The signal-to-noise ratio in the comments has been pretty low lately because of active troll activity.
Troller is looking for a response…ANY response, and he will chum the waters with complaints, insults, compliments, and inflammatory tidbits hoping that someone…ANYONE, will take the bait. Generally quite harmless – practices a form of catch and release. Nonetheless, he can upset the delicate ecology of a discussion forum. Once a forum becomes aware of his presence, however, all feeding activity ceases and Troller must move on to more promising waters. [link]
1. Drop comments altogether. Don’t care for this since I think the reader comments still enhance the DCB experience.
2. Require registration. Not a big fan of this either. People have enough usernames and passwords to remember.
3. Turn on moderation and require each comment to be approved. I don’t mind this. While the real-time nature of the site would obviously be disturbed, the problem would be completely solved. Another downside is that I would have to actually do the moderation.
4. Require users to fill in name and email. I don’t see how this would work since you could easily put in fake info.
5. Be more positive. I realize that I create an environment where trolls can practice and optimize their trade. I could give group hugs every week and have pity party posts like the female bloggers do.
6. Aggressive deletion. Delete comments to break the will of the troll. “What’s the point he’s going to delete it anyway.” Currently I only delete mean-spirited comments.
7. Aggressive banning. This is what I do now, but the trolls have adapted by using proxys. If you’ve ever surfed with a proxy you know how annoying it is, which shows how dedicated my trolls are.
8. Disallow comments on certain posts. Before putting something up I pretty much know the type of reaction I’m going to get. I could take commenting away on posts that have historically attracted trolls.
9. Do nothing. Anarchy!
A year ago I had zero dedicated trolls. Right now I have two full-time trolls and several more part-timers who seem to only come out when the moon is in a certain phase. Then there are those of you who put up great comments 90% of the time but troll the other 10%. Maybe this will all pass… like a kidney stone.
Evident by this post, the trolls have won and I think we are going to have to live with them. You can do your part by not responding to them. Remember that once they take a post off-topic, their job for the day is complete.
I’d like to dedicate this new emoticon to the trolls (especially the one that got published in the Express): :troll: