Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Troll Poll

I have added a poll, first time I've tried this.

The troll isn't a big problem. There is no gardening and no lab work, it's dark for most of the time here now and the weather is definitely not wide-brimmed hat weather. I'm staying in and writing so I'm at the computer most of the day so I can have Blogger's comment list open in another window and stomp the troll as soon as he appears.

However, I do not consider this blog mine. I didn't pay for it and at least half the words here were written by others in the comments. My own inclination is to simply delete every word the troll posts but I realise that isn't fair on everyone else who has to wade through his crap to find something worth reading.

If I block proxy servers, that would block some legitimate visitors who use them.

If I disallow anonymous comments, that would block those who don't want to have to sign up for an account.

So that leaves moderation.

Moderation would slow down comment conversations. Not by much at the moment because as I said, I'm going to be here all the time for a while. There will be times when I'm away at the lab that would mean it could take some hours to get the comments posted but lab work cannot start for at least a month. Those who pay for it are all on holiday, and when they're back, it'll start with meetings.

I put it to you, the reader. Would you tolerate delays in your comments appearing, or would you prefer to leave the troll window open?

Here's something for the troll to consider. Not one word of his, in any incarnation, will ever appear on this blog again. I will not respond to anything he says in the moderated comments or by Email. I can hold a grudge to the end of Time but in his case I'm willing to apply an extension.

So what say you? The troll will claim he wins if moderation goes on but does that really matter if nobody ever sees his words again? Who will he brag to? What has he won, beyond his own permanent exclusion?

This is not a totalitarian blog. I am not going to impose conditions here, I am going to ask the readers what they want.

Should he stay or should he go?

Update-
Whoops - forgot. The poll runs to 2 pm (GMT) on the 31st. So if the vote is 'moderate', he won't have anything to do on New Year's Eve.

37 comments:

Conan the Librarian™ said...

I don't have moderation on my blog LI, and I was caught up in a peripheral way in The Great Cybernat Scandal, sometimes known as cheesegate.

Let them post and they are soon revealed as what they are.

In this case, moderation in all things doesn't work...

The Filthy Engineer said...

I would say leave him to show what a twat he is.
I take it he's of this class.

http://niklowe.blogspot.com/2010/01/trolling-for-beginners.html

Leg-iron said...

He's no problem for me. I just go to the comment list, two clicks and he's gone.

He's getting in the way for commenters and they don't have 'delete' buttons, so I thought it fairest to ask the opinions of those affected.

Leg-iron said...

FE: He's not even at that level. This one has no argument at all.

the archdishmop of cranberry said...

who will rid me of this troublesome troll?

The Filthy Engineer said...

I just don't reply to trolls. Ignoring them is what they hate the most. They try to get you, the host, to bite. That's what they want the most.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Archdishmops need cannonized.

Rob F said...

He might be a pain in the arse but as you said, he's a bit fun as well.

I reckon FE's right. He'd only feel justified in his role as a crusader against right-wing / crazy libertarian hate mongers if you censored him.

I'll try to ignore him, too (it'll be hard, though).

It only takes a few seconds to scroll through his posts. They're mostly blank space, after all.

Richard said...

I'd go for disallowing anonymous comments, at least for a while. A minor inconvenience for some, but a lot easier for you. Other than that, delete, delete, delete. Like that game at the fair with the hammers and the moles.

andy said...

My guess is leave him to 'comment' for the time being.

The advice above to simply comment around him feels right.

I personally find the behaviour quite interesting but then I am wired that way.

Let him contribute...

Leg-iron said...

Blogger doesn't let me block individual proxy servers. As far as I can tell it's all or nothing. Besides, even if I did block one he'd just get another one.

I could disallow anonymous comments but Blogger IDs are free, he can just set up a dozen. Mine don't contain real info, no gifts for the ID thieves in there. Nobody checks.

Leg-iron said...

So far the voting is heavily in favour of no moderation. I suspect the two votes for moderation are from the troll.

SBC said...

