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Indymedia Trolls

category international | summit mobilisations | opinion/analysis author Wednesday May 05, 2004 18:38author by The Ugly face of Hate Report this post to the editors

Never Let the facts get in the way of a good story

Checking your facts...
Agent provocateurs everywhere...
Showing solidarity?

It's a bit sad the ammount of racist idiots and trolls ( and probably police / security forces ) posting on the Indymedia Ireland site - most of their pathetic and innacurate reports would put the appalling Daily Mirror and its unsubstantiated ( quite often libellous ) propaganda and filfth to shame.

A lot of windup merchants with little else to do, or professional wreckers intent on splitting up any voices of dissent or combined group actions against the warmongering crooked police state.

The lies of the mainstream media do have an effect as we can see from some of the reactions and innacurate, twisted and cowardly comments regarding Mayday in Dublin ( often quoting mainstream media sources )

author by hydrapublication date Wed May 05, 2004 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Total agreement with the post above. The level of trolling has shifted from being annoying but occasionally enlivening to being a simple nuisance.

Indymedia's software is very much focussed on enabling speech rather than putting the tools into people's hands to control the type of informatioin that is being pushed at them. Slashcode, and many other software sets, allow collective voting so as to put theis trash where it belongs - at the bottom of the heap.

I think you should consider adding such functionality to oscailt or else reconsider software. I really want to put 'cabhog' and a number of others ina kill file, which means either rating this stuff down or being able to erase these comments by means of unique user id. There is no need to censor these people, juts counterbablance by allowing users to set their preferneces to cut the stuff out.


author by j26publication date Wed May 05, 2004 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't feed the trolls!!

Just ignore their rantings - they eventually go away if you don't react. They need people to engage with them to maintain the interest.

It is easy to spot that some of the trolls are using different pseudonyms - the syntax is the same for "different" postings.

Just forget about the losers.

Don't feed the Trolls!!
Don't feed the Trolls!!

author by random inputpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 02:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know I haven't been posting much these days, but I think this deserves a mention. Basically, I feel that its not 'simple' trolling we're dealing with these days (ie of the "SWP are all cunts" "anarchists are all middle class hippies" "have a wash" type stuff) - we are seeing a sophistication of trolling.

We are now seeing threads started by obvious (and not so obvious) trolls, the subject matter of which is then turned around and used in the press and other places. It has been said before, any hack can write their own crap comment and then use it in an 'article'. And I think we'll see an increase in this - do not be surprised if someone turns up calling on people to kill bush - "INDYMEDIA BUSH TERROR PLOT UNVEILED" the daily shiterag will proclaim.

Basically my point is that its not just simple trolling we're seeing here, its is 'active trolling' - trolling that has a point other than to get a rise out of users of this site. Trolling that is being used to portray this site in a bad light. I'll be the first to admit the site isn't perfect (by no stretch of the imagination).

But hey I dunno what the solution is - voting on stuff sounds nice, but I'm sure its open to abuse.

I think this is something which deserves more discussion, and maybe it is being discussed on teh editorial list, but I'm not on that, nor do I want to be - so I don't think me giving opinions on what should or shouldn't be done is fair.

author by YFG Memberpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 12:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the biggest flaws on this site is that whenever a press statement or news story is put up by Young Fine Gael, it attracts trolls who only wish to engage in abuse and re-hashing ancient history.

I was under the impression that this site was for news, and was not a bulleting board, but this is all that it is.

Look at any YFG press release, and you'll see some one attacking YFG for the Blueshirts or for being in the pay of corporations or something else. these 'comments' have nothing to do with adding news or analysis, and are in the purest form, trolling.

author by Canteen Kevinpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I take it that it is my response that you are referring to with your "Left wing trolls" baloney re. your pathetic call for "park and ride" facilities for car-owners ?

Don't bother replying to any of the rebuffs and suggestions made, just dismiss them as trolling. Little wonder that your nasty little party is heading down the electoral shit chute.

author by ipublication date Thu May 06, 2004 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You have to differentiate between justified criticism and trolling, and I'm not too sure that you don't fall into the latter category yourself.

author by yfg memberpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

take a look at the park and ride thread - how many comments there throw any light on the subject?,

author by linapublication date Thu May 06, 2004 19:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've been called a troll many a time on Indymedia for disagreeing with certain things.

for example I didn't agree with the bin tax protests so I was called a troll many times for my "lack of solidarity ".

