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Sunday, December 29, 2019

The troll wars

The problem with which we've been dealing for the last few years is just a microcosm of a much larger one that has disturbing long-term implications for the future direction of the intersection of technology and law:
The resounding message in the Pew report is this: There’s no way the problem in public discourse is going to solve itself. “Between troll attacks, chilling effects of government surveillance and censorship, etc., the internet is becoming narrower every day,” said Randy Bush, a research fellow at Internet Initiative Japan, in his response to Pew.

Many of those polled said that we’re now witnessing the emergence of “flame wars and strategic manipulation” that will only get worse. This goes beyond obnoxious comments, or Donald Trump’s tweets, or even targeted harassment. Instead, we’ve entered the realm of “weaponized narrative” as a 21st-century battle space, as the authors of a recent Defense One essay put it. And just like other battle spaces, humans will need to develop specialized technology for the fight ahead.

Researchers have already used technology to begin to understand what they’re up against. Earlier this month, a team of computer scientists from Stanford University and Cornell University wrote about how they used machine-learning algorithms to forecast whether a person was likely to start trolling. Using their algorithm to analyze a person’s mood and the context of the discussion they were in, the researchers got it right 80 percent of the time.   

They learned that being in a bad mood makes a person more likely to troll, and that trolling is most frequent late at night (and least frequent in the morning). They also tracked the propensity for trolling behavior to spread. When the first comment in a thread is written by a troll—a nebulous term, but let’s go with it—then it’s twice as likely that additional trolls will chime in compared with a conversation that’s not led by a troll to start, the researchers found. On top of that, the more troll comments there are in a discussion, the more likely it is that participants will start trolling in other, unrelated threads.

“A single troll comment in a discussion—perhaps written by a person who woke up on the wrong side of the bed—can lead to worse moods among other participants, and even more troll comments elsewhere,” the Stanford and Cornell researchers wrote. “As this negative behavior continues to propagate, trolling can end up becoming the norm in communities if left unchecked.”

Using technology to understand when and why people troll is essential, but many people agree that the scale of the problem requires technological solutions. Stopping trolls isn’t as simple as creating spaces that prevent anonymity, many of those surveyed told Pew, because doing so also enables “governments and dominant institutions to even more freely employ surveillance tools to monitor citizens, suppress free speech, and shape social debate,” Pew wrote.
We're already seeing how companies like Facebook and Google have weaponized the concept of "fake news", and now entire countries are following suit. In what is a crushing refutation of libertarian theory, the Internet and the devolution of what were once civilized anonymous discussion spaces on bulletin boards and CompuServe have clearly demonstrated that Man cannot handle the freedom of a perceived lack of accountability.

There are deeper philosophical aspects to this, that lend additional clarity to traditional thinking about morality and ethics. Even the most devout atheist should be able to recognize at this point that Man was not made for, nor can he reliably handle, even the perceived absence of a Lawgiver to whom he knows he will be held responsible for his actions.

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86 Comments:

Blogger Lazy Hero December 29, 2019 7:44 AM  

Here's an idea, post a warning concerning reading comments, something like you may be offended read at your own risk. Personally, trolling doesn't bother me or shape my mood its one of the reasons I read comments, usually a troll I don't agree with is humorous. But maybe that's just me...

Blogger McChuck December 29, 2019 7:47 AM  

We already have a term for "weaponized narrative." That term is: propaganda.

Blogger VD December 29, 2019 8:03 AM  

Here's an idea, post a warning concerning reading comments, something like you may be offended read at your own risk.

That's stupid. I don't want the trolls. I don't even want the readers who think trolls are humorous.

Blogger Lazy Hero December 29, 2019 8:07 AM  

Ok, thanks for trolling...

Blogger Gregory the Tall December 29, 2019 8:08 AM  

@Lazy Hero
You underestimate the problem. Unsupervised comment sections often become completely unreadable as more than 75 percent is just stupid back and forth between trolls and the naive souls who care to answer them.
Not even taking into account TI and defamation.

Blogger Shane Bradman December 29, 2019 8:12 AM  

The internet culture has shifted dramatically in 15 years. In 2005, the dawn of YouTube and when the internet first became accessible to everyone, every site was welcoming, exciting and fresh. Now everything is toxic, melodramatic and stale. It's barely usable now. It took the lifespan of a dog for the internet to go from heaven to hell.

Blogger Lazy Hero December 29, 2019 8:12 AM  

Think I should clarify my point, my experience has been when anyone from the right doesn't agree with a leftist view its called trolling. I know this website is different, but if a govt policy is enacted or similar it will most certainly harm the right. So I'm weary of banning trolling which I see as banning the right wing pov. That's all I'm saying.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 29, 2019 8:15 AM  

"Atlantic" really? I would accept a critique of trolls from Vox but to have to read some pathetic lefty woman moan about her precious little truth bubble busted by the hand grenades of trolling, well that is just too friggin bad.

