The title of this post continues: The only thing that trolls can't handle is being ignored.
We had a slight increase in comments by people who are classed as trolls in the past few days. It made me think about the whole concept of "troll."
It all depends where the person is and whether the person belongs to that particular crowd or not. A number of palingaters have been deemed trolls when we ventured into the C4P waters. RAM would uncerimoniously tell us to f*** off her blog. It didn't matter that we were civil and reasonable. Any attempt to encourage the readers over there to get better informed about their muse was always met with very hostile responses. They deleted the comments they didn't like but left the responses, so the threads read like a slightly insane, paranoid conversation with no one. Then they banned us. They are very protective of Sarah Palin and don't allow any critical thinking at all. They turn on each other at the drop of a hat.
Palingates, on the other hand, relies on very well documented posts, backed up by solid research. If we make a mistake, we correct it. We don't need spin because we have facts. Our readers contribute a lot of information and try to find the missing pieces of the various Palin puzzles. It's a vibrant, intelligent community. We are not an attack blog, we are a political blog, and a very good one, as a matter of fact.
As far as the comments go, Palingates operates on a very different basis, in marked contrast to the pro-Palin blogs. We don't delete comments and don't ban dissenters. We believe that our posts can stand the scrutiny of any dissenter. The latest influx doesn't amount to many trolls. One of them decided to resort to the not very clever strategy of posting under a number of different identities. The aim of this person is to disrupt the discussions, distract the regular readers from their usual research and normally intelligent input. They want people to waste their time by responding to them. They want to provoke our regulars until they lose their tempers and fall into their obvious traps.
According to our internal rules, we will not ban these few people who are hell bent on provoking us. And we will not fall into their traps. The contents of Palingates, our long list on the sidebar, that is the best answer to these disruptive elements.
While there's no prescrition on how to deal with these visitors, we feel that Palingates is quite strong and that there's no need to attack the "trolls."
If we should start resorting to the same kind of language as RAM, we would weaken our own arguments.
We don't want to be like them over there...
I overlooked the issue of "concern trolls" when I wrote this post. They are harmless. From where we sit, all trolls are harmless. We have tools at our disposal that can spot trolls and even show us who is and who isn't a troll. That's why we switched to disqus. Not only their system allows for comments to be posted immediately, facilitating the conversation almost in real time, but it has attractive features, like the "reply" and "like" buttons. It helped Palingates grow into a very busy, dynamic community.
Unfortunately, there's a situation on this very thread, where a commenter was branded a concern troll. If I encouraged people not to attack the obvious trolls because it's a distraction and waste of time, I must say that the same goes for the so-called "concern trolls."
Palingates (PRK) are very well protected, so the readers can concentrate on the real, more pressing issues, without having to worry about spotting and reacting to any trolls, obvious or not.
A long-time friend of Palingates was accused of being a concern troll. She didn't post under her normal ID precisely for the reasons she stated in one of her comments. We know who she is.
Did anybody else?
PRK are not worried about trolls, they don't affect us at all, as long as they're duly ignored. Why should anybody else spend so much time and energy on them and sometimes be way off the mark?
Let's concentrate on the issues that really matter and forget about the trolls, imagined or otherwise.