Monday, November 9, 2015



A Ducktroll in action


Nastiness Threaten
Online Reader Comments

by Rob Lever

November 7, 2015 12:39 AM


Washington (AFP) - The Internet was supposed to facilitate better exchange between the public and news media. But vile and hateful comments changed all that.

In the face of rising vitriol -- attacks, bigotry and general nastiness -- news organizations are increasingly throwing in the towel on online comments.
Last month, Vice Media's Motherboard news site turned off reader comments, saying "the scorched earth nature of comments sections just stifles real conversation."
It instead began taking "letters to the editor" to be screened by staff.
Vox Media's online news site The Verge said in July it was "turning off comments for a bit," noting that the tone was "getting a little too aggressive and negative."
Blogging platform Medium this past week allowed its users to hide reader comments, acknowledging that "sometimes you may not want to get in a discussion."
The Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Beast, news website Re/code, the millennial-focused news site Mic and Popular Science also have shut off comments.
And Vox.com launched last year without them, saying that "flame wars" turned readers off.
"Newsrooms are really struggling with this," said Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor of information studies at Syracuse University.
"They like the idea of the comments because it brings readers back, it creates a community of people who are dedicated and that's good for advertising," she told AFP.
"But the downside is that when people see lots of vitriol and attack, even if they are not using bad language, it turns people off. The worry is that instead of fostering communication, you lose readers."

The Outtacontroll a prime polluter of blogs

Research this year by University of Houston professor Arthur Santana found anonymous comments on online news sites can often bring out the vilest of views, particularly on hot topics such as immigration.
- 'Locusts, vermin' -
"Often the targets of the incivility are marginalized groups, including racial minorities," Santana said in the Newspaper Research Journal.
Santana found readers referred to immigrants as "cockroaches, locusts, scumbags, rats, bums, buzzards, blood-sucking leeches, vermin, slime, dogs, brown invaders, wetbacks," among others.
Santana said that newspapers "have expressed frustration with rampant incivility and ad hominem attacks in their commenting forums," but may also be hurting their own reputations by becoming a place for mud-slinging.
The problem is not limited to US news sites: "flame wars" have forced the shutdown of comments on South Africa's largest online news publisher 24.com and Independent Online has done the same.
Controlling online forums can be especially tricky in countries where news organizations may be held liable for defaming content from readers.
Some news organizations have sought to clamp down on incivility by requiring registration and banning anonymity.



An Emanymtroll

- Facebook as a tool? -
One tool is from Facebook, whose plug-in verifies the identity of those who post comments, requiring people to use their real names.
Some evidence indicates the Facebook platform and other tools have helped the tone.
A 2013 University of Kent study found that by making users "accountable," the Facebook system makes them "less likely to engage in uncivil discussion."
But when The Huffington Post ended anonymous comments and began using the Facebook plug-in, it sparked anger.
By creating obstacles to posting, "you lose a lot of commenters," said David Wolfgang, a doctoral researcher in journalism at the University of Missouri.



A theocratic Conservatrolla

Wolfgang, who has been researching the state of online news comments, said many newsrooms were unprepared for the deluge of acrimony but should not give up.
"If your local news organization isn't going to provide a space for this conversation, who will? It doesn't always work out the way we want, but that doesn't mean we should throw it out," he said.
- Tech solutions? -
Large news organization employ teams of moderators, sometimes with help from outside contractors, to weed out inappropriate comments. But that's not feasible for many budget-stretched newsrooms.
Some are looking to technology, to filter out nastiness and highlight constructive conversations from readers. Several private vendors offer software for this.

A typical Proglotroll

The Washington Post and New York Times have joined forces on a project funded by the Knight Foundation to create open-source software that can be adapted for news websites to get a better handle on online discussions.
Greg Barber, director of digital news projects at the Post and a member of the "Coral Project" team working with the Mozilla Foundation, said the competing dailies realized that "we had the same problems and it made sense for us to work together."
"Civility is a challenge for everyone," Barber said, adding that the Post gets some eight million comments a year and struggles to keep a positive tone with its own moderators and an outside contractor.
"When users come in and see a pie fight, they are likely to pick up a pie and throw it," he said.
"If they see a reasoned discussion, they will want to contribute in a reasoned way."
Project members have spoken with publishers in 25 countries interested in trying the software, which will be offered free.
News sites may use their own criteria to keep the dialogue on course, according to Barber.
Barber said the software, set to be released for testing in January, aims not only to filter out the ugliness but to identify the "trusted" readers and display constructive comments more prominently.
"It's not just to scrape the mud off our boots, but to find and highlight the valuable contributions," he said.
View Comments (1219)

http://news.yahoo.com/nastiness-threatens-online-reader-comments-053929979.html
 
Last-but-not-least we have the Lescarpentroll

60 comments:

  1. The righties are far worse. They're the ones, remember, who have such problem with what they see as the imposition of "political correctness" (not being a rude slob).