The chickie authoress would accept being "educated" by a lace panty conservative intellectual for a lot longer than some Edgelord asking it of her to explain herself beyond the usual Cultural Marxist political rhetoric.

Blogger rognuald December 29, 2019 8:24 AM  

Vox, what are your thoughts about the trolling of SJW or conservative Inc websites?

Blogger Wraithburn December 29, 2019 8:27 AM  

This just reminds me again of what Dr. Hallpike wrote. Contrary to Libertarian thought, Rights are insufficient for structuring society. Not only are Rights specific to a society and not an attribute of an individual, but they are positive and unbounded. This allows for trivial cases where Rights conflict between individuals, and between society at large.

Only a Duty to God works as a superset of Rights. It provides those values, but bounds them within a structure that gives them a foundation and form. Here in the West, we've given up that structure and this is just another inevitable slide away.

People are shocked that younger generations are turning away from capitalism to socialism, but it is the same thing. The underlying societal structure that allowed capitalism to function has been torn down, and what remains is broken. It's no wonder they turn away in search of a replacement. We will continue to see this across all aspects of our society until the roots of Christendom are reestablished.

Blogger Scott December 29, 2019 8:31 AM  

Proverbs 26: 18-19

"18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death. 19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?"

Blogger Silent Draco December 29, 2019 8:32 AM  

The article and the ones linked to it are written in a context of their own. A lot of key 'tells' crop up. The context is hostile to nationalism and morality, among other ideas.

Question: were the older discussions more civilized because the participant pool was limited by paid subscription or sysop-permitted access? A 'purchased' privilege not to be squandered, not an unregulated commons? I may be thinking of part of a larger answer.

Thanks for moderation on the site, and for the ability to make comments. These are not privileges to abuse.

Blogger Dan in Georgia December 29, 2019 8:37 AM  

A fee (along with real name, address and phone number) for the right to comment on this blog would dissuade most trolls who appear here. $1/month (at minimum) to be split among the mods and the SDL would be reasonable. Otherwise, GTFO.

Blogger VD December 29, 2019 8:41 AM  

my experience has been when anyone from the right doesn't agree with a leftist view its called trolling.

That's a small subset of the entire set of trolling.

I'm weary of banning trolling which I see as banning the right wing pov.

This is why it was so eminently stupid for right-wingers to get involved in real trolling. They handed left-leaning governments an excuse to crack down on all right-wing online speech.

Vox, what are your thoughts about the trolling of SJW or conservative Inc websites?

It is stupid and counterproductive. Have you ever seen me doing that? Have you ever seen me even post a comment on a site I have been asked to leave?

Blogger VD December 29, 2019 8:42 AM  

Question: were the older discussions more civilized because the participant pool was limited by paid subscription or sysop-permitted access? A 'purchased' privilege not to be squandered, not an unregulated commons?

No, it was due to a smaller, better-behaved user base.

Blogger Johnny December 29, 2019 8:45 AM  

Let me guess. They are gearing up to use the troll idea as a justification to impose government sponsored censorship.

I don't know enough about how the internet operates to be sure of what the possibilities are, but I would expect that if they wanted to, things could be set up in a way that it would always be possible to know where the message came from. That would be a big assist in dealing with the whole troll thing. Eliminate the anonymous factor

Same with cell phones. Somehow, they don't know where the call came from, not for sure, and that makes the robo call stuff hard to shut down. Government of course, in seeking a solution, will seek the solution that best serves the interest of government.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 29, 2019 8:45 AM  

I've heard it said that Vox doesn't like trolls because he can't take the "banst". From what I've observed over the years, he's just not interested in addressing stupid comments.

Trolling is not criticism. I've seen legit criticism of Vox on this blog in the past. Nobody here wants to engage in "yo mama" insults.

Blogger Lazarus December 29, 2019 9:02 AM  

This is why they had to get rid of My Space. They don't want you to have Your Space. They want it to be Their Space.

Turf war.

