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-   -   Don't Feed the GDed Trolls (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f32/dont-feed-the-gded-trolls-29966.html)

brewer12345 09-11-2007 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janet H (Post 555185)
We were out plucking the birds first :)
Takes a LOT of feathers to do a thorough job.

Heheheh.

I was tempted to suggest pitch-cropping, but felt that it would maybe upset some and not sit well with some of my ancestors.

theloneranger 09-11-2007 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janet H (Post 555185)
We were out plucking the birds first :)
Takes a LOT of feathers to do a thorough job.

Let the pleasant F***ers do their own plucking.
They seem to have plucked themselves pretty well.

kumquat 09-11-2007 05:51 PM

I didn't read much of the post/thread that started all this. I thought it was a plug for dividend growth investing. I think DG investing is a reasonable option and nobody jumps on Cycling_investor for advocating it.
What am I missing?

REWahoo 09-11-2007 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kumquat (Post 555246)
What am I missing?

5+ years of trolling.

dory36 09-11-2007 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kumquat (Post 555246)
I didn't read much of the post/thread that started all this. I thought it was a plug for dividend growth investing. I think DG investing is a reasonable option and nobody jumps on Cycling_investor for advocating it.
What am I missing?

The authors of the plug and its primary response are partners well known by those here when we had to exercise our first (and for years, only) banning of someone.

It is interesting that someone can have a multi-year track record in which each of his posts are better then the next...

laurence 09-11-2007 06:33 PM

We have this conversation about once a year. The trolls find a way to slime back into the board, new trolls come along as well. They've honed their craft so that newbies can't smell them out immediately, but get caught by the veterans. So then we have a three way conversation where the veterans ask "please, can we clean house?" and the trolls say "1st Amendment!" and the newbies say, "what's the big deal?".

Some trolls don't even realize they are trolls (maybe that's too forgiving). Many message boards are free-for-alls where anything goes that doesn't have specific curse words or racist language, so they come here and say, "hey, let me pick a fight with person x" thinking it's fair play. This board has been a place that does not suffer that kind of behavior.

I'm still officially a moderator, but I'm trying to transition out, I can't devote enough time to this board to be fair. Andy and the new mod crew will work out a balance that's right for them. My two cents is ignore only works so much, as threads get disrupted and become unreadable, and new people will always be victims and respond to the trolls. If they are allowed to take over, the contributors will be driven off, followed by the lion's share of readers as quality posts evaporate, then the trolls will consume each other, get bored, and move on.

twaddle 09-11-2007 06:45 PM

I don't mind somebody getting bounced due to disrupting the love and harmony of the place, I guess. But the ganging up on alleged "trolls" and free-flowing ad hominem attacks is somewhat disturbing. Especially when it looks like a pack of dogs ganging up on somebody who just pissed on their territory.

Some sites are intended for the distribution of unbiased information. For those sites, I've seen policies like "no debates allowed" work pretty well. This isn't that kind of site (I hope).

How about a "time-out" for anybody who disrupts the friendly atmosphere or engages in repeated ad hominen attacks. And if any moderator engages in that kind of behavior, fire them.

dory36 09-11-2007 07:26 PM

I felt the same way. Until I was proved wrong.

Sometimes you want to trust the people who were there. There were many hundreds of messages on this topic, and on this individual. I'll just say that about 75% of the regulars on the board, and 100% of the people who sent messages, said he should be banned, or the board should be shut down.

He was a moderator, fwiw.

Something I sent at the time:

Quote:

Originally Posted by dory36
Maslow (I think) talked about a dog biting a man, and noted that no meaningful inference could be drawn from that single data point.

But if every dog this man encountered tried to bite him, chances are it's the man, and if the dog tried to bite every man he encountered, chances are it's the dog.

Looks like it's you, from everything I can see.

How about laying off and enjoying the camaraderie that 98% of the people here share?

Thanks --

dory36


twaddle 09-11-2007 07:47 PM

Oh, you absolutely did the right thing with that guy. I'm on record as recommending that we give him bus fare and send him packing to another town. But recently, "troll" has been used to describe anybody with a firmly held controversial viewpoint. I've seen a right-wing insurance agent chased off. A libertarian hospital admin. A grouchy cancer surviver. A left-wing financial author.

And "I've put you on my ignore list" has become a verbal assault weapon.

I've seen temporary bans used effectively on other sites. And quiet personal use of the ignore list can be effective. But lynch mobs are ugly.

DRiP Guy 09-11-2007 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twaddle (Post 555288)

I've seen temporary bans used effectively on other sites. And quiet personal use of the ignore list can be effective. But lynch mobs are ugly.

