Sunday, 29 June 2008

troll magnets

Why is it some people attract so much hate online? We have one reader who comments regularly, usually with fairly innocuous remarks. I'll admit, I sometimes find her point of view baffling, and occasionally exasperating, but it's nothing compared to some of the stuff we get. But for some reason, whenever she comments on a story, it's like a red rag to a bull.

One theory I have is as to why she gets so much stick because she stands up for authority - and at the moment, our message boards have something of the feeling of the Wild West about them. It's not as bad as it was - we knew the point had come to tighten up our moderation methods when the a certain right-wing party (who shall remain nameless for fear of their Google searches picking up this post and persecuting me . . .) started commending us on how much freedom of speech we allowed people. But it's still far from perfect - not least because the IP banning function seems a little haphazard.

So something I'm looking forward to experimenting with is trying to be a bit more proactive on the messageboards, taking some tips from this blog by Howard Owens: http://www.howardowens.com/2008/some-tips-for-newspaper-people-new-to-community-management/ - and I'm especially looking forward to the picnic

1 comment:

MH Media Online said...

..why she gets so much stick because she stands up for authority ..

Possibly because "authority" seems to command so little respect these days! When was the last time you truly felt motivated to vote for someone at a local or national level and ended up picking the least mad/bad/dangerous?

I think this manifests itself to some extent in organisations such as "Reclaim the Streets": if politicians were really doing their jobs there would be no need for such movement and not only would the streets be back with their rightful owners, the undesirables that took them in the first place would be somewhere else..