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 29, 2019 9:21 AM  

It's the tech companies doing the real trolling. What's the devil's best modus? To make you think he does not exist.
It's Facebook that, through controlling what appears on the user feeds, does the worst trolling. "Wrong side of bed" they say? How long into FB does it take before being pissed off? And the right only gets censored and banned. It's the left getting mightily tweaked into constant frothing rage. And it is done on purpose.
The rest of it appears to be something I noticed since the late 1990s as a moderator. But I gave it the name " internet negativity syndrome". The very condition of being alone on the internet shitpoasting is the baseline of a crap nowhere life to begin with: out of the box nothing constructive is being done. A void is created that negativity easily fills by default. I know a bladesmith who stays off of Reddit sub boards for smithing because it's full of people sitting on their asses spending more time posting about smithing than actually doing it. Yes we could understand it: lots of people are overworked, too fat, tired, etc. So they end up on social media at night. Already in a bad mood.
It's a perfect storm. Society is a bunch of trolls, literally.
When the internet was mostly programmers, admins, and hackers, it was a golden age. I once went on a random message board, back in 2000, describing a server issue and hooked up with someone at NASA who modded a patch for the same problem. Now? I go online looking to find out the difference between a 1969 and 1971 Ford C4 and a C6 and I have to sift through 1001 useless posts by people who can barely string a sentence together. It seemed to happen sometime around 2008, this collapse of usefulness and frontloading of endless crap.
So they say the end of anonymous internet would be the end of free speech, while they curate, shadowban, and filter anyway. We at least know what a scam free speech is. But a few weeks ago some people I assumed were total Lefty libbies turned out to be shadow right wingers and I find this out by accident. It's the internet that has us all thinking we're totally alone in our locales with a blue cheka mob poised to pounce at any instance. And those blue checks have entire online non-anonymous histories of batshittery that can be used against them. We're the ones hiding.

Blogger Ray - SoCal December 29, 2019 9:36 AM  

What was ignored in the original posting was:

- paid, government controlled Posters, such as the 50 cent army.

- leftist pretending to be life long conservatives

- Corporate Shills

These also pollute blog comments, and try to derail discussions.

Blogger Section 8A December 29, 2019 9:43 AM  

"In what is a crushing refutation of libertarian theory, the Internet and the devolution of what were once civilized anonymous discussion spaces on bulletin boards and CompuServe have clearly demonstrated that Man cannot handle the freedom of a perceived lack of accountability."

This is the money quote. I was a member at Gary North's site for years, and the conversations were always useful, pointed, and mature. The paywall, and the fact that GN is 400 years old culled the audience severely, but it was reminiscent of the old CompuServe era and the discussion boards. Maybe a paywall is the simple answer. Molyneux mentioned years ago that spam would be be solved easily - undo the mistake of free email and make it a penny per email. Spam volume goes down 95% instantly. The unfettered freedom of email created a monster early in the www era. Trolling, bantz and the current nonsense is a manifestation of the lack of accountability VD mentioned, fostering the freedom cash in a blank check of babble.

The more permanent, and better solution is the Troll Hunting and LLoE going after the perpetrators with a much larger hammer. I am happy to see this happening.

Blogger Damelon Brinn December 29, 2019 9:43 AM  

It seemed to happen sometime around 2008, this collapse of usefulness and frontloading of endless crap.

The iPhone came out in 2007. It was the combination of smart phones and social media. Online discourse had already been devolving as more of the general public started spending time online, people who took it for granted and didn't understand the need for standards. But it was the ability to immediately react to whatever triggered you throughout the day that ruined it. Now a troll, or just someone pissed off about anything, could trigger hundreds or thousands of people in a way that wasn't possible before.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 29, 2019 9:43 AM  

"Let me guess. They are gearing up to use the troll idea as a justification to impose government sponsored censorship."

There will be blasphemy laws and they will be enforced. The only question is, blasphemy to what god?

Blogger Ray - SoCal December 29, 2019 9:45 AM  

Proof that Hobbes was right on people, and Locke was wrong.

Blogger Johnny December 29, 2019 9:52 AM  

>>So they say the end of anonymous internet would be the end of free speech...

It is the opposite actually. Freedom to be workable requires that the free be held responsible for their own conduct. Fail to do that and the social disruption will mandate government intervention. That is why oppressive governments tend to treat people like they are children. The irresponsible have to be reigned in, and that justifies the government intervention.

Blogger CCP December 29, 2019 9:55 AM  

I think trolling used to be more innocent and practical joke based. I know vox hates trolls and anyone who likes them, but I will admit to smiling anytime I was successfully rickrolled back in the day

Blogger Avalanche December 29, 2019 9:56 AM  

@5 "just stupid back and forth between trolls and the naive souls who care to answer them."

This is why I often, even usually, end up hiding the chat on the DarkStreams. Yes it's old-home-week for a lot of us Reprehensibles and Bears, but there's no way to keep the chat mainly related to the Stream.

I DEEPLY hope Social Galactic will allow us to have 'old-home-week' there without the dweebs, trolls, and gammas mucking up the flow. But, even while they swarm there, the focus of the DarkStream chat may return more to the DarkStream topic, and I'm all for that!

That might be too much to ask, I know; but it might have a salutary effect on Stream chat because WE will have less urge to catch-up with our Ilk, because we're all caught-up on SG2!

p.s., But Binks, our Webelf, will still be making fun.... and that's good too!

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei December 29, 2019 9:58 AM  

"News organizations, which once set the tone for civic discourse, have less cultural importance than they once did. The rise of formats like cable news—where so much programming involves people shouting at one another—and talk radio are clear departures from a once-higher standard of discourse in professional media."

Journalists just can't help flogging a fake narrative of their own importance and moral superiority. If only we'd give them back their near-monopoly on "public discourse", it'd be sunshine and roses and puppies again.

