Opinions sought on Pit rules

Because I’m still spunky and optimistic as the newest and therefore tallest mod, I’ve been wondering if the Pit could benefit from a rule change or two.

Take for example the prohibition on calling someone a troll. It was started to keep junior mod squads from trying to identify and out suspected trolls. It has evolved into a taboo word, which posters sometimes take elaborate contortions to say without really saying. There’s clearly some confusion about the purpose and execution of the current rule. I would argue that so long as it is used outside of an accusation of rule breaking, it is a harmless word.

So if you feel someone argues dishonestly in GD and want to call them on it, you should be able to call their behavior trolling when Pitting them for it. If you spot a guest who is a true needs-to-be-banned troll, calling them on their behavior is junior modding and thus still against the rules. Like calling someone a jerk, so long as troll is used as an insult/criticism and not an accusation of rule-breaking, it would be allowed.

What do you think? Would this be a desirable change, i.e. one less thing to worry about getting warned for? Does anyone have any other suggestions for changes to the rules, either in the Pit or on the board in general?

Note that if this rule was changed it would only apply to the Pit, as calling someone a troll in other forums is just as inappropriate as calling them a jerk. Also note that while we strive for consistency, there’s always going to be some ambiguity in the rules. We have no desire to formulate a legalistic criminal code – judgement calls will sometimes have to be made. Keep that in mind.

I’d like to hear people’s thoughts.

I don’t see what’s so horrible about calling someone a troll, so I have no problem with that rule going away.

We can talk about other rules in this thread, right?

I always thought the restriction that you couldn’t say who was on your ignore list was very odd. If it’s so horrible to tell someone they are on the list, then the list itself must be even more heinous. Why is the list itself allowed but saying who is on it isn’t? Weird.

I dunno G man… how could someone honestly suggest someone was a troll without the inherent implication that they should be warned or banned? We don’t allow trolls or trolling here, so it seems that calling someone a troll would only be a tacit way of saying “you should be banned because you’re breaking the rules.”

I’m agin it. Troll determination should be done by mods and mods alone. If it’s supposed to be reported, report it.

Now that I think about it, what we’d get would be people banned for being actual trolls and threads saying that “poster x wasn’t a troll. The court of doper opinion thinks poster y was a much bigger troll than poster x and you haven’t banned them yet.”

Let the current prohibition on trollery accusations stand.

You mean you don’t trust people to edit their posts, but you trust them to discern the difference between troll qua insult and troll qua accusation? Lean forward, and you can hear the cacophonous cries of “Nitpicker!”

I agree. I don’t think there is a taboo against using the word. Example: Ann Coulter is troll. But how could you use it in reference to a poster without implying that they are breaking the rules?

To clarify, there’s trolling and then there’s trolling. If I think TVeblen’s post in GD was pure partisan bullshit, calling her a political troll is not in any way an implication that she should be banned but simply a commentary on her debating tactics. Dishonest behavior can be trollish without being actionable. On the other hand, if TVeblen reveals that she’s been making up every single thing she’s ever posted and is actually a bald, hairy guy named Joe then one should simply report her to the mods.

Course, she’d just delete the email, but you get the idea.

I do not see why we cannot make the actual allegation of trolling, if that is what we think the person is doing. I mean so what if it is junior modding. We P2P, why not be allowed to express an honest opinion. I mean it is not prohibited for me to state “you do not really think that you are just trying to stir shit up” well thats just the same as calling someone a troll.

Seems like the “don’t be a jerk” rule is sufficient. If someone falsley accuses trollery, they will get their ass handed to them by the members.

Why can’t we call a spade a spade. Even if we suspect someone of actually trolling. Why do we have to report the post in secret? Why not go on the record with our suspicion? If it turns out we are wrong, we apologize(or not) and move on.

Troll is not like the n-word, it is just a word and it has a specific meaning. Why all the rigamarole about a silly internet term?

Probably not a good idea. Creating a situation in which using a particular insult in one context is okay, but against the rules in another would be so subjective as to be unenforcable. I don’t think you could accurately determine if it was meant as an insult or as “junior modding” in most cases, and on top of that, you’ll still have to deal with all the people who keep using all the ridiculous circumlocutions to get around the “don’t call people trolls” rule that we already have. Sounds like a big headache for you guys for little measurable reward for us guys. Plus, I shudder to think about the threads that will result after the first person gets banned for breaking this rule too often. “He wasn’t junior modding, he was just being insulting! You guys are full of shit!” Meh. I wouldn’t go begging for the extra trouble this rule change would cause.

