Reducing trolling on Askaboutmoney?

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RedOnion

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In terms of improving behaviour, the only thing I'd be a bit stricter on is banning trolls much quicker. Those people who are here for an argument rather than a discussion. The ones that point out when someone may have used an incorrect technical term, but when they themselves make a glaringly obvious error that shows they really don't know what they're talking about either claim they didn't say it, or fail to acknowledge being called out.

I respect the mods here, and I understand users can't be banned just for having a different point of view, but sometimes in trying to 'out' a troll the mods can show themselves in an unfavorable light and take threads down rabbit holes.

If someone is continuously starting arguments, and not adding anything in any of the threads they post to, ban them before they ruin the discussion.

There haven't been many of them of course, but they ruin AAM for everybody. What I can't understand is those that re-register under different user names, and come back to the same threads they've posted to previously. What sad little lives they must have if they've nothing better to do.
 

cremeegg

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In terms of improving behaviour, the only thing I'd be a bit stricter on is banning trolls much quicker.
Who are these trolls I keep hearing about.


If someone is continuously starting arguments, and not adding anything in any of the threads they post to, ban them before they ruin the discussion.
They are adding their point of view, why shouldn't they.

In fact my favourite national newspaper employs several columnists who contribute little to the discussion except to bring a catholic, lesbian, (not the same person) genial idiot (you know who I mean) whatever else point of view.
 

WhiteCoat

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What sad little lives they must have if they've nothing better to do.
In a post about improving behaviour on AAM, this seems like the proverbial copulating for virginity / waging war for peace approach.

One could, I would argue, reasonably ask of someone with in excess of 3,000 posts in just over two years whether your life's "balanced score card" is doing ok?
 
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Brendan Burgess

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Hi Red

This is a very difficult balance for the moderators to strike. I think we have a lot less trolling than other sites.

If people who are contributing nothing and just argument for the sake of it, they don't last long before being banned.

I understand users can't be banned just for having a different point of view
And this is the nub of it. There are posters talking rubbish but because they disagree with the conventional view, if there is one, they actually serve a purpose.

My general approach is

1) If a post breaches the Posting Guidelines - it's deleted.
2) If a person is a repeat offender, they are warned and banned if they persist.
3) If a poster is wrecking a thread, especially a Key Post, I will either delete the posts and responses or move them to a new thread.

4) I will often tidy up key posts - deleting distracting posts.

when they themselves make a glaringly obvious error that shows they really don't know what they're talking about either claim they didn't say it, or fail to acknowledge being called out.
This presents another problem. As far as I can recall, we have banned only two people ever for being persistently wrong. Usually, if someone posts something wrong, it will be corrected. But there was a poster who gave tax advice when he clearly had no idea at all what he was talking about and as is often the way, it was delivered with confidence. It was pointed out to me by a few people that this had now become dangerous as new users would not know how ignorant he was. I told him to stop posting on tax matters, but he persisted, so we banned him.

Brendan
 

Romulan

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I think ASKABOUTMONEY has done well in this respect and it remains balanced and informative.

I'd hate to see it go the way of politics.ie where many threads descend into the online equivalent of a loud argument between opinionated bores.
Throw in freely exchanged insults and loads of Emojis.

I'd modify askaboutmoney rules to ban the excessive use of Emojis, they really are the pits.

I'd also be careful about who you choose as moderators (so far so good!), there is at least one on politics.ie who is clearly unsuited to the role.
 

Brendan Burgess

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many threads descend into the online equivalent of a loud argument between opinionated bores.
But that is the problem.

How do we stop that?
Ban users?
Close threads after two pages?

In most threads on "opinion" type issues, I stop reading after two or three pages.

Brendan
 

cremeegg

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One could, I would argue, reasonably ask of someone with in excess of 3,000 posts in just over two years whether your life's "balanced score card" is doing ok?
Ohh o_O that hurts.

And I am referring to myself there, no one else.
 
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WolfeTone

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but when they themselves make a glaringly obvious error that shows they really don't know what they're talking about either claim they didn't say it, or fail to acknowledge being called out.
Would you have any specific examples?

You recently try to call me out for trolling, but failed to back it up with specifics. This is not untypical with alot of posters. Another poster randomly posted that I was deflecting, when asked specifically to identify where I deflected they never responded.
It is clear that some posters are intent only on targeting the poster rather than contributing to the discussion. This is sad. They need to get out more.

