[Summit] Trolls

Elizabeth Grossman egrossman1 at cox.net
Wed Jan 14 14:50:07 CST 2015


It seems to me that Michael's well-explained post  highlights two issues:  content and anonymity.  For me the second is the more troublesome.  
It seems to me that while there may be, in rare cases, a compelling personal  reason  for wishing to speak anonymously (one's security --personal and/or financial could be at risk, e.g. )  ) if no such compelling reason exists, then I think  list serve posts should not be anonymous.  I  also feel certain a way could be found to determine if a poster's reasons for anonymity met reasonable critieria or not.  Might we consider rethinking anonymity on the listserve?  Elizabeth
On Jan 14, 2015, at 3:26 PM, Emlyn Addison wrote:

> Invoking Charlie Hebdo in this context strikes me as completely inappropriate.
> 
> There is nothing satirical about "Fr Eng's" posts, and Charlie Hebdo did not publish anonymously. On the Internet, anonymity plays an important role in communications between strangers, but on a small neighborhood list, where most people actually know each other, it's a particularly noxious form of trolling. It sows the worst kind of mistrust: are you "Fr Eng"? Is my neighbor "Fr Eng"?
> 
> What little truth might be buried in their tirades is rendered meaningless by their behavior. It's an evasion of accountability, pure and simple. And there's a word for that.
> 
> 
> 
> On Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Robert Mathiesen <rmath13 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Michael, as I said, it pushes a very hot button of mine when people identify someone as a troll and urge ignoring that person's posts, as if they never had been made.  Mostly I ignore these pseudonymous or flame-baiting posts, and I think it a good idea to do so.  But I tell you flat out, I shall not go along with a policy of *never ever under any circumstances whatever* responding to posts from such a person.  To every rule there are exceptions.  I do not think it degrades the list all that much to have exceptions.  If I am wrong, and it does, then so be it.  
> 
> And once in a while my temper will get the best of me -- that's what happens with very hot button issues -- and I will lash out at someone who puts up a "don't feed the trolls" post, especially if it sounds like the person wants for no exceptions whatever.  I'm not happy with myself when I get that savage with a fellow poster, and I hope I will always apologize for it later.  
> 
> I do get your points about the usefulness and value of internet communities, and how some people might want to maximize these things.  I also understand how the presence of flame-bait posts can work against these things.  But I can't support your proposed solution to the problem, at least not in the absolute terms that I see some people urging on the list.  
> 
> Some things are far more important, at least to me, than maximizing the usefulness and value of the internet or the efficiency with which some expect to be able to use it.  Among these things is the privilege of anonymity, and the freedom to be inflammatory -- even to the extent of Charlie Hebdo, in case you are wondering.  I don't use anonymity myself, and I'm not inclined to pull Charlei Hebdos, but I will defend people who do these things.  I will defend them even if they bring serious harm to a community of which I am a member.
> 
> I think this may fall under an irreconcilable difference of opinion between you (and perhaps others) and me.  
> 
> Bob M
> 
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