Threadcrapping, trolls, and “+” threads...

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
So that was fun. After opening what I’d hoped would be a helpful and constructive thread, the thread was taken over by one very insistent troll who threadcrapped the thread into oblivion. Long story short, the troll clearly did not want other people talking about the topic and he got his wish. The thread was closed because it became all about that poster.

So I’m confused about forum policy.

Are there really no rules against obvious and continuous threadcrapping? That seems like a great way to let the trolls own the forum. Any convo they don’t like they just crap up the thread and it gets closed. Lather, rinse, repeat every time the topic comes up and presto, no one gets to talk about the topic.

Does the forum allow “+” or positive only threads? Seems simple enough. If you’re there to positively engage the topic, you’re good. If you’re just there to scream at people for daring to talk about something you don’t like, you’re not welcome and mods bounce you.

And after repeated reports, why would the mods give the troll the win and close the threat instead of threadban the obvious troll and let the conversation move on without him?
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don’t think anybody “won” anything there.

We do indeed informally encourage the use of + threads if you want to start a new thread. That one was past saving though.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Usually we would. In this case it mainly happened overnight while I was asleep and found it was 16 pages when I checked in today. I didn’t expect it to get that out of hand.

Start a + thread and we’ll try again.
 

the Jester

Legend
So when I start a new thread and give it a plus, and the troll inevitably shows up to threadcrap, then what do the mods do?

If you report the troll, I'd imagine the mods will moderate.

Before you assume that making a +thread will turn out the same as "just a thread" (no +), try it and see what happens. Heck, you could even copy and paste the first post of the thread you're trying to redo.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
Usually we would. In this case it mainly happened overnight while I was asleep and found it was 16 pages when I checked in today. I didn’t expect it to get that out of hand.

Start a + thread and we’ll try again.
Thank you.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I did. Several times. The mod response was to argue with the troll in thread.

The mod response was to try to show the offender their errors, and warn them that the road they were walking down was actionable, and (in my optimism) to show others that the argument they were presenting was empty, and not worth discussion.

So much for my optimism.

Note that you did not explicitly label it as a "+" thread, which we do allow. The expectations in threads labelled as such are somewhat different, and I would have dealt with it differently.
 

aco175

Legend
I was not aware what a + thread was until just now, nor that I knew what it meant it a thread had it in it. I do recall a few threads where the poster asks for positive comments or only thoughts on a certain part of such.

I do think that the mods are fine and try to nudge first before escalating things. After last year I find myself not responding to several things and try to let it go for a day or two before I post. Most of the time it is not worth it at that point anymore. I do not think we want/need this site to be moderator draconian, unless we see a release of Dragonlance next year. ;)
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I have very little patience for threadcrapping, and IME + threads work great. Most of the time when someone is getting off topic or trying to tell me that I shouldn't want to do the thing I want to do I just tell them to stop, and they do.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Seeing as this is first and foremost a discussion forum (i.e. a forum for debate) not wanting a debate seems a bit over the top.
Debate and discussion are two different things.

+ threads are there to help keep a discussion from becoming an argument about something the thread isn’t even about, or from getting derailed arguing the premise rather than engaging with it usefully.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Seeing as this is first and foremost a discussion forum (i.e. a forum for debate) not wanting a debate seems a bit over the top.

Free-for-all debate is only one form of discussion. There are others, which are just as constructive in their own ways. You don't need to embrace them yourself, but you need to leave space for others to do so.
 

Looking through older conversations of interest held on this message board forums, that convo seems to be "the norm"

A discussion starts, people engage, a troll shows up and the thread just becomes an argument with that troll that continues until the lock
An argument followed by a threadlock seems to be a daily or weekly occurrence
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Looking through older conversations of interest held on this message board forums, that convo seems to be "the norm"

A discussion starts, people engage, a troll shows up and the thread just becomes an argument with that troll that continues until the lock
An argument followed by a threadlock seems to be a daily or weekly occurrence

So, let us remember that "conversations of interest" implies introduction of a selection bias, depending on what is "interest". There are some topics that are more problematic, others which we never need to touch. There's also the context of our size to consider - half a million threads, and tens of thousands of users.

Saying that there's a "daily or weekly occurrence" means that a moderator has maybe one real issue arise a day, or less. So, thousands of people engaged, and I have one real issue to look at a day? That's awesome!
 

Since I am pretty sure this thread is directed at my posts: I want to be clear that I am not a troll. I disagreed with something in a thread. People responded and I responded to those posts (especially ones that tried to characterize me as a bad person for disagreeing). I stayed out of the + thread and I try to adhere to mod texts when I get them. But was expressing genuine opinions, not just trying to derail a thread
 

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