Rules & Policies The thing about trolls...
Last night, I cleaned up after a troll who had started a somewhat hostile post, then proceeded to reply to other members about how stupid they are. That's the thing about trolls... if you disagree with them, you are wrong, and they'll "defend" their position with childish name-calling in various forms of wording.
Here's the standard process:
- Troll posts a topic in the forum that will most likely upset other members enough to respond. Sometimes these posts are divisive or contradictory to the norm, but the manner in which it is worded tends to be inflammatory. They will often stay there and refresh the screen repeatedly, awaiting responses so they can pounce.
- The troll will then reply to members' responses, making sure to insult them and call them names. They will often include laughing emoticons in their responses. Their replies are typically arrogant and they attempt to devolve the discussion even further into a flaming mess. They are trying to bring you down to their level.
- A moderator spots the troll's post(s) and bans him. Most times his post(s) are completely removed from the forums.
- Troll starts sending messages through our contact form and/or email. Ironically, they will typically ask why they were banned. Isn't it obvious? They are very aggressive in their wording and include insults, name-calling, and other gibberish. They will usually threaten to "tell all their friends" and their mommies. Some will include threats of physical violence (yes, we've had a few of those and you'd likely be surprised which ex-members they came from). At some point, they will request that their entire account and all posts be removed. We happily oblige. Regardless, we do not respond to any of their messages because that's exactly what they want.
- At this point, most of them disappear. Some of them will resort to other forms of contact with us, after we have banned or blocked them on various forms of social media, etc. This approaches stalker territory, which is why we have a legal team behind us.
After more than 10 years working on SurveyorConnect, I've learned that trolls thrive on drama. They are typically miserable people that inflict their frustrations upon others. By responding to them, we create more drama. This is exactly what they want. They feed on it and it keeps them going.
We all have our own challenges and we deal with them in different ways. Trolling forums doesn't help and I know that from experience. Sadly, this is one of the reasons why we have rules. This is why we must moderate our forums.
To all the trolls out there that I've banned into oblivion from our forums, I forgive you. But that doesn't mean I'm letting you back in. I hope you eventually find peace and happiness in your life.
Sometimes we all need a reminder Wendell
Thanks Wendell, it is your care that makes this such a great place
The saddest part about last night's debacle, is the troll actually had some really good points. Too bad he/she was a moron about the entire situation.
The belittling of people simply because their opinion on a very narrow topic does not match precisely with your opinion is foolish. All that does is get both sides locked solid that their opinion is the only one correct. Nothing is gained.
It reminds me of the ancient Saturday Night Live skits called Point/Counterpoint. Jane always made her point first. The counterpoint always started with "Jane, you ignorant slut............."