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[ 35 ] January 12, 2013 |

Scientific research on a topic we here at LGM know a whole lot about.

Comments (35)

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  1. Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    I’d be interested to see a rundown of which particular topics attract the most trolls here at LGM. Is there any data? Perhaps topics that have generated the most commenter bans.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      Given that our trolls are the same 3 people for the most part, you’d have to ask them.

      • Manju says:

        Yeah, I was thinking that there were only 3 too: Me, Otto, and someone named JenBob who appears to change his handle a lot. IMO, that leaves 1. But either way that’s not much.

        Of course, you can’t see what you don’t see. If you fascist bloggers go all Stalin on these threads while I’m looking the other way…then there’s no way for me to know if Leon Trollsky was actually in the picture.

      • Informant says:

        I get accused of being a troll any time I disagree with the OP, even though I generally agree with more of what’s posted here than not, so I’m not sure if I’m being counted in the troll figures or not.

        • J. Otto Pohl says:

          Since apparently the total troll figure has been reduced down to JenBob, no. This isn’t a hard word problem like on the SAT. If there are three trolls and two of them are reclassified as cranks how many trolls remain?

    • Malaclypse says:

      I’d be interested to see a rundown of which particular topics attract the most trolls here at LGM.

      Well, Jennie thinks all topics are, fundamentally, gay sex.

      • cpinva says:

        which kind of makes you wonder what it is he’s doing, down in mom’s basement, though you really don’t actually want to know.

        “Well, Jennie thinks all topics are, fundamentally, gay sex.”

  2. Jewish Steel says:

    Your trolls ain’t so bad. From what I’ve seen they’re somewhat knowledgeable and not nearly as monotonous as other trolls I have seen.

    But I’ve only been poking around here for a month or so.

    • Walt says:

      There’s one inecredibly awful troll who was much more visible pre-Obama re-election. This month has been unusually troll-free.

      • c u n d gulag says:

        An all-crow diet tends to leave one with little energy to troll.

        I’m sure that pretty soon, his Mommy will give him his laptop and basement privileges back, he’ll add Cheeto’s and Mountain back into his diet, and that will give him the boost in carbs he lacks on an all-crow diet, to come back and comment here more often.

        And then, he can go back to doing what he always did here:
        -(J)anus-like, he can argue every side of every issue – often in the same comment thread – just to p*ss everyone off.
        -He can put a kilo of cocaine to sleep.
        -McArdle like, he can tell everyone that 2+2=3, or 5, or 1,234,567, or whatever he feels like, as he trolls his way through a comment thread – all, without Megan’s lame kitchen gadget stories.

        In other words – give Sybil a run for her money, as far as presonality disorders are concerned.

        He is…
        *Cue sound of child whining.*

        I try to ignore him whenever possible.
        Not always successfully, might I add.

    • Jeremy says:

      The past month has been rather tame. There were days when JenBob ruined any thread that wasn’t about sports.

  3. patrick II says:

    The worst troll infestation I have seen was at Kevin Drum’s before he put in captcha/identification requirements on his comment thread. The comment threads were unreadable. It surprised me that a blogger as moderate as Drum drew such venom, but maybe it is that calm, fact base analysis that drives trolls the most crazy.
    Maybe that reserved demeanor is part of what drives them so nuts about Obama. Besides the whole being black thing.

    • Bas-O-Matic says:

      Atrios’ comments in the Golden age of blogging (2004-2006 or so) were the worst I’ve seen. It seems like there were always at least a half dozen regulars.

  4. Icarus Wright says:

    Obama is a conservative! Therefore, liberals should have voted for McCarthy/Pinochet Ryan and that other dude.

  5. cpinva says:

    one comment in that article, that i would take issue with, that newspaper readers only read articles, in the context of other articles. he left out the letters to the editor, which might get heated. however, it might be a month, before a responding letter got printed, more than enough time to have forgotten what it was the argument was about to begin with.

  6. bob mcmanus says:

    Thoughts on trollery:

    Not as preening or ego-enhancement, but toward a point, I do get around, and as far as I can tell, I was the only person in the entire freaking world that thought the Fed would not accept the platinum coin. Yesterday the Fed said it would not accept the platinum coin.

    Now this says something small but exemplary about me, and something exemplary about everyone else, and something generalizable about tribal discourse, cognitive capture, independent thought, other social phenomena, and sheep.

    • bob mcmanus says:

      Well, for example, a common argument was “The Law says the Fed must accept the coin, therefore the Fed will accept the coin.”
      Leaving aside the accuracy of the first half statement, the form of the argument reveals a certain presumption of obedient behavior, conformism, submission and worship of “legitimate authority” and an ontological frame that cannot understand that the Other might act differently. An authoritarianism, of the kind that befuddles and paralyzes some kinds of people, when for example, the Bush/Obama administrations torture or when encountering trolls. Law “naturalizes” obedience.

      The article discusses the emotional motivations of trolls, but inadequately discusses the emotional context of the larger community that is being “trolled.” “Rules of civil discourse” do not exist primarily to make people happy, but first and foremost to make people obedient, content, conformist, and define any discourse that is not majoritarian and conservative as pretty much unspeakable.

  7. bradP says:

    This article doesn’t deal specifically with trolls, but with insulting commenters. It is possible to troll without insulting, and it is possible to be a rude commenter without trolling.

  8. Aaron Baker says:

    Here’s what I hope is regarded as the opposite of a troll-comment: I routinely encounter 4-6 postings here a day that are worth reading and actually force me to think about something. I believe that, as a result of some of what I’ve read here, I’ve gone from wishy-washily pro-choice to firmly pro-choice, so thank you for that, Lemieux–if you ever want someone to check your spelling, give me a call.

    I hate most spectator sports with a hatred that abides and is pure–but I can appreciate that others will be interested in those postings.

    As for trolls: I think the term does refer to an actually existing creature; but it also has a tendency to change into an epithet (a piece of trollishness, in other words) for “person who disagrees with me”; it is always, I would urge, to be used very carefully.

  9. tomsk says:

    Until recently I only read LGM on occasion, and I’m still trying to understand your internet traditions. I am curious about this JenBob character. Generally I see some piece of generic conservative drivel and people lay intimmediately o it as an obvious JenBob production. Except sometimes they don’t. How does one spot JenBob? Are all right-wing buffoons on here really JenBob posting under a variety of aliases, or are there others? Does he have particular tells?

    How about that guy with the ‘sasquatch Israel’ thing; did he disappear? Is he JenBob now? It’s all so complex.

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