You bring up a good point (okay several, but only one I want to address <chuckle> ) :

On auto enthusiast forums, you can just imagine the heated arguments about brands, and additives, and who is faster, whether ET's are real without a timeslip, etc, so the more successful boards I have seen have a 'banned camp' where if the mod warns you privately*, but you still can't quite clean up your act, then you get a week or two in time out - no posting/no access. Most people decide one of two things in that interval:

a) 'I may have been rash, guess I need to adjust (At least delivery, if not message!) if I want to continue to participate...' (This result works for everyone's happiness)

b) 'This culture sucks, I'm not coming back.' (This result also works for everyone)

Of course, there is a third not-so-good-as-the-first-two outcomes which is:

c) 'I will seeth and steam, and when I finally come back, be a royal PITA to everyone and try to wreak havoc.' At that point, perma-ban works, and not too many get that far - maybe one per thousand members.

*IMHO, this is key -- most people that are willing to show their butt in public are not nearly so willing when that audience is not there and the person in authority is quietly making sure that the poster knows the rules and limits and tries to secure an agreement to act right and follow Terms of Service! Public arguments about any moderation specifics related to any actual incident or poster is a losing proposition for everyone. Again, IMHO.

And I guess since I've gone on this far, let me just offer a thing or two to put the "Free Speech" canard to bed once and for all: for anyone who may not have experienced it themselves, I'll introduce a place on the internet where free, unmoderated, totally open speech is allowed without reservation. A person can even create your own topic area if you like. That place is called "Usenet" and the mechanism is [mis]named "Newsgroups", but they are really nothing more than the great grand daddy of forums - anyone can comment on anything, anon or not. Free. No mods. No sign up. But you know what? For the largest part, most folks would not like to go there, and for the few places you would, what makes it bearable is that they have self-imposed rules and norms much like here. But if a single determined poster decides to 'burn it down', it is pretty much all over.

Heck, one guy told me that there was no place on the web to talk about SWRs - that 'free-n-open posting' had been 'banned'.

I even made a wide open blog for this person, because they were not able to post most retirement boards and did not have the minimal web-acumen it takes to grab a Wordpress blog. And yet here you can see how much they really wanted that podium. Not much. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a troll is just a troll.

Free and Open Discussion of Safe Withdrawal Rates


And to paraphrase Forrest Gump "That's all I intend to say about that, here."

dory36 09-11-2007 08:14 PM

Thanks Twaddle -- I misunderstood.

On your other points... I can't speak for how individuals use things like "ignore list" as substitutes for other insults. People will behave the way they will. But FWIW, although I have been in mostly an observer role for the past few months, the folks you refer to being banned or run off were discussed almost ad nauseum by the moderators before the moderators did anything at all, and were then sent numerous PMs, put into a mode where their posts were reviewed before they were public, and given "time outs". Those who were banned seemed to be immune to all of those remedies.

While most of the volunteer/draftee moderators have been quick to jump on the occasional obvious spammer, they have been pretty consistently reluctant to tread on people's ability to make opinionated, controversial, foolish, wrong, or stupid posts.

Controvery is fine. Debate is fine. Alternate opinions are fine. The tipping point has usually been whether the posts are disruptive, and likely to drive away new visitors interested in learning about early retirement issues.

"Regulars" occasionally cross the line. I've never seen a case where they failed to calm down when privately asked to take it easy.

The ones that seem to go away, with or without volunteer moderator help, never seem to calm down when asked to.

Rich_by_the_Bay 09-11-2007 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dory36 (Post 555298)
Controvery is fine. Debate is fine. Alternate opinions are fine. The tipping point has usually been whether the posts are disruptive, and likely to drive away new visitors interested in learning about early retirement issues.

"Regulars" occasionally cross the line. I've never seen a case where they failed to calm down when privately asked to take it easy.

I have yet to see a user banned for the content of their opinions or their political leanings regardless of how extreme, short of blatant racism and the like. I have yet to see a non-spammer banned based on a one-strike-and-you-are-out approach - they all get gentle warnings, louder warnings and other graduated treatment.

It there is any consistent theme it is disruptiveness persisting despite ample warning. To get banned around here, you really have to try, or be frighteningly oblivious.

CyclingInvestor 09-11-2007 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kumquat (Post 555246)
I didn't read much of the post/thread that started all this. I thought it was a plug for dividend growth investing. I think DG investing is a reasonable option and nobody jumps on Cycling_investor for advocating it.
What am I missing?

Their approach attempts to add market timing to improve results, and attempts to prove
that it does by data-mining. These additions to straight dividend growth investing are
the controversial part.

maddythebeagle 09-11-2007 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by laurencewill (Post 555262)
Many message boards are free-for-alls where anything goes that doesn't have specific curse words or racist language, so they come here and say, "hey, let me pick a fight with person x" thinking it's fair play. This board has been a place that does not suffer that kind of behavior.

Amen...

packrat44 09-11-2007 10:05 PM

These trolls have been up to bat many a time and have struck out every time. It is for them to hear the words "your fired". :bat:

Ed_The_Gypsy 09-11-2007 10:50 PM

My, my. Look what I miss when I don't read posts that don't look interesting.