Ive called out today what I consider to be an obvious misinterpretation of detail by another poster this morning. Its obviously open to that poster to respond or not as they wish. But if they dont respond, or acknowledge that they have misinterpreted detail, should they be banned???
 

elacsaplau

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Three comments:

1. AAM is an excellent site - well moderated and credit is due to Brendan and the other moderators for doing a very fine job most of the time.

2. The information dissemination role performed by AAM is very useful and helpful. However, personally, what I most enjoy in AAM are those threads with a bit of an edge and/or passion to them. You know the ones where two formidable posters hold strong different or opposing views and dig in. Take, for example, the recent fun and games between the Duke and WolfeTone - great entertainment.

An overly sanitised AAM would lose some of this and similar "get popcorn" moments.

3. That said, I am not immune to being irked by certain posts. Even in this thread, a poster has quoted me "out of context" and then commented on this "out of context" quote. As WhiteCoat and WolfeTone have both said some folk do need to get out more!...……….


[My "some folks do need to get out more!" above is exactly how posts degenerate - I didn't like being misquoted and extracting a quote out of context is misquoting - and so I react in kind like the brave keyboard warrior that I am. And, let's face it, there's a bit of the keyboard warrior inside very many of regular posters on discussion boards. It's a liberating environment in which people can express opinions freely without the shackles of polite society!]
 

Brendan Burgess

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2. The information dissemination role performed by AAM is very useful and helpful. However, personally, what I most enjoy in AAM are those threads with a bit of an edge and/or passion to them.
A good point but the primary role is information.

So maybe when people interrupt a Key Post or other information type post with the "arguing for the sake of arguing" we should zap those posts quicker.

If the Duke and Shortie are arguing about what exactly a bubble is on page 20, it doesn't really matter too much. They can waste their own time and if they are entertaining you, that is fine too.

Brendan
 

Romulan

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But that is the problem.

How do we stop that?
Ban users?
Close threads after two pages?

In most threads on "opinion" type issues, I stop reading after two or three pages.

Brendan
All of the above, eternal vigilance and all that.

You can ignore them certainly but like weeds, they start to spread.
I have noticed on politics that more and more of the threads are becoming painful to follow.

And eventually you just stop going to the site.

In fairness, I only recall one thread here where a poster was especially animated.

Back to eternal vigilance.
 

elacsaplau

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A key question for me is what to do with this behaviour which happened today on another thread?

Poster A makes a statement to support his narrative?

Poster B points out the factual error in Poster A's premise.

Poster A does not acknowledge his error but simply attempts to make his point again - this time free from obvious errors.

Poster B finds the lack of acknowledgement of the blatant error irritating (though, in this case, unsurprising) but there is not much that he can do? On occasion, he will launch a sharp retort which has a high probability of being called foul - whereas the original offender's post, the actual source of the issue, remains!

And to extend the point. We are talking about behaviour on AAM which comes from the mindset. So what was the mindset of Poster A. Did he (a) know he was making things up (not good!) or more likely, (b) did he not know what he was talking about and therefor should have acknowledged the new, to him, information?
 
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cremeegg

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Would you have any specific examples?

You recently try to call me out for trolling, but failed to back it up with specifics. This is not untypical with alot of posters. Another poster randomly posted that I was deflecting, when asked specifically to identify where I deflected they never responded.
Going over points like this is my personal bugbear. So they failed to specify. Move on, and remember readers can see what is happening and make up their own minds.
 

cremeegg

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A key question for me is what to do with this behaviour which happened today on another thread?

Poster A makes a statement to support his narrative?

Poster B points out the factual error in Poster A's premise.

Poster A does not acknowledge his error but simply attempts to make his point again - this time free from obvious errors.
So A has learned and improved his argument. What does B want, a thank you card ?
 

Brendan Burgess

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. Did he (a) know he was making things up (not good!) or more likely, (b) did he not know what he was saying and therefor should have acknowledged the new, to him, information?
In most cases it was the latter.

I don't think that people make up facts on Askaboutmoney.

Poster A makes a statement to support his narrative?

Poster B points out the factual error in Poster A's premise.

Poster A does not acknowledge his error but simply attempts to make his point again - this time free from obvious errors.
Is this in a factual information type question or in page 20 of a discussion?

As I said we have banned about two people in twenty years for persistently posting factual answers with confidence which were absolutely wrong. But we also occasionally deleted factually wrong posts which are later corrected so that people are not misled.
 

WolfeTone

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Going over points like this is my personal bugbear. So they failed to specify. Move on, and remember readers can see what is happening and make up their own minds.
I agree in general. And admittedly it is a learning curve not to fall for the obvious baiting.
 
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