They learned that being in a bad mood makes a person more likely to troll

Thanks for confirming the bleedin' obvious, SCIENCE!. As our nation and the world descends into a state of perpetual universal buthurt, I'm sure whatever form of symptom treatment our "elites" come up with will only make things worse.

Blogger pyrrhus December 29, 2019 9:59 AM  

Considering that the standard Cathedral definition of troll is anyone who disagrees with the Narrative, I'm unimpressed by this "research."

Blogger Avalanche December 29, 2019 10:05 AM  

@13 "A fee (along with real name, address and phone number) for the right to comment"

EEK! Absolutely NOT!

Yes, privacy is dead ... but for small-company owners or people living in cosmopolitan hellholes, the tiny bit of not-actual safety (see: troll hunting with Vox Day!) allowed by 'hiding' behind an avatar name and careful judicious use of throw-away email addresses and the like, at least allows some participation in the 'public commons' that is the internet. Planting "seeds of reality" into unknown ground, i.e., could be fallow, could be fertile, could be poisonous to the sower.

When I do some "drive-by reality insertions" in my wanderings, being forced use my real name and etc. means I could not and would not answer our positions! And, my goal is - and yours should be! -- not to convince the one we're answering, but to plant seeds with the listeners and watchers. Those are our audience, not the fools we're arguing with.

Blogger MagnusStout December 29, 2019 10:24 AM  

I’ve never understood the impulse to troll. I imagine trolls are like mini-Jokers: happy to see their pocket of the ‘Net burn for the sake of burning. Good comments here implicate that many are the “useful idiots” of our neo-Stasi overlords. Finally, some people raise the question about the value of mocking SJWs at times (trolling?), but isn’t a rational approach like “SJWs Always Lie” a better way to address those clowns?

You can never have both perfect security and freedom—

Blogger cecilhenry December 29, 2019 10:30 AM  

This 'trolling' issue will just be an excuse to ban comments and discussion that those in power don't like.

That's ALL it will be about.

That's the whole motive now.

To a leftist, anything that 'triggers' them, contradicts them, and most especially mocks them is unbearable and thus worse than trolling-- its 'hate'.


How naive to take this trolling as anything other than a plea for suppression and control of speech.


Everyone has seen the massive censorship that is present-- and the Atlantic is still complaining that its not been successful enough.

Come on!!

Blogger VD December 29, 2019 10:46 AM  

How naive to take this trolling as anything other than a plea for suppression and control of speech.

No one is that naive. The point, which has obviously escaped you, is that all the little idiots on the right who pride themselves on their trolling and bantz have accomplished is to provide the authoritarian Prometheans with ammo for their arguments.

Blogger megabar December 29, 2019 11:00 AM  

The internet has followed a predictable pattern:

* Some useful/pleasant activity is done by people who are particularly passionate/capable of doing it
* What they produce is nice, and soon it grows in appeal
* People find out how to benefit from it
* Climbers and rent-seekers move in, establish themselves in positions of influence, make money, and worsen it

This applies to the internet, academia, comic books, sports, and so on.

Blogger English Tom December 29, 2019 11:05 AM  

@Ray-SoCal

In the UK we have the British army's 77th brigade. Check them out.

Blogger The Masked Menace December 29, 2019 11:07 AM  

I suppose it must be boys without meaningful employment, girlfriends, families and family obligations that have the time to do this kind of stuff? Either that or they're paid to harass.

Blogger Tars Tarkas December 29, 2019 11:29 AM  

According to this, a troll is someone who disagrees with you, where "you" is a progressive journalist.

This is an ominous sign that the days of fun on the internet are coming to an end.

Blogger Nathan Hornok December 29, 2019 11:32 AM  

I genuinely don't know what "troll" means. Does it mean's someone is saying something that aggravates others? JLP asks yes/no questions that are extremely aggravating to some of his guests. But aggravation is not his intention. Instead he's simply using the Socratic method to reveal the contradictions of their position. Michael Malice causes a lot of aggravation to some people on Twitter. But his purpose is to turn the mid-wits and NPCs into unwilling performers in a play where they highlight their own stupidity. Is it "trolling" when someone states a unconventional opinion in a forceful way? Then Vox and Owen are both "trolls."

I think there are genuinely times when people are just being obtuse A-holes an maybe this could accurately be called Trolling. But I think the predictable NPC responses in support of the established narrative are closer to this idea of Trolling than anything else. But that's just my impression, since I'm not down with the established narrative. Maybe the best definition of trolling is gamma comments. I don't know. The problem is that accusations of Trolling are much like accusations of "Racism." It's a nebulous term that is applied to any expression that someone doesn't like, or that challenges the majority position.

Blogger S1AL December 29, 2019 11:33 AM  

IOW, libertarianism is still the socio-political cult of the White (generally Christian) middle class. It works extremely well for a preselected subset, but not society as a whole, much less the planet.

