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Dealing with trolling - may be of interest!

zarniwoop | 13.06.2011 16:47 | Indymedia | Other Press | Sheffield

Claire Hardaker at the University of Central Lancashire has conducted research into the practice of 'trolling' and come up with suggestions for dealing with internet 'trolls'....

Mostly quite obvious stuff, but might be of interest! The gist of it seems to be that trolls want to annoy you for their own amusement (as one of the commenters on the guardian article points out, this is not the same as people paid (by oil companies, etc) to disrupt serious debate), so perhaps the worst thing to do is get angry and write abusive comments back to them, although the study seems to favour ridiculing them openly...
The abstract of the paper from the Journal of Politeness Research (!) is here:
Summary from the guardian here:

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14.06.2011 17:08

Simply getting a rise out of people is not a problem. Indymedia isn't really the most appropriate place for in depth debate anyway, more mulling over some points.

The main problem with trolling on this site is the whole "violence vs Non violence" debate. This is simply not the place for it because it allows NETCU and other organisations to gauge the level of support for either side, you can guarantee that everytime there is a mention of "more violence now" somewhere there is a tick box checked and more monitoring justified.

If you are posting on indymedia I would generally recommend that you stick to one post on the subject of the article and then leave it, we all know the attitudes of most users of indymedia and anyone consistently posting (ie more than once on the article) controversial or divisive statements is either trolling, intelligence gathering or just plain fucking stupid. Regardless of which one they simply need to be ignored.

I know all this because I'm a troll myself, there is nothing easier than logging on to an opposing political groups forum, message board etc and reducing debate to a slagging match. All you gotta do is lower the tone and people will follow, I do this regularly on newspaper websites, the EDL forum etc and it is very effective because it makes the board so inaccessible to new users, the debates get stagnant in DAYS and people fall away from the forum. It cannot be argued that this hasn't happened here - it is the only plus of the bethemedia project that I can see.

So, its simple : Dont feed the fucking trolls, they get bored quicker than toddlers so just dont rise to them and there tactic will fall straight back on them, once every user of a board or forum adopts this strategy the trolls drop like flies