Political Trolling and Intimidation

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posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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I've got a bone to pick and it's a big one. First, I want to be crystal clear as to where I am starting from and what my beef is about or not about.

What it's not about:

  • Political Advantage
  • Personal Grudges
  • A call for whine with my cheese


What it IS about:

  • Freedom to express opinions
  • The ability to debate openly
  • Feeling free to invite others here.


Where I figure I have the right to say something:

End the Political Trolling


Now there has been a trend here and recently it's gotten worse than I've seen it here. Names aren't a part of this and there are too many to go into in a general way, anyway. If we're to be 100% honest, I'm among the problems, at times, as much as I'm here now seeking a solution. Fair is Fair and I debate too aggressively and too forcefully to even play at saying I haven't crossed the lines myself. I have and need to work on it.

All that being said. The hateful crap has to stop. There is a pretty clear line between very aggressively and even viciously sometimes, pursuing a debate topic and turning that aggressive and vicious approach on the *PEOPLE*, not the topic. Last night, there were a couple different threads where the target of opportunity became the GOP. Not specifically Republican Politicians, let alone any single politician. In more than one post, it was blanket condemnation of all Republicans, as a whole.

Now, I could sit here and note that Dr. Michael Savage is someone I agree with on at least a few points. I could note that Liberalism being a Mental Disease *IS* among what I agree with him on. That absolutely carries as far and wide as it might sound, and if it offends.... *GOOD*. It might give some idea how how it feels to see multiple, established and respected users here categorize a whole block of people as hateful, bigoted, of low intelligence or simply backward to the point of somehow forfeiting the right to express opinions.

I COULD say all that. However, outside of a Rant, like this, saying all that would be outright hateful and combative with no purpose other than to hurt, anger or intimidate others into shutting up, depending on how I read the person I was directing it to. I DO NOT say such things in such general and broad ways though, for that reason.

THERE IS NOTHING BUT HATE AND ATTACK behind it, let alone to be gained by it.



If I were new here and say, just arrived yesterday.....the scene last night may well have caused me to rethink my choice of coming to ATS. In fact, I absolutely won't invite people from college to join ATS right now, as much as I'd love them here and I believe they could contribute. It's not the "Tin Foil Hat" stuff, because the average person I know would be fascinated by much, even if they don't agree. It's the petty, cheap shot attacks that come and go to anyone who dares post a contradictory opinion in a thread where the direction and ideology has been established.

I see exceptions to that but generally only when there are multiple people coming onto a thread. This is absurd and ridiculous. It's almost like, in some topic areas, we'd better travel in little ideological packs for mutual support! These are all FIGHTING terms and combat tactics. Literally. Are we a site of debate or are we a ring to step into and go to war?

I know the answer to the above, and it's in the link I opened this with. It's just crazy it even needs to be cited.

If one thing could be said or taken from this and my effort to write it, it would simply be this.

Ask yourself.... Is what I'm about to say aggressive to the topic and subject or to people? If it's to the topic, why that defines debate. If it's to a PERSON who isn't the SUBJECT of the story or topic, it's trolling at best.....and gutter attack at worst.

It takes almost no effort and loses nothing to be decent to each other and debate with SOME baseline of respect. It'll cost us all what we love most, ATS as a site to enjoy, if the fighting and gutter sniping keeps up as a regular thing. Many have already left....more talk about it or up and leave all the time. Is it all really worth this just to put other people down and feel like a specific point or thread was a victory?

I'll close on that....and just hope things mellow some. Right now, I feel like I'm off to war more often than not when entering several forums here these days....and that's just not right.




posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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Well put Wrabbit as always..

and to add to that rant....the offenders usually get away with it while those defending themselves get reprimanded and post deleted....usually with a note that WE should know better....why shouldn't they know better??? Maybe it does say something about their mental state?



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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Just point out their reliance on logical fallacies, also I think you are referring to a dialogue and not a debate.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



Last night, there were a couple different threads where the target of opportunity became the GOP.


And that never happense where threads target all Democrats or all Liberals.



Yes, the GOP is taking a bashing right now...but it is because of what GOP politicians are doing and saying. So you have been fine with all the Obama hating, all the liberal bashing, all of the smearing from the right to the left...but now that GOP politicians are making fools of themselves...you want it to stop.

Where were you before???
edit on 22-8-2012 by OutKast Searcher because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by OutKast Searcher
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



Last night, there were a couple different threads where the target of opportunity became the GOP.


And that never happense where threads target all Democrats or all Liberals.



Yes, the GOP is taking a bashing right now...but it is because of what GOP politicians are doing and saying. So you have been fine with all the Obama hating, all the liberal bashing, all of the smearing from the right to the left...but now that GOP politicians are making fools of themselves...you want it to stop.

Where were you before???
edit on 22-8-2012 by OutKast Searcher because: (no reason given)



Isn't the above exactly what Wrabbit was refering too?

he said.




