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Quarantine Lowlife Trolls, Then Erase Their Traces, and Don't Show Them Your Puppy

authorpendragonOct 17, 2018, 2:47:43 AM

A troll attacking public areas of Minds is human malware. Decades of Internet wisdom teaches us first to ignore lowlife trolls who are outside their channels, and if that doesn't work to block and quarantine them, then scrub their tracesI refer here however only to "lowlife trolls outside their channels" and/or non-consensually because the best trolling is an art form, worthy of awe, and those trolls when in private often enjoy lowlife-nasty battles with each other. Trolling on that score is like sex. If it's private and they're both into it, what form it takes is their business. 

Simply disagreeing with you is not trolling either.

Someone's doing all he can to enrage
 people in our public square or attack people on their private channels is by contrast as disrupting as a paid Facebook stooge. Though I've seen a mountain of material from both sides, I do not know the full details of what follows. That's up to Minds admins to decide. What I did see however was new guy on Minds who kept bragging that he would make himself "famous" here by enraging everyone, cranking everybody up, while paying Minds users to attack each others' channels. He said that he had a great deal of money, thousands, to invest. He was out to have at least the 6th most Minds tokens, which he would use in part to buy his channel-hit squads. He of course got to choose the victims, had a list. 

Because he was new, we tried to help: to calm him, to inform him, and that attention only wound him up farther. 

Meanwhile to my mind ironically he was offering Minds a system (which he had not invented) to get rid of troublemakers and trolls. Disclaiming how All Powerful and Rich he was, he seemed always on the look-out for somebody to bully or sue, threatening almost everyone in sight. Sooner or later, anyone throwing wild punches like that will hit someone tougher or enrage another lowlife, and then chairs, bottles and lawsuits could fly. 

Sure enough, b
y the end of the guy's first month, a longtime user was hitting him with truly vile graphics. Of course the guy flipped and fed the longtime user a banquet of rage and fear, which only encouraged the longtime use's trolling. The Minds admins asked both guys to back off for five days, to let things cool down while they looked into it. The All Powerful/Certified Victim newbie refused, is still spreading bile in widespread comment sections. What happens to whom and why is up to the admins. 

There are lessons in this though for the rest of us. 

"Don't feed the trolls" is a cliche because it's good advice. Whether in the purest sense of the word "troll" -- whether the people in question are clever coders with great meme sense upending things -- or just no-holds-barred but codeless troublemakers, trolls feed on attention, preferably anger and fear. It's up to us to refuse it. Besides, if you encounter a person trying to stir up real trouble on Minds, arguing with him in the comment threads of his posts only buys him Reward tokens, puts the spotlight on him, and makes his day. He gets stronger.  

Instead, ignore him; help starve his anger out. If you feel an unquenchable need to reply to his factual statements then counterpost -- make your own blogpost -- as in this case several people swiftly did. 

If he can make you lose your temper, though, he still wins. Then he gets to switch to martyrdom. 
So don't let him hijack your comment section for his hobby horse, shooing people off your chosen topic, grandstanding in your front yard. Keep it cool. Cruise above him. Hold the high ground. 

If you retaliate without the blessing of Minds admins, you can become him and worse. 
Especially if you have the dark skills to be more of a troll than he is -- and even if your motives for acting worse than he does are in your view as pure as sunlight bouncing off a glacial lake filtered through activated charcoal in a unicorn horn -- disengageYou're feeding him. 

Instead, block him. Urge others to do it. Trolls ache to make a big mark, to be noticed. So instead delete the troll's comments if they're on your comment threads. Erase his traces. It all adds up to quarantining the troll until and unless he cools it in public channels and on other people's channels. 

Granted even if banned, some trolls will create sock puppet accounts and multiply, launching a full scale adeptly coded attack in public areas. That did not happen this time but it can. If you're like me a writer who does not code, and all you've got is what you consider to be devastating retorts, you're waving Nerf bats and feeding the tension. Let hackers handle it. 

Denied incentive, isolated, the average trolls will go find someone else to do, usually another troll. 
Just remember not to feed them. It's kind of like living with cougars and bears in California parks. Wildlife is magnificent, has deep rightness, but especially if they're raging, don't stick your arm out to tell them to stay away, let alone show them your puppy....