Trolls and Forum Quality
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13-03-2014, 05:07 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 04:36 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 02:49 PM)alpha male Wrote:  I'm not a troll, and I know from prior experience that drich and Lion IRC are not trolls.

All three of you are infuriatingly arrogant though, which is a characteristic of all trolls.

...Not tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, or nakedness, peril, sword...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,


Yes, I guess that DOES come across as a little bit arrogant doesnt it.

(13-03-2014 04:36 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  ...There are theists and deists on here with positive reputation points who are not arrogant.

Would you agree there are more arrogant atheists here than there are arrogant theists?
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13-03-2014, 05:09 PM (This post was last modified: 13-03-2014 05:25 PM by Mathilda.)
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
I set up a discussion forum in 2010 and it lasted for three years. One thing I learnt is that the moderators will never please everyone and more people will complain than not even if the rules are explicit. Whatever action you make some people will complain that you didn't go far enough and other people will complain that you went too far. My rule of thumb was to do the minimum necessary so that I could always explain myself. That was partly because I inherited an exodus from another discussion forum and people were rather sensitive about moderators playing god. All the moderator can really aim to do is to be impartial with the rules and apply them without prejudice. And even when they do that, people will still complain that the moderators are applying the rules because they do not like the opinion of the poster.

People complain about free speech but forget that the discussion forum is privately funded and run by individuals for free and members have no automatic right to free speech. Rules normally evolve over time as and when they are found to be necessary.

Another thing I learned was that you always need a fresh influx of new members but this is always difficult because of cliques. If a discussion forum does not regularly get new members then it will eventually die. The regular members hardly ever appreciate this until there's only about 8 of them left talking as if they are all down a pub. This is because everyone gets fed up about someone or something at some time or another. Normally this is a result of trolls or arseholes making the place unwelcome to anyone outside the clique or who does not shout back. The quiet, most thoughtful and considerate posters leave first and then it's a downhill slope. Eventually the arseholes themselves move on to ruin another discussion forum, normally after stabbing you in the back.

Trolls always deny that they are trolling and will always make up excuses. They will try to paint the moderators as being biased and in doing so sow fear and dissent amongst the genuine members. The troll will often come up with excuses like 'how is this different from what X said?'. The answer is intention. The troll intends to cause offence or be provocative whereas the genuine member knew what was acceptable. Sometimes though it's the genuine members who need a quiet word to stop a situation escalating or to stop new members from being scared off (if this is a regular occurrence then the forum dies).

One more thing, as a moderator you may be sure that an account is a sock puppet, but you don't know by whom. I won't go into all the things you need to get up to in order to obtain the required information because I don't want to help the trolls but as a moderator you need to be able to explain yourself before you act otherwise more often than not you end up regretting it. Obtaining the evidence can be difficult though. Members hate it when people get banned without explanation. Trolls and sock puppets always try to make out that they are genuine people and when they do eventually get banned other people wonder if they are next. Trolls are rarely as easy to spot as Miss Meng, who clearly just came on for a laugh to disrupt the forum.
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13-03-2014, 05:11 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 05:07 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 04:36 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  All three of you are infuriatingly arrogant though, which is a characteristic of all trolls.

...Not tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, or nakedness, peril, sword...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,


Yes, I guess that DOES come across as a little bit arrogant doesnt it.

(13-03-2014 04:36 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  ...There are theists and deists on here with positive reputation points who are not arrogant.

Would you agree there are more arrogant atheists here than there are arrogant theists?

I would! but that's obvious, there are more arrogant theists in a theist forum. But that's just a statistical truism

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13-03-2014, 05:13 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 03:36 PM)nach_in Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 03:30 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  See that?
A perfect example of my point.

I don't need an invitation from you. I can visit a forum and decide for myself whether I like it or not.

And nobody needs you to tell us what to do or what to discuss either...

Thanks for agreeing with me! Thumbsup
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13-03-2014, 05:17 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 05:13 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 03:36 PM)nach_in Wrote:  And nobody needs you to tell us what to do or what to discuss either...

Thanks for agreeing with me! Thumbsup

not sure if serious and deaf to sarcasm, or sarcastic himself

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13-03-2014, 05:19 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 05:07 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 04:36 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  ...There are theists and deists on here with positive reputation points who are not arrogant.

Would you agree there are more arrogant atheists here than there are arrogant theists?

I'd say that the ratio of arrogant theists to humble theists is much higher on this forum than it is for arrogant atheists to humble atheists.

I don't think that theists are necessarily generally arrogant in real life, but then most of them don't come onto atheist forums seeking converts who just need to be shown the right way.
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13-03-2014, 05:23 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 11:38 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The recent cascade of Miss Meng related threads have really frustrated me. I get annoyed from time to time on the forum, but not like this. This has made me genuinely angry.

