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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:46 pm 
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From Wikipedia:

1.An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion


2.Identity trolling
In academic literature, the practice was first documented by Judith Donath (1999), who used several anecdotal examples from various Usenet newsgroups in her discussion. Donath's paper outlines the ambiguity of identity in a disembodied "virtual community":[8]

In the physical world there is an inherent unity to the self, for the body provides a compelling and convenient definition of identity. The norm is: one body, one identity. ... The virtual world is different. It is composed of information rather than matter.

Donath provides a concise overview of identity deception games which trade on the confusion between physical and epistemic community:

Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they — and the troll — understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll's enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group.

Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling — where the rate of deception is high — many honestly naïve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one's online reputation." (Donath, 1999, p. 45)[1]

3. Usage
The term troll is highly subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. The term is often used to discredit an opposing position, or its proponent, by argument fallacy ad hominem.

Often, calling someone a troll makes assumptions about a writer's motives. Regardless of the circumstances, controversial posts may attract a particularly strong response from those unfamiliar with the robust dialogue found in some online, rather than physical, communities. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore him or her, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts — hence the often-seen warning: "Please do not feed the trolls".[9]

Frequently, someone who has been labelled a troll by a group may seek to redeem their reputation by discrediting their opponents, for example by claiming that other members of the group are closed-minded, conspirators, or trolls themselves.

3. Concern troll
A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose point of view is opposed to the one that the user's sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group's actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed "concerns". The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.[10]

For example, in 2006 a top staffer for then-Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) was caught posing as a "concerned" supporter of Bass's opponent, Democrat Paul Hodes, on several liberal New Hampshire blogs, using the pseudonyms "IndieNH" or "IndyNH." "IndyNH" expressed concern that Democrats might just be wasting their time or money on Hodes, because Bass was unbeatable.[11]

A recently declassified World War II manual on sabotage recommends such techniques to derail any effective action: "Advocate 'caution.' Be 'reasonable' and urge your fellow-conferees to be 'reasonable' and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on... Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon." OSS Simple Sabotage Manual, pdf

Although the term "concern troll" originated in discussions of online behavior, it now sees increasing use to describe similar behaviors that take place offline.

For example, James Wolcott in Vanity Fair [12] accused a conservative Daily News columnist of "concern troll" behavior in his efforts to downplay the Mark Foley scandal. Wolcott links what he calls concern trolls to Saul Alinsky's "Do-Nothings," giving a long quote from Alinsky on the Do-Nothing's method and effects:

These Do-Nothings profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change. They are known by their brand, 'I agree with your ends but not your means.'
In a more recent example, The Hill published an op-ed piece titled "Dems: Ignore 'Concern Trolls'." Again, the concern trolls in question were not Internet participants; they were Republicans offering public advice and warnings to the Democrats. The author defines "concern trolling" as "offering a poisoned apple in the form of advice to political opponents that, if taken, would harm the recipient." [13]


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Back in the early days of usenet, we would say that a person was "trolling" but we never called anyone a "troll" for trolling. That change in language was I guess introduced by people who had no clue that "trolls" (creatures from Scandinavian folklore) don't actually "troll", at least not that I'm aware. Trolling is something fishermen do, not trolls, and in usenet terms the people in the forum, supposedly trying to have a reasonable conversation amongst themselves, play the role of the fish.

(I make no apology for ignoring the context of this post.)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:10 pm 
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Good post, George. In the last ten years or so, we, the hard working moderators have had to put up with trolls now and then ...who were summarily executed...

Now trolling has developed more into an art form...and it consumes much of our valuable time in running these forums....a thankless job.

But your post should be ducational with examples all can identify with and discuss...because as the article says...trolling may well be in the eye of the beholder.

So...let's take the other thread and 'slice it fine'...by posting in quotes any language by anyone who posted...that might fit the definitions above...so we can come to some agreement about who is trolling and who isn't.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
So...let's take the other thread and 'slice it fine'...by posting in quotes any language by anyone who posted...that might fit the definitions above...so we can come to some agreement about who is trolling and who isn't.


Okay... It seems to me this could very easily rapidly degenerate into a flame war. How do you want this to proceed? I'm fine with trying to take a dispassionate, analytical look at things, but I suspect the thread will rapidly fill up with a lot of anger and resentment once fingers start getting pointed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:35 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:15 pm 
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Quote:
Okay... It seems to me this could very easily rapidly degenerate into a flame war. How do you want this to proceed? I'm fine with trying to take a dispassionate, analytical look at things, but I suspect the thread will rapidly fill up with a lot of anger and resentment once fingers start getting pointed.


