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Guidelines for identifying different kinds of trolls?

Last posted Mar 26, 2012 at 12:35PM EDT. Added Mar 24, 2012 at 09:23PM EDT
16 posts from 9 users

Okay, I know we seem to have a pretty good grasp on what constitutes a forum troll, but what about users trolling in other areas? Case in point, user howe094 has created seven entries in the two-and-a-half months he’s been a member, and not a single one of them show any indication that it was meant to be taken seriously. On the contrary, most of them seem to be intentionally offensive or obnoxious.

I think this guy should be banned, but more importantly, I think there should be discussion on where we draw the lone on trolling by:
1) creating multiple entries just for lulz
2) uploading multiple offensive or otherwise inappropriate pictures and videos
3) leaving comments in the database that only serve to disrupt productive conversation.

I’d like to say that I consider this clearly distinct from a new user doing some of these things out of cluelessness, and there should be a warning given to the offender.

Thoughts?

Mar 24, 2012 at 09:23PM EDT
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Have Chris pimp slap him across the face to knock some sense into the poor lad.

Mar 24, 2012 at 09:29PM EDT
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As a user I don’t have a place crafting an official policy, but I just thought I’d state that we’ve been hiding Troll entries in the Duplicate Hunting thread as they make it harder to access real entries and have no chance of being confirmed anyway.

Mar 24, 2012 at 09:30PM EDT
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@MDFification: I think I’ve said before that as a mod, I don’t really have much authority either, but I see little reason not to open it up to public discussion.

As much as I hate the term (especially when used in legal matters), I think a “three strikes” policy would be fair. Not that doing three of the above items is grounds for a ban, but that a potential troll should get two warnings, perhaps the second warning coming with a temporary ban, and then the next offense gets a perma-ban with no warning.

Fairly, though, I think even such a system should come with some mercy for those who “mend their ways”. Rather than a permanent “mark” on their record, if they switch over to being a productive contributor to the site, their reputation should be fixed in some manner.

Mar 24, 2012 at 09:52PM EDT
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1) RockNRollRainbowJew is probably the most recent example of this. Difference with your example is that he created a larger amount of crap in a shorter period of time. He has been banned for this 3 times now if I’m correct. But there are plenty of other examples. Most of these stop after creating 1-3 entries, although I have seen occasions where they try to crawl under the radar by making a second account.

2) That problem? user has been given us enough trouble with this. Using proxies to create multiple accounts, only uploading porn before he receives a ban/delete. This happens quite often. But the consequences with this of course depends on the type of media they post.

3) This has multiple examples, most of these unfortunately happen on the MLP entries way too often. New accounts that only post insults or dumb random vids/pics. The only reason for it is an attempt in starting a shitstorm. Some of these stopped after a warning, but some also continued (which has resulted in banhammers multiple times).


So perhaps a more clear line to follow when one of these situations occur would be nice. It of course depends on the quality and quantity of their trolling, plus the mod dealing with the situation.

It’s also like you said, there’s a line between cluelessness and trolling. The first just needs to receive an explanation on the function of KYM, whereas the second needs a warning (or perhaps even more).

Edit: I often wish we could ban crap contributors more quickly, but everyone deserves a second chance.

Last edited Mar 24, 2012 at 10:05PM EDT
Mar 24, 2012 at 09:53PM EDT
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Regardless of intention, I think if anyone is considered disruptive enough, they should be temp-banned. Disruptive might be subjective to some people, but in many cases, especially in the entries, it is not very.

Figuring out if, say, a religious fundamentalist is trolling or actually holds an opinion is notoriously hard, but if they are annoying enough, it’s enough to justify a ban anyway (assuming mods/admins have warned him/her beforehand – one or two warnings seems enough, imo).

Also, one potential situation you forgot that doesn’t happen on KYM as often as Wikipedia (which actually doesn’t involve trolls in many cases):
Edit Wars.

Edit: I’m a fan of the permaban if they really do not get any better; I know the admins aren’t.

Last edited Mar 24, 2012 at 10:00PM EDT
Mar 24, 2012 at 09:54PM EDT
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I’d like to put these 4 points forward for debate. These are my personal views on the matter.

1. Creating Entries, purposefully, that make no serious attempts to describe a meme, subculture, event or person, is not in compliance with site rules.
Doing this will result in a warning from the site moderators. If this behavior continues after a user has received a warning, the offending user shall be banned. The length of ban is at the discretion of the moderator applying it.

