What's the mod/admin policy on trolling?

Buckster

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When it comes to posting comments for the sole purpose of disruption, amping up emotions, thread-jacking and so on so that some a$$clown can get his jollies at the expense of the other members, commonly known as "trolling", what is the policy here at TPF?

Should it be reported as trolling at the first sign of it, so that mods and admins can intervene before it gets to the point of having to lock the thread and throw away the key? Or is it not something the mods and admins would pursue anyway, so no sense reporting?
 

pixmedic

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I know we have rules against inflaming comments...
but as for starting a thread with a known "hot topic", im not sure that its technically against the rules.
a lot of times, those threads are reported just so we can keep a loose eye on them for if/when they do go bad.
hijacking a thread is another thing that i dont remember seeing any specific rule against, but typically when a thread gets too far off track a Mod will step in.
as for "official" policy, i honestly am not sure. hopefully some other mods will weigh in here with some answers. I will go double check the TPF FAQ and see if i missed anything. i DO know that sometimes when a thread gets hijacked too badly a mod will go in and delete specific comments.

The best I could recommend would be to just report the comment in question so all the mods get a message about it and it can be dealt with on a case by case basis.
 

ffarl

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As an admin, let me just say that it's our first priority to keep this a smooth running, efficient forum that's a pleasure to use. There are a lot of opinions out there, and passionate ones are common when you're talking about an artform like photography. Report anything that you think is a genuine disruption to the mission of this forum. All we ask is that the members keep in mind that each time a post is reported, an email goes out to about ten different people, and some or all of us stop what we're doing and look into it.

We don't put up with trolling, spamming, thread-jacking or any other nonsense as a policy. If you think a thread might soon cross the line into something illegal or immoral, an early heads up is appreciated. If the worst that's going to happen is that someone gets away with being a jackass, well lets wait till the jackass crosses the line.

Thank you for your honest inquiry. We do our best to keep things moving along smoothly here, and it's good to know you're on our side.

Thanks!
FFarl
 

480sparky

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........ keep in mind that each time a post is reported, an email goes out to about ten different people, and some or all of us stop what we're doing and look into it. .....


Keep in mind, also, that ten different people will react in ten different ways to the same report. Where one mod might say, "Meh, it's OK", another might just up and close the thread.
 

Overread

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I've little to add to what's been said above save to repeat that if you see something you're concerned about report it or pm a mod/admin (reporting is best since we can all take a look). Also be sure to share your thoughts in the report, air clearly why you're reporting the incident - we may not always agree, but we will review and look at all the reports and your viewpoints are important and we do take them into account.

As for trolling its a fine line between quips and trolling and banter. We do not want to take this site to a point where we are banning general conversation and banter between members as that creates a friendly atmosphere that we feel is important to the site and the community.

It's also important to remember that the best way to "beat a troll" is simply to ignore them and not rise to reply to them. Members are free to reply to what they wish so if you see a silly comment the best way to "beat it" is just to simply not reply or respond to it. Trolls who troll properly do it for attention, so when they don't get any they quickly lose all interest (its often FAR more effective than moderator warnings - which is often just another form of attention).
 
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Buckster

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Thanks for your responses so far. The thread that prompted me to ask is this one:

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/332708-raw-jpeg.html

To my way of thinking, the members and the thread got trolled there. It could easily have kept going to the point of a frisky fight followed by a lock, but the instigator decided to give it up, and basically admitted to trolling.

I just wonder if it would have been the right thing to do to report the first comments that seemed destined to touch it off and, if so, how that might have been viewed and dealt with by the staff.

Obviously, it's over at this point, and hopefully won't start up again, at least not in that particular thread, but for future reference...
 

kathyt

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This video is my idea of the perfect summer Saturday afternoon.
 
