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Like Sands Through the IndyGlass, or, As the Pendulum Swings

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and also an equal and opposite criticism.
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:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=26803&group=webcast

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...

-me "

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.
Nice Try! 15.Oct.2002 04:41

Bruce and Harriet Nyborg

Your attacking of our new compost bin policy is very slick, and almost convincing because it sounds sincere. But there is no doubt in my mind that this post was planted by another slick right-wing troll who is trying to reverse a great new policy of deleting totally un-needed and inflammatory articles that are also placed by trolls.

p.s.: fuck you!

Have you looked in the Mirror? 15.Oct.2002 06:33

...

Clamydia writes, "If you can't/won't bring yourself to communicate productively with people on this site, then you shouldn't post at all!"

However, here is also a quote by Clamydia and one of his productive responses, "......blah blah blah, bitch bitch bitch, oh, i'm never satisfied with anything anybody does, i think everybody's wrong and i'm right, i'm so pathetically cynical i wonder why i even bother getting out of bed in the morning, blah blah blah."

Its a nice double standard you have for yourself. It reminds me of your little cop incident and how you felt it was ok to flip off the cop, but it wasnt ok for him to come back and ask you a few questions about it.

Ok heres the productive part. Why dont you , for once, judge yourself by the same criteria in which you judge others? You point the finger (pun intended) at other people and complain of their actions all the while exonerating yourself when conducting similar behavior.

Please note, I did not call you any names. Im offering constructive critisism.

Get over it 15.Oct.2002 11:08

Get over it

You've been ranting over this finger thing long after most have put away their arguments. Bottom line? Cops, with all their guns and tax-backed-power, should be held to higher standards of conduct, not lower standards. Flipping off a passing, siren-spinning cop car does not warrant police attention. And don't give me that "he's only human" line of bullshit. I don't pay my taxes so an asshole in a uniform can satisfy his frustrations.

youse guys... 15.Oct.2002 11:40

clamydia clamydia@mail.com

Youse guys must not have read the last part of my post when I said:
"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. "

I'm fully aware that I have done this shit before. And yes, you could equate (on some level) this activity with the cop incident, although I still feel that the cop was not justified in turning around to fuck with me the way he did. If he had flipped me off in return, I'd have nothing to complain about, but that's not what happened...

So anyway, I'm not trying to paint myself as being some knid of saint, all I'm saying is that we should think before we post. If somebody is trolling or antitrolling or whatever, we should not respond, instead letting the editorial staff deal with it, and if somebody is making an actual argument or rational statement of some sort (so long as they are not flooding the site, then we should either argue (or agree, if you agree with them) with them intelligently or keep our mouths shut unitl we think of something good to say.

BTW, Bruce and Hariett Nyborg, I don't think that you read my article at all, or you would realize that I am fully in favor of the compost bin. If anybody here is a plant, it seems to me (and I may be mistaken) that you are the most likely suspect, with your inflammatory comment to my article. You totally (and I believe deliberately) misinterpreted my article, and I think it was only to cause dissent. If you don't agree with me, then fine, but don't tell me I'm saying things that I'm not.

Anyway, is there anybody out there who actually wants to talk about the subject brought up in the article, or is it nothing but people who want to change the subject, because if that is the case then perhaps you should post a new article?
Oh, and as far as me being a right-winger: If you do a search through the site on my name, you will find several posts I have made (and not all of them are nice and constructive, I admit) which will show that I am definitely not of a conservative mindset. And, I don't feel that this article is all that conservative. I'm just asking people to think, that's all. I have committed to that, and I'm only asking that others do the same.
It seems that my name is beginning to get in the way of my message here, so in order to make sure people start responding to what I say and not who I am, I will no longer post under the name clamydia.

I am guilty too 15.Oct.2002 13:55

...

My apologies to you Mr. Clamydia. I did not read your entire post before reacting. I did after and I did feel remorse. You are making a good point.

To Get Over It- I will not. The Cop never crossed the line. Clamydia was the one who broke the law.

the law 15.Oct.2002 20:37

hookie

I don't think flipping off a cop is illegal. Probably a bit rude, yes. However, when a cop refuses to give a person his/her name and badge number, that IS illegal.

Anyway, I think that hounding this person all over the site, bringing this argument up over and over when people are trying to discuss other things IS wrong. You should knock that chip off your shoulder (as should Mr/Mrs Clamydia, if she/he hasn't already). It doesn't become you.