Troll Whispering

In a column for Information Week, Cory Doctorow discusses how trolls poison communities. We actually talked about the same subject at Orycon on one of the panels we were on together. It’s interesting overall, but this line was the kicker to me:

“Don’t let assholes rent space in your head.”

That’s the hardest thing possible. A lot of podcasters have found this out the hard way. You can get one hundred positive comments, but the one hostile asshole keeps you up at night. I just had this the other day with a troll on this very blog. That seemed to work out but it’s always a drag having to deal with that. By and large, the discussion on here is fun and uplifting but when it goes to hell it really bothers me. I’ll try to bring out my inner troll whisperer the next time I need to.

2 Replies to “Troll Whispering”

  1. I agree with this sentiment, but remember there’s a very distinct difference between being a “trollish asshole” and being constructively critical or offering an alternatively valid opinion. Not everyone who questions the group-think or refuses to drink the Kool-Aid is a community troll.

  2. Bryce, I started to say that it is easy to tell the difference between the two, but that may not be the case for everyone. The thin-skinned may have a smaller line between the two. For my part, it seems easy enough to tell between those of good will and those of not, even when they are abrasive.

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