Leggy, you call that what he does 'trolling'? He couldn't troll his way out from under the bridge of your Hornby set and his retorts aren't just lame but paraplegic.

Ignore him, a couple of months and his parents will decide he needs to get his own place and will evict him from their basement-and their broadband connection.

Simon Cooke said...

With apologies (well sort of):

"Saving Trolls"

http://theviewfromcullingworth.blogspot.com/2009/11/wednesday-whimsy-saving-trolls.html

Well someone has to!

Rob F said...

Richard, I don't think that would work, unfortunately.

It'd be OK for demolishing Anonymongs, but Dickie insists on pretending to be other people.

Not that he bothers to use proper grammar or capital letters because he wants us all to know that's its Him! He's our unfairly persecuted saviour!

Freebird Jussy said...

It is but a bug on your windscreen, one click of the washers/wipers and it's gone.

Bucko said...

You have a disadvantage over me with the heavy traffic on your site. He appeared on my blog twice, but because of the lower traffic and the fact that I have my emails from the blog routed to my work address aswell as my home one, I deleted both comments before anyone else had the chance to read them. He hasn't been back yet.
Moderation probably isn't the answer because he wants you to change wht you are doing because of him.
I suggest just deleting his comments and not giving him anymore publicity. If his gig isn't working he will move on.
A troll needs recognition on the blogs because he doesn't get any in real life.
Just crack on with the blog and ignore him.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Multiplayer thingy?

Oh, you're working doon Leith again...

Richard said...

I am aware that anyone can get multiple IDs and post that way, but each one takes a finite amount of time to set up, and if you deleted every one as soon as it appeared it might become too much like work for the poster.

Perhaps better to let him have his fun and just delete as appropriate. He'll get bored soon enough.

Woodsy42 said...

Personally I would moderate and delete him - or her or it whatever. But you don't have to premoderate and delay every comment. You could just kill them off whenever it's convenient for you to do so. Some would get through for a while but we commenters wouldn't drown in them so much.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Come now Sparky.



Now, please.

heavy petal said...

00:19

blimey, i think she banged that one out with her head

Junican said...

The biggest problem, as I see it LI, is not that you do not recognise the Nutter, it is that your commenters don't. Even worse, your commenters have no way of knowing if the Nutter is impersonating someone else. I use Wordpress. Wordpress assigns a 'gravatar' to commenters (I assume, on their email addresses). This stays the same. [A 'gravatar' is a sort of 'logo' or small, coloured diagram]. If you look at Frank Davis's site or the Bolton Smokers Club, you will see the 'gravatar' (logo) adjacent to the name of the commenter. Mine is a black spiky thing.

Clearly, you can recognise spoof comments from the email address, but your commenters cannot. On other sites, I have been able to recognise genuine comments from the gravatar. I have slipped up only once with Harleyrider, which was because he started a Wordpress blog himself and was assigned a different gravatar!

Another advantage of Wordpress is that one can 'reply' to comments. The advantage as regards the Nutter is that you can post a 'reply' to any comment he makes saying, "It's the Nutter - ignore completely" - then delete his comment later. I like that because we can all have a laugh at him before he is disappeared.

He hasn't troubled me lately - perhaps he realises that I need not 'moderate' to waste his time rather than mine. And he cannot imitate anyone else easily.

I have no personal interest in Wordpress - it just seems to me to be better than blogger.

I can't vote - neither alternative appeals to me.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Hmm. Just thought about the Plains Amerinds smoke lodges; worship Wakan Tanka and complain that banning tobacco leads to war...

...because you canny smoke.

Leg-iron said...

Having the comments list open is actually very handy. New comments appear at the top so when I have multiple posts up, I don't have to scroll back to see if there's anything needing a response.

I wish I'd thought of it sooner.

Anonymous said...

