Anonymity and Trolling

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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:47 am

oushi wrote:His trolling was a result of constant frustration, because nobody understood him, and nobody cared to even think about his arguments.
Actually oushi I think you have nailed it. A troll is somebody that doesn't actually care about the others opinion. Somebody can present objective and intelligent facts but if ignore the objective and intelligent facts that others are presenting, this will make them a troll. Somebody interested in intelligent and informed discussion will take the views of the other party into account too.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Seishin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:49 am

oushi wrote:And I prefer openness over fear ;) .


Fear and confidence are different sides of our ego. Only if we let go of both will we have openess :smile:

The way I've dealt with trolls previously is by befriending them :smile:

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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby undefineable » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:44 pm

@Johnny D: Opinion has probably always been divided as to whether informal debate is socially acceptable, as there are always those who find the 'cut and thrust' of this form of interaction fun (for whatever reason :twisted: ) rather than offensive, particularly when the written word rather than the spoken word is used - The question is whether similar rules should apply to debates (and/or informal written communication) as apply to face-to-face interaction, and although the obvious solution here is to segregate forum-users who find such rules limiting (in this context) from those who find them constructive, I do sometimes wonder whether 'sport debate' has a place within the context of Buddhist practice :shrug:
Sherab Dorje wrote: What about a unreligious person posting on a religious site?
Indeed - Where I come from that's called Education :tongue: {This, of course, is a reminder that popular attitudes are constantly being changed by debate - Some views always become more acceptable than others in different times and places, however they're voiced _ _ }
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Jikan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:14 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Trolling simply means being in the conversation for the sole purpose of shit-stirring and provocation, and not trying to actually further the conversation.

BY that definition, it's really common behavior on forums period.

Actual Trolls are usually pretty obvious, but if anyone posts definitive statements about something in order to stir the pot, then refuses to talk about it, or simply switches the debate to a new (usually more inflammatory) topic or statement, it's reasonable to call it trolling I suppose. The thing with good ones though, is they are usually very good at skirting a line so that they avoid moderation, participating with just enough validity here and there that they don't get in trouble.

So I don't agree that they don't need to be worried about, typically good forums actually actively curtail their activities or remove them.


In practice, this means that good forums have good policies and good moderators.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby oushi » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:21 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
oushi wrote:His trolling was a result of constant frustration, because nobody understood him, and nobody cared to even think about his arguments.
Actually oushi I think you have nailed it. A troll is somebody that doesn't actually care about the others opinion. Somebody can present objective and intelligent facts but if ignore the objective and intelligent facts that others are presenting, this will make them a troll. Somebody interested in intelligent and informed discussion will take the views of the other party into account too.

Discarding opinions of other may (and often is) a consequence of discussion not being well based. It's this "let me explain first" thing, which is missing. Discussion starts when all participants expressed their view, and it was understood. I often see that this part is missing. Many people are fiercely arguing about something they would agree if only they could present their view while not being interrupted. Now, if a discussion starts prematurely, there is a lot of misunderstanding. If a persons attempts to go to the bottom of his view is ignored, and people draw premature conclusions, this person will try to stop the discussion until his position is presented and understood. This is why the best way to deal with a troll is to listen to what he has to say. Like Seishin wrote:
Seishin wrote:The way I've dealt with trolls previously is by befriending them

Only then we can see that he was not a troll in the first place.

There are also people that have nothing to share, but they desire to be appreciated. They will also try to interrupt the discussion, but if you give them voice, they will have nothing to say. Or they will say... you are trolling.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Seishin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:29 pm

oushi wrote:Only then we can see that he was not a troll in the first place.


:twothumbsup:
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby shel » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:49 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
shel wrote:Excellent example, Sherab Dorje, white supremacists are such a rational crew. :tongue:
Well I guess that makes my other example null and void too given you consider all religious people irrational (or anti-rational).

Well, it would be difficult to argue that prejudice is pro-rational. To be fair, I think we all might see what we want to see at times, when that view suits our purposes.

Wether consciously or unconsciously you did indeed choose a good example. It drives the point, such as it is, most strongly. If you had used the example of a group of wise and compassionate monks rather than white supremacists, for instance, your point would have been lost, because we would expect a troll to be impotent in such a group. Indeed, we might expect the troll to be welcomed with open hearts and minds by the wise monks.

What about this example then (since you are unwilling to actually address the point I was making and instead focused on an irrelevant detail):

:tongue:

a person that likes Datsuns goes to a site dedicated to Fords and starts to inform them about the "objective" qualities of a Datsun which makes them a better car than the Ford. Given the reaction that they will receive and knowing that they will receive that reaction does that make them a troll ? How can you guarantee objectivity when most forums are subject specific?

