Er, trolls?

I don’t know any exact details for sure, but we seem to be getting a lot of trolls around here lately, or at least folks who act like trolls. (Check the last few pages of the and IFDB thread, for example.) Now, I don’t want to cast blame where it isn’t deserved, and I certainly don’t new folks to be under any undue scrutiny, but it’s starting to get to the point where it feels like there’s more disruptive posters than constructive posters. Is there anything the mod team could do to curb this kind of behavior? I personally think checking the IP addresses of particularly trollish members against former trolls could help, but then that may be too invasive.

That might not work. Anonymous proxies can be legitimate, as Peter mentioned in that thread. I don’t think locking down the site is a good idea, either. It’s sort of like a spam filter, where if you keep it too low, you get tons of spam, but if you ramp it up too high, you lose legitimate posts. If people start trollish behavior, it has some pretty obvious signs:

  1. A dislike for IF.
    Come on. This is an IF board. If you don’t like IF, then this isn’t really the right place to be.

  2. A new poster, with only a couple of posts, causing trouble, or expressing consistently negative viewpoints, or arguing for the sake of it. An obvious sign – most people that join legitimately are here to learn about IF, or to develop it, to review a game, or talk about it. I don’t think someone with 4 posts has been around long enough to get that jaded, without already carrying a chip on their shoulder.

I don’t think you’ll see legitimate posters act like this. And if they do, and are called out on it, they will normally concede sometimes to other people’s viewpoints, rather than always expressing contrary viewpoints, for the sake of argument. I don’t mean boot-licking, or agreeing with everything. I mean sometimes saying, “you’re right”, to another person, during an argument, and acknowledging another viewpoint, rather than consistently trying to anger people – the start of flame wars.

  1. Resorting to personal attacks
    Most people will argue their points, without directly pointing fingers, if they are just trying to make a point. When it gets to name calling, or personal attacks (outside of troll-hunting :smiley:), then I think this is an obvious sign, too.

Just a few thoughts. I’ve had some toxic friends in my day, and I’ve seen enough boards to see the patterns where negative creeps act like this.

I thought they already banned anonymous proxies here, though? Unless that’s been changed. Anyway, I was more talking about checking the IP address of new and disruptive and seeing if it matches, say, Pudlo’s. There’s always the chance of false positives with this approach, though.

Yeah… and that’s the danger. If you push away one legitimate poster, you could be cutting a potential IF author off before they can begin, which is bad. Worse than having a troll run around and cause trouble – because people are wising up, and if someone is getting out of line, someone will check them. If they continue to be disruptive, that’s the cue for moderators to take a look, IMO.

I would recommend against banning proxies, and as long as proxies are allowed I doubt IP bans will make that much of a difference. The best solution might just be to go on a case-by-case basis.

Absolutely, or the Pudlo’s win. :smiley:

We do keep an eye on IP addresses, but that doesn’t help if someone is obsessed enough to keep using different anonymous proxies. As ever, it’s a question of taking each case as it comes.

I suppose it’s best to take comfort in knowing that some entertainment does come out of the trolls before they’re banned. MTW and Juhana came up with two great stingers about LGBT (the most recent troll), and I still treasure the small thread where Pudlo is actively caught trying to create a sock puppet. And when it gets to that point, they’re close to banning anyway.


I was worrying about that, yes. I mean, lately the place only seems alive with buzz and activity when… we’re being trolled in a 20+ thread.

Well, not entirely fair. The “only” is probably excessive. But still.

You’re all way too sensitive, imo.

Possibly. But from all accounts, former RAIFers simply don’t want a repeat of RAIF. I missed most of that, but can understand the logic. If you get scalded, naturally you’ll be wary of people lugging big pots of what looks like very hot water in your direction.

Anyway, while it might be true that we might all be too sensitive, it’s certainly true that consistent disruptive behaviour (what you get from trolls), if unchecked, will result in either the troll getting tired and leaving or making people think “Hmmm, I don’t really want to go that place anymore”.

Our trolls seem to be mule-stubborn, and naturally no one wants the latter to happen.

I can’t see how anyone is being too sensitive. But that’s my two cents.

I don’t think it’s so much a case of too many trolls as the same troll under lots and lots of different names. I mean, let’s be honest here, does anyone really think that Andreas, Stefan, LGBT aren’t all Pudlo? I think it’s far more likely to be the case that one idiot is behind all this, as opposed to lots of separate idiots all showing up to cause trouble after the first idiot has been banned.

Elementary, my dear Watson!

IF community is so tiny and featuring the same old faces that we all know a new guy from India or Germany is more likely just another sockpuppet from the same old farts to make it look more lively than it really is. It doesn’t take much to see the strings being pulled.

That’s fucktarded.

Aren’t you the same person who says that IFDB is trash and most of authors are crappy? Ever heard the word “Hypocrite”?

unrelated arguments

and sometimes they’ll even talk to each other as if arguing, a bad sockpuppet against a good one, just to make it look more plausible

You’re still fucktarded.

you still sound like an asspuppet