Trolls

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

In the twenty-or-so month we've been online, we haven't had too many trolls, surprisingly. I wasn't until early June that we got our first outraged Trekie, who claimed I made him vomit with rage (I'm still pretty proud of that). We've gotten a few leftist types who pop on, scream, and are never heard from again. Really, we've been pretty lucky, truth be told, and I don't know quite how we managed it. I mean, we're pretty openly insulting to a lot of sacred genre cows, and we *are* right wing. You'd think there'd be more of that. I guess we're still rather low profile. (500-600 hits a day on average, but growing predictably)

Up until now, I've been quite nice to the trolls. I welcome 'em to the site, I offer them helpful advice as to how they can become better trolls. For instance, I told a leftie in June that his attack was logically kind of weak and easily disproved, then suggested another more realistic one he could use in the future. That was he can come across as "Wow, that guy was insightful!" rather than "Yeah, I remember my first beer." I encourage these people to come back, I'm nice, I'm friendly in my surly way. I realize that these people are primarily mouthbreathing no-lifers from the Cult of Trek, or self-righteous teenagers who know how to do little but type and accuse. Just the same, I try to be nice, I condescend, but I try to treat them like people. I remember what it was like to be irrelevantly indignantly angry; I've never been a no-lifer myself, but I've been very close to it, and I have many friends who are.

I mean, people are people, right? You believe something different from me? Swell: make your case. If you convince me, I'll gladly change my opinion - I've done it many times before - if you don't, that doesn't mean you have to change your views, it simply means I, myself, ain't buying it. I'm a tough audience: it's *why* I don't like Trek in the first place, frankly. I demand a little more from my speculative fiction. And if you *don't* convince me, you're still welcome here. I've never told people what to think (With the exception of my anti-secessionist piece a while ago), I don't believe that's a very conservative thing to do. We've got a fairly broad spectrum of regular visitors here, they all get along fine.

But I'm getting sick of 'the nice treatment' - the Internet is, alas, not a forum for rational discussions. It's a place for people who can type faster than they can think (Like me!), for the impotent to make some noise (Like me! Though I'm referring to politically impotent, not...uhm...the other...because...you know...that's fine...uhm...yeah.), for Trekies to pretend they like Science Fiction (Unlike me), for nitwits to act out their fantasies of brillaince (Though I repeat myself), and for creepy overweight swingers to organize creepy overweight swinger parties (Definitely *NOT* me!). I try to be nice, I treat everyone with a bit of respect - the amount commensurate with how silly their comments were, but still there's some respect there. I think it's worked exactly *one* time, and he didn't stick around long thereafter. He wasn't really interested in SF, he just came here for the music.

It takes time and some restraint on my part, and what do I get? Exactly nothing. They show up once, insult the host, raid the fridge, and leave without even bothering to check back to see what kind of reaction their message had, insofar as I can tell.

Well, I'm sick of it. It's just not worth my effort. Certainly it's not worth my time, so I'm done with it. Henceforth, I am changing my ways. If some troll turns up spreading their trollery around, I'm just going to ignore them, or possibly - assuming I've got something funny to say - insult 'em.

Them: "Your views on Star Trek are sick and wrong."
Me: "I revel in the pain I have caused you."

Them: "You right wing types are evil and stupid and dumb and not at all smart, and you like guns and oppose abortion, and I hate you because you have an opinion that differs from my own!"
Me: "That's swell, Sparky, but why are you wasting time telling us this? Don't you have a Bund meeting to go to?"

Them: "How dare you clam [sic] Obama's space plans aren't any good! They're 10x better than Constellation was! You're just a knee jerk fascist."
Me: [Howls of derisive laughter]

Them: "You just don't like the president because he's black. You're just like all those other racist Republicans"
Me: What makes you think I'm white? That's kind of a stereotypical assumption to make, isn't it? "He's conservative, therefore he can't be black, because as everyone knows, all black people think exactly alike."

And so on. That's how it's gonna' be from now on.

Just thought I should warn you.

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