We could try it here: http://www.fordforums.com, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'inform them about the "objective" qualities of a Datsun'. If someone were to post something like "Fords are so gay and Datsuns are awesome," that would obviously be a blatant troll. If someone were post that the Datsun 240SX gets 31.246 miles to the gallon, that would obviously not be a troll.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:58 pm

shel wrote:We could try it here: http://www.fordforums.com, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'inform them about the "objective" qualities of a Datsun'. If someone were to post something like "Fords are so gay and Datsuns are awesome," that would obviously be a blatant troll. If someone were post that the Datsun 240SX gets 31.246 miles to the gallon, that would obviously not be a troll.
True, but that does not mean they would not be considered a troll, which is probably more important then whether they are actually a troll. What if they said: "the Datsun 240SX gets 31.246 miles to the gallon whereas the ford Lincoln L-head V12 (a real car engine, i didn't make it up) gets 0.5 miles to the gallon thus the ford is gay and the datsun is awesome" would that make them a troll? I mean according to Datsun lover it is a reasonable and objective evaluation.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:58 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote: Somebody interested in intelligent and informed discussion will take the views of the other party into account too.



The commonly accepted definition of a troll is someone who disrupts conversations for sheer enjoyment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote: Somebody interested in intelligent and informed discussion will take the views of the other party into account too.



The commonly accepted definition of a troll is someone who disrupts conversations for sheer enjoyment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
Sure, but we are trying to see if there is an objective defintion of disruption when it comes to conversation/dialogue/discussion. I have seen situations where a troll has inadvertedly sparked intelligent discussion, since they offered a view contrary to the prevailing one, and this view was subsequently deemed worthy of consideration.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby shel » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:12 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
shel wrote:We could try it here: http://www.fordforums.com, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'inform them about the "objective" qualities of a Datsun'. If someone were to post something like "Fords are so gay and Datsuns are awesome," that would obviously be a blatant troll. If someone were post that the Datsun 240SX gets 31.246 miles to the gallon, that would obviously not be a troll.

True, but that does not mean they would not be considered a troll, which is probably more important then whether they are actually a troll.

Or if someone thinks you're anti-religious, for example, it doesn't matter if you actually are anti-religous, what's probably more important is the prejudgement?

Whay if they said: "the Datsun 240SX gets 31.246 miles to the gallon whereas the ford Lincoln L-head V12 (a real car engine, i didn't make it up) gets 0.5 miles to the gallon thus the ford is gay and the datsun is awesome" would that make them a troll?

That's a pretty bizarre statement as presented. Might want to leave out the part in parenthesis. Anyway, yeah that would be a troll, or maybe just a direct insult.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Jikan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:18 pm

In an example that may be of relevance to this discussion, one person's gadfly/iconoclast is another person's concern troll.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Concern_troll

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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby shel » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:28 pm

Jikan brings up another interesting aspect. There's a whole taxonomy for trolling, like a dozen different kinds. :tongue:

What better evidence could there be that it's a handy tool.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:31 pm

shel wrote:That's a pretty bizarre statement as presented. Might want to leave out the part in parenthesis. Anyway, yeah that would be a troll, or maybe just a direct insult.
Really? I guess that would depend on how you define the term "gay" and whether you consider low petrol consumption a more important factor then (let's say) incredible levels of acceleration and velocity.

If they made the exact same statement on a Datsun forum would it be considered trolling?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby shel » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:34 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
shel wrote:That's a pretty bizarre statement as presented. Might want to leave out the part in parenthesis. Anyway, yeah that would be a troll, or maybe just a direct insult.
Really? I guess that would depend on how you define the term "gay" and whether you consider low petrol consumption a more important factor then (let's say) incredible levels of acceleration and velocity.

If they made the exact same statement on a Datsun forum would it be considered trolling?


Please tell me you're kidding.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Koji » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:36 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Trolling simply means being in the conversation for the sole purpose of shit-stirring and provocation, and not trying to actually further the conversation.

BY that definition, it's really common behavior on forums period.

Actual Trolls are usually pretty obvious, but if anyone posts definitive statements about something in order to stir the pot, then refuses to talk about it, or simply switches the debate to a new (usually more inflammatory) topic or statement, it's reasonable to call it trolling I suppose. The thing with good ones though, is they are usually very good at skirting a line so that they avoid moderation, participating with just enough validity here and there that they don't get in trouble.

So I don't agree that they don't need to be worried about, typically good forums actually actively curtail their activities or remove them.