Blogger Erynne December 29, 2019 11:37 AM  

This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Almost two generations of young men have now grown up with access to high speed internet. One first learns how to troll in the online video/computer game spaces. I remember playing a few deathmatch style games where roving gangs (clans) ruled the streets. Lone gamers were easy targets unless they were above the rest in skill, in which case they usually gained a degree of respect, but no skill level was able to keep out all of the riff raff from ganging up on you in every instance. People eventually developed a type of street cred and you knew where everyone stood in the hierarchy depending on the size of the community. In team games, griefing became a thing. No one can grief their local high school football team because you'll get your ass kicked and be ostracized and kicked off the team. With no accountability online, the only thing that can happen is to ban someone from a server and deny them the joy of playing in the first place. Sometimes, people unintentionally grief their team because they suck at the game and I remember games like Dota having very long lists of banned players because they had no skill.

As gamers learned to hate, it doesn't surprise me many of them have probably transferred the harsh agoge experience into the rest of the internet space. It's just a bunch of cyber bullies and cyber bullied reaching adulthood.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 29, 2019 11:44 AM  

The article sort of defined "trolls" but "researchers" not so much.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 29, 2019 11:45 AM  

There are already blasphemy laws. An Iowa man just got 15 years for burning the LGBTQ pride flag.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 29, 2019 11:47 AM  

The internet lacks beatings for miscreants. That is a shortcoming. This goes doubly for inability to defend against real attackers that would destroy servers. The inability re the latter is due to govt policy. One must wonder why.

Blogger VD December 29, 2019 12:07 PM  

Is it "trolling" when someone states a unconventional opinion in a forceful way? Then Vox and Owen are both "trolls."

It is when a) your opinion has not been requested and b) you provide it in someone else's space.

Blogger Macs December 29, 2019 12:09 PM  

No trolling can ever be as brutal as Battle.net back in the good old days. LoL was carrying the torch of toxicity for a while, but sadly they have determined to squash it. If there is no gaming outlet for trolling I expect it will continue to seep out into spaces where it doesn't belong.

Blogger Jack Amok December 29, 2019 12:10 PM  

I’ve never understood the impulse to troll.

Trolling is an attempt to disrupt a conversation between people the troll disagrees with, and to in general create negative feelings on the other side about the very concept of discussing issues. It's an intentionally (though sometimes intuitive) aggressive attempt to shut down though among the trolls ideological opponents.

Blogger Joe Smith December 29, 2019 12:24 PM  

Without some socially imposed boundaries, people spiral. That's what the world healers pushing relativism figured out, and they're right. Same holds true on the Internet.

Blogger Akuma December 29, 2019 12:29 PM  

"I suppose it must be boys without meaningful employment, girlfriends, families and family obligations that have the time to do this kind of stuff? Either that or they're paid to harass."

Probably higher than avg IQ, higher introversion, combined with still believing in the standard narrative. You can see the first two in the walls of texts behavior. The third can be seen in the lack of effective rhetoric and/or dialetical.

Blogger Loote December 29, 2019 12:32 PM  

Vox why don't you archive articles and link to the archive to not give them clicks?

Blogger Damelon Brinn December 29, 2019 12:58 PM  

I genuinely don't know what "troll" means.

A troll interjects something into the conversation that's meant to start a fight and derail the topic, either because the troll gets off on it or because he doesn't like the topic at hand being discussed.

SJWs are easily triggered, so they redefine it to mean anything that makes them mad, like a picture of a MAGA hat. That's nonsense, but it doesn't change the fact that trolling is a legitimate problem for online spaces that try to be open, because it's such a cheap way to ruin a place. That's why the only policy that works is zero-tolerance by the owner and mods of a space. The alternative is the other extreme like 4chan, where trolls roam free and it's up to the user to find the needles in the haystack, which most users aren't up to.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 29, 2019 1:06 PM  

"Finally, some people raise the question about the value of mocking SJWs at times (trolling?), but isn’t a rational approach like “SJWs Always Lie” a better way to address those clowns?"

Yes. Trolling is counterproductive, like tribal feuding.

The difference between conversation with a point and trolling is the rule. Chastisement or punishment can be delivered by communication, but if there is not an explicit rule by which they come, no one can distinguish just punishment from the malicious misery of the troll.

There will be rules, and they will be enforced.

"I genuinely don't know what "troll" means."

Someone who is getting their kicks by getting a rise out of someone else. Sometimes it's a case of misery loves company. Sometimes it's just malicious little shits without even that excuse.

