What are the restrictions on trolling in the Pit?

The Pit rules say trolling isn’t allowed:

But of course, trolling is one of the hallowed means of attack in the Pit and we can’t (and don’t want to) get rid of it completely. So a question for Miller: is there a point at which you’d mod someone for trolling in the Pit? Or to be more specific, what would define something as “inflammatory”?

I’m not complaining about the current moderation - it’s not like trolling is taking away from useful or meaningful conversations there, and I imagine it would be tough to figure out where to draw lines. I’m just looking for clarification if there is a line. I reported a post once and then felt a little stupid for reporting trolling in the Pit.

I could be coy and pretend this was just a generic question, but anyone who plays in the Pit knows I’m talking about this thread starting around here, which references this train wreck from around page 5 on. Here’s a decent example of a post that I would consider trolling, but you really need to read several pages and see the repetitiveness of the posts to get the full effect (and I don’t wish that on anyone). It’s certainly posted solely to get a rise out of people, but is it “inflammatory”?

Your last link doesn’t go to a specific post.

I think its meant to be post 659? That link makes post 659 the top post in my view pane. And Colibri really doesn’t like him some doorhinge.

It should - the URL ends with ?p=18930445#post18930445. Try again (or there are reasons why links to a specific post wouldn’t work for some users).

If so, that’s standard BBQ Pit snark. I don’t see you that could be considered trolling. I guess I don’t think people should be required to debate in the BBQ Pit if they don’t want to.

Yeah, a few posts like that are standard in the Pit. It’s more the volume in this case. As I said, after 5 pages of that repeated, it is more evident that this isn’t avoiding debate, it’s just attempting to piss people off.

Well, let’s wait for a mod to weigh in, but do you really think posters should just sit back and take it? He didn’t ask for that thread to be started.

In the linked thread, a mod is one of those making the accusation of trolling. He isn’t doing it with his mod hat on, but it shows something of the two definitions of trolling.

One kind is the official version. The other is “you are attacking one of the sacred cows of the SDMB”, in this case global warming. Lynn Bodoni was the only mod who treated the second definition as the same as the first, and she’s gone.


I have modded people for trolling in the Pit, but it’s got to be pretty exceptional instance. The usual definition of “posting just to make people angry” doesn’t quite work, because the Pit is specifically intended as a place you can got to get in fights with people - which generally involves making them angry. If we determine that a person is taking positions that they don’t actually hold just to start fights, that can draw a warning, but I usually will only do that for an explicit admission that a poster’s been lying about their positions - and by “explicit admission,” I don’t mean posting something like, “I love watching you libs/pubs get all wound up!” I mean something like, “Yeah, I was just making that stuff up to see how people would react.”

Thanks, Miller. Makes sense.

Not to me, I’m afraid. There is a lot of patently obvious faux confusion being displayed by the accused. That is, he’s not even making a token attack on what Mr. Shodan charmingly refers to as a “sacred cow”; he is simply pretending – quite transparently – to not understand arguments about the posts he is making in the thread (both of them, apparently), and the analogies that are being offered to illustrate those arguments.

So, it’s not really so much a matter of whether he should have to “sit there and take it” as one of “if he wants to rebut the assertions, he should, IMHO, have to actually address what those assertions ARE, and not be able to get away with offering some Ralph Wiggum-esque restatement of them.”*

That kind of crap shouldn’t require an explicit admission that he’s doing it for lulz to be judged as trolling.

*or, he can go off on a tangent, and refuse to respond to assertions at all; that’s a pretty time-honored method of jettisoning a losing argument around here. :slight_smile:

It’s the Pit, not GD. Not seeing any substantive difference between: I don’t hear/understand what you are saying; and: You’re an idiot.

Or statements like
[ul][li]The death penalty is always wrong, under all circumstances, or[/li][li]No Republican must ever be elected again[/ul]when the poster refuses to defend the statements. [/li]
“You have not admitted the brilliance of my argumentation, therefore trolling” is not IMO a useful definition.


kaylasdad99, what you’re saying is correct - it’s certainly trolling, not simply avoidance of an argument. But I can understand why Miller doesn’t want to mod that in the Pit. Let the other posters deal with it how they want.

Shodan, what you describe is often called trolling in the Pit, but that’s not really what’s happening in these threads.

You make an interesting point. Subterraneanus wanted to start a fight. In order to do so, he started a Pit thread where he deliberately lied about not being able to convince me that the Earth is a sphere. Other posters have asked Subterraneanus to clarify his statement but to no avail. I’ve pointed out that he had never attempted to convince me that the Earth is a sphere. In short, he deliberately tried to get a rise out of me.

As far as the ice cream comments are concerned, I didn’t find the ice cream anology very useful. In the interest of good/clear communications I did suggest that another attempt be made to clarify the posters intent.

Subterraneanus’s OP, and his other lackluster contributions, were certainly posted solely to get a rise out of people, but was it “inflammatory”?

Shouldn’t you have included Subterraneanus actions in your examples?

Subterraneanus was totally trolling.

Exactly; just like that. :slight_smile:

IIRC (too lazy to look it up), I got a warning for trolling because I changed my mind mid-thread. The mod thought I had been purposely disingenuous in my earlier posts. Now that they know I’m [del]a flake with no firm convictions[/del] able to learn from what others post I don’t have that problem.

Good thing I read this before posting. Thanks.