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Big Mike

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It's also important to remember that the best way to "beat a troll" is simply to ignore them and not rise to reply to them. Members are free to reply to what they wish so if you see a silly comment the best way to "beat it" is just to simply not reply or respond to it. Trolls who troll properly do it for attention, so when they don't get any they quickly lose all interest (its often FAR more effective than moderator warnings - which is often just another form of attention).
Also, remember that each member has the ability to put other members on their 'Ignore list'...so that you don't have to see posts from any members that you don't want to.
 

The_Traveler

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We don't put up with trolling, spamming, thread-jacking or any other nonsense as a policy. If you think a thread might soon cross the line into something illegal or immoral, an early heads up is appreciated. If the worst that's going to happen is that someone gets away with being a jackass, well lets wait till the jackass crosses the line.
l

tread-jacking is a common practice here, sometimes innocently done as a side-issue and sometimes purposefully by members who think they have the right.
How should we handle that?
 

kathyt

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It's also important to remember that the best way to "beat a troll" is simply to ignore them and not rise to reply to them. Members are free to reply to what they wish so if you see a silly comment the best way to "beat it" is just to simply not reply or respond to it. Trolls who troll properly do it for attention, so when they don't get any they quickly lose all interest (its often FAR more effective than moderator warnings - which is often just another form of attention).
Also, remember that each member has the ability to put other members on their 'Ignore list'...so that you don't have to see posts from any members that you don't want to.
I am an anti-ignore member. So you can't "ignore" me. :)
 

480sparky

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Also, remember that each member has the ability to put other members on their 'Ignore list'...so that you don't have to see posts from any members that you don't want to.

.. unless they're quoted in another post.
 

kathyt

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We don't put up with trolling, spamming, thread-jacking or any other nonsense as a policy. If you think a thread might soon cross the line into something illegal or immoral, an early heads up is appreciated. If the worst that's going to happen is that someone gets away with being a jackass, well lets wait till the jackass crosses the line.
l

tread-jacking is a common practice here, sometimes innocently done as a side-issue and sometimes purposefully by members who think they have the right.
How should we handle that?
Okay, really? Do we need a time out chair? I think you forgot to raise your hand before you asked your question. This is a forum, and should be fun. I think some people need to loosen up and relax a bit.
 

Big Mike

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It's also important to remember that the best way to "beat a troll" is simply to ignore them and not rise to reply to them. Members are free to reply to what they wish so if you see a silly comment the best way to "beat it" is just to simply not reply or respond to it. Trolls who troll properly do it for attention, so when they don't get any they quickly lose all interest (its often FAR more effective than moderator warnings - which is often just another form of attention).
Also, remember that each member has the ability to put other members on their 'Ignore list'...so that you don't have to see posts from any members that you don't want to.
I am an anti-ignore member. So you can't "ignore" me. :)
You'd be impossible to ignore anyway. :eyebrows:


.. unless they're quoted in another post.
And there is the issue of disjointed threads where you're only seeing part of a conversation.

As mentioned above, the real trick (for the mods and admins) is to find a nice balance between getting rid of the crap....and heavy handed over-moderation. This is something that we (and probably every well run forum) has to deal (and sometimes struggle) with.
It's a moving target and we don't always get it right...but really, in the end it comes down to the fact that you can't please all of the people, all of the time.
 

pixmedic

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I would also like to point out, that when threads start to get censured, people complain about the forum being "over moderated"
when the people are left to their own devices, to play nice as adults, and things go bad....people complain about "not enough moderation"
It appears to be an extremely delicate balance, and finding a happy medium not an easy task at all. someone is always unhappy about the way things are being run.
 

amolitor

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The verb "to troll" has far too many meanings. It means anything from "posting an opinion that disagrees with mine" through "I just hate that guy" all the way over to "making a joke that someone doesn't find amusing" and finally "deliberately derailing a thread"

All of these are pretty common on TPF, and it's not clear to me there's much harm in any of them. If the OP has already gotten what they were looking for, or can easily glean it out of the thread, good enough, I say.
 

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