Over the past few months, this site (portland IMC) has seen a huge increase in posts, visitors, and commentators. This has proven to be a blessing and a curse, the latter manifesting in the form of "trolls", a term which can be loosely defined as "people who post articles/comments with the intent to cause disruption in the flow of communication. I don't feel that any "right-winger" or "conservative" who puts a single article up on the newswire that they feel is newsworthy is a troll. I don't feel that when the same person posts a argument or dissenting comment (so long as it is a rational and genuine attempt at discussion) to a "lefty" article that they are being a troll. However, when one or what seems to be a group of affiliated people post 10-12 consecutive articles in a row to the newswire, bumping 10-12 other articles off in one fell swoop, then we have a problem that needs to be addressed. I feel that the editorial policy of "composting" groups of articles of the same bent that are crowding the newswire and are not actually reporting any "news" (which I define as communication of actual events that are happening in the present, or have happened recently, and of which the general public does not yet have much knowledge) is a good one. It needs to be tweaked a bit, but overall it is a good idea and I stand behind it. However, I am beginning to see what appears to be a backlash on the site now that this policy is in effect. For example:
In this article, entitled "How's Anarchism Gonna Work?", the author asks some legitimate questions of anarchism. A few comments down, we see a response that says:
'Who will decide if I'm taking advantage of my employees' -are you serious?
I would respond to your questions if I really thought you have read anything about it or cared... but your questions are quite uninformed and show the beginning of your post to be either a blatant lie or you do not retain information well...
I seem to be seeing a lot of these types of posts recently, and it almost seems as if there is emerging a new sort of "antitroll": A person who does the same thing that the original conservative trolls were doing (making comments to legitimate articles that are abusive and nonproductive), only doing so on a leftist bent. This is terrible! We don't want to stagnate in our own philosophies and ideals, and questions such as the ones asked by the author of this article need and deserve answers! If you can't/won't bring yourself to communicate productively with people on this site, then you shouldn't post at all!
I understand that it is silly to expect everyone to mind their P's and Q's all the fucking time; arguments get heated, people throw in little jabs at the end of what are otherwise rational comments, etc... But to sit and post nothing but abuse to people of differing opinions, or (even worse) people who question your ideals is childish (and not childish in a good way) and nauseating. I'd rather scroll down through 16 back-and-forth comments between an anarchist and a fat republican where they are rationally arguing their views than see 16 "fuck you" comments with no other content tagged onto the end of a conservative article.
I fully admit that I have been guilty of this type of "anti-trolling" before, but I believe it's time for a change. So let me be the first to commit to thinking before I post. I hope others will do the same.