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Posted by on Mar 13, 2007 in Media | 14 comments

Dealing With “Trolls” On Weblogs

More and more evidence surfaces each day that the mainstream print news media is being battered by the fact that younger potential readers are turning to other sources of information — including weblogs.

Why weblogs? Because they’re updated all day, a reader can read lots of them and see what the main stories are, and there is the immediacy of answering back to comment on a story or even comment on the writer of a post. The DOWNSIDE in this info revolution is that blogs eventually run into the “troll” who enjoys stirring up a furor in comments by making charges or lashing out.

How to deal with it? Some blogs let it go on and feel it’s good for readership. Others immediately ban them. Some (like TMV) will delete a comment as a warning but eventually ban them totally (we have done posts on our policy and our policy is stated below the comments box when people comment).

SMASH has taken it a few steps further and researched a commenter and he comes up with some FASCINATING CONCLUSIONS that’ll be of interest to all news junkies, mainstream media types who wondered about weblog verbal bomb throwers and how accurately comments represent real people, and bloggers who have to deal with trolls. Among them: (1) his site’s troll “infestation” is coming from one source using different names and (2) this particular troll “enjoys impersonating minorities and playing on stereotypes” on different sites (and he lists some sites).

Smash writes:

TROLL HUNTING IS FUN. I don’t often post about the trolls I slay, on the theory that doing so only brings them the attention they crave. But I’m going to make an exception in this case, because this one was particularly satisfying, and I want to share the “joy of the kill” with all my loyal readers.

The people of Fallujah are not butchers, as you claim. They are good, decent people. – “DR”

Some of you may have noticed a recent infestation of “trolls” (people who attempt to stir up trouble in the comments) on this site. A few have commented on it. Well, I did some digging over the weekend, and discovered that the bulk of these comments have been coming from a single source. For lack of a better name (he uses several), I’ll call him “Punk.”

Haha, wow, you guys are dense. – “Jalal”

Exposing a troll is a simple matter of matching names of suspect commenters with IP addresses, and then working backwards through the archives. With good blogging software, like Movable Type, you can do this in a matter of minutes. Once you have a list of pseudonyms, you can then find the troll’s posts on other blogs, and trace his history back several months, or even years.

And SMASH has done just that. Read it ALL.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • Job well done in exposing this idiot. However, this phrase is very much in bad taste:

    “I want to share the “joy of the kill” with all my loyal readers.”

    Yeah, sure, “joy of the kill”. Phrases like these put the forces in a bad reputation. That’s totally nonprofessional.

  • Marlowecan

    God, the “punk” troll truly does need to “get a life” as William Shatner observed.

    Where does he find the time to go troll all those blogs? He must be a student. Or a senior executive. Someone with a lot of time on his/her hands.

    And those obscure 80s movies…well, not obscure, but fanboy definitely…

    Sock-puppetry is truly a bizarre thing. I mean, Gray could be my sock-puppet…or I could be Gray’s…or something like that…

    Naw, no one would ever believe that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Maybe SMASH can track down some of our trolls!

  • “Maybe SMASH can track down some of our trolls!”
    Trolls? What trolls?
    ๐Ÿ˜€

  • domajot

    The war on trollo-fascism is one war I can support.

  • Alan

    Perhaps it would help if we called them something other than “trolls”, something both more accurate and insulting.

    How about “Ann Coulters”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Rudi

    Are we trolls or just people who aren’t sycophants to some frontpagers here at TMV. ๐Ÿ™
    SalM was the biggest troll/flamethrower, a little entertaining…

  • Rudi, I had Sal in mind.

  • Rudi

    I thought you were reffering to our “Axis of Weevils”, the triumvirate of “Libruls”; myself, K Ritter and Gray.

  • Hehehehe!

  • Rudi, I think you’ve mellowed somewhat. I’ve barely noticed the other two.

  • Rudi

    I haven’t mellowed, the other Israel critics have given up. I am just an old liberal who can’t support the Nut-in-yahoo crowd. The old Israel, with kibbutz and other liberal policies is preffered over the current crowd. The old ME allowed tourists to visit Egypt or Israel without the fear of violence, those days are over.

  • kritter

    “Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve barely noticed the other two. ”

    Gee, I didn’t realize that my comments were so unmemorable,Holly, lol, .I guess I’ll just have to start throwing a few flames.
    In defense of the libs, Joe’s heading says that his blog is the place for irreverent comments. I believe our triumverate falls into that category, or are we just “Rebels With A Cause”?

  • kritter

    BTW, I still think that both sides are at fault and have perpetuated the violence over in the ME. If that makes me antisemitic- so be it. I fault the Palestinians for using suicide bombers, and the Israelis for continuing to build settlements in Palestinian territory, knowing that that will enrage them.

    I understand that Israel needs our protection to survive, and we should provide it, but that doesn’t mean that we should fight her wars for her. I am just virulently opposed to the neocons that have taken over the DOD , and are urging Bush to bomb Iran, regardless of the consequences.Most of the people in Israel wouldn’t want us to, and many Israelis criticize the hardliners who want war.

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