Please Welcome Critics: Basic Ground Rules For a Civil Discussion:

page: 1
3

log in

join

posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 07:28 PM
link   
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)




posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 07:46 PM
link   
Nice, a definition that covers practically everyone on ATS with an opinion.


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.

It's questionable whether 'cyber bullying' even exists. Before social networks appeared there were all kinds of flame wars and banter on forums. Everyone knew the score - teh Internetz is not a babysitter for the easily offended.


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?

So basically anyone who criticises an idea, disagrees with it or calls BS on something is a 'troll'? 'Deny Ignorance' works both ways.


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.

See the above point. The best way to arrive at 'THE TRUTH' is through critical thinking.


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?

Exactly. I'm a hardened skeptic, but more often than not I still look into something before criticising it. How many others actually try analysing a UFO pic that might just be genuine?


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.

Yep. What I was getting at.

Agree totally with your last points as well.



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 07:54 PM
link   
reply to post by jjf3rd77
 


Wow!!! Just WOW!!!! After you make this ridiculous unfactual thread earlier today, you have the GALL to make a post about Trolls?????

Above Top Secret

Are you upset because people called you out for your apparent agenda to be a cheerleader for Romney?



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 08:01 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 08:17 PM
link   
Oh, come on. Can't we put political views aside for a moment and all make love together? Group Hug!

There's more to a person than his/her political position (in most cases, at least).



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 08:24 PM
link   
If a person is able to carry on a conversation here without intentionally disrupting it by being juvenile, they are not a troll. That's my opinion. All the other other one's that you mentioned can take a hike.

You've been here for a year and you say you would like to see the quality of the board increase. Posts like yours will help that happen because it encourages intelligent debate. The longer you're here the more "tricks of the trade" you'll learn in how to ignore the trolls.

Me, I stay from certain topics where I know trolls like to congregate. The only reason I'll participate in a political discussion for instance, which I typically don't do, is if someone who is on my friends list is there and I'd like to see their opinion on the subject. This is kind of like in real life; you'll learn more from like minded individuals than you will from people you have nothing in common with. You might learn a few things from them but you have to wade through all the other parts of them you don't like just to get there. I just don't have the patience for that anymore.

Just a suggestion, but if I were you I would narrow down your definition of a troll. You might find you get along with people better that way and, before you know it, you'll wake up one day and realize you've been coming here for 7 years. You'll also realize that as time went by, you learned how to become more focused on what you care about and stopped caring so much about actually arguing your point; debating it instead. Trolls don't debate. They argue.

You can't take things too hard here. Be passionate about what you care about, by all means, but don't let the other people who might put you down for your views or just flat "troll" them, get to you.

Life's too short.




posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 08:24 PM
link   
WTF!!?? Why have I only got [S]one[/S] two stars? Come on guys, I AM the voice of excellently-reasoned argument here. You know it.

How's this for a clearer definition of troll:
'Someone who attacks the person instead of attacking the argument'?

There - now we have a clear line between 'troll' and critic.
edit on 6-8-2012 by XeroOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 08:28 PM
link   
off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


Posted the above image myself, LOL.
edit on 6-8-2012 by XeroOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 08:40 PM
link   
One more problem with debate is the ever popular "sample of one".

An example of this might come from economics. High school drop outs usually earn less money. University grades usually earn more money.

A "sample of one" for this might be my neice who just got her BA is working at starbucks and an NBA basketball player is making millions.

I hate the "sample of one" as a point



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 10:12 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 11:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by jjf3rd77
Today, I want to talk about trolls. Trolls as you may know come in many different shapes and sizes.


I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Trolls do come in many shapes and sizes, as you know! The good news is they are very easy to spot, the bad news is the memories after spotting them will be burned into your memories forever. Ignore and laugh at trolls, never take yourself too seriously or you most likely deserve trolling, it's that simple.
edit on 6-8-2012 by Hiasyouwant because: (no reason given)





top topics
 
3

log in

join