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Forum Post: Please Don't Feed the Animals

Posted 9 years ago on April 6, 2012, 12:41 p.m. EST by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I may be somewhat new to this forum but I'm about as veteran as it gets in social media. My first experience with trolls harkens back to the CNN forum on CompuServe in 1994. I was a sysop back then, aggregating news stories, moderating online chats and, among other things, packaging quotes for our companion town hall-style show, Talkback Live!, that aired from 3pm to 4pm ET M-F.

The trolls were less sophisticated back then and CompuServe gave us a "kill switch" that enabled us to block them for various lengths of time, from 24 hours to forever. They couldn't use multiple usernames either so it actually stuck. Our policy was simple -- no foul language and no ad hominem attacks and it was applied quite fairly. I even "killed" my own brother once for calling someone a "Bible Nazi" in the group chat.

Even as far back as 1994 we knew that the trolls had one mission in life -- divide and conquer. Whenever we try to legitimately engage with their myopic rhetoric, everyone loses but them. We can't avoid them completely, but we can minimize their impact and keep the genuine conversations floating to the top. After a couple months of seeing how this forum flows, I have adopted a simple policy:

1) If post originates from troll, ignore completely. Forever. 2) If trolls comment on good posts, ridicule their ignorance with facts and keep them shouting and bubbling the good stuff to the top.

If everyone of good conscience followed a similar methodology, all troll threads will be nothing but trolls looking and sounding like trolls and genuine threads will consistently be bubbling to the top. Troll rhetoric embedded within genuine conversations loses most of its power. Any third grader can see the difference between the trolls and people like Odin, GypsyKing, DKAToday, April, Shadz66, GirlFriday, etc. Real people have real things to say. Trolls have nothing. Ignore their fascist hate-screeds and gravitate to the good stuff. It will never stop them, but it can minimize their impact.



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[-] 4 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I had just geared up to go to battle against a troll on one of my posts who believed I needed a better education. As nasty as he was...I do agree with him on that count. ;-) Anyway when I went back to his comment....it was gone. Either one of my fellow cyber friends had OWS take it down, or OWS did it on their own. I felt grateful that it had been deleted, but also a little disappointed as I wanted to let this person know that.... I had been around long enough to know that his kind of cynicism does not turn itself off when he logs off this forum, and that I felt sad for him. I was also ready to rip him a new asshole..... in case that didn't work. ;-) Anyway, I then had to go through the laborious process of calming down, and taking off my Viking suit of armor. I do keep it nearby though....all the time.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Gah! Debatus interruptus! lol

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

You've been hanging out with shadzz66...haven't you...who is infamous for his Latin salutations...which are driving me crazy! :-) I think I will make a call to family in Sweden and get a whole lot of Swedish phrases together and use them to get back at you guys.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Sounds great!.........:)

I would however, appreciate a link to babblefish, so I figure out what you guys a saying..................................:)

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

No..no link will be forthcoming from me....the whole demented purpose is to drive you nuts! :-)

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Oh, don't worry on my part, as it's a short trip from where I am........:)

Troll juggling sometimes needs time for recuperation.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes I am heading for some recuperative things to do now like planting lettuce in an elderly friend's garden, and joining friends for Easter dinner. I should be back to speed tonight though. It is a "short trip" for most of us, so that is why it is a good idea to have a little fun on the way....as there will undoubtedly be difficult days ahead in our struggle.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Have a wonderful Easter Odin.

Hope springs eternal............................:)

[-] -2 points by Dell (-168) 9 years ago

If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves. – Thomas Sowell

[-] 4 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

And if you cannot clearly see Dell that people in this country have been screwed by a corrupt system...,your eyes are not open, or you have benefited from this malfeasance and have much to lose when it is reformed.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 9 years ago

cant see it. sorry. the system has always been & always will be corrupt. name one that isn't. people are the same everywhere. In fact - I'd say our system is the LEAST corrupt of any in the world. It's not perfect but it's the best we've got. Now lets purge the career politicians who corrupt the system & maybe we can talk.

