This would go over well in the STD community support forums.
Say "YES" to War on Iraq
Liberals Against Liberation

by Dan Savage

"No to War! No to Oppression!"

The above anti-war message was delivered to me via a sad-looking pink poster. I pulled the poster off a light pole and hung it in my office over my desk. I look at the poster every day when I sit down to work, and every day I wonder how and when the American left lost its moral compass.

et cetera...
Oh no! I forgot to log out and use some stupid anonymous name to further drive home my point!
And yet Mudede still works for you guys?
"most trolls wouldn’t have the gall to say to another person’s face half the things they anonymously post on the Internet"

The problem is that the same is true for many commenters. Linking online identities with real-world ones has a chilling effect. Are we on the Internet because it's like a church social hour, or because it's different from one?
Bailo, you're on. Bailo?
Others who proudly wear the scarlet cloak of shamelessness threaded with lies: Republican office holders.

Speaking of, how about we get some "social" tools on Stranger so we can vote idiots off the island? Maybe something like this blog has:…

Buttons, and you can set a threshold to never see stuff posts below x threshold, or anything by people who are below x average threshold. Poor man's Slashdot. Or just at least give us a native per-user ignore and "Report asshole" buttons.
Bear in mind her businesss purpose in writing that - Facebook's business model requires that it find out who we all really are, in order to track and sell to others evidence of our every click.

Troll removal is one thing. But as the minutiae of our personal lives accrues on commercial databases, masks need to remain a channel through which some of us can reveal ourselves rather than hide.

I'll take privacy over bad behavior any day.

Someone at FB see's it different? shocking.
Julie Zhou's little effort here, which would get a C in one of the college classes that she apparently left only recently (or possibly an A if written for high school), illustrates one of the reasons why Facebook, despite the breathless stories, is never going to take over the world: it's built and run by morons. Or maybe "children" would be a nicer thing to say.

I fully expect the day to arrive soon when just loading the main FB page requires a gigabyte of impossible to understand code which will crash your computer, and they won't be able to figure out how to fix it.

Publishing schoolgirl essays on Plato does not bode well for the future product of these entitled little brats.
I write for a blog and I get asked this a lot (luckily we don't have too many trolls). Frankly, you have to ignore them. When no one comments on their comment, they go away. But if just one person challenges them, then they are off to the races.
Trolling is to the internet as apple pie is to Americana.
"see's" ? ugh. words n' stuff.
I am definitely guilty of saying things online that I would never say in public. /hangs head in shame (really)

@1 - good point, maybe that kind of forum shouldn't be a candidate for change. but then what happens if someone trolls the STD forum?

@9 - "report asshole" could be a good idea, but wouldn't everyone get votes? ;) everyone has a different idea of asshole.
or does such a thing separate wheat from chaff, like a Bailo would get way more asshole votes than the rest of us...I hope.

regardless of whether one thinks trolling is bothersome or not, thinking through potential fixes sure seems like an interesting puzzle

correct. troll = ignore. end of story.

Hasn't done much to "chill" my inclination to shoot my mouth off - even if sometimes I have to take a smack-down for being wrong. That's just the price I pay to maintain my self-respect.
Remember when Trolls were just a creepy figurine your cubicle neighbor had too many of? The horrific puffs of hair in green, red, and every other color mocking you daily over cubical walls.....

What is the book of face you speak of? And get off my GodDAmned LAWN!

yeah the report asshole function. . . or clout, or reputation functions only does one thing, imo. . . it rewards the excepted vibe / POV of the blog or forum that people are posting on. It rewards "getting in line" with basically what the moderators and admin's ideals and POV's.

I completely disagree. Rational, well-reasoned arguments against their garbage make trolls squeal with glee, but relentless reverse trolling can be very effective in making them fuck off.
i agree that most of the time trolls should just be ignored. but it IS pretty disconcerting when trolls hit, say, a memorial web page for someone who has died. pictures of a woman's dead body? someone gonna defend that?
or like when the 4 Lakewood officers were murdered last year, newspaper articles (and stuff here on Slog) got hit with anti-cop trolls. Shouldn't folks save the anti-cop (or anti-anybody) rhetoric for other places than pages that are basically obituaries?
What they're talking around is the issue of money.

