Saturday, July 08, 2006

Please Don't Feed the Bears!

"Comment Moderation" is becoming a huge pain, and it is restricting the flow of discussion here. I would like to remove it, but I will have to enforce some rules.

Comments will be deleted if:

1. Extreme profanity or vulgar references are used. I can live with the odd expletive when nothing else will do. H--l, I've done it myself on occasion! But everyone knows when that line is being crossed.

2. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. There is a huge difference between criticizing an attitude or behaviour, and attacking the person themselves. Sarcasm intended to vilify or destroy another person is destructive and immature. It takes a lot more brain power to sit back and ponder a reasonable response to a challenge than it does to hurl back digital assaults. Please try previewing your comment, read it through, make sure it is coherent and logic-based before hitting the 'publish' button.

3. Please refrain from high-jacking the thread as much as possible. This means stay on topic. The odd reference to something unrelated is fine, but when one or more people take over and try to advance their own agenda, this is where I draw the line. Feel free to do that on your own blog or elsewhere. Thank you.

(On the other hand, I always welcome tips and suggestions, and can be reached at the address on my profile.)

And this brings me to the last rule regarding -

4. TROLLS! What is a troll? Kate at Small Dead Animals has a great definition and prescription for dealing with them. The trolls (or shall I say people exhibiting trolling behaviour to follow Rule #2) will be allowed back in, but only if they play by the above-stated rules. It is recommended that anyone displaying troll-like behaviour be ignored by the others. Don't allow yourself to be baited. It takes you down to their level. As Kate says, "Ignore, ignore, ignore." (Thanks, Kate.) As I mentioned on a previous post, C-Junk refers to it as "feeding the bears". Please don't feed the bears.

This is a digital forum, but there are still human beings sitting at each keyboard, and they have feelings. Let's respect those feelings. However, if someone takes a cheap shot at you, consider just ignoring it. Their open display of childishness and lack of integrity will speak for itself.

BTW, to anyone who feels it is their life's-mission to "teach me a lesson" or "teach me how to be a better blogger", I'm sure there are other more deserving charities out there.

And finally, as I've said before, we need to be careful when fighting the monster that we don't become the monster ourselves.

* * * *

Update: I just happened to stumble across this lovely bit of advice. The interesting thing is that she apparently has her own method of dealing with trolls - don't post their comments. She rejected mine, so I am assuming that's how she handles it. Post only the comments which agree with what you say. Interesting.


Mary said...

Wonderful guidelines Joanne! I was getting so sick of the personal attacks, and the unacceptalble language, especially from the left-leaning and far out, who think that their opinion is the only one that matters. Especially annoying is the long posts that try to make their point by displaying their best-self-perceived-lawyer-arguments, as if they were in a court of law, trying to win the case of a lifetime, only makes me scroll down to the next opinion.

Mary said...

and I want to second what "Annie" said on the previous blog,
"Joanne you are one classy lady"

Mac said...

Simple rules of etiquette for polite conversation and sharing of ideas. I don't know whether it'll work or not but it's worth a try, I suppose.

The part I don't understand is why these intelligent and gifted trolls cannot figure out that calling others names inspires ill will and does nothing to educate them. Denigrating and belittling others serves no useful purpose other than the titillation of the trolls.

I shall now settle back to enjoy the "ego stroking" which RT figures I crave. Yes, I am laughing.

PGP said...

Sure.....but can I at least "Bait the Bears" once in a while??


Josef said...

I actually preferred your site when the comments were controlled for your own benefit, Madame Comrade. You disappoint me.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Mary. ;)

Mac, PGP - We'll give it a shot & see what happens.

Josef, you would probably prefer that this was like Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi", eh? No blog for you!!

Red Tory said...

I always find this “name-calling” accusation to be quite amusing.

For the record, I have been called a crooked, lying, venal, hypocritical, parasitic, libertine, traitorous, terrorist-loving, treacherous, malicious, disingenuous, hypocritical, fascistic, callous, nasty, mean-spirited, idiotic, moronic, hateful, intolerant, angry, communistic fudge-packing faggot. All this from, my ever-so charming friends who are self-described “conservatives”… Most certainly not in this little wayside tea shop but over at my place where the “rules” (snort) are practically non-existent.

So, allow me to laugh heartily at the delicate sensibilities of some with whom I disagree when I call them a bigot or an asshat, or whatever. No, this doesn’t necessarily advance the argument, but I have to say that the hypocrisy in this instance is fairly ripe.

Mac asks, why “…trolls cannot figure out that calling others names inspires ill will and does nothing to educate them.” Well, need I point out the amusing hypocrisy in the fact that he just called people “trolls” for starters? I’m not sure what mission Mac is on, but “educating” people isn’t one of them as far as I’m concerned. That seems fairly pretentious and high-falootin to me. Great… Mac is going to “educate” us all with his brilliance and enlightened wisdom! Good luck preaching to the choir there Mac.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Actually, I've learned a lot from Mac. And even a little bit from you, Red.