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does the article discuss the political orientation of trolls, Jersey?

      I think not.

      I've kept many comments in our SPAM box, to use as classic examples of the gratuitous nastiness Mr. Lever examines and dissects. You may expect to see some of them published here today, since they prove Lever's point conclusively.

      Meanwhile, please note that in your honor I have posted an illustration of a classic CONSERVATROLL.

      We wouldn't want anyone to think we were completely one-sided. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Okay, Jersey, here's an example chosen at random of a comment I judged unacceptable by someone calling himself Dan Rather:

      Has any liberal ever wondered if Mrs. Carson picks fleas out of her tail as she walks on her hind legs? That's the sort of racist slime Lisa allows on her blog and Free Stinker hangs out there with nary a word about it. See, in their pinched little minds it's not racism when they call the POTUS "Obongo," or the "N" word, or Mrs. Obama a gorilla, they're just telling the truth and eschewing "political correctness." But quoting Kindly Dr. Carson's nonsensical statements: "America is just like Nazi Germany," "Darwin was influenced by Satan when he wrote about Evolution;" and now the latest from Kindly Dr. Carson, that a Biblical figure built the great pyramids of Egypt to store wheat. Quoting him means we're racist and haters. Look if you haven't noticed by now, Lisa and her stupid and asinine disgusting friends all "went funny in their heads" a long time ago, and that's why stupid rants like the ones that Free Stinker and the porn Queen host are all they've got left to express ...

      Delete
    3. Now THIS next one is a real BEAUT! See of you don't concur, Jersey?

      You've certainly proved that you are a JOKE!" So Listen Jerk. There is at most only one person who deals with you with respect and dignity (that you have shown yourself, time and again, YOU do _NOT_ deserve.). And that is Elroy. Your responses to anything regarding Mr. Obama have shown you to be truculent, churlish, and childish. Why he waste his time with you is beyond comprehension? Over and over again you have shown yourself to be silly, shallow, simplistic, and simple. You cannot address your stated positions in a civil manner when so many honest and well meaning Liberals have taken the time to point out errors, logical fallacies, or mistakes in reasoning. So do not expect me to show you anything but scorn and derision. Ya I know ... ... So you are wrong; naa naa naa doo doo - stick your head in poo poo. . . . Thanks Obama ... Feel The Bern ... Ema Nymton ~@:o? . Oh, and ... Up yours! FT

      Isn't that charming? I've done a lot of soul searching in a desperate attempt to find the "socially redeeming" virtue in comments of this ilk, but have to admit I have failed miserably.

      Does anyone HONESTLY believe broadsides like this DESERVE to be accepted and treated with dignity in a public forum?

      Delete
    4. Just ignore 'em.
      Don't make a song and dance about how they're not worth any response. Really, just silently dispose of them.

      here endeth my advice

      Delete
    5. I ignore them at other peoples's blogs, Jez, but I JETTISON them here.

      If you'll pardon the vulgar analogy, it's all-but-impossible not to feel the unpleasant effects of an odoriferous fart in a crowded elevator. (:-c

      THIS elevator car, if you'll permit me to continue the awkward analogy, is doing its best to remain a FART-FREE ZONE. ;-)

      We welcome honest disagreement, as long as it does not become disagreeable, but we will not permit gratuitous BADGERING either of self or guests.

      Delete
    6. Slow down there, Jersey boy. This is a problem all around, and saying such absurdities don't make your side look any better.

      Jez has the good advive: Ignore them trolls.

      Delete
    7. Troll is a subjective term, Tex. I haven't visited every blog ever, but from my experience it is the righties who stand out as the most rude, crude, and generally unpleasant. I've seen some libs misbehave, but not nearly anything like I've seen form the right. I've had righties come after me many times - set up fake blogs with my name, use fake monikers to pretend to be me commenting, come after me at my job, personally threaten me - seriously. ALL of that has happened to me and ALL perpetrated by righties.