These sites want page views, and they want them cheap, preferably free. Which means they don't want to pay anybody to moderate comments. So how does that work out? Newspapers with unmoderated comments are cesspools. Or you can try a cheap AI to do it automatically without paying anybody do run it. I think we all know what to expect from "cheap AI".

You get what you pay for.
Yeah, Blizzard tried requiring commenters to use their real names on the World of Warcraft servers, and people COMPLETELY. LOST. THEIR. SHIT.

(Which seems perfectly understandable given the levels of adolescent behavior and trollery that flood any gaming forum.)
I have a problem with the mob being able to "vote off" commenters. Too often what some perceive as a troll is simply someone who disagrees with the mob's point of view -- a very real danger on a blog like this one.
I'd miss trolls if they were universally banned. Their rudeness and bigotry fosters discussion.

Some of what Zhuo writes about in the NYT article goes far beyond what I'd call trolling though. What happened to Alexis Pilkington and her family... I'm not sure what that is but it is well beyond what I consider to be trollish behavior.

Emotional assault would be a better description of emailing pics of a dead girl to her parents with the subject line "Hey, Daddy, I'm still alive".
@25- I remember that. I used to play, and even though I rarely ever commented on the forums, I was spooked about ever posting again. I mean, I'm supposed to have a life! The trolling there, though, is like you said understood and generally ignored or is not unconstructive. That is, people there engage trolls for the hell of it. It's a gaming platform.

When we're talking about victims of crimes and such, it becomes intolerable, though.
I'm fairly content with how Slog handles it, which is one reason comment as much as I do here. Allow anonymous postings, with the understanding that they are frequently trolls. Allow people who make accounts to troll if they want to... and other users get a feel for who trolls and who doesn't. Either way, we can choose to respond or not.
@17, @21, @6

yeah, that's my problem with that sort of setup as well. It makes some sense on a site like Gizmodo or Engadget, but not a lot on sites that are a bit more... social.

The internet is polarized enough. Voting down and approving comments results in even greater polarization... as annoying as I sometimes find people who disagree with me, I don't want to be able to make it harder to hear what they have to say.

I think the best course of action is to ignore trolls until they go away, or until they become so egregious that it becomes the forum operators responsibility to make them go away...
To that end, simple 'ignore' and 'report' functions have their place.
I'm not holding my breath for the day 4chan institutes a "real names only" policy.
When I came across the link to that op-ed last night, I had no idea it was authored by a Facebook employee. When I did realize that--well, my instant reaction was the same as gloomy gus's @10 and julia09's @11.

Someone at Facebook lecturing about the evils of Internet anonymity is like someone at Tyson Foods warning about the health dangers of vegetarianism.
i read this post and suddenly i have an affinity to trolls (besides being one). having the ability to say what you really think without having scarlet letter stuff is the greater good. fuck this shame stuff. if you dont like the trolls either ignore them or take them on, depending how rational they are.
Really? Because I have fun trolling overly sensitive, easy-to-push-their-buttons people IRL too (especially relatives, but I guess that's normal human behavior).

The solution to getting rid of trolls is to stop reacting to obnoxious comments, calm down and ignore morons. Like me.
"Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums"

Perhaps I am in the minority here, but the best posts tend to be, at least in part, inflammatory, derogatory or provocative. It is only one when the post is needlessly or pointlessly so, or when the author is spewing forth in bad faith that there is anything approaching a "problem" and one easily solved by simply moving on, at that.
Also, this describes most trolling:…
I never use my real name online precisely because I don't want some jackass anonymously mailing me dog shit. You can anonymous troll IRL too, and it's much worse.
Anybody who works at Facebook and has the word 'design' in her title has serious cause to be interested in anonymity, so at least Ms. Zhou is putting her money where her mouth is.

I see Facebook as a kind of massive, global trolling effort using design instead of words, executed by the Pelé of trolls. It's massively popular, and yet the design is barely usable, schizophrenic, and changes for the worse every six months or so. Well played, design trolls!

So I think Ms. Zhou knows whereof she speaks.
I agree that voting up-and-down is not the best form of moderation, especially on a site such as SLOG where a certain level of inflammatory speech is to be expected.

That being said, it would be nice if the registered/unregistered on/off switches allowed for more selectivity, that is, to allow commentors to pick specific handles that could be ignored, rather than the all-or-nothing functionality we have currently.
@40 I second that emotion.
This is why I post all information needed to give me personal feedback. Check my profile and you'll see how this works. You're not anonymous after you contact me, and neither am I. This cuts all the blowhards out of my internet equation, and it works both ways.

Anonymity is a drug more pervasive and deadly than meth.
@42, it is logically impossible to "cut all the blowhards out of your internet equation", since the biggest blowhard in any communication you're ever going to have is going to be you. Your contact apparatus is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
Trolls and all, how does the initial sentiment that anonymity breeds indefensible (in person) actions compare to the (particularly the latest) Wikileaks info-dumps?
Should we allow an official government sanctioned troll culture?
Is a secret information subculture with 'diplomatic' access to the highest levels of government something that we should be sanctioning in the name of 'National Defense' or should we hold government officials acting as diplomats to a standard of decorum along the lines of the net ideal of "if you wouldn't want your grandmother to see it, don't post it"?

BTDubs: Questionland seems like the exact sort of format that Zhou and many commenters are reccommending, just sayin'
Morality and accountability aren't the same thing. Accountability is a way to make unethical, amoral people behave themselves - and that includes accountability to imaginary figures or precepts. Somebody who's instilled with a sufficient sense of character and integrity will at least try to do the right thing for its own sake irrespective of social consequences, God, or whatever else.

Trolls are kids, ignoramuses, and people with anger problems. I guess accountability and transparency might be a workable hotfix, but it'd be a band-aid, not a cure.
Y'all are some pussies if you only troll on the internet. I troll IN REAL LIFE when I get bored.

@37: Aaand that is the origin of Trollface.
But...but...if the trolls go away, where will I get my daily giggles?
@40: get firefox, get greasemonkey, get any scripts written by this guy:

They work like a charm-- there is a "hide" button next to each registered user's name, so you can simply click on it once and never see them again. IT IS DELIGHTFUL.
I ain't sayin nuttin.

Especially given what @48 posted.
@19 for the insightful sage win.

Will this script work on Chrome?
the nature of civilization is that we learn better face to face manners and some new ideas and make money and have stuff, but in fact inside nothing feels better than to hate on eahother. pussies
1. FB is all too happy to eliminate anonymity. They want commercial dollars, that is objective #1. I don't trust anything they say.

2. "Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly"
Wikileaks recent cable postings vis-à-vis diplomacy.

3. Anonymity DEFINITELY has it's place. Full disclosure, when living in a state or community that is willing to torture and heavily harass (*ahem*), may come at the price of death. Or at least unjust imprisonment. That is merely one example.

There are myriad cases where anonymity *enables* full disclosure, rather than prevents it.

It's just simply not a black-and-white issue.
What's wrong with trolls?
Wait. So it's "shame" when an employee of FB tries to guilt people away from their privacy?
@45 >>Trolls are kids, ignoramuses, and people with anger problems.

@52 "eahother"!?! you fucking spell-check lacking shit-stain n00b-licker. If I ever see you on slog again you're dead!
@51: I don't think so, but swear to god, the script is totally worth switching browsers for. It looks like there's no comparable script for Chrome. just think: every assclown that makes you roll your eyes as soon as you see their icon: GONE.
@57 fkcu u grammer troal ! you ocd bich! (actually the only thing that bothers me is improper use of to / too) i dont da get grammr obsessives. you no understand?
Facebook is the perfect example of what happens when everybody agrees to be 'friends' and anonymity is eliminated: Nothing but endless pages of people posting pictures of their cats and telling you what they had for lunch.

Politeness is great and all, but there's also something to be said for the candor that anonymity allows. Since modern Americans are largely unwilling to engage in confrontations over politics IRL, the troll-infested forums have become the public square.

Please wait...

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