Others must do the same. Nobody ever sent me their life savings to take advantage of my faith-based (registered trade mark) investment scam--I mean, scheme.:rolleyes:

laurence 09-11-2007 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twaddle (Post 555288)
Oh, you absolutely did the right thing with that guy. I'm on record as recommending that we give him bus fare and send him packing to another town. But recently, "troll" has been used to describe anybody with a firmly held controversial viewpoint. I've seen a right-wing insurance agent chased off. A libertarian hospital admin. A grouchy cancer surviver. A left-wing financial author.

And "I've put you on my ignore list" has become a verbal assault weapon.

I've seen temporary bans used effectively on other sites. And quiet personal use of the ignore list can be effective. But lynch mobs are ugly.

And to those who don't know this poster is a much more senior member of the community than his posts may reflect (when did you restart/rename? Sorry if I outed you.).

I'm no fan of the lynch mob, either, and this board can only benefit from divergent opinions. But when people use insulting, abrasive phrases, their point could be right on, and they are still a troll. As for some of those "driven off" taking the heat goes both ways. I would say some of them were more intolerant of a differing opinion than "the mob".

It's not an easy balancing act, I think the new mod crew is doing a great job, though.

haha 09-11-2007 11:47 PM

I think that seriously disturbed people have to be run off, or people who while they may not be insane are the equivalent of disruptive street people. We don't clean up our cities, so to walk round downtown is to run a gantlet of weird people demanding money, and people trying to sell you stolen goods, drugs, their bodies or whatever. The internet equivalent needs to be prevented.

At the same time I think the way a certain internet pariah gives endless entertainment and thrills to a bunch of millionaires who devote whole hunks of bandwidth and time to condemning and lampooning this individual is a spectacle even weirder than the man in question.

But beyond hostility to some people, there is also hostility to some ideas. Something Twad said earlier in this or possibly another thread goes to the heart of too much of this board’s hostility to certain ideas. He said this is his church, where he comes for help in keeping the faith in SWR, etc. I know it was hyperbole, but others also over the years have openly talked of “keeping the faith” I know this is only a metaphor, but perhaps less farfetched than we might hope, especially at times of market stress.

I have beliefs that are sometimes quite at odds with the mass religion around here, as do various other posters. I occasionally allude to my ideas, but overall I don't really care how anyone does his investing, or need approval of how I do mine.

I want to be around to learn and participate, as I have for over 4 years. I also want to observe everyone's reactions when and if some truly unexpected events might occur. And I want to learn what there is to learn about all methods. So I don't want to be distracted by being associated with some outlier opinions, that I might feel I needed to defend or at least debate.

I think that non-crazy people should not be run off for having ideas that differ even markedly from the mainstream here. It’s kind of like the thread about the Bible Belt- have you accepted the Lord Bogle and the catechism of market randomness? And have you renounced the devil and all his works? (Such as market timing?)

Remember, there is no information in something you already agree with,

Ha

kumquat 09-12-2007 12:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor (Post 555304)
Their approach attempts to add market timing to improve results, and attempts to prove
that it does by data-mining. These additions to straight dividend growth investing are
the controversial part.

WADR, there must be more. If I post a bunch of crap about market timing and 'back/forward testing' am I a troll or just dumb and in need of a flaming?

DRiP Guy 09-12-2007 05:25 AM

I was not going to post any more on this thread, but when I saw this, and then subsequent posts [kumquat] saying "Well, gee, you mean it's not okay to discuss that...?" I had to speak, at least this one extra time:

Quote:

Their approach attempts to add market timing to improve results, and attempts to prove that it does by data-mining. These additions to straight dividend growth investing are the controversial part.
[bold added for emphasis]

I disagree emphatically with the conclusion above. If I were to wander across a thesis that the SWR could be boosted by a bit of market timing, some dividend tricks, and any other type of mechanical approach, and the person supported this with back-testing ('datamining'), I would be all ears! I might not immediately subscribe to the notions, or change my own planning, but you can bet I am game to learn, to understand, to explore. I might ask what the assumptions were, how can I learn more, etc, but I just want to be clear that saving the 'church of the 4% SWR' is certainly not the motivator behind my own angst when I see this duo appear. It is the disruptive, slyly combative, maddeningly slippery intent behind what they do. I will leave it at that, but simply invite interested parties to go explore the rich material at both websites, and sane people can decide for themselves if you want to invite this pair into your living room. Do, however, take note of what others whom you do know and respect have found about this, in their own direct experiences!

I hate to bring in names, by dory36 has assiduously tried to be hands-off, a gentle, benevolent influencer, not at all a hard-handed 'board general'. I have on no other occasion see him need to use such direct language to warn others about a poster, and yet, he felt compelled to do so here. This is a guy who has maximum credibility, huge experience, and direct knowledge of the issues involved, and an open spirit to what a board ought to be about -- open exchange of even the most controversial ideas, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. So, I would not have my own arguments on this reduced a simple 'appeal to authority', but to dismiss his warnings on this subject would be total folly, IMHO.

Okay, I am really am done here now with this topic... (promises self to quit further discussion on this here at ERF, to preserve the previous outstanding ambiance)


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