For example, you are probably the best challenge going for increasing my vocabulary. Now that was an honest compliment, but you can take it any way you like.

Mac said...

FWIW, the first time I heard the word "venal" was from RT so I've learned from him as well.

Laugh heartily, RT; it's good for you. Life would be much easier if we all laughed regularly and appreciated the ironies and absurdities which surround us.

RT, since your wonder about my "mission", I wonder if your post is meant to say "You guys started it!" or "Everyone calls names so what's the problem?" or did you simply want to call everyone hypocrites?

By way of explanation, I wasn't expressing an intention or desire to educate anyone, nor do I feel motivated to preach. If I have knowledge which I can share, I do so. If I'm mistaken or lack knowledge on a particular subject, I don't mind learning. I enjoy reading, writing and discussing current events, especially when people are polite. If that's a mission, sobeit, I guess.

Just so I know, what noun describes someone who points out problems (real or imagined), hands out nothing but insults and invective while providing no useful knowledge or insight... especially someone whose expressed intention was to close down someone's blog? I used the noun 'troll' but I'm open to other words?

Red Tory said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

O.K. I just looked up the word "venal". When I learn a new word, I like to use it. So what would be a good example? As in, the venal land developers in Calendonia who decided to take the money and run?

Or would that apply to the Ontario electorate when Dalton tries to do everything in his power to help us forget all the broken promises?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Red Tory just broke Rule #1

To rephrase his comment:

Well, I’m glad to hear that, if nothing else, I’m broadening the vocabulary of some with my little gummy drops. I do indeed laugh heartily at the absurd and the ironic; quite frequently making it my business to point them out when discovered. My post was nothing spectacular, just the usual “people in glass houses” refrain. I have no problem with being “polite” but I do have a problem with people who disingenuously use this as a blind to mask their real intentions which is to shoot liberal ducks out of the sky. You’ve kind of tipped off you’re hand Mac when you allege that I do nothing but hand out insults and invective and accuse me of having the expressed intent of closing down Joanne’s blog.

Well, Big Mac, please show me where I had the “expressed intent” of closing down this blog. Excuse the profanity, but I think you’re full of two all-beef patties of bull---t on this one and you can nicely dress it up with your “special sauce” of moral superiority all you want, but it’s still a steaming pile of flatulent crapola in the making as far as I’m concerned.

- Now that may possibly be an example of breaking rule #3 as well.

And what's this about closing down my blog?

Mac said...

I was talking about those in the Banned Camp, not RT, but apparently he took it to heart. Isn't RT the one who says we're all thin-skinned?

Sorry for any confusion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I was talking about those in the Banned Camp, not RT,

Yeah, that's what I thought too. He just assumed you meant him, I guess.

Well, everyone should just take a deep breath. I didn't even see where you mentioned about that, Mac, but never mind.

Mac said...

It was but a chance remark, Joanne, certainly not designed to set RT off. As you can seen by his other remarks, RT seems to distrust my intentions. Perhaps this lead him to assume the worst?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, to tell you the truth, I was having trouble even following his remarks. I think it all goes back to the idea of taking a deep breath and plan what you want to say without flying off the handle. Sometimes when someone challenges me, I walk away from the computer for a while and do something else. Then I usually get a good idea of how to handle the situation.

The brain is wired for fight or flight when confronted or challenged. It takes a while to tap into the cerebral cortex, which takes a more round-about but more integrated route.

kleinermuck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, unfortunately back to comments moderation. Not because of any of the regulars, but due to comments from people with, um, shall we say, unusual websites?

Yup. Everyone is certainly allowed to follow their own peculiar lifestyles, but not on my blog.

Mac said...

Remember this is just words on a page.
If you allow someone to upset you, that gives them power which they don't deserve.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, thanks. The comments themselves were not offensive, and were even relevant to the topic. The problem is that their blogs contained pics that would not even be allowed in a "Restricted" rating on a movie, so I wanted to protect my readers from clicking on their link. If anyone is interested in that kind of thing it isn't difficult to find elsewhere.

Usually don't have a problem with that. Strange.

Red Tory said...

Your decision to return to moderation is disappointing and yet completely unsurprising.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

yet completely unsurprising.


SUZANNE said...

Joanne, don't let these guys push you around. I like your blog, and I like the effort towards creating civility. I hope you keep blogging. I do check in every now and then.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Suzanne. How do you keep the bears away?

Red Tory said...

How do you keep the bears away?

Don't leave garbage out for them to find. ;-)

TangoJuliette said...


Real or self-designated??

Either way, "Garbage" seems to be the diet of choice for most maraudung trolls in bears' clothing.

jdave34 said...

Not so much a life mission as an amusing hobby. Believe me, getting you to make sense is more than one life's mission.

jdave34 said...

OH goody!!! Moderation's back!

Will it be gone later today? who knows? That's what makes schizophrenia such a zany affliction.

Red Tory said...

A zany affliction indeed. LOL.