Last night, there were a couple different threads where the target of opportunity became the GOP. Not specifically Republican Politicians, let alone any single politician. In more than one post, it was blanket condemnation of all Republicans, as a whole.


target of opportunity became the GOP, as in, that just happened to be the one at the time...

S&F Wrabbit.

as to the OP,

My view is that this is exactly what the Two party system is designed to do, keep us divided and polarized. Too busy fighting ourselves to see what is going on.

It gives who ever is in charge a free hand to do as they will, all they have to do is hit a divisive issue and watch us play to their tune.

Illegals, Gay Marriage, Gun Control, Abortion, all smoke and mirrors to keep us fighting.
edit on 22-8-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by OutKast Searcher
 

I'll just note here that my first point in the op was acknowledging that I'm not above the the problem I've described and need to work on my own approach at times. That covers the reverse as you refer to. It was very much in my mind as I was thinking out this rant and putting it together that I hear plenty of people complaining about this the other direction.

I rarely see it to realize it, but that is likely because when Conservatives are aggressive toward Liberals as individuals it's not as apt to stand out in my mind, and that's an honest answer. Realistically though, it was only a few days ago I'd seen people saying that ATS has become too dominated by the Right Wing, interestingly enough.

@Conspiracybuff

I'd used last night's thread as an example and for those who didn't see it, it's really not that important to link and bring names in where they needn't be. I believe I'm safe in thinking we're all seeing examples here recently. It's certainly not just the one evening though....that was just especially visible.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 06:14 PM
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I think that I might well be one of the people you indirectly reference. Even if not - this is something I have noticed about myself and am working to correct.

When I post personally - it's not as a mod, it's as a member. Politics are always a hot button issue for people and we all lose our cool discussing them - at one point or another. Even me. I can get irritated and find myself posting from that POV and not in a positive mindset. For this I do apologize ( to most people that I've sparred with and those who have simply read my comments and thought "what a jerk" ) It has never been my intention to be a hot head. It just happens sometimes!

And, to preempt any thoughts that aren't accurate - we mod by consensus here... So no mod actions end up reflecting a political bias. If I report anything it's discussed by several people before action is taken.

As I said, I'm working to correct this flaw in myself currently. But sometimes it does take a little bit of an indignant stance to get ones point taken seriously around here. So IMO one has to look at context and previous posts to get a sense of whether or not a member is trolling, intimidating, or just frustrated and in the right.

~Heff



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


As a matter of fact, I really enjoy your messages, even if I've disagreed with a few here and there.
You're one of the few mods I see really getting down into the lively debates and willing to mix it up a bit. Due to that, I think people have gotten a lot more comfortable with you and less fearful of getting something done to them (Out of misunderstanding..as you note for how I've understood mods work here).

What I'm really referring to is more subtle than the outright blowups that happen from time to time. Unless people get outright obscene and profane, I've noticed mods tend to let things work themselves out, at least to a reasonable point. I think that's been quite helpful actually.

Specific things said to draw insult to entire blocks of people...and members, for that matter, is what drew my ire last night, but the long term issue, in my view has been more pervasive than comments on one thread or two.....and frankly, as close as I'll get to any names on this is to say a large part has been from SOME of the newer members to come on....or the accounts showing old dates but almost 0 activity for a year or two..or more. (not to leave out some established folks...lol)

It's the response one gets if they are conservative and post on a thread dominated by liberals..or in fairness and often enough to certainly note, the same reaction when a liberal joins a thread with a large # of conservatives. The sometimes very blunt statements that one must be Stupid, incapable of understanding material that is read or worst, not worth sharing in the discussion or offering an opinion is what really has been grating.

Sure... I and others could fight each time..but that just makes us become what the whole problem is in the first place right? Aside from that...This really isn't even about personal offense. It's more about driving good people and new folks right off the site ....to the loss of us all and ATS as a whole.




edit on 22-8-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



Well Spoken



L
L, already on P1
they iz trollin'
desperation much?

remember, they have to keep everyone divided
and buying into the big lie

Tactical F&S



posted on Jan, 4 2013 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Good topic.

When it comes to politics it is far too easy for me to get snarky (good word) with my comments.

Although I often find myself in a strange position, because I have been accused (in many threads) of being both a republican and democrat. Although I don't personally align myself with either party.

But, as another member above mentioned, I do believe that the two-party system was meant to have us at each others throats.



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 09:26 PM
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There is seriously no need to attack someone personally during a debate... wait, isn't that what our politicians do?

There is certainly no reason to generalize a particular group... darn they do that too.

Well name calling is definitely pointless... wow they do that too.


You know what, I feel bad for these trolls... "for they know not what they do," to quote a great role model.

Well, as my mamma used to say, "its not about democrats or republicans, it about picking your criminal."
edit on 30-1-2013 by bmmark because: mamma said so





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