Mudcat Café message #442047 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33195   Message #442047
Posted By: Burke
16-Apr-01 - 06:51 PM
Thread Name: Non-music....Why,oh why, oh why?
Subject: RE: Non-music....Why,oh why, oh why?
I was a member of an e-mail discussion forum that had a couple of really bad actors. One I'd describe as a complete troll. He never initiated or participated in a discussion without somehow including a piece of bait. Initially he trolled the whole group, taking an extreme stand on an issue he later admitted he didn't care a lot about. He soon found one very easy target & then phrased his statements to incite flames from that direction. I never understood his motivation, but he was never disappointed, either. I did once have a discussion with someone acquainted with the troll. I was told that in person he also tended to try to get a rise out of others by the way he said things. In pre-net days I guess we'd have called him a tease. The main difference between him & some of the trolls here, is that he did have a consistent name & I did learn to read his messages for the valuable parts & ignored the rest.

Unfortunately the target of our troll was also a big flamer in general. Many messages were flamed for little or no reason. There were other generally well behaved sorts who would from time to time post a really witty message that seemed to be for no other purpose than getting yet another rise from the voracious barracuda. They usually got both the laugh from the general group & the fire from the target.

Much later I spent a couple of hours talking to someone from the group who has a paranoid relative. He outlined for me the indications that this most troublesome member of our e-mail group was possibly close to certifiably paranoid. Much as I was angered by what had happened to our 'friendly' 'happy' group, in looking back I could see how messages like those I've mentioned & some of mine own, helped to feed an already existing bad state. I had, in fact, gotten a fair amount of positive (You tell 'em) feedback about my contribution to the mess. The fact is that after a while, in reaction to frequent provocation, we were out to get her. There had been many who said just ignore it, but I & others could or would not.

All of this is a long way of saying what Bonnie said at the start No matter where you go you will find troubled folks. Not much you can do about that but follow the 'Golden Mudcat Rule' of not responding to their postings and hope that eventually these folks will realize they have a problem and will seek some help. Of course the difficulty is in actually doing this. It is really hard to walk away. I do laugh at the wit these trolls evoke. If someone is saying something really hateful, I do what to see others object. Just not everyone. Occasionally I will put my $.02 in, but try to avoid the general din. I do feel solidarity with those who are setting whoever it is straight.

Maybe a question to ask ourselves is 'Why, oh why, do I feel the need to have my say here? Am I really doing some good with this contribution?' It seems to me some other groups are better about the situation where one person can say, 'This is a troll, ignore it,' & have it ignored. It seems like here one will say, 'This is a troll' & a dozen others will come in with, 'X, you are so right, it sure is a troll, maybe we should ignore it.' Then the insults & jokes start and the thread keeps coming up to the top. GET A LIFE is a good example. I read enough to see what was up & stopped. Don't know what's keeping it alive but if it had died over the weekend as it should have, most of us who took the weekend off would have missed it completely.

Remember, the only person you can control is yourself.

Burke, Been there, done that. Want to see my scratches?