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 29, 2019 1:18 PM  

To a leftist anybody to the right is a troll. That's the angle they seek, and why we would never see an effective control on trolling. The agenda details functionality, and is revealed in both their target and failure meeting the stated purpose. Gun laws, for example.
I have observed that trolls do not have political and/ or ideological coherence. They might establish enough of a pattern to appear on the so-called right page, but those I tracked down and studied were all simply too incoherent and unhinged to be taken seriously. The article fails to mention that the breakdown in mental health screening and services is a vast contribution to the troll scourge. We only refer to nutjobbery when they kill people or do something dumb in public, but the hidden cost of every other person being a neurotic, psychotic, depressed, doped up, and last but not least a gamma, is probably beyond measuring at this point. From having neighbors we can trust not to mess up our lives to online discourse, we're all paying for it.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei December 29, 2019 1:47 PM  

That is why oppressive governments tend to treat people like they are children.

Because on the whole, they are. Most people are neither self-motivated nor self-disciplined, and buck and bite at the least attempt to maintain even the most basic of social niceties, like not being an obnoxious ass all the time. Their jealousies are petty and spiteful, but often all-consuming.

This plays well with the "elites" as long as they manage to keep the festering hordes at a safe distance, because one of the easiest ways to be controlled is to always do the opposite of what you're told.

Blogger Avalanche December 29, 2019 2:04 PM  

@39 "It works extremely well for a preselected subset,"

Yeeesss, and that d@mned self-selected subset are SO annoyingly smug about their libertarianism that they cannot even see that the vast majority of humans will not and CAN not ever play their game! Libertarianism just means wars once again become all against all, and your little hobby farm can't be farmed because you and your family have to walk your boundaries armed! As Vox has written often: your enemies always get a vote!

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) December 29, 2019 2:10 PM  

i am baffled that so many of you are falling into the "trolls be boys" trap.

the internet is chock full of female trolls. you can tell them by the way they screech, "misogyny" any time they get Dialectic criticism.

Blogger Tars Tarkas December 29, 2019 2:29 PM  

True trolling is an art form.

Unfortunately, trolling has come to mean someone disagreeing with you. If some progressive retard posts kill all white men and people get mad and say "lead the way," that is referred to as trolling.

Above all, trolls are not to be emotionally invested in the conversation. If you are going to troll a bunch of cat lovers, you best not be a cat lover yourself. You are only there for the LULs. The only goal is to trigger the cat-women and cause them to go into a tizzy.

Everything in this article is wrong and is being used to ban anyone who disagrees with progressive dogma. The removal of anonymity is for the sole purpose of doxxing people who express wrong-think.

Blogger Hauen December 29, 2019 4:24 PM  

As usual it seems to devolve from high trust, productive, and meaningful to low trust, disruptive, and meaningless. I hope to God you carve a path of death, doom, and destruction (figuratively, of course)through the Hidden Kingdom of Secret Kings.

Blogger Johnny December 29, 2019 4:25 PM  

There is a certain element of cruelty in human nature. It turns up in humor with some frequency, and most all of us have a certain amount of it. The thing is, some people are over endowed with the tendency. They live to rain on somebody else's parade. And as the internet offers safety from retaliation, they express themselves by harassing other people. That is all.

Blogger rcocean December 29, 2019 4:37 PM  

I'm beginning to think that "Libertarianism" was/is just a giant troll on the Right-wing designed to derail any real opposition to the Left. How's that for major league trolling?

Blogger rcocean December 29, 2019 4:38 PM  

BTW, despite being told for 20 years "Don't fee the trolls" people persist in enabling them. After a certain point, all the naive excuses for doing so have to be disregarded and the enabler regarded as another Troll.

Blogger Scott December 29, 2019 4:39 PM  

Every human interaction has a non-verbal "social contract". Imagine a sport, say, baseball. Enough people show up to play the game. They know the rules or it is explained to them. The game is played.

A baseball troll is someone who runs onto the field during the game, naked. There are many reasons people do this.

Internet trolls express this same spirit of rebellion against whatever social contract is present.

They're assholes, you see. And it's all done in jest. If you don't like it, the trolls argue, you must have no sense of humor, "lol".

As the bible passage I quoted earlier says, they're fools and madmen attacking everything they find for fun.

Blogger Kiwi December 29, 2019 5:15 PM  

We have two opposing teams on the field, we could call one good and one bad, both wanting the ball in their goal. Therefore, rules have to be made by someone (those most capable), for how each team operates and the associated consequences, that's a no brainier. The only thing changing is the upgrading of tools used in the game.

What happens when one wins? I see three options: 1. Best "man" 2. Worst "man" 3. Another level and another battle. My tired body wants it to be number one but my mind think it's more likely to be three.

Technology has brought almost everyone out on the field, surely the game is nearly over. Someone could graph global internet participation, would be interesting to monitor.

Blogger Nathan Hornok December 29, 2019 6:02 PM  

Thanks @VD and others who responded to my question. I like the clarifications. I did not intend to give the impression that I think Vox and others shouldn't patrol their own cyber spaces. That said, there is an advantage to specifically saying what kind of behavior won't be tolerated. I think Vox and the Big Bear do a good job of explaining why people get banned (hijacking the conversation, gamma comments, despair merchants, useless heckling, etc.).

