A question for the Mods

I feel funny putting this in the Pit because I am neither mad or annoyed but this:

says it should be here. Please let me know the thinking behind the “don’t call anyone a troll” rule. I think I know the answer but I’d like to get the official reason. I have sent in an email to the Mods exactly once accusing someone of trolling. It made me feel uneasy to go behind someones back to tell on them. It doesn’t make a difference with the more obvious trolls. They hardly get to a dozen posts without getting squashed. However there are some who may post half the time in a serious manner and the other half of the time they seem to be baiting everyone. I would feel better if I could ask that person what thier motivation is. Under the current rules that isn’t possible. Overall I like the way trolls are taken care of here, otherwise I’d still have that $5.

We used to allow posters to call each other trolls. However, there was a period of time when accusations of trollery were flying around so frequently that it was becoming a distraction. It seemed like every new poster or anyone with differing opinions was called a troll and hassled. So we told people to tell us about trolls in email. In fact, while many of the troll-reports I get are accurate, sometimes I think it is just someone who holds an unpopular opinion or expresses themselves strongly.

There’s no rule against e-mailing a mod saying you think someone is trolling (though of course, based on Gaudere’s reply, one should be careful about making the accusation). It’s only the public accusation of trolling that is excluded.

I figured it was something like that. I know there is sometimes a fine line between just plain obnoxious and troll-like behavior. Thats why I’d like the option to find out myself but I understand the underlying reason behind the rule. Thanks for the clarification. When I feel the urge to use that word I will refrain.

Ain’t Gaudere grate! :slight_smile:

I prefer bait casting.

Are there sanctions for people who over-report the latter?

“He’s saying Starship Troopers is a good movie again! That means he’s trolling! He did it last week too! He was trolling then and he’s trolling now! He’s such a troll! Troll troll troll troll! EEEEEEEEEEYIYIYIYIYI—”

I mean, if it happens.


To give an example and name a name, I find the style that Ralph124C uses in many (not all) of his OPs to be intensely and annoyingly confrontational and opinionated. In my less mature days, I’d have called what he does in them trolling. But it’s obvious that, while he seems to have a problem distinguishing between opinion and objectivity, his posts are not done simply with the intent of causing controversy, but rather reflect his strongly held convictions in ways that happen to irk me. And that, by definition, is not trolling.

Hence, whether someone is wilfully trolling is pretty much a judgment call – and that’s one reason we have moderators – because they are schooled in making such judgments and have guidelines to determine whether it’s trollery or simply the expression of an unpopular opinion (which the Dope has never had a problem with – part of what makes this a lively community is that there’s always someone to argue the minority viewpoint on any question).

So I’m more than willing to leave the determination of trollery up to them – because I know that my own judgment can be faulty.

So you admit to being a troll? :smiley:

So far, there hasn’t been a problem with over-reporting. And I think most Mods would far rather have a post reported three or four times, rather than not have it reported at all. There’s way too much posted for a Moderator to read, and we really do appreciate the “REPORT THIS POST” button.

I suppose if poster XXX were constantly reporting posts of poster YYY, we’d sooner or later figure this to be a form of harrassment, but so far, that’s not been an issue.

That is a valid complaint and the miscreant should be banished immediately if not sooner!

I think another part of the rationale behind the prohibition of troll accusations — recalling prior discussions about this over the years — is that in the case of an actual troll, it is like throwing gasoline onto a fire.

I admit nothing.
Starship Troopers is a really good movie, neener neener neener