I agree... best to let this one die a natural death 8)

We can all go to bed with our own interpretation of who's a troll on these pages and sleep on it. :)

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 Post subject: On behalf of those . . .
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:20 am 
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who feel some good would come from discussing the subject, I propose that Justin pull those post segments he feels "insults" without contributing anything of value to a thread, to our "verbal self defense" forum where we can all share points of view.

One warning. . . If anyone goes "postal", they will be asked to take their leave. . . permanently!

I stopped reading other forums many years ago. . . before "trolls" were defined and forums were fairly safe places that people respected. Today, our Eastern Art forums, as I've learned from people who spend lots of time on forums, are quite tame compared with what is on the internet generally. These same "experts" tell me that in order to maintain a place where "normal" people go to read and more importantly, participate, requires strict rules that are adhered to 100% of the time and violators dealt with quickly.

Administrating the forums requires making "calls" that s/he occasionally will be off the mark. Anyone who wants to remain a participant should understand this when hitting the "submit" button on a questionable post.

I'm going to "lock" this thread and hope that the subject can be dealt with in an intelligent, calm and fair manner over at the "VSD" forum.

Remember, Each moderator can ban anyone from posting on their forum, simply by telling them to stay off their forums. Only the administrator can ban a person from all the forums.

Best,
George


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:00 am 
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gmattson wrote:
who feel some good would come from discussing the subject, I propose that Justin pull those post segments he feels "insults" without contributing anything of value to a thread, to our "verbal self defense" forum where we can all share points of view.


I would point out that I didn't raise the issue of trolling. My only comment on trolling was in response to Stryke's statement that "..., as per Georges definition this is just trolling behaviour . ..." As this statement was in a response to a post of mine, I took it to be directed at me and responded accordingly.

Personally, I don't think anybody in that thread was really trolling as I understand it. On the other hand, I do think there was an unnecessary level of inflammatory ways of putting opinions that were otherwise reasonable. The motives behind the decision to post in that way I can only guess at, which doesn't seem productive.

For reference, the thread we're talking about is here:
http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.p ... sc&start=0

The posts referenced above are on page 5, I'm not sure how to link them directly.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:02 am 
No Van the witch hunt has started let them burn the troll at the stake. It's all so familiar; it starts with a side thread or an invite to a secret room or out of the way special room. The result is always the same.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:37 am 
well look at that it's been moved to a 2nd crime scene, I wonder what they have planned for me this time!


Last edited by Laird2 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:39 am 
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familar, must have been in a previous life.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:12 am 
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Laird2 wrote:
well look at that it's been moved to a 2nd crime scene, I wonder what they have planned for me this time!


I don't think anyone is planning a witch hunt. I personally would not like to see you banned. You have interesting things to say about the martial arts.

If you're willing, would you describe the difference between stating an opinion bluntly, and insultingly, as you see it?

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 Post subject: Justin...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:07 pm 
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Quote:
I would point out that I didn't raise the issue of trolling. My only comment on trolling was in response to Stryke's statement that "..., as per Georges definition this is just trolling behavior . ..." As this statement was in a response to a post of mine, I took it to be directed at me and responded accordingly.


Interesting. . . and is a perfect example why such "generalized" statements affect other posters. Would you believe that others also felt this comment was addressed to them!

Some of us feel if we don't mention a name when they post an insulting comment, they are following the forums' guidelines. In my opinion, these posts are more inflammatory because they include a "group" of individuals. . . such as "seniors", where Van rightfully objected to something Darin said.

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 Post subject: Re: Justin...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:11 pm 
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gmattson wrote:
Interesting. . . and is a perfect example why such "generalized" statements affect other posters. Would you believe that others also felt this comment was addressed to them!


I absolutely would believe that. Then again, if it hadn't been in a direct response to me, I wouldn't have addressed it. I'm not upset or anything, but it did seem to be directed to me, specifically.

Stryke's words:
" I thought youd understand that Justin , but regardless i`m done on this thread , as per Georges definition this is just trolling behaviour ."

I agree that people do often make vague generalizations that are easy to see yourself in if you're inclined.

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 Post subject: Purpose of this forum
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:31 pm 
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is to move "off topic" posts here, where the people affected by them can ask the poster specific questions relating to their posts and. . . to let them know how they interpreted their words.

Whenever we attempt to deal with a post that is off-topic or disturbing to people, the thread gets highjacked and the off-topic becomes the main focus. If the intent of the off-topic poster was to highjack the thread, then in my estimation, that person is acting in a "troll-like" manner and as administrator, I should remove the post. Moving the post to this forum would provide an opportunity for the poster to clarify why s/he decided to deliberately or by mistake, highjacked the thread and those people who feel targeted by a disturbing comment, an opportunity to let the offending person know what s/he did.

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