to find out that there are quite a few resources to deal with this issue. My favorite happens to be Timothy Campbell's article on "Internet Trolls":

Another great resource is the popular Anti-Troll FAQ.

From what I gather it seems the best advice on dealing with trolls is simply to IGNORE them. However, here are a few tips on dealing with trolls:
* IGNORE postings that you suspect may be from trolls. Although use of the Silent Treatment is often antisocial, this may be one of its few legitimate applications
* If you must respond to a troll posting, don't get involved in the argument; limit it to pointing out what in the post constitutes trolling, for the benefit of others.
* Write to the site maintainers and inform them of what is happening. Keep it simple, polite and to the point (they are very busy!). Include evidence (e.g.: offensive emails, repugnant signatures, etc.) to support your case.

I can attest to the importance of the last suggestion as I have been given a fair amount of help on how to address such posts, as well as how I can minimize my exposure to such prurience which threatened to force me from enjoying Slashdot. As painful as abandoning my daily Slashdot fix would have been, I would have taken that over having to suffer meaningless vulgarity.

Case in point: I contacted the maintainers to seek solutions to filtering the repulsive signatures attached to some of the posts. Not long afterwards, Slashdot had an option to separate a post from the signature (consisting of --.) Now, there's even a feature to disable the viewing of signatures! To say that I'm pleased about the changes would be an understatement.


Other tools worth considering include blacklists. I have Profanity Blacklist (825460) and Troll Blacklist (629503) on my list of friends. Feel free to check out their journals and see if this is right for you.


This discussion was created by sanityspeech (823537) for Friends only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

HOWTO: Dealing with trolls.

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