«

»

Oct 17 2008

Print this Post

Beware of the trolls

In the internet sense of the word, a troll, according to Wikipedia, is “someone who posts controversial and irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.” I have just decided to stop using the Building magazine discussion forums due to the noxious comments of two recently over-productive contributors.

The Building forum guidelines ask contributors not to “post any material which is knowingly false, inaccurate, abusive, hateful, harassing, sexually orientated, threatening or invasive of a person’s privacy, or any other material which may violate any applicable laws.” However, the value of a discussion forum quickly diminishes if contributors are allowed to repeatedly post provocative, poorly argued, illogical material, and – when they can’t sustain a debate – resort to crude stereotyping and name-calling.

Update (21 October 2008) – Phil Clark has written about the problem, Forums, Moderating and Tone, and the issues it throws up for him as a journalist in considering content-moderation.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2008/10/beware-of-the-trolls/

1 comment

4 pings

  1. Phil Clark

    Hi Paul,
    Just thrown up an initial stab at some new forum rules for the Building site on my blog. Not sure it will tempt you back, but hopefully these will now be policed more heavily.
    Phil

  1. On changes at The Construction Index, and trolls | The pwcom blog

    […] late Contract Journal‘s website and on Building magazine’s forums (see my 2008 posts here and here), and I consequently stopped […]

  2. Building online communities | Extranet Evolution

    […] [Perhaps something for Building magazine to consider in relation to its discussion forums? See my Beware of the trolls post and […]

  3. Beware of the Trolls (2) | Extranet Evolution

    […] I ceased contributing to Building magazine’s forums last month after being trolled (see post), I retained an RSS feed and saw that the problems were, if anything, getting worse. This was […]

  4. Building online communities | Extranet Evolution

    […] [Perhaps something for Building magazine to consider in relation to its discussion forums? See my Beware of the trolls post and […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>