Re: Endless arguing
- From: Seebs <usenet-nospam@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 12 Apr 2010 23:34:16 GMT
On 2010-04-12, Tim Rentsch <txr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
It sounds like you're assuming that people won't conclude that
person X is engaging in anti-social behavior unless someone
posts a message saying "person X engages in anti-social
behavior." I submit that this assumption is false; most people
realize who engages in egregious behavior (by their own
standards of course) without needing to have it pointed out.
Not quite. I'm assuming they won't figure it out very quickly -- and
that means that, as long as there's a regular supply of new users,
the troll has a regular supply of feeders.
I encourage you to run an experiment to test out this hypothesis.
Simply refrain from making ad hominem remarks for a month or two
and see if the average quality in the newsgroup goes up. I have
been running my own personal experiment along these lines for
several years now, and I am quite satisfied.
I've experimented with varieties of this in a few cases, and what I've
found is that a reasonably polite and dispassionate reminder to newbies
that a given poster is trolling them and will not engage is usually
productive, while calling someone a troll while addressing them is usually
Of course it does, but having it matter to me personally
and saying that it also should matter to other people
are two very different things. People are welcome to hold
any personal opinions they choose, but when they start
trying to convince me that I should hold the same opinions
they do I consider that a verbal assault at some level.
Well, if I want the group to be usable, it *does* matter to me whether
other people spend time responding to the trolls.
Note that we don't have to make any ad hominem remark about Bill
Cunningham to communicate the important information here. Saying
"postings from Bill Cunningham have been asking basically the same
questions and getting the same answers for the last 15 years" (or
whatever fits the actual history) is only a comment about what
he's written, not about him. Saying things about the _writing_
should always be appropriate; saying things about the _writer_
almost never is.
The exact boundary is pretty arbitrary. You can talk about writing about
the person, vs. writing about the posts. You can talk about addressing
the person directly, vs. addressing other participants. Any of these
basically come down to the same thing; don't fight with the troll, just
warn people that they're not going to get anywhere. Doesn't seem to
matter much whether the exact phrasing is in terms of "this person is
a troll" or "this person's posts do not lead to productive conversation".
They mean the same thing and everyone knows it.
Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach / usenet-nospam@xxxxxxxxx
http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
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- From: Tim Rentsch
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