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26 June 2006 @ 11:22 am
Name-calling is a dealbreaker  
I like to debate issues with people on Livejournal and other online forums, and I will sometimes even play the Devil's advocate - voicing an unpopular opinion, just to force the person to mount an argument for their stated opinion.

The funny thing is, that is just what many you would call a "troll" do, and it can be hard to tell the difference - at first. What makes a troll a troll, is their intention in doing that. I like to debate issues, it's a good way to get yourself and others to really think about things - a troll simply delights in pissing people off, and the classic troll may start out with something resembling a debate, but will soon degenerate into name-calling.

And that, for me, signals end of discussion. It can be hard to resist, as I often have more to say, more reasoned arguments and refutations, but once the word 'moron' hits my screen you are officially no longer worthy or capable of participating in the discussion.
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Jacobyak_boy on June 26th, 2006 05:18 am (UTC)
Well, that was kind of my point. You can't say someone is a troll just because they argue an unpopular point - you need to watch how the argument unfolds. If they use it as an excuse to start name-calling they are a troll: they were simply looking for a fight.

The discussion that prompted this entry was actually with someone I happen to know has a long history of trolling - but their initial point was a lucid argument, so I engaged - was promptly called a girl and then a moron. So, I simply stopped responding. The best way to kill a troll thread is to stop feeding it.
carlowecarlowe on June 26th, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)
The best way to kill a troll thread is to stop feeding it.

I've been trying to point this out lately to a few people I know, to little avail. I think some people like the excitement and angst; each to their own. Delete the offending comment + ban them + no anonymous posting = problem solved.
Jacobyak_boy on June 26th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
Not on my journal, so I can't delete or ban, but I don't really care for deleting comments anyway. It's enough to simply not engage.

If others want to take the bait, they can feel free.