Errm – can anyone on here explain to me exactly why trolls, well, troll at all? I’m really not sure why this particular individual seems to feel that it would be such a massive triumph if Leg-Iron had to moderate comments. Is it just to waste Leggy’s time, and if so, what’s that going to achieve (from the Troll’s perspective, that is)? His comments seem to be pretty obvious in any case – there’s a sort of disjointed stream-of-consciousness style about them. You know the sort of thing – makes comments which are so cryptic as to be meaningless, but he clearly thinks they are terribly, terribly clever. This, coupled with the almost total lack of punctuation and capitalisation means that even an old-timer like me can pretty much tell him from the first sentence and it’s perfectly easy to skip over his comments to more interesting (and understandable) ones.

One request, though. If you do decide to go the sign-in route, Leggy, pleeeeese can you put some nice, clear instructions somewhere as to how to do it? Frank D’s just gone down this route for the same reason as you’re considering it, and even though I’ve signed up with Wordpress and made some comments over at his place, I’m still struggling (I can currently only make comments there by “replying” to someone else’s). It’s one of the reasons why I’ve always commented on here under the “Anonymous” moniker – I don’t actually know how to get one of these account-y thingies on Blogger …

subrosa said...

Auch let them have their 15 minutes of fame. Deleting them without any acknowledgement soon has them running to another site.

Leggy I check my comments a few times a day and respond then if I can. If I find a troll I 'delete forever' without explanation.

I wish you luck. You already have good judgement. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and also Leggy, I've been reading your blogs from the outset (oh, yes, back in the days of the tales of your girlfriend Ug and your adventures in the lab - happy days!) and I'm at a loss to think of a single one which contains anything which the Troll could use as a threat to "expose" you in any way. Methinks that perhaps he's confusing you with someone else ...

Leg-iron said...

SR - I'm getting the feeling the general impression is just 'delete and ignore'. It doesn't look as if moderation is coming on.

Anon - Ah yes, I miss Ug and her lovely long, brown, curly teeth. Before the smoking ban this was a far more jovial place to be.

If the day comes when normality is restored, abnormality will return here.

Angry Exile said...

I'd say avoid moderation if at all possible, but Blogger's basic comments system is more likely to leave it as the only option. Using an add on comments system gives a blogger more anti-spam and anti-troll tools to play with, though they can be a bit of a pain in the arse to install and my own experience with support isn't anything to write home about. But on the upside I can choose either to automatically delete or automatically moderate comments from specific IPs and/or email addresses, define lists of key words (e.g. a troll's favourite misspellings) which send a comment directly to moderation purgatory, or even maintain a whitelist of approved Wordpress and IntenseDebate users or ones with a comments reputation of X points who can always comment while moderating everything else. Since I tend to get spam rather than trolls I hardly use any of it apart from having set comments with ≥ 3 links or which mention scaffolding (amazing what things some people spam) for moderation, but some of those would be possible anti-troll measures that could reduce the problem without going as far as moderating everything.

nisakiman said...

Ignore and delete. Moderation will be a pain in the ass for you and for everyone else. It will also hand him victory, pyrrhic though it might be.

Frank Davis said...

Getting people to sign in seems to be working pretty well on my blog. Comments appear immediately.

And it's actually quite normal in places like the Telegraph (where I occasionally comment) for people to sign in. And 10 years ago it was the same on the Guardian (although I've not been there recently).

I'd prefer it the way it was, but while there are trolls around who want to screw things up, I can't see a better way to get rid of them.

Woman on a Raft said...

What ever is easiest for you. I'm going to read the blog whatever happens but I don't always immediately have time for the comments, so I'm often catching up with them later where a smooth edited version is easier to read anyway.

PJH said...

LI - Are you simply deleting the comments or marking them as spam?

I suspect the former - if you try the latter, then the problem might solve itself after a while...

Leg-iron said...

PJH - I mark as spam because that doesn't leave all those 'comment deleted' things in the way.

That generally takes the next few out automatically but it's not permanent.

PJH said...

Ah. As you were then. :/

Amusing Bunni said...

Trolls HATE to be ignored. So, just ignore any of his twatish comments, if a few slip by before you delete them.

Disquis you can block the IP, so unless he is using 1,ooo diff ip's one click and he's gone.

I've read funnier things on a wall of graffiti, so personally I don't find him entertaining in the least.

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