2. Vandalizing an entry is in addition not in compliance with this site’s policy. If a user is discovered intentionally doing this, they may be banned without warning, again with the length of ban at the discretion of the moderator applying it.

3. Uploading Pornographic or gore materials, regardless of nature, shall result in a permanent ban without warning.

4. Any accounts that are controlled by users previously banned for these offenses may be subject to ban at any time without cause.

Mar 24, 2012 at 10:39PM EDT
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It might be smart to say that we only have two types of bans.

One week, and permanent.

Mar 24, 2012 at 10:45PM EDT
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MDFification wrote:

I’d like to put these 4 points forward for debate. These are my personal views on the matter.

1. Creating Entries, purposefully, that make no serious attempts to describe a meme, subculture, event or person, is not in compliance with site rules.
Doing this will result in a warning from the site moderators. If this behavior continues after a user has received a warning, the offending user shall be banned. The length of ban is at the discretion of the moderator applying it.

2. Vandalizing an entry is in addition not in compliance with this site’s policy. If a user is discovered intentionally doing this, they may be banned without warning, again with the length of ban at the discretion of the moderator applying it.

3. Uploading Pornographic or gore materials, regardless of nature, shall result in a permanent ban without warning.

4. Any accounts that are controlled by users previously banned for these offenses may be subject to ban at any time without cause.

1. While you’re right that this is against the rules, I think we do get a lot of new users that don’t read the rules, and don’t realize that we’re (at least somewhat) serious. On a first offense, I think it’s almost impossible to tell whether it’s trolling or cluelessness, because we walk a fine line between informational site and humor site.

2. I agree, but is vandalism a common problem with editorship being limited on each entry?

3. Once again, while this is more serious, context can be important. If a new user joined and cluelessly made an entry for Tubgirl, or started to upload hardcore pix to the Rule 34 entry, they might have simply not known better. In this case, obvious trolls are obvious, but we can give some benefit of the doubt.

4. Personally, I don’t know how admins are able to determine this. (Yes, I know they can see IP addresses of users, but are those necessarily accurate? I’m in California right now, but I’m pretty sure my IP address shows as being in Pendleton, OR, which I’ve never even heard of, nor do I know why I’m being mapped there.)

(Actually, my Internet seems to keep fading in and out. I’ve got satellite Internet, and it’s snowing pretty hard right now, so…who knows how long my connection will last?)

Last edited Mar 24, 2012 at 11:36PM EDT
Mar 24, 2012 at 11:21PM EDT
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I’d like to throw in (or second, but I don’t think I’ve seen it yet) that maybe some users are lost causes without being trolls but having the same effect essentially.

Is there much reason to differentiate between a troll who is obviously trying to rustle jimmies and a user who consistently does so without any sign of change? We moderate in order to keep the peace, but if a user (despite his or her motives) causes trouble consistently despite warnings, then I’d say a ban should be in place even if they don’t mean it.

Sacrifice one to keep many in “order” kinda thing.
 
 
So with that in mind, I’d say that banning isn’t a bad thing, especially temporary ones. Warnings are good and nice, but some people simply don’t care about words.

Can the user not visit the site under a ban, or can they simply not post from certain IPs?

Mar 25, 2012 at 12:09AM EDT
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Verbose wrote:

I’d like to throw in (or second, but I don’t think I’ve seen it yet) that maybe some users are lost causes without being trolls but having the same effect essentially.

Is there much reason to differentiate between a troll who is obviously trying to rustle jimmies and a user who consistently does so without any sign of change? We moderate in order to keep the peace, but if a user (despite his or her motives) causes trouble consistently despite warnings, then I’d say a ban should be in place even if they don’t mean it.

Sacrifice one to keep many in “order” kinda thing.
 
 
So with that in mind, I’d say that banning isn’t a bad thing, especially temporary ones. Warnings are good and nice, but some people simply don’t care about words.

Can the user not visit the site under a ban, or can they simply not post from certain IPs?

I believe that a ban both blocks specific IPs from commenting and that account from commenting.

Mar 25, 2012 at 01:53PM EDT
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Verbose wrote:

I’d like to throw in (or second, but I don’t think I’ve seen it yet) that maybe some users are lost causes without being trolls but having the same effect essentially.

