posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 12:02 AM
Reality testing . . . particularly good reality testing . . .
vis a vis trolls and trollish behavior . . . on ATS as elsewhere
seems to be in very short supply--most particularly on the part of those most engaged in such attitudes, traits and behaviors.
It has far too sadly appeared far too often to be the case that a significant percentage of folks on ATS . . . what? . . . 5%? . . . 10%? . . . 15%? .
. . 25%? . . . I'd guesstimate between 5% and 20% . . . of all posters--from occasional to frequent posters.
. . . or maybe 40-80% of THE MOST HYPER-'VOCAL' posters . . . demonstrate, exhibit significant amounts of said trollish attitudes, traits and
Or, if we considered another filtering criteria . . . one might guesstimate 70-90% of all chronic, habitual, knee-jerk, addicted-to-naysaying
naysayers to exhibit significant amount of said trollish attitudes, traits and behaviors.
Reasonable critical thinking skepticism is one thing. But that sort of reasonable skepticism seems to have drowned on ATS and most of the net, in a
sea of immediately, chronically, habitually, reflexively, arbitrary, addicted, ATTACHMENT DISORDER fostered, borderline-to-clearly hostile/nasty,
pointed, prickly, sharp to assaultive, haughty, prissy naysaying.
It seems to have become THE RELIGION OF CHOICE, or at least the sub-dogma of choice. The religious fervor with which said folks engage in such
trollish naysaying is often startling to outrageous.
And of course, most to all such over-the-line trollish naysayers are 101% convinced of the supremely omniscient authoritative accuracy and
unassailable perfection of their perspective . . . or near so.
Is it any wonder that increasing numbers of thoughtful posters just abandon the whole bother of trying to initiate a thoughtful thread of substance on
anything remotely vulnerable to controversy? And what isn't vulnerable to such controversy in such a climate?
And, others, who MAY risk initiating a thread on a thoughtful topic will merely post their OP and then retreat or retire to avoid the machine gun
crossfire that inevitably results.
I don't know that I have a solution to suggest.
The ATS standard of civility helps keep the trollishness down to a slightly muffled dull roar. However, imho, that mostly results in hostile
trollishness cloaked in layers of prissiness and codewords that don't really fool anyone nor mollify anyone with the least bit of true civility.
I don't see a way around that. Folks will always find a way--within whatever rules--to express their true natures, their true heart and attitudinal
perspectives--however outrageous, haughty or mean-spirited--in whatever context.
And when such a black-hearted motivation is cloaked in layers of subterfuge . . . almost ANY attempt to reign it in will be met with mock
incredulity--some variation on "Whatever can you mean" . . . with the greatest practiced pretense of innocence.
That's all the more so when those tasked with reigning in such nastiness are over-worked volunteers--some given to being overly human in such
directions themselves--at least occasionally around the edges.
I think at the root, heart of the matter is a particularly virulent core of ATTACHMENT DISORDERED psyche virtually hell-bent on carving out
"meaningfulness," attention, "worth" DEFINED BY the numbers and intensities of upset to outrage they can trigger far and wide on the part of those
who fail to see reality the way the trolls do.
And, if they are lacking in folks on the scene to disagree starkly with, they'll turn on each other in a nit-picking frenzy full of almost as much
blood and knife slashing as is normally reserved for their overt, more opposite opponents.
I belong to ONE website that has a small sub-site engineered by the larger site owner and creator--of INVITATION ONLY members. There is some diversity
but mostly it is a congenial, collegial group of mostly similar values. While there's a significant degree of diversity along some limited issues and
lines--folks are mostly in agreement on the critical values in life--at least ostensibly. And, any nastiness is quickly shot down and the guilty are
well aware they are at risk for being quickly removed from the small congenial group if it persists. And that's a group of say 15-30 people; about
8-12 frequent posters.
I don't think that's very workable in a larger group--particularly a large very diverse group.
I have wondered . . . what would it mean to have a policy on ATS or similar boards where FOR THE FIRST 1-3 PAGES of a new thread, NO naysaying was
allowed. That ONLY after 1-3 pages of neutral to affirming posts could the naysaying begin.
That MIGHT do a number of things.
1. It would prevent the addicted-to-naysaying trolls from trashing a new thread right off the bat.
2. It would also force posters to at least empathetically CONSIDER the possibilities that the OP was either right &/or had some interesting points
worth considering or giving the benefit of the doubt.
3. It would set a standard and a precedent quite opposite to the current one--it would signal more demonstratively that hostile, chronically haughty
reflexive, arbitrary naysaying was NOT that welcome, nor respected, nor nice.
= = =
And/or perhaps alternatively . . . a new thread's OP's respondents could not post a naysaying post within the first 3-5 pages UNTIL AFTER they had
first posted 5-7 neutral to positive sentences about the OP. It might even be possible to program the software to monitor and moderate that issue.
Anyway--just trying to think outside the box toward dealing with the trollish dark tetrad mentioned in the OP. I think the OP is accurate. I think
it's a dreadful fact of net life--even on ATS.
And, I think it's beyond off-putting.
I think it is also a sign of our era . . . a "spirit of the age."