Today, I want to talk about trolls. Trolls as you may know come in many different shapes and sizes. They emerge from the depths of their mother's
basements to go on forums and disrupt the everyday workings of a website. I myself have been accused of being a troll. Now, let me explain what a
troll is and can be.
A troll calls people names and puts them down using personal insults or attacking their belief system. Now, there are some pretty crafty people here
on ATS, that use statements just inside the grey area of what is or is not allowed on the site.
Trolls can post emotional rants which are then usually placed in the rants section right away. However, to some people ranting against anything is a
definition of trolling.
Trolls like to bully and harass people. It is again not clear in the online universe what cyber-bulling actually is. I hope there have been no
instances of this on this website. But because I am not a forum moderator or site owner, I have no way of knowing.
ATS does a good job monitoring the next type of troll. These trolls post random topics that have no point! They usually go in the trash can.
However, there are other types of trolls that cannot be so easily classified, especially on ATS...Maybe its the curse of conspiracy theorists that
allows for the sampling of trolls to easily find themselves on this website because they are unwelcome anywhere else?
This next troll uses Ad hominem attacks. Ad hominems are tools used by these trolls to try and attack the poster or the other people posting in the
thread and not questioning whatever theory the people in the thread are trying to talk about. This doesn't help the conversation move along, if you
don't agree with the topic at hand, why are you even posting in the forum in the first place? Of course due to the wide variety of people here on ATS
and the wide variety of political, religious, or worldview one may have. Everything can be an Ad hominem! So how are we as a community supposed to
separate a troll from someone who is curious to someone who is trying to make a valid point?
There is another troll that is difficult to determine here on ATS and that is the troll that posts inaccurate facts about a certain topic. If you are
posting something that you claim to be true, you should mention that in your post. You shouldn't make sensational headlines that could make people
lead to a posting that they would rather not have gone to in the first place. Now, I do not see much of this on ATS, but there are those theories that
are completely out there and so random that any normal person would laugh it off. But in the case of ATS, those things are the norm. There have been
some strange Sightings here on ATS so it's difficult again to determine if these are trolls, or just the curious conspiracy theorist.
The last type of troll is the most fun to try to determine. They are motivated by posting an agenda. By conversing with fellow ATS members, you will
soon discover who the locals are in whatever section you like to visit the most! You will soon know who the critics are, you will soon know who the
debunkers are. You will soon know who the believers are. When someone questions your theory or your opinion, and you don't like the conclusion they
come up with, they are not trolls! Indeed most members of the ATS can fall into this last category of trolls, because by definition most ATS people
are curious beings! They want to deny ignorance as the motto goes, but how many of you can truly say that you've worn the other shoe?
I've been both a conspiracy theorist and a critic, now after visiting this site for more than a year, I am a critic and am called a troll many times a
day just for questioning the theories that pop up here on ATS daily.
I want to suggest that trolls are good for debates! Not the first couple but the last troll that I mentioned. Forget for a moment that everyone on ATS
is driven by something to learn whatever truth they are trying to uncover. If you don't like someone's opinion on the matter, don't just call them a
troll and laugh him off. I would like ATS to become a more civilized discussion board. One where members can share information on any topic! Don't get
me wrong, here you can share topics about things that would be laughed off other boards, however. There is a norm there is a majority and a minority
here at ATS. I say welcome the minority! Welcome the opposing viewpoints that don't match your ideology, your religion, your closed paranoid
conspiracy inclined minds!
You may learn a thing or two. You may learn that the government isn't always out to get you with black hawk helicopters, you may learn that your
political ideology might have some flaws, you may learn that the team you are rooting for may not actually win!
If you encounter a debunker, or a critic such as myself welcome him. Try to convince us that you are right using facts and if we continue to question
you either say, "OK I obviously cannot convince you that my theory is right but thanks for listening to me." Don't just call him a troll, or ramble on
until you get the last word.
That is not how a civil discussion works, and I have seen on ATS how many people just don't even read the posts and automatically post whatever comes
into their head by whatever the title says or the first paragraphs. Too often threads get dissolved into Ad hominem attacks and/or attacks on other
members belief systems. I would like to see ATS get away from that and I think the 2012 elections has a lot to do with it because the nation is more
polarized than ever before. But IDK, maybe it's just the nature of online debating. Maybe I am too civilized to want to continue going around and
around in circles with each thread or posting ending the same way.
edit on 6-8-2012 by jjf3rd77 because: (no reason given)