Feedback on Átila's Vision for D

H. S. Teoh hsteoh at
Thu Oct 17 23:35:04 UTC 2019

On Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 09:58:14PM +0000, Guillaume Piolat via Digitalmars-d wrote:
> From:
> I hope the reader now see it's hopeless to have no moderation and hope
> for the best, since goodwill alone doesn't prevent some people from
> enjoying distress in others.

Wow, it took >15 years for "official" research to recognize this fact?

Since around Y2K I've recognized the futility of engaging in online
debates, especially with certain personalities that exhibit certain
traits. They have be variously described as trolls, sadists, -- I call
them griefers.  Basically, their whole goal is to cause grief for the
sake of causing grief: they actually have no personal investment in
whatever topics they engage in heated debates about; their only goal is
to keep bringing up controversial issues to provoke other participants'
reactions and derail or distract from any productive discussions that
might be taking place. They will often latch on to what, on the surface,
appears to be very valid and legitimate issues, and use that to rouse
the rabble.  Some of them are very good at it, and it's not so easy to
tell their real motives at first. But eventually, their real motives
will become clear.

Once that happens, the only winning move is to not play, because the
more you engage them, the more they're emboldened to keep doing what
they're doing, to the detriment of everyone and everything else.

Most communities will have at least 1 person that continually falls for
their devices (cf:, thus perpetuating their
goals. But you know what's funny?  On the (very) rare occasions that all
participants are able to refrain from engaging with them, these
sociopathic types will pack up and leave, instantly "forgetting"
overnight the oh-so-important issues that they were apparently
oh-so-very-passionate about, thereby revealing that in reality, said
issues were nothing more than convenient bait with which to arm their

After encountering more than a few of these personalities, the truth
will gradually dawn on you of that great old adage: "don't feed the
trolls". The more you play this game, the more you will lose.

> Good communities are built on the Internet with exclusion (moderation,
> internet point, banning, etc...)
> As evidenced by Reddit, HN, StackOverflow, having all of
> that and maintaining a good level of civility. Not banning people is
> the surest way to have an unwelcoming community.

Ah, I must be old and jaded then. I have much less confidence in banning
and moderation that you apparently have. The problem with moderation is
that the griefers will adapt and find ever new ways of being compliant
to the letter but violating the spirit, gaming the system to their own
ends. Consequently, the finger on the trigger will inevitably become
heavier and heavier, and ultimately it will result in a sterile (and
puerile) community that can no longer generate fresh new ideas, because
anything that goes against the accepted norm will be knee-jerk rejected
as "trollish".

You can't win on the internet. Either you have an open community, where
griefer types will inevitably show up, or you have a closed community
that grows stale and old (and practically dead as far as innovation is
concerned). There is no third choice.


Дерево держится корнями, а человек - друзьями.

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