Should have added: that’s how I’m thinking about it, anyway. If people feel that it’s easier/fairer/better to keep a blanket prohibition on the word troll as applied to posters, I’m happy to hear it.

It may be that the rules, like the mods, are perfect as they are.

What’s so wrong with implying they should be warned or banned? We can call people jerks, and specifically reference the “don’t be a jerk” rule. Has this caused problems? Is this different somehow?

I’m for lifting the ban on calling “troll”. Considering some of the colorful labels that are bantered back and forth the “no troll” rule was like saying, " you can call somebody a babystabbing, bunny butchering, child molester but calling them a poo-poo head is not allowed."

This is related to another Pit rule:

I think “no joke threads in the pit” has been interpreted much too broadly. Its seems the original intent was to prohibit faux pittings of other posters - I definitely agree faux pitting that are really compliments in disguise are a waste of bandwidth. But prohibiting any pit thread that’s mainly in jest make this forum much less fun to read. I remember a thread from a long time ago where someone pitted their dog. It was a great thread, but I doubt it would be allowed today.

As far as the “no accusation of trolling,” rule I don’t think saying “You’re trolling” is a call for someone’s banning anymore than saying “you’re a jerk” is, and I’d have no problem with it being allowed in the pit. Someone can make an occasional troll-like argument without being a full time bannable troll.

But is there any prohibition about stating that another poster should be banned?
I personnally wouldn’t have much issue with this rule going away, either. But maybe I’d need to know why it was promulgated at the first place. Maybe something escapes me…

Really??? I don’t see the distinction. How is a “political troll” different from a “troll”?

I think this will cause more confusion.

No rules in the Pit. None. Yes, there might well be a spate of flaming for flaming’s sake, but it would pass simply because so few of us would be interested.

Let 'er rip!

“But, but…that could lead to anarchy!”

With any luck, yes.

Junior modding.
Just because I think someone should be warned or banned does not mean that the mods agree. And it’s their call, after all.

I’d prefer to see that treated as junior modding too. We as posters don’t get to determine when someone violates the ‘don’t be a jerk’ rule.

I think Lib point is a very good one. How, exactly, do you tell which is which?

“You’re a goddamn troll!”
“You troll political discussions!”
“Nobody should waste their time on you, you’re just a troll.”

Insult, or actionable content? Whatever the mods decide there will be howls of outrage.

Well, IANAM but I do remember a recent event where a poster was agitating for another poster to get banned and got slapped down. Although there were other factors at play.

As was stated earlier, calling someone a troll is accusing them of breaking the rules. It’s not just an insult. Determining whether or not someone has broken the rules is best left to the mods. Letting people use it as an insult would introduce and ugly shade of grey into the rules.

And as your post clearly demonstrates, there is no shortage of alternate insults. :slight_smile:

P.S.: Every cool person knows the only acceptable alternate usage of the word “troll” is as a reference to people who live in the lower peninsula of Michigan as they live “under” the Mackinac Bridge. They also eat billy goats.

Finn, isn’t their a difference between junior modding and pointing out an occasional rule violation. I mean say someone says “You are a goddamned troll” arn’t I allowed to point out that that is a violation of board rules. Or would you say thats junior modding?

Why do we care about junior modding? at least untill it becomes annoying? If it is somebodies only trick call them on it and move on. I think their are time when it is in fact appropriate to point out violations, though some people do it to the point of tediousness.

Honestly, I’d say that should be left to the mods. Hit ‘report post’, and walk away. I’ve seen communities where the users fight amongst themselves and argue over who is or isn’t breaking various rules. It gets real ugly real fast.

Personally I think virtually all junior modding is really annoying. I’d rather see someone let the mods deal with something than linking to a mod ruling and citing it. But that’s just me.

There are of course shades of grey.

True enough… but I still think it’d be best to leave it to the mods. Just my opinion, but I like it that the mods are the only ones who hold forth. The bastids.