Trolling Not Allowed

Trolling Not Allowed! Comments from anonymous trolls are not permitted and are deleted if posted by the offending pest.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Glass City Jungle and the Trolling Flamer Cyberbully Factor

I have never made a secret that I don't much care for persons who write on the internet in an anonymous fashion. As time has passed, I have modified that perspective, however, as it relates to anonymous posters who carry on an intelligent dialogue and who generally write comments that are factually based and/or base their opinions on factual information as they perceive it. Several of these anonymous persons have earned and gained my respect and even my admiration as they have proven their credibility.

However, I don't have any use for internet trolls, internet flamers, and cyberbullys of whom I have made my displeasure abundantly clear on many electronic bulletin boards, forums, and blogs as most people who are familiar with my online presence are aware.

It is because of these internet pests that I ceased my participation in Toledo Talk and SwampBubbles. It got to the point that personal attacks by anonymous cowards just ran rampant; and, in my own personal opinion, there was very little constructive dialogue.

I have seen the same type of thing occurring with ever-increasing frequency over at Glass City Jungle and am near the point (and have been for quite some time) of discontinuing any further participation in that blog. The only thing that has kept me going there is the hard work of Lisa Renee Ward with her dedication to provide information in an open format with honesty and fairness, along with the great admiration and respect I have for Lisa Renee.

Let me provide the latest example of what has been posted by what I consider a flaming troll cyberbully over at Glass City Jungle that as me troubled.

On October 8th, 2008, in a message thread on Glass City Jungle, I wrote the following comment:
"Not Again asserts No one usually reads what freidman has to say.

I’m wondering how Not Again has reached that conclusion. Did “Not Again” conduct a poll? Where is the data to substantiate the allegation?

Incidentally, Mike Friedman uses his real name. Mike Friedman has been active in politics and the community for 40 years. Mike Friedman lets readers know who he is and therefore is “an open book” which may be judged based on knowing who he is and where he is coming from. Whether one agrees with him or not, at least Mike Friedman has the courage to speak his convictions without hiding behind the cloak of anonymity as many of the gutless trolls and flamers that comment on blogs and elsewhere on the internet."

To that comment, Not Again responded:
"Who cares roland, in my opinion friedman is an irrelevant old man. And, in my opinion, no reasonable person should care about his rants. Or even read them, unless they want to chuckle! :-)
Your silly rants about using one’s real name is also a joke. You are also an old man, with nowhere to go, except retirement and a pension though your years of mediocre public service. And no one can take that away from you.

I realize you want more, to be a big player, and as you have said; you have begged the king pins in toledo to let you help run this place, into the ground. And there has been no answer. So you continue to stand on your mount and rant about nothingness."


Now, I admit that is a mild example. I have read much, much worse that have been written attacking a number of people besides me. None-the-less, it is this type of thing that makes me wish the Confrontation Clause could be applied to civil matters of the internet world rather than just in criminal proceedings of the United States jurisprudence system.

Unfortunately, those of us who have been personally attacked have no recourse; and, we are not afforded the opportunity to personally confront our attacker face to face. Hell, we do not even know the identity of the attacker because their identity is kept confidential even by those who allow them to write fighting words on their websites and blogs. Hey, "shouting fire in a crowded theater" is not allowed, but a flaming anonymous idiot is allowed to make mean-spirited, hateful, instigating comments personally attacking another under the misguided banner of free speech.

I believe that the owners, administrators, managers, and operators, of internet websites, bulletin boards, forums, and blogs should be responsible and accountable for what appears on the web sites that they control. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that they perpetuate and even encourage the presence of internet trolls, internet flamers, and internet bullies just by allowing such trash to be published.

4 comments:

Jill said...

Roland, I can't speak for Lisa Renee, but I know how tortuous it can feel to start just deleting comments. And yet, I completely agree with you re: the anonymouses - I really have a lot of trouble with them as well, on a philosophical level, and I have edited comments and moderated (meaning I put them in a holding pattern).

As they've gotten more just about name-calling, I've deleted them and emailed the authors when a real email is left.

It is up to the blog author to figure out how to manage such things, but I do want to say - it's not as easy it may seem - to just say, off with their comments. :)

Sorry to be rather evasive about this - I've struggled with it myself. But I think what you've done is the best thing - make it known how you feel, as someone who wants to participate. There are at least two or three blogs that I really like to read but where I will no longer comment because of the other comments allowed.

It's definitely a dilemma.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Roland,

I feel your pain, that's why, to date, I've only deleted (or failed to allow) two posts to my meager blog.

That said, most of my 14 regular readers are decent folks (the 3 or 4 lurkers I assume are too) who apparently have taken my posting guidelines to heart.

However, I too rarely participate in Toledo Talk and Swamp Bubbles for the very same reasons you give, they have become more of a haven for trolls and other vermin than for intelligent discourse; I have better use for my precious time that to spend it there...

It is said that we are each allowed only so many heartbeats in this life, so why waste them being aggrivated needlessly?

Ben said...

I almost never delete. Unfortanetly it comes with the blog. Every so often i do, but i try not to.

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

Like Jill, and often hear Lisa Renee comment, this has gotten out of hand. Like Jill, I don't know what the answer is, and having experienced a personal attack only a time or two. In this I am like HT, and seem to have just a small, twisted following who simply shakes their head at me rather than waste time in negative comments.

While censorship is the last thing we need, somebody is going to have to figure out an answer to the lack of common decency creeping into the situation.

I fear that this doesn't sound like much of an answer either. I know there are sometimes reasons for anonymous comments, but most times I feel like it is simply cowardice, and a feeling of shame for juvenile behavior.