Is there much reason to differentiate between a troll who is obviously trying to rustle jimmies and a user who consistently does so without any sign of change? We moderate in order to keep the peace, but if a user (despite his or her motives) causes trouble consistently despite warnings, then I’d say a ban should be in place even if they don’t mean it.

Sacrifice one to keep many in “order” kinda thing.
 
 
So with that in mind, I’d say that banning isn’t a bad thing, especially temporary ones. Warnings are good and nice, but some people simply don’t care about words.

Can the user not visit the site under a ban, or can they simply not post from certain IPs?

While what you’re saying makes sense in principle, I can’t help but think of users like gi97ol, Jolly Jew, and even RussianFedora in his first few months, who consistently irritate almost everyone, but it’s clearly cluelessness. Maybe it’s easier to put up with that on the forums than it would be with a user who makes random clueless entries (I seem to remember a user that just didn’t understand that we didn’t want him to force his own memes and kept creating entries with an attitude of “maybe this one will be funny enough?” which misses the point, of course. Actually, that may have been gi97ol…) that the mods have to deadpool and explain yet again why he’s doing it wrong, but I feel like the community has warmed up to a number of these sorts in time.

On the other hand, if there is a standardized way that we deal out warnings and bans, it’s only fair to apply them the same to all people. Hopefully the clueless won’t be so clueless as to continue their behavior once they’ve had a temp ban and know the mods are serious?

Mar 25, 2012 at 04:17PM EDT
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Thanks, Chris and Brucker.

On the other hand, if there is a standardized way that we deal out warnings and bans, it’s only fair to apply them the same to all people.

According to Chris, banned users can still visit the site but simply cannot participate. So I’d agree with that. And you’re right about some users becoming well-liked and respected. RF is one of the users I look up to. But temporary bans don’t seem to be a terrible thing, and I think it’s more active than unorganized warnings.
 
 
So I guess that since my concerns are addressed:

  1. creating multiple entries just for lulz
  2. uploading multiple offensive or otherwise inappropriate pictures and videos
  3. leaving comments in the database that only serve to disrupt productive conversation

Could these be addressed in the same way?

I’d second Brucker’s three strikes suggestion.

  • Like Brucker said, some users don’t read the rules, but it’s hard to ignore that (1) by “Inbox.” That would be a formal warning on the first discovery of continued offenses.
    • I’d like to specify that some users may slip up once (e.g., uploading just one NSFW image or a questionably NSFW image,) so perhaps there could be a less formal warning without threat of a ban in that instance. (So if we happen to catch a user very early on in their activity, then we could give them a “head’s up” before they got the first formal warning.
  • Continued offenses after the formal warning would merit a warning restating the problem and a temporary ban.
  • And then finally, there would be no need for a warning for a permanent ban.

However, the moderators and staff would have to know when a certain user already got a warning, so they didn’t get redundant before getting before getting to the warning with a temporary ban or so they don’t get a second temporary ban.
 
I personally hesitate to suggest permanent bans unless a user is being particularly disruptive with no remorse, but 3 or 4 temporary bans for the same offense may be too lenient.


And I forget where it was said, but perhaps there could be a thread (once all of this is sorted out) where rules and the specific actions of moderation are explicitly stated. For example, “Use Common Sense” and “Be Nice” are rules for the forums. I like the language, but they are very subjective. Also, some users don’t have common sense. So I’d suggest the hypothetical thread to have specific issues we’ve seen before, but not limiting action to those issues.

Last edited Mar 25, 2012 at 06:03PM EDT
Mar 25, 2012 at 06:01PM EDT
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Trash Boat is (spoiler) W.W. wrote:

lets let the king decide if howe094 should be banned.


Ah, if I’m not mistaken, the “thumbs-down” sign means “kill him”. Well, I can’t argue with the king, can I?

Mar 25, 2012 at 08:56PM EDT
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From my experiences(lol) with the IP ban, it isn’t actually an IP ban. My main account was banned, but the alt that I had used when I found one of KYM’s backup sites and tested it to see if it was legit was not banned. I accessed KYM from my home computer, just as I do with my account that I am using now. No ban for notLUISSS.
Additionally, I tried accessing my original account from school, and it was b&.
TL;DR: It isn’t actually an IP ban.

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:35PM EDT
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Skeletor-sm

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