I was giving out about certain protesters that were chucking things at the police and was labelled a troll .

it is pathetic of some people to point the finger and call people trolls for failing to toe the party line .

author by Antonpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 19:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Loads of the bored bratty trolling scum seem to come from
They'd get banned there if they tried posting the same shit as they do here.

author by Ruari Rabbittepublication date Thu May 06, 2004 20:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And what happens if people vote to allow 'cabhog' et all full and unhindered access like the next guy?

author by tonespublication date Thu May 06, 2004 20:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i can see its easier for you to blame "big brother" than accept any point of view that differs

i got accused of being a troll on a different thread simply because i asked an obvious question about the topic

listen believe whatever you want... but to me it seems that indy media is as biased to the left as something like fox news is to the right

if youre not able to deal with reasonable questioning, go away, just go away

author by Dr. Faustuspublication date Fri May 07, 2004 03:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was going to comment on this thread, but I was afraid of being called a troll.

author by Cabhogpublication date Fri May 07, 2004 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Why shouldn't I be allowed full access to this site?

Oh, I forgot, I am a troll.

Once we were Menshiviks, then Trotskyites, then agents in the pay of capitalism, then we were Nazis, followed by Trotskites, Titoists, Stalinists, and then revisionists.

Today we are trolls.

Nice to see that the left change the name but never the tatics.

author by Indy Reporterpublication date Fri May 07, 2004 13:49author email billhickslives at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trolls is what they are... those who have nothing constructive to say on this site or anywhere. But that is the nature of free speech - even trolls can have their troll say in troll language. Fortunately, most people can spot a troll a mile away and be amused by their silly ways.

That picture of a troll is useful for spotting them in public too..

Interstingly, much of the mainstream media has trolls who are PAID to say their troll sayings... dear oh dear. They are everywhere.

Troll away Trolls. Trolls of the world unite, you only have your silly Troll ways to lose...

author by jacobpublication date Tue Jun 29, 2004 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps its time to purge the site of counter-revoluntionary thought.
Maybe a show-trial to get some confessions from spies and saboteurs .

author by lavernty beriapublication date Tue Jun 29, 2004 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At last! A man who speaks of true things!

A purge would be excellent - ah! the old days, what larks.

If we are to wait until these incompetent ultra leftist fools get their act together we will never get the opportunity to do again as we once did - those glorious days after 1918 when we could do as we pleased armed with the magnificent criminal code of the workers state!

So comrades - I say to you - never mind the revolution, let's just have the purge! The SP has already shown us the way.

PS. All very well expelling Throne and Connolly and the other whateverites but they walk around!, they speak! what kind of Bolsheviks are you!!!!

author by Soviet Union of Composerspublication date Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How can you say this when your views and presentation are so lacking in socialist realism. The chief attention of the comment must be directed towards the conquering, progressive principles of reality, towards those heroic, bright, and beautiful traits which distinguish the spiritual world of indymedia and which must be embodied in artistic images full of beauty and life-affirming strength.

How about a Reply to Just Criticism?

author by "conflict resolution"publication date Tue Aug 30, 2005 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* Anonymous attention-seeking: The troll seeks to dominate the thread by inciting anger, and effectively hijacking the topic at hand.
* Amusement: To some people, the thought of a person getting angry over statements from total strangers is entertaining.
* Cry for help: Many so-called trolls, in their postings, indicate disturbing situations regarding family, relationships, substances, and school--although it is impossible to know whether this is just simply part of the troll. Some believe that trolling is an aggressive, confrontational way by which trolls seek a sort of tough love guidance in an anonymous forum.
* Self-proclaimed trolls and their defenders suggest that trolling is a clever way of improving discussion, or an alternative method of viewing power relations on large public wikis.
* Wasting others' time: One of the greatest themes in trolling is the idea that you can spend one minute of your time posting a troll, causing 10 other people to waste ten minutes of their time, more or catalytically affecting lots of other people. Most trolls enjoy the idea that they wasted others time at comparatively little effort on their behalf.
* Domino effect: Related to amusement, but a more specific fashion: starting large chain reactions in response to one's initial post. Achieving a disproportionately large response to a small action is the general theme. This is similar to how a young child that goes missing (but is actually hiding) may act with glee, seeing a large number of people conducting a massive search in response to the supposed disappearance.
* Effect change in user opinions: A troll may state extreme positions to make his or her actual beliefs seem moderate (This often involves sock puppeteering, where the bad cop is a sock-puppet troll.) or, alternatively, play the role of Devil's advocate to strengthen opposing convictions [with which he or she usually actually agrees].
* Test the integrity of a system against social attacks or other forms of misbehavior: For example, blatantly violating terms-of-use in order to see whether any action is taken by the site administrators.
* Overcome feelings of inferiority or powerlessness by getting the experience of controlling an environment.
* Self-promotion
* Fight "groupthink": Many trolls defend their actions as, when a sort of conformism settles, shocking people out of it. Whether the person in question is labeled a troll on not often depends on the reactions of a forum's users towards the person's 'trolling'
* Satire: In these cases, the individuals do not think of themselves as trolls, but misunderstood humorists or political commentators.
* Personal attacks against one particular user or group of users
* Lowering signal to noise ratio: On Slashdot, points that could be used to moderate up interesting things get wasted on moderating down things like ASCII pictures of the goatse man. This lowers the quality of comments at certain thresholds.
* It is possible that they are using the perceived anonymity of the Internet as a platform to test an alternate persona.
* In cases of small or relatively new forums, a troll might attempt to cause such a stir that the existing users are driven away until the forum is either empty or has lost a significant number of users.

