The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570   Message #3983776
Posted By: Backwoodsman
22-Mar-19 - 04:11 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Jim - From Mudcat FAQs. You might like to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest...then do as suggested here and elsewhere, Don't. Feed. The. Troll.

"Dealing With Flamers and Trolls

Here are some definitions from
To send nasty or insulting messages, usually in response to someone's having broken the rules of netiquette.
flame bait
An intentionally inflammatory posting in a newsgroup or discussion group designed to elicit a strong reaction thereby creating a flame war.
flame war
When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debators, rather than discussion of their positions. A heated exchange.
"Troll" is a bit more subtle, and I had a harder time finding it. Here's what I found in the Jargon Dictionary:
troll v.,n. 1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See also YHBT. 2. An individual who chronically trolls in sense 1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that the have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, "Oh, ignore him, he's just a troll." 3. [Berkeley] Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS students. Duties include helping newbies and ensuring that lab policies are followed. Probably so-called because it involves lurking in dark cavelike corners.
Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also Troll-O-Meter.

I have to say that I have become a bit cynical about people who make a big show of leaving the Mudcat because of flamers - many of these people might warrant the title of "trolls." The people who attract flamers are often quite obnoxious themselves, especially those who leave with a long farewell message that usually generates a hundred "don't go" responses or more. I am concerned about those who quietly slip away, or those who never even start to participate because of the nastiness. Those who make a show of making martyrs of themselves are every bit as bad as the flamers, I think. They prey on the sympathy of good people.

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it many times more: the best way to deal with both flamers and trolls is to ignore them. Give them silence, and they'll go away. They feed on attention - don't give it to them.

There is another problem that occasionally arises here - people who are threatening in their behavior. It is of utmost importance that you do not try to deal with these people. If you ignore them totally and inform Joe Offer or Big Mick about them quietly with a personal message or e-mail, we can quietly make them disappear (to an extent).

If people seem dangerous, LEAVE THEM ALONE."