So, If I sincerely believe something, but I know that posting about it will ‘rile up’ the users, does that make me a troll?
If so, that gives the most excitable users essentially a heckler’s veto over debate they don’t like.
If the difference is that trolls ‘get a kick out of’ riling people up, then either that requires they self-identify by admittingnit, or it requires the mods to be mind readers.
In my opinion, there are a lot of posters on the board who are accused of trolling simply because they have beliefs that don’t match the board zeitgeist and refuse to be silenced from speaking out because they constantly get pitted or swarmed on when they do.
There is behaviour here that to one side looks like trolling, but to the other side it looks like someone who is an outlier in opinion who gets mercilessly stomped on whenever they try to speak their mind on a contentious topic but refuse to quit.
I think you’re missing an important nuance. As is often said, context is everything, and in this case, a lot depends on the way you frame a contentious argument. If someone is going to post something that they know is a highly contentious outlier that most posters will strongly disagree with, I think it’s incumbent on them to present the argument as calmly, objectively, and passively as possible. Roaring into a debate with aggressive bluster or dripping sarcasm in support of a very unpopular viewpoint is indistinguishable from trolling.
If you’re referring to what I said just above, I think that’s putting a very uncharitable spin on it. If you’re presenting someone with an opinion that you know they’re going to be inclined to disagree with rather strongly, if there is to be any hope of showing them the merits of your argument, the onus is on you to present it as inoffensibly as possible. Unless, that is, your main objective is just to tell them how stupid they are. Which is how “sincerely held beliefs” can become trolling.
People who are constantly abused/harassed/pitted by the clique are very likely to take an uncharitable view of excuses for the abuse.
This is moving the goalposts. I agree with you, but we’re not talking about effective strategies for winning people over, we are talking about people behaving like the majority behaves but getting dragged for it because they aren’t in the majority.
There are a number of people on this board whose main objective for being here seems to be telling people they don’t agree with how stupid they are. So long as they are part of the majority, they tend to get a pass so long as they stay within the rules of the board or do it in the pit. They might even get a few attaboys from their fellow travelers.
The rest of us better watch what we say. An equally provocative post from the right will get you pitted and mocked.
You can get away with a post titled, “Why are Republicans such monsters?” But you can get pitted for using ‘Democrat’ instead of ‘Democratic’. And if I opened an OP asking why Democrats are monsters, I’d be accused of trolling.
In one sense, it’s obvious. You can’t troll people by agreeing with them, and this board is way over on the left now. But the unfortunate consequence of that imbalance is that you lose all the minority posters, then the majority loses interest because there is no real debate and no one left to mock.
This is similar to what’s happened to CNN’s ratings. They chased away all their conservative viewers with four years of non-stop Trump bashing, and now that Trump’s gone they can’t attract the left either as there’s nothing to outrage them and it was the outrage they were selling.
Most of that long post can be summed up in one sentence: “It’s tough to have an extremist minority position on a message board”. I can’t disagree with that, but what do you imagine can be done about it other than what I already suggested? You can’t just blame the Pit; one of your threads in P&E had already devolved into a complete train wreck by the time it was brought up in the Pit.
FWIW, despite my strong ideological differences with you, I think you’re otherwise usually a good poster and hope you stick around. And in the matter of politics, I for one have no problem with well reasoned arguments from the opposing side. Sometimes it’s a learning opportunity, at least about how the other side sees the world. But don’t be surprised to get lots of pushback, especially if the premise is highly implausible, as it was in the above-mentioned thread.
Cute, but a false equivalency. It’s not like I make a hobby of constantly pitting other posters. I challenge you to find even one pitting thread against another poster that I ever started. I’ve participated in some that were already going where I thought it was deserved, but there are many others that I never posted in. The fact is that I sincerely believe the Pit serves useful purposes for the reasons I already stated, not because pitting other posters is a personal hobby.
I thought one reason for the Pit was to keep the rest of the place civil? Taking away the Pit won’t end the hostility. You don’t need to be able to directly insult anyone to be a douchebag – people will find ways to do so and still stay with in the rules, just as we’ve had people troll over the years and still manage to avoid being banned. It happened when they changed the Pit rules. People were just as nasty – they were just a wee more creative.
And besides, the idea that someone can “turn you into a nasty troll” is absurd. We had a poster who was banned awhile ago who was known for having a horribly thin skin and a hair trigger temper. Dude would just explode at the slightest thing, even if there was no insult, or if someone didn’t even address him. He was constantly threatening people, too. And when called on it once, he told the mods that perhaps people should consider how thin-skinned he was, and take that into account.
The mods basically told him bullshit, and that was his problem. Eventually, he was banned.
My point? If your temper is such that you know you can’t deal with insults and such, it’s not the fault of the Pit. It’s very easy to avoid, and quite honestly, why should everyone else have to tiptoe around those who can’t deal with it? I think the Pit often provides a way to keep arguments out of the rest of the place. shrug
While not directly Pit-related, there’s this continuous “These posters have been naughty” list at the top of GD and P&E. It would make the board look just a bit better if the very top of those two forums wasn’t a permanently pinned “banned poster” list for things that have been expired for over a year.