Internet trolls are even more hostile when they're using their real names

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Anonymity, we often assume, is the breeding ground for bad behavior on the internet. Among the gatekeepers of comment sections and social media sites, the conventional wisdom is that anonymity empowers bullies to voice hateful opinions without consequence. When unmasked by real-name policies, the theory goes, these trolls will slink back to their caves, taking the vitriol from Twitter, Facebook and other social media with them.
    But, that's not true, according to the latest research.
    A team of the sociologists from the University of Zurich wanted to know whether anonymity really encouraged the worst kind of behavior seen in online “firestorms.”
    They studied comments on online petitions published on a German social media platform between 2010 and 2013. The data included 532,197 comments on about 1,600 online petitions. Commentators could choose to be public or anonymous. Contrary to expectations, the commentators with the harshest words during mass public attacks were more likely to be the name-identified ones than the anonymous ones (less than a third of commentators kept their names private).
    These findings suggest we may need to rethink our efforts to encourage or enforce civility online.

    http://qz.com/741933/internet-troll...-theyre-using-their-real-names-a-study-finds/
     
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  3. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    That explains why I am so courteous online I suppose

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  5. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I had to look up the term "firestorm" because I didn't know what it is...
    I'm not certain it is a bad thing, people voicing their views. If it is contained within the realm of online discussion, why should we care? Doxing and trying to do physical harm are another question though.
     
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  7. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    "You're an idiot."

    What? I'm only "voicing my view", so why should you care, right Bowser?

    Unless of course you find that view offensive and you DO care, but then we wouldn't want anyone to think you're a hypocrite or have double standards...

    Or do you actually agree that trolling IS a bad thing?
     
  8. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Thats interestin.!!!
    A guy who used his real name "Trolled" me for over a year in my own forum... lol.!!!
     
  9. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose it depends on how you define "trolling." If it's just someone voicing an opinion which you disagree, then we define it differently. As for people expressing views, I'm all for that. There's something to be learned from other people. I've seen a lot of critical ideas online. Some I found useful, others not.

    I've seen a few "firestorms" online, too. #Shirtstorm comes to mind.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astr...sexism_when_a_shirt_is_more_than_a_shirt.html

    As silly as the whole issue was, it shows how petty some people really are--an indicator of online sensibilities.

    I think I can handle being called an "idiot," Where trouble enters the picture is when people go out of their way to cause real harm...
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Given that you have recently been participating in a discussion that includes consideration of rape and murder threats via social media, I am compelled to wonder at your question.

    Why should I care if someone threatens to rape and murder a five year-old girl because that someone doesn't like what the little girl's mother says about women not appreciating sexual harassment? You know, I'm going to go with self-evident this time.
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I've been called an idiot in forums. I don't care. Only an idiot would think I was an idiot.
     
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    You're an...


    Ah, nevermind
     
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  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I try to show people the same respect online as I would if they were standing in front of me. Not into ad homs or name calling and it only makes one's argument appear weak. Discuss the points of the discussion, not the people.

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  14. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    What if your reply or input is ignored or cherry picked. Is it not valid to point out the dishonest (as you see it) character or nature of the poster. For sure you have to give them the initial benefit of the doubt but if you have to address the motivation of the poster is that not an a hom?

    Is it best to leave the fray or perhaps report the post?

    Are there not times when ad homs can be valid or do we all be to "self blinker" when we see bad behaviour in other posters ? (apart from the sheer boredom of ignoring the issue)
     
  15. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Good point. The term "Troll" can be tossed around quite liberally. It's often used to label someone with whom people simply disagree. I don't believe it is exclusive to only those who attack someone's character. When I think of the the definition for the word "Troll"--and having been a fishing maniac for many years--I see them as being someone who baits others. If you have ever trolled for fish in a lake, you can understand my point.

    Agreed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
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  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I would only report posts that are a) harassing in nature b) deliberately derailing the thread topic especially when pointed out to the poster c) using ad homs as part of their argument.

    I've seen new people to a forum post something and then never to be seen again, and the thread is usually a pot stirring kind of topic. lol It's annoying, and troll like, but I usually wait to see if a person is going to post a few things first before engaging in discussion, as to not waste my time.

    But, using ad homs, it's your call but why stoop to someone else's level?

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    haha I've noticed that.

    True

    That's a great definition of it, actually - someone who baits others, and the motivation for posting is only that, pretty much.
     
  17. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    The difficulty is sometimes determining their motivation. What we might think bait can quite possibly be honest opinion or a point of view. Also, a statement can generate discussion, so there is a fine line that we ride when approaching a subject. I will often walk away from a topic if I think I am repeating the same point too often.
     

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