[-] 3 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Wasn't our country much better than this throughout much of its existence, at least as far as our political system being more representative of the people...and not corporate and banking interests first and foremost? I will never lose hope, and settle for the current corrupt status quo.

[-] -2 points by Dell (-168) 9 years ago

nothing has changed it's always been this way. If you want to root out corruption we need to vote out career politicians. spending 20 - 30 years in office is the most corrupting factor out there. We deserve what we get if we vote for an incumbent seeking his 3rd or 4th term. I'd say max of four for house reps should be the max & two terms for sentators & presidents.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Our political system has become so corrupt that it doesn't really matter much who you vote for. We need systemic change....a sea change in the way our political and financial systems operate...and that can ONLY be done from outside of the sewer that Washington has become. Have a good day...gotta go...thanks.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 9 years ago

what has changed? business has always bribed politicians for favorable legislation if they could. right from the beginning. It's when politicians are there too long & value their seat more than anything else we have a problem. Anyone who votes for a politician who has held the seat for 10 years or more gets what they deserve. Term limits would be ideal but they will never pass that. So we need to limit them ourselves or we get what we deserve.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

We will NEVER get the change we need with your prescription for reform. It took a long time for the people here to realize that, but we have finally done so. Gotta go. thanks again.

[-] 4 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

Thanks, a lot of people new to social media need to know this stuff. There are undoubtedly a lot of people who come here that don't normally participate much in social media, so it's good to put these reminders out there once in awhile:)

[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Thanks for that. Just trying to be of service. ;-)

[-] 4 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

I was just about to post this comment on a troll post when I realized it was a troll post:

"No, no. Puzzlin and shooz are right. You're just a troll. A lonely, sad, pathetic, mental midget of a troll. And you know what the first indicator of troll-sign is? Grammar lessons!"

I'm very impressed with myself sometimes (and admit it, you're impressed with yourself sometimes, too) and that was one I would have rather enjoyed pressing "save" on. But it was a troll post and it should be left to die. That's all I'm saying here. Nothing more, nothing less.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 9 years ago

Let's consider the facts. Do you have any?


Or is this just your speculative OPINION?

You do live in the real world, don't you?

Or is yours this brand of idealistic paradise where we all lock-step together because you say so, so it must be right?

The Puzzler

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

My "idealistic paradise" doesn't include any trolls at all. And what "facts" would you be referring to? You want proof that CompuServe and Talkback Live! existed? And where in my post did I say everyone MUST do as I say because "I" say so? Hmmm? Do you not know what the word "if" means?

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 9 years ago

Wouldn't it be MUCH more realistic, and effective, to simply ban them for obnoxious behavior. That way we won't have to step over them like we're walking on egg shells.

Also, isn't kind of like a duality on your part. Are we not, right now, wasting time again talking about them. You have threaded this one up before. Are obsessing over this. Maybe you should listen to your advice.

Also, leaving them alone and condoning their childish activity does encourage them to continue. Their words hang around on good decent threads like an infection. I'm suspicious of your real motive here.

Some may suspect your a troll of a higher level, the one who thinks he's clever kind.

The Puzzler

[-] 4 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Since this forum lacks a "sticky" option that allows for helpful, necessary, and instructive threads to remain at the top of the page, posting similar threads over is a fairly legitimate tactic to educate newcomers on how to deal with so-called trolls.

And judging by the way many people on this forum actually deal with the trolls, we do need some lessons on how to deal with them (since we aren't banning their IP Addresses).

[-] 5 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Thanks for chiming in. Banning IP addresses would probably be the best remedy. But I would really love it if we could trace them back to their origin. Wouldn't it be nice to know if some of these guys were logged on from the Heritage Foundation, the American Spectator offices or the ALEC or Freedomworks HQs? I'm sure it's a deeply problematic violation of privacy on some level but I still think it would be great to have. I know I'M not hiding anything. ;-)

[-] 2 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Do you really think some of the trolls are saboteurs from "1%" organizations? That would be totally wild.

