“The point is to spoil it, to create the atmosphere of hate, to make it so stinky that normal people won’t want to touch it” [SLNewYorker]
Instead of websites shutting their comment sections, might they want to keep them in order to remain in control of the conversation?
"I got out, and it’s not too late for you." - Sarah Nyberg on being the subject of an online hate mob. Meanwhile Zoe Quinn talks about sympathy for her abusers, and actions turned out to have consequences for internet troll Joshua Goldberg.
After last month's vow to curb targeted harassment and make the site a safer platform for all users, the admins of Reddit began making good on that promise yesterday by banning five offensive subreddits deemed guilty of doxxing, brigading, and otherwise tormenting others, including /r/fatpeoplehate -- a militantly anti-HAES forum whose attacks had recently extended to the admins of popular image host Imgur. In reaction, the 150K subscribers of FPH and their sympathizers in other fringe subreddits went on a rampage, creating countless clones (all banned), filling the front page with hate posts, and disregarding the veneer of free-speech activism to viciously slander Reddit CEO Ellen Pao personally. The dissenters advocate a mass exodus of the hate subs to Voat.co [obligatory_wonka.gif], a moderation-free clone of Reddit that has already crashed under the traffic. Ongoing coverage by the enlightened popcorn-munchers of SubredditDrama. [more inside]
Reporting, Reviewing, and Responding to Harassment on Twitter [via mefi projects] For three weeks last November, Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!) accepted harassment reports that they escalated to Twitter, collecting data on the experience of harassment and the process of reporting it. A team of academics published a comprehensive report on what they found, with a focus on the people reporting and receiving harassment, the kinds of harassment that were reported, Twitter's response to harassment reports, the process of reviewing harassment reports, and challenges for reporting processes. [more inside]
Once upon a time, Ashley Judd made the mistake of tweeting while watching a sports game. You already can guess what horrible things are happening to her after I said that. But she's fighting back. [more inside]
Curt Schilling's tweet congratulating his daughter on her college acceptance was met with the usual assortment of congratulatory replies from friends and fans, some light-heated "can't wait to date her" messages from current students at her future school, and a few seriously vile and offensive responses. The authors of the latter group probably regret their actions today.
How Russia’s Troll Army Hit America. The documents show instructions provided to the commenters that detail the workload expected of them. On an average working day, the Russians are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.
In yet another attempt to bring order and usefulness to the comments section of a high traffic news site, Gawker has implemented a new comment system. They are borrowing the basic concept from Slashdot that most comments will never be seen, and thus the focus is to find the interesting conversations that do occur under the article, and promote them with no regard for chronological order . The system shows some promise, although it clearly has a ways to go as a recent article failed to highlight replies in the comments from the subject of the article. Also of note, the photo of Nick Denton used in the article is by MeFi's own mathowie.
It is really hard for me to make this post. For a while I stayed silent because I did not want to put myself in the range of fire. Everybody loves Kickstarter. They have, after all, revolutionized the economy. Kickstarter is the number one crowdfunding site in the world and the talk of the startup scene across the globe. Unfortunately Kickstarter recently banned me for circumstances beyond my control. - Is Kickstarter banning users for being the victim of stalking?
Founded in 2004 as a place to catalog LiveJournal drama rejected from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Dramatica rapidly became the premier site on the web for all manner of lulz. Intended "in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary," ED grew into a sprawling crowdsourced compendium of memes, subcultures, communities, personalities, and the endless feuds and controversies spawned by 4chan and other anonymous imageboards. While comprehensive, the site developed a reputation for nastiness -- full of "ironic" (?) racism, gratuitous porn, organized attacks on other sites, and disturbingly thorough dossiers on perceived enemies, all dripping with vicious snark (just check out their entry on MetaFilter). But now, after more than six years, it appears the troll has become the trolled. Founder Sherrod "Girlvinyl" DeGrippo, allegedly disillusioned by the site's legal woes and nihilistic trajectory, has permanently shuttered the site and replaced it with OhInternet, a slicker, cleaner, Web 2.0 effort modeled after more respectable internet guides like Know Your Meme (which recently sold to Cheezburger Networks for a cool $N million, discussed here). Backups and mirrors abound, but as for the source? Pool's closed... forever.
The Exterminator’s Want-Ad, a short story by Bruce Sterling, is a twisted first-person missive by a former K-Street lobbyist making his way in a post-collapse socialist regime of sharing. It's part of the Shareable Futures series of short stories and speculative essays at Shareable.net. [Via]
Trolling is a lot like flirting. It can be very hard to identify, and when the beloved perpetrator is confronted, he or she may become a little mushmouthed or downright rude. Nevertheless, many still adore these people and their craft, even if we are a bit afraid of them. And for those lucky, wonderful few, it's all just a game....*sigh*...