On Forum Moderation

Laeeth Isharc laeeth at kaleidic.io
Wed Oct 23 00:35:54 UTC 2019

On Tuesday, 22 October 2019 at 20:11:56 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
> On 10/22/2019 1:01 PM, Jonathan Marler wrote:
>> How do you decide when someone is trolling and when someone is 
>> making valid criticism?
> Great question.
> Trolling is when the criticism lacks any sort of actionable 
> specifics. Even if it isn't intended as trolling by the writer, 
> it has that effect. For example:
>  Trolling: D is no good.
>  Not Trolling: Bugzilla NNNN is blocking me. Does anyone have a 
> workaround?

Sadly it's quite possible to have the form of a genuine valid 
criticism with plenty of specifics with the intent and effect 
being to troll.

There just no way objectively to determine except by using 
discernment and good judgement and of course that opens up room 
for arguing about it.  Which is why moderation beats censorship.

For example if one were that sort of person one could have had 
endless fun if the rules were as you suggested asking apparently 
sincere questions about the absence of generics in Go on golang 

Wholesomeness and destructive behaviour, they are contagious both.

It's the asymmetric warfare aspect of things that makes it so 
destructive to the spirit of a community.  It takes no time or 
effort at all to stir things up.


Thus, not only can negative mood and the surrounding discussion 
context prompt ordinary users to engage in trolling behavior, but 
such behavior can also spread from person to person in 
discussions and persist across them to spread further in the 
community. Our findings suggest that trolling, like laughter, can 
be contagious, and that ordinary people, given the right 
conditions, can act like trolls. In summary, we:

present an experiment that shows that both negative mood and 
discussion context increases the likelihood of trolling,

validate these findings with a large-scale analysis of a large 
online discussion community, and

use these insights to develop a predictive model that suggests 
that trolling may be more situational than innate.

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