Best practices: calling out concern trolling behavior in Elections

Last week Brainglutton was warned for accusing another poster of concern trolling -a verifiable behavior and a form of argument- in Elections. Here’s the offending post:

You can see the nested quote boxes here:

Warning issued by tomndebb here:
I assert that it is legitimate to characterize an argument as concern trolling and that doing so fights ignorance. I concede that it is unfortunate that this perfectly workable concept contains the pitworthy word “Troll” inside of it. This is doubly unfortunate as most concern trolls don’t have the goal of getting others excited or inflaming passions. In other words, most concern trolls are not trolls as usually defined.

Now this isn’t a perfect example: I’m not sure the accusation was valid. But say it was. What is the best way to characterize concern trolling in the elections forum?

As an aside, this looks like mod note material to me: I wasn’t aware that characterizing an argument in that fashion was considered an insult (though frankly I did grok that it was borderline). But my main concern (ha!) is to work out the best way of expressing this characterization.

We both share the goals of fighting ignorance, but I’m concerned that such rough characterizations set the wrong sort of tone in the Elections forum. We share the same goals but I question your methods. You might find that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. I think that if you communicate your ideas with less clarity and effectiveness that they will be clearer and more effective.

Maybe if you characterized such arguments as “Well meaning but misguided”, we could further engage in a mostly off-topic discussion of tone and modalities.

Isn’t regular trolling also a verifiable behavior and a form of argument?

It seems to me that calling someone a concern troll is not the same as being called a troll but both are used as insults and ways of attacking the poster and not the post.

I will have to go back and read the entire thread to be sure I didn’t miss anything but it seems off the mark to me as well. You don’t have to be a democrat in order to discuss their election strategy any more than you have to be a Denver fan to discuss Peyton’s deminishing skills.

If someone disagrees with the content of a post present a counter argument. Don’t call the poster names, even what you might consider minor or accurate name calling. It is not conducive to productive conversation or debate.

*I am not, nor do I wish to be, a mod in Elections so my opinion is simply that, my opinion.

Um, what?

Hm, I suppose it is. But I support the policy of sending accusations of trolling to the pit, as that is a banable offense.

Is concern-trolling-that-is-not-trolling banable? Of course it isn’t. Unless the person in question fails to obey in-thread or out-thread moderator instructions of course.

There are all manner of nonsense arguments and I think it useful to ID concern trolling. I admit it isn’t exactly a priority issue though.
The way I might express these sentiments would be to say something like the following: [INDENT]Yes, yes I’m concerned too. Very concerned. [/INDENT] I take it though that this wouldn’t be allowed: [INDENT] Yes, yes I’m concerned too. Very concerned. [/INDENT] But I think that last formulation is healthy and fights ignorance. Only a little ignorance maybe, but still.

ETA: splatterpunk: Post 2 gave an example of concern trolling. It also attempted humor.

I am similarly confused.

Ok. I was trying to head off a request for a definition of concern trolling by providing a silly example. For those who wish greater detail, I refer them to the Rational Wiki article:

Again just my opinion as someone who doesn’t mod the forum.

Elections has many posters who feel strongly about their particular ideology. It also has many posters who enjoy looking at politics and discussing the dynamics, strategies and procedures involved in the process. Those two groups are not mutually exclusive.

Someone of any ideology should be allowed to discuss the political process to include things like strategies and party dynamics even if they are politically against that party. Calling their opinion concern trolling is to insult the poster and not refute the post. Calling them the name is a lazy way of attempting to undermine the post without actually providing any information. Much like calling someone a liar without showing why the statement is incorrect. So in my opinion the best practice of “calling out” someone is to take the effort to address the post. If you want to call someone a concern troll then open a thread in The Pit.

I don’t know why this is difficult. Trolling is not allowed. Concern trolling is a form of trolling. Ipso facto, QED, Oedipus Rexo, it is not allowed.

wrong thread.

Well, this is about calling someone a troll, not trolling. But otherwise, yeah. No brainer.

Thanks for your concern. I mean your concern for editing a post that doesn’t belong here!! :slight_smile:

Like always if you see a rules violation then report it.

Obviously, OP disputes that premise. Why is concern trolling a form of trolling?

Not IMO the correct question.

The issue was that accusations of concern trolling are accusations of trolling, and that is forbidden outside the Pit.

Carving out an exception to the ban on accusations of trolling seems more trouble than it is worth. “Don’t accuse other posters of trolling” is a bright-line, and is easier to understand, administer, and abide by.

If BG wanted to argue “your opinion doesn’t count because you aren’t a liberal”, I suppose he could try it, either in the thread or in the Pit. It seems a stupid line of argument to me, but as long as he could refrain from personal attacks or direct accusations of trolling, I don’t see a downside.

I assume you see the disadvantage of a presumption that no one may criticize a politician unless the critic is likely to vote for the politician.


Because it is a type of trolling. Glad to clear that up for you.

But surely the ban on calling out trolling is meant to ban the concept, not the literal word.

I am forbidden from saying that Measure for Measure is just posting risible bullshit to get people angry, even if I do not use the word “troll.” Similarly, I would not be forbidden from suggesting that Measure for Measure is a “troll” if it were clear from the context that I meant the norse supernatural being and that I meant it as a compliment.

So the critical question is whether the “trolling” in “concern trolling” has the meaning of “troll” that we intend to ban with that particular rule. And I took that to be the question the OP was disputing.

Right. Just as Drunky Smurf is a type of structured transaction to avoid financial reporting.

I agree that calling an argument concern trolling is an insult. It’s an insult regardless of whether or not the behavior is regarded as trolling or not. It’s a way to denigrate the poster rather than addressing the argument. I see no reason to allow it outside the Pit. If you want to dispute someone’s mode of argument, you can address that perfectly well without calling it concern trolling. If you feel you must, take it to the Pit.

On the issue of whether concern trolling is trolling, although it may not be sincere I would say that it is usually not inflammatory enough to qualify as true trolling. But that doesn’t justify calling someone a concern troll.

Is being pedantic a form of trolling?