      JMJ

      Delete
    8. It all depends on whose ox is gettin' gored, don't it?

      Troll is subjective, but I don't see what you're doin' as trolling. You stick to the subject, state your point and answer questions, even if what you say is wildly outrageous and laughable.

      Ya know, we sit around wondering how much of that extreme crap you spout is for show and how much is sincere.

      You can't be that ate up.

      Delete
    9. JMJ,
      I've had righties come after me many times - set up fake blogs with my name, use fake monikers to pretend to be me commenting, come after me at my job, personally threaten me - seriously. ALL of that has happened to me and ALL perpetrated by righties.

      At your job? Surreal!

      Who has time to do that kind of thing? I can't imagine having that kind of time -- much less the inclination.

      I've occasionally been plagued by Righty trolls. But not as often as by Lefty trolls.

      Experiences differ -- that's for sure.

      Delete
    10. The Confederate Yankee came after me about a decade ago, at my job. He was trying to get me in trouble at work. My IT guys caught it, told me about it before anyone knew, and they took care of him. Here's to getting along well with your IT guys!

      If you post a political opinion blog, with comments, and then you get upset when people want to debate you, than shut off the comments. Why even have them?

      JMJ

      Delete
    11. Pointing out your errors is not rudeness, but kindness, More's the pity that you can't see that.
      Apart from elevating your discourse, to a more civilized level, who among us has restricted what you have to say?
      Your right to your opinion is not a right to impose it. You are always obliged to defend it.

      I don't rank you among the trolls, nor i think do SF or Finn and I don't believe FT does either.
      If it weren't already a cliche, I'd suggest a beer summit, accompanied by a knock down, drag out, after which we'd all part the best of friends. We'll invite Ducky too. ;-)

      Delete
  2. FT,
    Oh, oh, oh! These graphics are perfect.

    And the captions? Beyond perfect! Brilliant! A++!

    Looking forward to the responses to this blog post of yours, FT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why THANK YOU, Ma'am.

      Praise from "Caesar" is praise, indeed. ;-)

      Delete
    2. "Caesar" is often used as a symbol for an Ultimate Authority, AOW, –– hence a compliment. ;-)

      Delete
  3. The lefties are far worse. They're the ones, remember, who have such a problem with what they see as the imposition of "polite conversation" (not cursing like a longshoreman.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you know that bickering, or trading insults is a form of trollish behavior too?

      Once we dignify outrageously stupid or mean-spirited comments with a response all we do is give them credence and perpetuate the offense.

      "Jus' sayin.'" ;-}

      Delete
    2. ___ A STERN WARNING ___

      Arguing with the doctrinaire
      
Contributes to your loss of hair
      
Contaminates the brain beneath
      
And possibly may rot your teeth!


      ~ Anne Animus

      Delete
    3. A guy walks into a bar, orders a drink, and then loudly proclaims, "All lefties are *ssholes!" The bartender immediately reaches across the bar, grabs him by his collar, and exclaims, "You'd better take that back!" Shaken, the man retorts, "Why are you a Leftie?" "No," the bartender replies, "I'm an *sshole!"

      Delete
  4. The same rules will never apply equally. But it does not matter. This country remains 55 to 60 percent conservative in nature. Sure, Hillary will fly her broom to the Dem nomination. But so what ? She won't win the general election. She won't beat Trump, Carson or Rubio. The GOP dominates the levers of power at the local and state level's not to mention both houses of Congress. Tough sledding for Hillary in the General. No Democrat has won 3 consecutive Presidential elections since FDR. And that was in 1940 !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All right, Edward, but what does any of that have to do with the problem of incivility in public commentary?

      We'll let you get away it this time, since you're new here, but please remember in future that WE DO NOT ALLOW IRRELEVANT COMMENTS to STAND.

      You MUST respond to the ARTICLE, by showing evidence that you read and understood it, and not go off on a tangent.

      Thank you for your future cooperation.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, and Thanks...

      Delete
  5. Certainly troll are not limited to any particular ideology.

    However, in my experience in the blogosphere, Righty trolls don't infest Lefty blogs as often as Lefty trolls infest Righty blogs.

    Some trolls are simply bomb throwers who evince no particular ideology. I've seen that behavior at music posts at YouTube. Obscene phone callers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bomb throwers are the least objectionable, AOW. They are merely childish and easy to dismiss. It is those who repeatedly flood the blogs with disingenuous, specious argument who represent a threat to intelligent discourse and the free exchange of varying ideas.