I don't like calling all bad online behavior trolling because that term has been co-opted by the SJWs to mean so many different things (just like racism). As soon as someone on the Right says "you know who the real racist are..." I stop listening, because the term has lost all meaning and is only used as a wizard trick to get people to turn off their critical thinking. Perhaps the word "troll" is becoming the same.

Blogger rumpole5 December 29, 2019 6:22 PM  

Re troll definition: "It is when a) your opinion has not been requested and b) you provide it in someone else's space."

Aren't you requesting opinions by having a comment section? I've gotten a lot of thought action from comments that I did not agree with, and I am grateful to VD for providing the space and genius spark to make that happen. I agree that the personal remarks are tedious, but commentators have off days too.

Blogger Akulkis December 29, 2019 6:30 PM  

@18

What killed MySpace was not the Powers That Be... it was allowing people to decorate their pages with snowflakes... hundreds to thousands of CPU-using snowflakes... AND auto-play music.
NOTHING is more annoying than clicking on a myspace page that looks like it could be interesting, and then sadly discovering that it was set up by a 13-year old girl, who thinks everybody in the room you're sitting in needs to hear her favorite song at top volume and you can't even see controls for several minutes, because your CPU is swamped CALCULATING new images for thousands of falling, spinning, twisting snowflakes.... and nobody had written a crash-recovery capable browser yet [you know -- "Restore your last session?]... so if you had other pages open that you were interested in, you had the choice of enduring one page completely bogging down your computer for several minutes (because the Windows I/O system is so pathetic, inefficient, and unreliable for human input devices, like mouse and keyboard...and it was even worse then).. or kill your browser, and lose all your other open pages, and hope you can figure out which ones you were interested in from your history file.

And even on Linux, opening one of those sorts of godawful MySpace pages had a real impact on your system. Open up a new terminal, run ps or top to figure out which process is tying up the CPU. Kill it. And this is while the snowflake calculations are absolutely gobbling up all available CPU cycles, and the only reason why you're even able to accomplis the above is because the Linux/Unix I/O model is made for multi-user systems, so is specifically designed to try to not drop inputs even when some other (possibly some other user's) process is hogging the CPU.

So, even with Linux, I, like everybody else, eventually just stopped opening links to myspace because we were tired of the pointless time-sinks.

MySpace wasn't killed by the Powers that Be.... MySpace was killed by 13-year old girls abusing the capabilities that Tom made available, and Tom not having some sort of way to report (or put in an some detection code for) pages that took more than 60 seconds to load even on high-speed connections.

Blogger SaltHarvest December 29, 2019 6:47 PM  

The deprecated troll definition referred to an individual who took sadistic pleasure in aggravating other posters online. A key feature of such a troll is that they generally avoid displaying any sense of ideological loyalty or principle in favor of using whatever method came to mind to get their LULZ.

Once the broader online public understood the trolling was supposed to a bad thing, it became the name to give to any online persona they didn't want sticking around in their virtual space. A more modern definition of troll would be individuals who are disruptive to the purposes for which a platform is oriented, and thereby the trolls should be removed. This implies the troll-designation is platform dependent, analogous to the notion of criminality being somewhat nation-dependent.

Pulling away a single-platform focus, a singular troll is considered a bad actor in their locale. A group of trolls can be compared to a reckless mob, and organized trolling to enemy action, which means trolling will never be fully stamped out. A true zero-tolerance policy is akin to bathing in dangerous levels of radiation in the hopes the cockroaches will be convinced to scurry away.

Blogger John Rockwell December 29, 2019 7:22 PM  

I am afraid even legitimate criticism will be treated as trolling.

Blogger Monotonous Languor December 29, 2019 7:55 PM  

That thar article is a mess of high-falutin words that don't mean too darn much. I.e., reify your abstracts, i.e., what specific activities constitute a real problem? It's not the trolling per se, whatever the hell that actually is defined to be. It can be solved by adequate and well advertised categorization, something which is sadly lacking today all over the blogosphere. Then let's set aside libel, slander, and copyright infringement, since those have been crimes long before the internet. The problem is the damn externalities, including tracking physical people down to do them physical or financial harm. If that problem isn't solved, then the whole structure will be dragged down into oblivion.

Blogger Tomato bear December 29, 2019 8:16 PM  

One must serve a master,

Who's your master?

Deus Vault

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 29, 2019 9:00 PM  

"Aren't you requesting opinions by having a comment section?"

You misinterpreted what was being said. Also, the question you mistakenly ask in response has been answered repeatedly before. The answer is no.

Blogger phunktor December 29, 2019 9:54 PM  

When I first encountered MMORPG grief era I felt sa weird mixture of pity and disgust.

