A modest proposal

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TAsunder
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A modest proposal

Postby TAsunder » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:14 am

With yet another troll registering only to spam all of the election forums with inane bullshit, I think it's time to reassess the policy on new accounts. I realize that TDPF values open discussions and to some degree unfiltered speech, but this is becoming more and more annoying. The community is suffering at the hands of these nitwits.

First and foremost, are we actually doing anything to prevent people from registering multiple accounts? Quite honestly, there is no reason to allow this. No serious online forum tolerates duplicate accounts, although it is obviously hard to catch at times. At least a modicum of policing would probably have weeded the latest moron out.

Secondly, with the deluge of idiocy from brand new members who spam the forums, why can't we consider some sort of moderation of new users' posts in specific forums? This is also commonplace and works quite well. Does phpBB not support this?

Until at least these two things are done, the likelihood of serious discussion in the face of endless threads posting random bullshit links is going to be fairly low. It used to be we only had to roll our eyes at a newbie posting a negative or positive restaurant review. Now it's endless spam possibly from the same individual or organization constantly registering new accounts.

Stomach
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Postby Stomach » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:29 am

How about nobody responds to his new topics and we just let Henry post the photo of the troll and everybody moves on about their business?

fisticuffs
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Postby fisticuffs » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:34 am

I like that idea. If you don't feed it it will go away.

Henry Vilas
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Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:34 am

Stomach wrote:How about nobody responds to his new topics and we just let Henry post the photo of the troll and everybody moves on about their business?

I liked Buckyor's picture even better.

jjoyce
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Postby jjoyce » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:51 am

This new troll appears to be exactly that: New. Not much I can do as long as we don't boot people simply for being annoying. I agree that the best way to get rid of him is to ignore him.

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Postby snoqueen » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:05 am

I like posting pictures for replies.

TAsunder
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:52 am

How are you going to get everyone to ignore him? It hasn't worked in the past nor does it seemed to have worked here.

If it's a "new" person, you could still make his posts require approval before they go in, and then make them consolidate their spam into one thread by rejecting the post. That's assuming phpBB supports moderation.

Tolerating political spammers is why they keep coming here.

TAsunder
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:53 am

snoqueen wrote:I like posting pictures for replies.


That makes the thread trickle to the top; kind of defeats the purpose. Even if we ignore him, why would he go away? He's posting his links and BS, and maybe that's his entire goal. I ignore spam in my gmail account and I still get it daily.

butters
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Postby butters » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:56 am


snoqueen
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Postby snoqueen » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:34 pm

TAsunder wrote:That makes the thread trickle to the top; kind of defeats the purpose. Even if we ignore him, why would he go away? He's posting his links and BS, and maybe that's his entire goal.


Maybe you're right. But I think his goal is getting people all upset so we post rebuttals and diatribes and links to rational news sources instead of bizarro blogs from Idaho. Then he gets to ridicule us for being liberals. Yadda, yadda.

So I figure he gets frustrated when all he gets in reply is troll dolls.

I wouldn't claim to understand these types, so I could be way off. And maybe I don't even understand the purpose of the anti-troll proposals. Maybe we need to clear that up first. I agree nothing will totally keep them from posting except global moderation (no new posts at all before the moderator approves each one) and that's certain death to the whole forum.

TheBookPolice
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Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:43 pm

Seriously, Scoop. If enough people think a poster's comment has value, it'll override malicious troll-ratings. If someone is truly trollish and counterproductive, that comment will get flushed real quick.

TAsunder
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:17 pm

snoqueen wrote:Maybe you're right. But I think his goal is getting people all upset so we post rebuttals and diatribes and links to rational news sources instead of bizarro blogs from Idaho. Then he gets to ridicule us for being liberals. Yadda, yadda.

So I figure he gets frustrated when all he gets in reply is troll dolls.

I wouldn't claim to understand these types, so I could be way off. And maybe I don't even understand the purpose of the anti-troll proposals. Maybe we need to clear that up first. I agree nothing will totally keep them from posting except global moderation (no new posts at all before the moderator approves each one) and that's certain death to the whole forum.


The purpose is to prevent, or at least, funnel spam of TDPF so that there aren't dozens of threads per day from trolls. If we can funnel them into one place at the least through moderation, that would allow people to read the batcrap crazy stuff while also preventing the forums from becoming flooded with single thread posts of links available anywhere.

I don't know if this is a concerted effort by one or two people (I suspect it is) or just a general internet phenomenon (which others sites suffer less from). Either way, by allowing people to flood the forums like this every week or two, we are only encouraging it.

As for what frustrates the guy, if he is a "traditional" troll, any reply to him is less likely to frustrate than no reply. Troll dolls only serve to make the person who posted them feel better, IMO. Trolls like attention.

So the "don't feed the troll" reasoning works if these people are trolls. But I'm not convinced they are. They seem more like political spammers to me. How many mensa members/vociferous republicans/anti-oil zealots really have a keen interest in Madison? Apparently a lot, but only in election years...

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Postby christopher_robin » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:42 pm

Zut alors. Is it 1998 again?

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Postby jjoyce » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:29 pm

Not quite as far back as '98, a lot of the responsibility for the day-to-day policing of this board was taken on by the users. In fact, I remember using TDPF in a presentation at an alt-weekly convention and a lot of the people there were amazed. They would never show their boards off in public, and certainly not live.

Of course, back then this place was haunted most nights by a pretty sharp and militant group of posters who had no tolerance for spammers and even less for dumb posts.

snoqueen
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Postby snoqueen » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:36 pm

Well, I'm still around. I think the spammers have changed. I'm not sure what we did to them in the old days (olden?) but it seems like we pretty much mowed them down with a barrage of facts, citations, and reasoning.

That doesn't work any more, because the new crop doesn't care about either one. He (they?) just puts up fifteen new threads a day full of hate talk worse than anything I can remember, and he's not dealing in facts. I can't tell if he's for real or just baiting people, but it's highly offensive. I blame the whole thing on the Palin effect, which has legitimized hate speech by making it part of a presidential campaign by a major political party.

I'm not getting down in the gutter and arguing with somebody like that.


Now David Blaska on the other hand, I have to apologize if we ran him off...


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