      They do this NOT because they hope to persuade anyone to think differently or because they sincerely want to make a point; they do it simply because they love (in the words of a notorious blog irritant of longstanding) "to cheese off the fringe right."

      Delete
    2. Leftwing blogs are super quick to blast rightwing troll, delete their comments and banish them from further commenting, and they do so gleefully, with the hooting commenters making snarky comments that the banished person cannot respond to. I've been kicked out of quite a few, and I wasn't making slobbery slanders, but keeping it clean and challenging their worldview.

      To be fair, FreeRepublic does the same to those who do not remain faithful to their narrow brand of "conservatism." Back in the day, if you criticized Sarah Palin, you were zotted.

      I stopped going there years ago. I grew; they didn't.


      Delete
    3. SF,
      Good point about FreeRepublic. I, too, gave up on the site a long while back.

      For a while, I had an identity at DailyKos and posted a few essays with a Conservative slant. I had to give up the venture. A waste of my time. Very few commenters were at all interested in civil discussion.

      Delete
    4. I've earned lifetime bans from Frontpage Magazine and The Drudge Retort, But my fave is the ban from Progressive Disruptions. ;)

      Delete
    5. You should be proud of being banned from there

      Delete
    6. Edward and Speedy:

      Proud indeed.


      Here are my favorite Censorship badges...

      Leftwing Large Green Turd Bans Silverfiddle and deletes his inconvenient comments.

      Silverfiddle Banned from a Leftwing Kook Site

      Eyeless in Left Blogistan"

      Delete
    7. SF,
      I got banned at LGF. All because I dared to debate the blogmaster.

      Mine as a cogent argument all the way, and some of the site's long-time adherents said so.

      Out I was booted.

      Sheesh.

      Delete
    8. AOW: There is a certain lowly class of weasel with overblown dictatorial urges who love pulling the censorship trigger. They must get some drug-like high or extreme sexual thrill when they can ban someone.

      *- I exclude the proprietor of this fine blog. We all must take out the trash, clean up excrement and disinfect after a particularly nasty toxic spill, unfortunately.

      Delete
    9. Farmer, you got banned at Frontpage? Who knew.
      They banned me twice.

      I usually get deleted rather than outright bans.
      Z ,Frontpage, FreeRepublic, mustang, Alex(while it's still today), kid and Fredd are my only bans although I think I could get one with only a couple posts at Breitbart.

      I give credit to AOW, Ed Bonderenka and Silverfidle for running uncensored blogs.

      With the exception of Frontpage(what a zoo that was) I was within the rules and didn't go vulgar or ad hominem. Freethinke would probably say I was pushing the Frankfurt School philosophy too hard.

      Delete
    10. Yeah, the moderator was the death of the FPM forum. I loved it before Big Bubba, you, me, Weasle, et al got kicked. :)

      Delete
    11. Some blogs just can't handle the truth. SF & AoW are a rarer breed. :)

      Delete
  6. Among the many non-delights
    Found in the blogosphere
    The intellectual termites
    Are certainly most queer.

    The time they spend is worthless
    In seeding comments sections
    With waspish, witless, mirthless
    Phrases filled with misconceptions!


    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  7. The article makes some good points. Anonymity does spur many people to vulgar and trollish depths they would never descend to if they had to use their real name.

    It is a problem found in all ideological camps, despite Jersey's laughable claim.

    Also, there is no way of knowing how many blatantly racist or hateful comments are sincere and how many are false flag operations carried out by those disguised as their political opponents making hideous comments to make their opponents look bad.

    For better or for worse, Facebook, Google and others are becoming the big dogs of online identity, with Facebook in particular forcing people to use their real identity, and Google following suit. How long before Disqus does the same?

    I predict it will become increasingly more difficult to build an anonymous internet presence.

    I am wearying of the overheated bickering anyway and am personally making a sincere effort to tone down my own angry rhetoric.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is that Emanymtroll pictured on your Home Page, Hillary Clinton or is it The Progressive Queen? It's hard to tell.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Let's start by getting our definitions straight: An Internet troll is a Narcissists, Psychopath, a Sadist, someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response. a internet Troll is usually a Liberal/ Democrat/Progressive, one who preaches against hate. The, bile and hypocrisy of the left is stomach turning, especially in wanting to defend and be free to practice their own vile hate-speech and censor any other speech which they find "offensive".
    Political correctness is a tool of Progressives and Liberals in silencing those who opposes their bleeding heart, do as I say not as I do philosophy and agenda...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Read my lips, I am not a Troll. Lisa E.November 9, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    The Nutwingers said the only reason "libtards" voted for Mr. Obama was because he was black.