Thanks for posting this. I had to chime in because I feel like the trolling has gotten much worse since this website began.


[-] -3 points by BLOWCHUNKS (43) 9 years ago

Do you really think the trolls are saying anything worthwhile enough to change anyone's mind? I don't think anyone from those organizations would be stupid enough to waste their money on this group of morons.

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

"Wouldn't it be MUCH more realistic, and effective, to simply ban them for obnoxious behavior."

Um, no. Guess you've never heard of multiple usernames.

"Also, isn't kind of like a duality on your part. Are we not, right now, wasting time again talking about them. You have threaded this one up before. Are obsessing over this. Maybe you should listen to your advice."

I threaded this up exactly once before. Once is an occurrence. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a trend. Wait til next time to render your specious Freudian diagnosis, Sigmund.

"Also, leaving them alone and condoning their childish activity does encourage them to continue. Their words hang around on good decent threads like an infection. I'm suspicious of your real motive here.

Some may suspect your a troll of a higher level, the one who thinks he's clever kind."

Indeed, SOME have already done so... and found themselves to be deeply mistaken. Good luck with that tack, chuckles.

But thanks for bouncing this post up for me. I want more people of good conscience to read this advice and, if they agree, start making this forum a slightly better place to be. Your cooperation is appreciated.

[-] 3 points by Puzzlin (2898) 9 years ago

Look, I'm not pressing you because I'm trying to be mean. It's just that I know the mentality of these trolls. Let's just say I've been around the block a few times and on both sides of this fence.

Bad behavior deserves a firm response or it just continues. The reason for these threads discussing this big problem for this forum is simply because unlike other forums I been in, this one is most lax well it comes to trolling.

The only realistic way to handle them is to ban them. Nothing else will ever work. Your method can work and I'm sorry if I might have characterized it completely mistaken maybe that's a little harsh. Some may take your advice but realistically you'll never get near enough to 100% consensus so ultimately the band-aid just doesn't work.

Also, they can change name all they want. If they swatted relentlessly then they'll never make even ten posts. In this way, we can be cautious about newbies until they establish a good reputation which maybe is something greater than 100 to 200 posts. Then we can be confident they been cleared of troll-like behavior. Also, I think warning first is in order so we don't become too over-bearing.

All that said, they don't ban very quickly here and they hang out way way too long. Some Jewish Race haters got in here sometime last year or maybe early this year. and they put such stench into this forum it sent chills through my body. (You could never convince me to ignore that) If I hadn't been in for some before that fiasco started I would have left and never came back. It's foul. The post hung there and hung there. Finally it was squashed. How many folks left because we'll never know. These things do have very adverse effects.

So, going back to what I really believe should happen. We label them as TROLLS just as soon as they cross the line so we can see it. But don't think average human being takes an insult laying down. That defies human nature. We do have feelings and we have every right to feel anger when someone slights us.

For me, and I now I get to sound like an old broken record, I demand respect. This is because I have a high self esteem and I will never be anyone's door mat period. You'll NEVER convince to become me to become someone's adorable piss mat for them to wipe their shitty shoes.

So, now, you may understand why I come across very hard on this subject. It's sad we have to even have threads like this and it just plainly shows just how bad it can get in here. People do get hurt by this hate spewing, it is our very human nature. When we can just sloth this off as nothing maybe it's then we should personally look at who we are.

I hope this helps and please don't take offense. But also don't act so surprised that this is such a sensitive for many of us. We've been riddled by this trouble for a long time and it's here that only the strong survive. If I couldn't push back then I would leave.

It should be forum that offers a clean desirable environment where we can disagree but do so with class and respect. Those who make it the opposite stifle such debate (which is their sole intent).

Take care my friend and I look forward to discussing some more admirable topics in the future.

The Puzzler

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Thanks for clearing the air. It's much appreciated.