It is difficult to gauge the motivations of trolls, since most of the justifications offered by alleged trolls for their behavior are nothing more than ruses concocted to continue whatever mischief they imagine themselves to have started. This is unfortunate because, as the above list supposes, there are legitimate reasons for engaging in the sort of actions for which trolling is known. Still, etiquette is simple and straightforward enough that most people can advance the aims professed by self-exculpatory trolls without actually resorting to these methods. Since there is a wide spectrum of possible motivations for trolls, some of these functions being benevolent and others, clearly malevolent, to typecast users as trolls in the negative sense is often rash.

Literature on conflict resolution suggests that labeling participants in Internet discussions as trolls can perpetuate the unwanted behaviors. A person rejected by a social group, both online and offline, may assume an antagonistic role toward it, and seek to further annoy or anger members of the group. The "troll" label, often a sign of social rejection, may therefore perpetuate trolling.

Better results normally ensue when users take the moderator role and describe more constructive behaviors in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way. Trolls are excited by trollhunters and frustrated by ignorers, and neither of these emotions produce positive results for the forum. Engaging trolls results in "flame wars". Trolls frustrated by the "ignore strategy" may leave the forum (and either troll elsewhere, or become constructive users) or may become progressively more inflammatory until they get a response.

Novice trolls may experience troll's remorse, a feeling of regret after losing their account (whether it be from an Internet service provider or from a website) as a consequence of their trolling.


author by hspublication date Wed Aug 31, 2005 02:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...I think indymedia trolls come from pain old sectarian motives, someone from one group or party writes something and an anon troll makes attacks, trying to derail the story, score points or make the other group look bad. I suspect some of them are basically immature kids who like all kids their age know absolutely everything. I think some members of SY and some of the newer anarchists seem to be the worst. Although I don't think there's a party that could say no members have engaged. Nothing really to be done about it except ignore them. I think indymedia will always have a certain amount of nonsense on it (not unlike the Herald!) but we can all edit it out. And it doesn't seem to be as bad as it used to be.

author by somefella - nonepublication date Wed Aug 31, 2005 03:17author address author phone naReport this post to the editors

hi, first post on indymedia, though have used chatrooms and have found some people new to the communication media 'trollish' by the defenitions you have given but have never heard the term before.

probably a bit trollish myself to begin but 'have gotten over it' . . . . as I have seen others new to the method do also over time ' not long generally' . . . personally I think it a very negative thing to label anyone at any time though I also know as an air breathin flawed human this is impossible. this is after all still a very new medium taken for granted by a few , though widely used its not in the domain of the average joe (scuse label) just yet....

do find though from other chat sites that do not engage in such weighty material as you do here ignoring twitish behaviour seems best often with a word to the wise . . . . I guess the ones here are above that ?

author by Captain Swingpublication date Wed Aug 31, 2005 09:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Their comments are short and meaningless. Their comments are long and meaningless. There are professional trolls. There are accidental trolls. There are editorial trolls. There are rambling, article writing, pompous trolls. There are witty, to-the-point trolls. There are irritating, nuisance trolls. There are multiple-personality trolls. There are too many SWP trolls. There is even a Garda troll. Mostly, though, trolls are those who do not agree with you.

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