I look at trolling as a metaphor taken from fishing with a slight twist. But is it trolling if the subject turns into a huge debate where views are put at risk? I don't see this as trolling. In my Internet existence, I have seen very few if any dedicated trolls. I have been involved in many different kinds of forums from 2nd amendment to gnostic. What I have seen, in a few cases, is during a heated debate the losing side cries "trolling".
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:43 pm

Koji wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Trolling simply means being in the conversation for the sole purpose of shit-stirring and provocation, and not trying to actually further the conversation.

BY that definition, it's really common behavior on forums period.

Actual Trolls are usually pretty obvious, but if anyone posts definitive statements about something in order to stir the pot, then refuses to talk about it, or simply switches the debate to a new (usually more inflammatory) topic or statement, it's reasonable to call it trolling I suppose. The thing with good ones though, is they are usually very good at skirting a line so that they avoid moderation, participating with just enough validity here and there that they don't get in trouble.

So I don't agree that they don't need to be worried about, typically good forums actually actively curtail their activities or remove them.


I look at trolling as a metaphor taken from fishing with a slight twist. But is it trolling if the subject turns into a huge debate where views are put at risk? I don't see this as trolling. In my Internet existence, I have seen very few if any dedicated trolls. I have been involved in many different kinds of forums from 2nd amendment to gnostic. What I have seen, in a few cases, is during a heated debate the losing side cries "trolling".


Well, that hasn't been my experience. Whether you want to call it trolling or not, arguing for the sake of shit stirring is very common, in some places more common than others. It's true that term "trolling" can get over and mis-used, but plenty of times the shoe fits, IMO.

I guess it depends on how you define it..beyond stuff i'd classify as technically "trolling", there are plenty of occasions where there is no good faith effort on either side to communicate, but just to throw opinions and provocation back and forth. I wouldn't call that trolling if that's what you're talking about, but it isn't productive either, there's heated debate, and then just disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing, which is where a good amount of internet debate seems to end up.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Koji » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:57 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
shel wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I've seen a few people on here that engage in exactly this [possibly trolling] kind of behavior, I have no idea why..don't even wanna guess at motive.


Aye? If it's trolling then by definition the motive is only to entertain oneself. If you don't know the motive then how can you call it trolling?

Why not just address what people write, or ignore them, and not try to guess at what their 'real' interests are. I imagine that we can all be a little fogy about our real interests at times.

It seems to me that if you focus on what someone is saying and respond to that it will take care of itself.



It doesn't take care of itself though, unmoderated forums are a mess precisely because people spend so much time posting in this way. It's true that it's subjective, and pretty much entirely by community standards (hopefully), but it appears to me to be pretty necessary to have a system set up for people who engage in whatever bandwidth of forum behavior is deemed "trolling".

[...]

A mess? By what evidence? I posted on talk.religion.buddhism (Google Groups) which wasn't moderated. Such groups included guys like Namdrol who always made great contributions. I would would add Tang and his battles with Professor Richard Hayes, not to mention the guy we all hated in moderation, Ancientbuddhism. To be sure t.r.b. was no place for wimps - but there was no dedicated trolling going on.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:04 pm

koji wrote:A mess? By what evidence? I posted on talk.religion.buddhism (Google Groups) which wasn't moderated. Such groups included guys like Namdrol who always made great contributions. I would would add Tang and his battles with Professor Richard Hayes, not to mention the guy we all hated in moderation, Ancientbuddhism. To be sure t.r.b. was no place for wimps - but there was no dedicated trolling going on.


You don't have to agree, it's just my opinion. There are of course exceptions, but IME usually unmoderated forums that allow public membership are a mess. I can also easily see why a discussion group can survive unmoderated alot better than a forum can.

In this sense, I think it would apply to any forum, Buddhist or not...though I admit I don't have a big background in Buddhist forums. It's more about the fact that it's easily joinable, anonymous, and consequence-free than it is about the subject matter, it seems to me. I have used alot of martial arts forums, on a couple fo those use of real names is enforced. Alot of people don't like it, and I can see why, but I have no doubt whatsoever that it improves people's behavior - including mine!
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:31 pm

shel wrote:Please tell me you're kidding.
Not in the slightest.

gay adjective \ˈgā\
Definition of GAY

1
a : happily excited : merry <in a gay mood>
b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits <a bird's gay spring song>
2
a : bright, lively <gay sunny meadows>
b : brilliant in color
3
: given to social pleasures; also : licentious
4
a : homosexual <gay men>
b : of, relating to, or used by homosexuals <the gay rights movement> <a gay bar>
So we see that defintions play an important role in the intrepretation of statements and we quite clearly see that the context of the statement (in a Datsun or a Ford forum in the example furnished) also plays an incredibly important role. The exact same statement and the exact same intention for making the statement can lead to a very differnent interpretation of the persons behaviour. Obviously, defining a persons behaviour as "trollish" is context driven.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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