I totally understand where you're coming from and I respect your desire to keep setting the record straight wherever it's being manipulated. Something like 7 out of the top 10 posts I see are frequently troll posts that have lured good people into a debate about an "ism" that has little to no bearing on the real issues. The reason I made this thread was because I saw ALL of the top posts has been trollish when I checked in. It just saddens and sickens me to see the divide and conquer tactic at work. But sometimes it goes so far that it demands rebuttal and I respect that.

And I honestly have no problem with strong language and strenuous debate. It was the tone and the "troll" accusation that stung and begat my harsh response. One of the reasons I post using my real name wherever I go is to have the high road on trolls. They're always anonymous. I'm never anonymous. Gives my arguments the force of conviction that they lack. So when I'm accused, I get a bit huffy. ;-)

I do appreciate your comments and perspective in other threads and was taken aback on this one. But I'm happy to put this past us and agree to (slightly) disagree on this particular point. I didn't expect everyone to stand up and salute. Really! :)

[-] 3 points by Puzzlin (2898) 9 years ago


Hey, and likewise, my friend, I understand your good intentions and from our discussion here I really feel much better realizing that really we're both on the same page. It's certainly not an easy issue to deal with and it easily pulls on our emotions which can bring out the ugly in any of us. I see the trolls running wild here and they seem at times to just totally hijack the entire forum with there brand of chaos. It's discouraging at times and it gets hard to stay in. I thought about throwing in the towel sometimes but that would be a win for them since that's what they really intend. So they get to chalk up another score. Another notch in the belt. I'm very strong and convicted so unless the truth becomes a pack of lies I fight for that and justice. It's correct and inspires me no matter who stands in the way or tells me to take a hike. I derive even more strength from it.

A prime right here, our Blowchunks poster in the post below is another one of these. What gives him away is he has only 30 posts to his name. That makes him suspect. Then he hits me directly with an accusation, untrue of course, but he takes a free shot. He's got nothing to lose and knows nobody will call him on it. But it doesn't matter, most here already know he's a known troll. So, this one just gets ignored which is good. The funniest part is they pick names that makes most suspect them as a trolls and when they attack it's the dead give-away and confirmation.

Anyway, pewest, I really get you now and know how you feel. I made threads myself on trolls when they boil me over. It does us all good to discuss them. It helps diffuse our feelings and helps us stay in the game. Look whether you like or not, I will have your back my friend. I think it helps when come in and help each other during these brutal attacks. This way we will derive strength from these run ins and show the trolls that we not laying down and they won't scare us off. In other words, it will help unify us. That will help.

And since I've down this road myself and I think your intelligent person with allot to share don't let this discourage you. Stick with it and keep sharing. If you want to make another post about trolls sometime in the future don't worry about it. I know you now so no problem. It helps us and it's a good way to cope with the situation.

So, I do apologize. I came at you hard which now I know was wrong. I own it. I was misguided and off base. And I do wish you all the best and really do look forward to what will share on this forum. If I can make up to you I certainly will. I'm sure an opportunity will arise and you'll see I mean what I say. So, just remember we need you here with us. Your part of this movement we grow stronger as we unify as one force to be reckoned with. No, we don't always have to agree, and if we disagree we should respect and courtesy. All of us are always learning or there wouldn't be much point to hanging around here.

Best Regards Pewestlake!!!

The Puzzler

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Thanks for your sincerity and kind words. We're totally on the same page. All good from here. All the best to you and good skill in the debates ahead!

[-] -2 points by BLOWCHUNKS (43) 9 years ago

Please keep in mind that Puzzlin is only here to make liberals look silly, he has been messaging people and telling them to go to hell without further explanation.

[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Project much?

[-] -1 points by tomahawk (-21) 9 years ago

It's not a projection,it's a fact. Pull your head out yer ass.

[-] 0 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

It's not MY head up my ass, shithead. ;-)



[-] -3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

homosporous ferns are polyploids so ideal for storing dormant genetic code

layer upon layer of inactive sequences copied

it would take a pig to sniff out gene sequences

and thus Fern the bush pig (half fern / half pig) was created

to root out, digest and save genetic material.


Fern is also able to release gas that can drain mutant abilities

if Fern knows the genome of the target mutant