    Can they answer why they're supporting Carson now that he's been exposed as a person who plays fast and loose with the truth and is also a wacko?

    Could it be just a case of "Some of My Best Friends Are Black-ism" to prove the Nutwingers are oh so politically correct and really, really like the Blahs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlike President Obama, Dr. Carson has some real-world accomplishment that would inspire a normal person to believe he is qualified for high office.

      Delete
    2. "I am not a troll," you say?

      Surely that is a matter of conjecture. If you are not a troll, you certainly give a first-rate imitation of one. The rude, spiteful pejorative tone in your very first sentence gives you away.

      Self-awareness is often difficult to achieve, because we are innately blind to our own faults.

      It would help greatly if you would read and make sure you fully comprehend our rules:

      We welcome Conversation
      But without Vituperation.
      If your aim is Vilification ––
      Other forms of Denigration ––
      Unfounded Accusation --
      Determined Obfuscation ––
      Alienation with Self-Justification ––
      We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.


      IN ADDITION

      Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.


      Delete
    3. Why is the right supporting Carson?

      I think you have to demonstrate that he has much support outside the evangelic wing of the party.
      He has gained support because he has a few media savvy consultants like Armstrong Williams (remember him?) running his campaign and generating publicity.

      If you recall he was a distinct also ran down there with Huckabee and Santorum until his handlers decided to let Ben be Ben and he shot to the top with statements such as Darwin being a tool of the devil.

      He's not going to be around at the finish but he has accomplished his goals to generate heavy duty future speaker fees and become the next Sarah Palin.

      Delete
    4. Can it, Canardo. Your rhetoric may be superficially polite, but your motivation in spouting it is pure POISON.

      You are an admitted LEFTIST. That is tantamount in my book to being an admitted safecracker, second-storey man, child molester or TRAITOR to the ideals and principles on which our country was founded.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheer asininity is subject to deletion here too, hence your rapid disappearance.

      We don't suffer fools gladly here any more than we are willing to put up with aggressive insolence, mendacity and fatuous personalities.

      Delete
    2. An escapee from the Progressives Blog, no doubt.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We welcome Conversation
      But without Vituperation.
      If your aim is Vilification ––
      Other forms of Denigration ––
      Unfounded Accusation --
      Determined Obfuscation ––
      Alienation with Self-Justification ––
      We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.


      Got that?

      Either GET IT, or GET OUT ––– and STAY OUT.

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will not permit our space to be used to disseminate LEFTIST PROPAGANDA.

      I'm not nearly as offended by dirty words as I am by DISINGENUOUS, AGENDA-DRIVEN MANIPULATION of "FACTS" used to blacken a good person's reputation to make partisan political gains.

      Delete
  14. The trolls from the Progressives blog are the worst and we know who they are.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Seems Mr. Freestink only sees trolls on the left and not with the few wingers who recite the right wing line verbatim. Ah well, so much for any whiff of fairness. I was warned about this blog. I should have listened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously, you either have not bothered to read –– or simply cannot read –– the post or the comments. That alone disqualifies you from having any right to be taken seriously.

      Yours are exactly the sort of remarks that motivated Bob Lever to write the article in the first place. Normally, we relegate such spiteful, insubstantial jottings to the SPAM file, but decided to leave yours as a typical example of the kind of thing we must work to eliminate if we are ever to return to having a civil society once again.

      Why do we despise your sort of commentary?

      Because it's rude, it resorts to name-calling, it makes no substantive argument to support your view, –– and worst of all it's simply untrue.

      Now, gaze into a looking glass
      And there you'll see a horse's ass.


      Good bye, good luck, and please don't come back, unless you make a radical change in your tone.

      Delete
  16. Roya Leigh Pistoff said

    Didn't anybody but me notice the Lescarpentroll figure has no genitals? The chart didn't spell that out, but the picture and the pathetic character type it represents amply indicate that that is the case.

    Very funny pictures. Better to laugh than cry at stuff like this.

    ReplyDelete

IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE, SO KINDLY GET OUT AND STAY OUT.

We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––
We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.


IN ADDITION

Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.