When I signed up for this forum, I was really impressed with some of the posters here. Many of them contributed to my deconversion, the biggest and most wonderful life change I have ever made. I have a passion for well written posts and comments, because I hope to do for someone else what was done for me. I have a deep passion for what we talk about here, and I believe that is has real world consequences for those who show up to read what we have written.

It seems more and more often when I open the "Atheism and Theism" category, I have to wade through troll after troll just to get to a decent thread. We are plagued by a small but incessant group of religious trolls who spam their sermon feces and quotations of scripture like its a drive by shooting. They don't even pretend to promote discussion. They don't read what we write out of interest, but rather to spam responses of similar quality to their threads. They are either aware that they cannot win an argument with an Atheist, are afraid to try, or they post out of a need to feel that they have done all they can for the souls of us ungodly heathens. They are not contributing to this community, they are shitting all over it.

I can't possibly be the only person who feels that their experience here has lost some of its quality because these posters are allowed to continue. I do not know if anything can be done via moderators about this, but I believe there is something we can all do to improve the situation. For this to work, people would have to decide voluntarily to get on board.

1. I think everyone should utterly ignore troll posts. If it looks like a troll, leave it blank. Let't cast our vote for what kind of discussion we want to have here, and lets do it by leaving every single troll post fucking blank as a sheet of printer paper.

2. I think we should replace these waste of space threads with intelligent, well written, topical threads of our own. We can busy ourselves by promoting debate, discussion, research, questioning, and essentially learning. Honestly, I don't care if we go over the same issues multiple times. I would prefer a thousand well written repeats than a single troll post.

Is there anyone else who feels that this is a problem that needs to be addressed? Are my solutions worth a try? What do you think we should do?

It's a tough call in some ways. Though I find theist trolls to be as annoying, I think that, to an extent, they do serve a purpose. I think we tend to forget that there are a lot more people viewing this forum than just the members. There are a lot of lurkers on sites like this (I was one myself before I joined), and when people get on the fence in their view of religion, it's good to have them view threads by theist trolls and then compare them to the ones that atheists start. Let them see the difference in each approach and how so many of these Bible thumping trolls dodge questions or merely spew biblical quotes instead of actually thinking for themselves and giving a logical reason for their views.

I do agree with you when it comes to people like Miss Meng. People like that are here for nothing but trolling, completely without intent of having any reasonable debate, and those are the ones that should simply be ignored.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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13-03-2014, 05:26 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 05:11 PM)nach_in Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 05:07 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Would you agree there are more arrogant atheists here than there are arrogant theists?

I would! but that's obvious, there are more arrogant theists in a theist forum. But that's just a statistical truism

The complaint was about arrogance.

Theres a great big elephant in the room here which is that you just cant STAND the fact that some people (viz; theists) wont bow and grovel and say they are here to learn from atheists.

I visit a fair number of AvT fora and, from my experience, the only self-identified Christians who are chew toys ...popular with the dominant atheist majority are the obsequious, fawning, lukewarm lamers who suck up and "confess" they have doubts and are ashamed of other Christians and dont really take the bible as God's Word.

No thanks.

I'll say what I think and couldnt care less about your egotistical popularity contest.
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13-03-2014, 05:30 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 05:26 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  
(13-03-2014 05:11 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I would! but that's obvious, there are more arrogant theists in a theist forum. But that's just a statistical truism

The complaint was about arrogance.

Theres a great big elephant in the room here which is that you just cant STAND the fact that some people (viz; theists) wont bow and grovel and say they are here to learn from atheists.

I visit a fair number of AvT fora and, from my experience, the only self-identified Christians who are chew toys ...popular with the dominant atheist majority are the obsequious, fawning, lukewarm lamers who suck up and "confess" they have doubts and are ashamed of other Christians and dont really take the bible as God's Word.

No thanks.

I'll say what I think and couldnt care less about your egotistical popularity contest.

May I ask what you are here for?

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13-03-2014, 05:31 PM
RE: Trolls and Forum Quality
(13-03-2014 05:23 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  It's a tough call in some ways. Though I find theist trolls to be as annoying, I think that, to an extent, they do serve a purpose. I think we tend to forget that there are a lot more people viewing this forum than just the members. There are a lot of lurkers on sites like this (I was one myself before I joined), and when people get on the fence in their view of religion, it's good to have them view threads by theist trolls and then compare them to the ones that atheists start. Let them see the difference in each approach and how so many of these Bible thumping trolls dodge questions or merely spew biblical quotes instead of actually thinking for themselves and giving a logical reason for their views.

I do agree with you when it comes to people like Miss Meng. People like that are here for nothing but trolling, completely without intent of having any reasonable debate, and those are the ones that should simply be ignored.

I mostly agree. Sort of.
If an intransigent theist is present, it may be not a bad thing. The irrational, ignorant, or delusional thinking will speak for itself. Yes

It is the user, theist or deist or atheist, who spams, disrupts, threatens, etc. who needs to be banned.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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