Originally posted by SomewhereinBetween
What I read from the originating post and others is a distinct intolerance for the stating of any opinion that is not pro-Christian at any time. The
language used to mark anti-Christian views is that it is hateful, which obviously sends the message that to have an opposing view is to be harbouring
hate and there can therefore be no truth to the opposing view since it is couched in words of malice.
Actually, you kind of missed the point of the original post, though I admit it did get lost by the end. However it was clearly presented from the
start that the Pope threads were used as an example of the increasing problem, but not where the problem actually lay. It had nothing to do with
oppossing views, it had to do with people who just respond to posts with hate.
I will clarify this with the following criteria. Statements that do not add to the discussion, do not address the discussion, and simply state a nasty
sentiment of something/someone that will obviously offend a large number of people. The types of things that any decent person should know are out of
line, but in fact may be appropriate on a thread specifically intended to express that sentiment. Just not spewed at every opportunity a word is
mentioned in any thread that results in derailing the topic.
The Pope threads were used as an example, because there was a proliferation of them that day. True, not everyone likes the Pope and it is certainly no
secret that many do not care for religion at all. So it would be expected that discussions would include expressing these views and some wild
conspiracies about him. But a line such as "may he rot in hell" truly adds nothing to the discussion, and is showing a total disregard towards
not just the views of many members but their core beliefs. It is not necesarry. This goes on in all topics and some of us honestly see it as
Let me give another example, politics. There are people running all over the board who obviously are not happy with the current President in the US.
Fine, we get it. Does one need to state that Bush is an idiot in every single thread that remotely references the government and even some that
don't? I think not, and these types of actions usually derail the thread. Is it too much to expect that intelligent debate can occur without people
deliberately throwing a thread into the gutter with inane statements that add nothing to the discussion and are offensive to many members? Apparently
many members feel their right to express themselves has no boundaries, whether it is for the sake of common decency or keeping the thread on topic.
Personally I feel these types of things are dragging many threads these days down to a level of immaturity that takes away from the board, and I am
obviously not alone in these sentiments.
The links Byrd posted are excellent. I find it interesting that with so many people saying to just ignore trolls, that the article actually addresses
when trolls are ignored completely they step up their attack in their attempt to obtain the attention they crave. HOW to address them is detailed very
well in the article, and I am certainly going to implement some of these methods in the future. (Though there is a type of "troll alert" suggested
response recommended that I think does not work with ATS because if used, it would be considered a one-liner no-no, and over time would probably be
classified as spamming.)
So, in conclusion I acknowledge that troll behavior is an integral part of being on a discussion board, and as the board grows, the troll behavior is
going to increase. It's just that I've never seen ignoring a problem as an effective solution to anything. I also don't think that reporting every
instance of troll behavior to the Mods is either realistic or effective, the board is too big for that at this point.
So, I encourage everyone to read with great attention to detail the links posted by Byrd and attempt to come up with effective, benign, nicey nice
statements that will diffuse trolls on the spot without encouraging them, then move on with the discussion being extremely careful not to engage the
troll beyond that point, at least that is what I shall do for now.