Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trollery is Assholery

Trolls are generally loutish and
cowardly, hiding behind anonymity
     Many online sites are responding to the problem of nasty trolls by shutting down their comments section à la NPR. Some sites (NYT online) heavily edit or moderate comments. We've generally left our comments sections alone, but it ain't easy letting IDIOTS have their say. Let's see how they respond to this!

Goodbye to the Loudest Drunk in NPR’s Online Bar
(Moyers & Co.)
     Once seen as a way to democratize the media, news site commenting sections have become playgrounds for nasty trolls.
…As NPR’s ombudsman from 2007 to 2011, I know firsthand how futile and frustrating comments sections are. Even though NPR had a sign-up system, and hired an outside moderator to check comments before posting, a listener could still create an alias and write whatever he (and it was usually men) liked. The comments were often mean-spirited and did little to foster civil conversation.
. . .
The trolls who rule the comment seas may actually have won because they often scare away people with their vicious attacks. An infinitesimal number of NPR’s 25 to 35 million unique monthly users bothered to join story-page conversations.
. . .
The New York Times handles comments by strategically opening up only 10 percent of its stories for comments and then heavily moderates the debate.
. . .
“We have the ability to find the worst people on our sites,” said Losowsky [head of the Coral Project, an effort to respond to the problem]. “But there’s almost nothing that really helps find the best people. So what you have is the best commenters feeling like they are not getting attention from the newsroom. And they are not. You need to celebrate the best comments and find and encourage those people to do more.”
. . .
After over a decade of stagnation in comment sections, the Coral Project or, Hearken, which allows journalists to partner with the public, may be what’s needed to shift the debate from negative to positive, listen more to the audience and enhance the conversation for those who want to be involved….

13 comments:

Bob Cosgrove said...

Sad indeed, Roy, but thanks for reporting and do so with a wonderful sense of humor and compassion.

Anonymous said...

On occasion I have felt the need to comment on this blog regarding issues of importance to our education community. Although my comments were not of a trolling nature they were quite witty and apropos. I was often surprised to return later to dtb only to find that my comments had been deleted

Roy Bauer said...

I am very skeptical of your account, 8:43. Perhaps you don't know how much of a troll you are. I do not delete comments unless they're way over the top (e.g., racist) or are part of a pattern of repeated inane remarks.

Anonymous said...

Yes, some trolls say the same thing over and over again. Sometimes, they literally say the same thing exactly with copy/paste. It is a kind of harrassment, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I heard Donald Trump speak in Everett, WA yesterday. He said the Republican party is the party of Abe Lincoln, freedom, equality and opportunity while the Democrat party is the party of slavery, Jim Crow and opposition. Is this true?

846eightfortysix said...

It happened. I don't always disagree with what you say. Only at certain times in the past, where I took stances contrary to what you were describing in various posts, was I surprised that you had deleted my comments. No racism or foul language, just witty, comments supporting the counter argument. I may have been supporting Whitewash Willy, or some of the Old Guardsters. I can't remember. It could have been after an all night mescaline binge with Babs Beno, where we were reviewing the evaluation of some poor college's institutional level learning outcomes. Something along those lines, as I recall

846eightfortysix said...

sorry I was off by 3 minutes. 8:43 = 846eightfortysix. Too late. now my name is 846

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I thought my comments were removed but what happened was a glitch in the system or that Prove You Are Not a Robot thing thought I was one.

Anonymous said...

No one answered 5:44's question. Is it really true?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Democrat obstruction, they voted against the funding to fight the Zika virus... They do not care about our nation's public health.

Anonymous said...

Alert. Activation of troll identification system. 2:51
Species: ungrounded and vague assertion

Anonymous said...

Chunk E. Cheese.