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Old 02-22-2011, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
8,732 posts, read 8,837,415 times
Reputation: 13567

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Hi,

I was reviewing the terms of service and noticed that there is a provision which states "No Trolling Allowed" but there is no actual definition of what "trolling" means.

I'm asking because I recently had several posts deleted for "bickering with a troll." However, I thought that the posts I made as well as the posts made by the alleged "troll" were not arbitrary. I felt that they were relevant to the topic at hand, and that they were overall very reasonable.

Of course I could be mistaken, but either way I feel like a bright-line standard for "trolling" would be helpful, so that users can identify it when it exists and know to avoid responding to a troll.

Thanks!


Bluefoxwarrior
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 19,784,490 times
Reputation: 32510
My concept of trolling is also somewhat hazy. I think a troll is someone who is more interested in picking a fight, in being provocative, in trying to humiliate other posters, than in an intelligent and respectful discussion. It's an odd word to us older folks, and I've picked up my hazy understanding just by osmosis from hearing people talk about it over time. I would love to hear from experienced moderators if they think my definition is close, and if not, to correct it or enlarge upon it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:12 AM
 
13,768 posts, read 36,506,220 times
Reputation: 10665
Your definition is pretty accurate IMO. Trolls are no longer those ugly little men hiding under the bridge like we use to read about as kids.

Trolls often post outrageous comments just to get others all upset. Many times they disappear after the first post. Many times they make general statement like 'Why is everyone in X stupid'.

If you quote a post and that post is deleted then your post will be deleted too.
Mods may refer to a member who was previously banned as a troll.

If you have questions or concerns you can always send a DM to the moderator.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:23 AM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

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Location: Ohio
17,104 posts, read 36,099,226 times
Reputation: 14414
The lack of a definition prevents members from inventing a new way to annoy with posts that isn't covered by the definition of trolling. If the ToS defined it with 35 bullet points, someone would invent an annoyance that wasn't covered by any of them.

The ToS isn't a lawbook that is meant to cover all situations in explicit detail. It's more like a constitution, both general and specific. There are plenty of places online where you can find a definition of trolling. From what I've seen, those definitions tend to be general as well.

I define trolling as "posting to annoy, rather than inform." Members sometimes consider someone who consistently posts opinions that they disagree with to be a troll. That usually isn't the case, no matter how annoying they may find those posts they disagree with.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
8,732 posts, read 8,837,415 times
Reputation: 13567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
The lack of a definition prevents members from inventing a new way to annoy with posts that isn't covered by the definition of trolling. If the ToS defined it with 35 bullet points, someone would invent an annoyance that wasn't covered by any of them.

The ToS isn't a lawbook that is meant to cover all situations in explicit detail. It's more like a constitution, both general and specific. There are plenty of places online where you can find a definition of trolling. From what I've seen, those definitions tend to be general as well.

I define trolling as "posting to annoy, rather than inform." Members sometimes consider someone who consistently posts opinions that they disagree with to be a troll. That usually isn't the case, no matter how annoying they may find those posts they disagree with.
Ok, thanks. These posts have been responsive to my understanding of the issue.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:20 AM
Yac
 
6,027 posts, read 7,264,394 times
The only thing I can add is that wikipedia has a pretty good definition of who is a troll.
Yac.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:20 PM
 
24,098 posts, read 44,772,828 times
Reputation: 26051
Trolling is like "obscene art" i.e., hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 19,784,490 times
Reputation: 32510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yac View Post
The only thing I can add is that wikipedia has a pretty good definition of who is a troll.Yac.
Thanks. It was helpful to read that. The article's key words seemed to be "inflammatory", "intentionally provocative", and "disrupting normal on-topic discussion". This is in line with what everyone has been saying in this thread.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:01 PM
 
8,955 posts, read 3,981,894 times
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Thanks. It was helpful to read that. The article's key words seemed to be "inflammatory", "intentionally provocative", and "disrupting normal on-topic discussion". This is in line with what everyone has been saying in this thread.
Pretty much. The tricky part is - how do you judge someone's intentions from a post on the Internet?
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 19,784,490 times
Reputation: 32510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marka View Post
Pretty much. The tricky part is - how do you judge someone's intentions from a post on the Internet?
Yes. I have great sympathy for you moderators, since these qualities are not either/or but on a continuum. So you must make judgement calls on the borderline cases, and those calls will not please everybody. I have encountered some very artful trolls who are skilled at making their provocations sound legitimate. In other words, they skate right on that fine line, but over time one can see they are trolling. Naturally I'll mention no names!
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