Comment 56774

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 18, 2011 at 00:39:43

For example you have a poster "Undustrial". He makes certain claims about himself/herself. You can't be anonymous in one way but allow it in another.

My real name is not relevant - my identity as a poster here is. And about that, I've been entirely honest. Publishing personal details on the internet is not wise, especially when discussing your political views in forums which will be on permanent record. I've used the same name on RTH now since long before I registered. I've even used it for articles. This isn't Facebook. Anyone who wants to judge any and all of my comments based on any other comment I've made here or elsewhere is more than welcome to do so. But don't expect pictures of my family.

I've seen, without a doubt, some of the best, most articulate concern trolling I've ever witnessed. These people are clearly showing up with the intention to disrupt discussion, and it's worked on many levels. Many others, who simply disagree, or aren't nice about it, get labelled as "trolls", even when many have stuck around until today. This is part of the damage that trolling does when it takes the guise of "legitimate but persecuted opinions". Something does need to be done, but not at the cost of sealing ourselves off from the outside...that would be letting them win.

As for what, I'm not sure. I think the idea of an "ignore user" option is probably the best I've heard. I'm definitely not opposed to making people register as long as it's still relatively easy and anonymous if they wish (anything else will turn off a lot of people). A "Read this first FAQ" with a list of a few background articles might be helpful, though. Both with a bunch of background on major issues (two way streets, LRT etc) and a section on trolling. A limited degree of nesting, too, could work, but I do worry about the otherwise good comment flow). And if nothing else, sadly, I think a few times a year the sad prospect of raising the banhammer may have to come up.

As for voting - how about a "please don't use comment space to talk about votes" policy? I don't think I've read this type of discussion ("why the downvotes?") contribute to a discussion in a positive way. In fact, it's pretty clear that most of us rarely vote, and the whole system is an endless source of petty criticism from trolls.

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