If you have come here chances are that either your comment, or a comment in a ThreadMode
discussion you were reading, was marked with a TrollFlag
give a TrollDefinition
"...a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite..." (http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/entry/troll.html
alerts unsuspecting readers that they might be getting baited. Note that something marked with this flag is not necessarily intended to be a troll by its author, nor should the comment necessarily be deleted (see DisagreeByDeleting
for more) but rather that someone found the comment inflammatory and is giving the author (or a travelling WikiGnome
) the opportunity to revise the statement.
It may be that a comment is deserving of the TrollFlag
but the WikiZen
applying the flag may not be able yet to articulate why well enough to apply one or more TrollPatternFixes
. But the wiki will work when another sees that flag, notes and agrees with it, and has the insight to apply the fix. The act of applying the flag will introduce enough mindfulness to alert another to a possible solution. In that respect, it is similar to a FixmeComment
in source code. The FixMe
badge is inappropriate because there may not be
a fix, and TrollFlag
is more apposite to the statement. --StevenNewton
The Goal of using TrollFlags
To help us be better WikiZen
s and help others recognize when they are having their chain yanked. The goal is to improve SignalToNoise
ratio of ThreadMode
This statement could be construed as meaningless argument or deliberate baiting, consider revising (to the author) or (to the one potentially being trolled) consider not bothering to reply." Adding TrollFlag
is a way to introduce mindfulness for others. -- BillCaputo
How To Use a TrollFlag
Place next to a suspected comment followed by various rationale to inform others why
you felt the comment to be trollish. (Recommended) Wrap the entire item in [ ] so that it can be easily distinguished from the surrounding comments.
"I found foo to be a useful technique."
''"Typical clueless position, You should try a real technique, like bar. It rocks!" [TrollFlag
: inflammatory language (clueless), unsupported opinion (bar is a real technique, foo isn't), denouncing experience]
example: "Consider using bar in this situation. Here's why..."]
How To Correct a TrollFlag
A (very incomplete) list of Troll techniques
- Consider using RealNamesPlease in ThreadMode. Anonymous comments are more likely to be perceived as random flamage than a reasoned position ( but see also AnonymousIdentity)
- Review the points listed and see if the comment can be reworked to make the discussion more valuable
- Don't simply Delete! (DontDeleteFlamebait)
- Don't argue the flag. The TrollFlag itself can be a troll, if its there, take it as a BellOfMindfulness?, not as an insult. Try to understand the situation from the position of the flag, change anything that comes to mind (this may be nothing)
- Delete the flag only when the statement is revised. If the statement is unchanged, consider leaving the flag for others to consider better ways to word the statement.
This section is a embryonic attempt to compile a list of typical troll techniques (starting with the ones from the example), to aid the TrollFlag
user in commenting the use of the flag. If you use the flag, and you find a technique not listed here, consider adding a description of the general case to this list.
- inflammatory language: name calling, insulting or otherwise emotionally charged words. e.g. dumb, clueless, obvious, self-evident (fill 'em in)
- Unsupported Opinion: Arguments defined purely from internal logic, or bald statements of position
- Denouncing Experience: Challenging someone's expression of experience by saying it won't work (even though obviously the person has said that it has for them) Essentially the troll is implying the person is lying. Personal experience is "black-box" evidence. Readers cannot examine it. Perhaps there are more diplomatic ways to point this out.
- Asking one question, then complaining that the answers given are not answers to some other unasked question.
More list items are under TrollDefinition
This "tag" is being misused to distract from valid alternative opinions. I suggest more specific
criticism tags be developed since there is no agreed-upon meaning or precision in the word.
Another fix would be to edit the text one finds trollful, increasing its argument while decreasing any baiting or invective.
for the following:
- Repetition of content
- Topics that should not be created
- unclear messages
- attempts to start a page
If there is repetition, for example, then point out exactly what it repeats and suggest the originator clean it up, or do it yourself without changing the meaning. Similarly, if a topic is created that you feel does not deserve to be created, then make note about why you feel it does not deserve to be created. TrollFlag
implies that the above "sins" are being done for evil purposes, and accusing people of evil motivations just starts flamewars.
Whilst repetition by its self doesnt make a comment a troll, it is often used to wear down patience.