Blogger Kallen Patmore December 29, 2019 9:55 PM  

Damn, I realized this only a little ago of my own accord. By that I mean I wasn’t told straight out, I came to the conclusion myself. So therefor I struggled for the last bit to put the idea into words and today I was just getting on top of it and all of a sudden BUBAM,

“Man was not made for, nor can he reliably handle, even the perceived absence of a Lawgiver to whom he knows he will be held responsible for his actions.“

Thankyou VOXDAY

Blogger phunktor December 29, 2019 10:01 PM  

There is a Japanese disrespect art that comprises being half a degree /too/ respectful.
Done properly, the mark overinflates himself and explodes still unaware.

Blogger Valley Forge Patriot December 29, 2019 10:12 PM  

"...Man was not made for, nor can he reliably handle, even the perceived absence of a Lawgiver to whom he knows he will be held responsible for his actions."
One will be governed from within (self-discipline) or ruled from without (tyranny).

Blogger sammibandit December 29, 2019 11:41 PM  

Even the most devout atheist should be able to recognize at this point that Man was not made for, nor can he reliably handle, even the perceived absence of a Lawgiver to whom he knows he will be held responsible for his actions.

If a commoner can't trust the Lawgiver to recite the law as he's prescribed he can't trust anyone to know the law. I don't know if you can get a real life example closer to "you had one job" than that of a Lawgiver.

Blogger Statix December 29, 2019 11:52 PM  

I tend to agree. Free speech used to be a cudgel used against Christian morality. Now that the trans-national satanists have control of certain platforms & institutions, they've inverted their tactics, & now use censorship & suppression in an attempt to maintain power & maintain the satanic narrative.

I'm perfectly fine with SJWs & leftists being "trolled," especially when it involves assault facts that undermine "their truth."

Blogger Boomer55 December 30, 2019 12:03 AM  

@59
A big red flag is "Libertarianism" is just classical liberalism, with a de-emphasis on Christianity. It's like Communists who keep on renaming themselves because the ideology was discredited by the tens of millions of bodies piling up.

I also suspect the libertarian strain in modern Conservatism was a subversive weapon to de-Christianize Liberalism in general. The historical logical progression has been, in a nutshell, Christian Monarchism > Classical Liberalism > Communism > Modern Liberalism > and "Conservatism" which has been a poison pill for Christianity.

Blogger Sam Sutherland December 30, 2019 1:16 AM  

Would responding to posts on r/atheism with rhetoric or dialectic be considered trolling since many of the users there are unteachable?

Blogger Avalanche December 30, 2019 7:12 AM  

@42 "An Iowa man just got 15 years for burning the LGBTQ pride flag."

Didn't the Supreme Court, decades ago, rule that burning the AMERICAN flag was free speech? So, WTH?!

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 30, 2019 7:38 AM  

"Would responding to posts on r/atheism with rhetoric or dialectic"

Why bother? If they're looking for pearls, they'll leave the stye to find them. If they aren't looking for pearls, I wouldn't bet on them appreciating the value.

Blogger Nathan Hornok December 30, 2019 11:05 AM  

@79 There is no such thing as absolute free speech. Every society has blasphemy laws to protect the metaphysical values and institutional values it deems fundamental to itself. The only question is what is considered blasphemy. In our day, say anything that is perceived as a true threat to the State powers or the TEPID values, and you will be punished in one way or another. The goal is to win the culture war, so that what we consider blasphemy is once again enforced as such.

Regarding burning the American flag, I don't think that was considered a true threat to power, it's just hippies acting out. That's why it was allowed. Start militia drills and marching down main street under the banner of the Rebel flag, and you can bet various Federal agencies spring into action, because this sort of "free speech" represents an actual nascent threat to the Empire.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) December 30, 2019 11:55 AM  

77. Boomer55 December 30, 2019 12:03 AM
It's like Communists who keep on renaming themselves because the ideology was discredited by the tens of millions of bodies piling up.



read the Manifesto. Marx demands the genocide of the Bourgeoisie.

they pretend that they don't like bodies piling up, but it's actually the goal of every Marxist.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd December 30, 2019 12:45 PM  

Nathan Hornok wrote:hat said, there is an advantage to specifically saying what kind of behavior won't be tolerated.
Make rules and people will lawyer the rules, and game the system.
Avalanche wrote:Didn't the Supreme Court, decades ago, rule that burning the AMERICAN flag was free speech? So, WTH?!
Was the most recent flag burner prosecuted for burning that flag? Or for stealing and burning it?

I'd be against burning other peoples' flags, except who-whom. If it's the enemy's flag, damage the enemy any way possible.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 30, 2019 11:06 PM  

"Make rules and people will lawyer the rules, and game the system."

"Your in my house now, I reserve the right to ban because you're irritating me."

Obviously if you aren't the actual person enforcing the rules, people can game them.

Solution? Be the person enforcing the rules, or at least know them personally. Slam those slimers.

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