There be TROLLS…

Posted August 26th, 2010 by wonko
A Troll

A Troll

…now a TROLL is someone who comes in determined to cause mayhem, disarray and pain to other members of a forum, community or world. The motivations behind “trolls” are, I am sure, many and varied. I do not do child-psychology, so can only guess based on observation.

Troll behavior in a virtual world takes on many forms. At the risk of compiling an “how to” guide I will attempt to describe some of the observed troll-like behaviors I have witnessed.

In an activeworld users have build rights, some trolls make dozens of copies of objects to obliterate existing things, block off exits, make massive “notice me” constructions in deliberately inconvenient places, leave signs with inappropriate messages, send copious mischievous telegrams, block chat channels, fly constantly in the face of other users and so so.

What trolls do not realise (or perhaps they do?) is that their actions are usually logged – anything they create is badged with their username (citizen number actually, so if they decide to change their name, the object still is owned by them). What I am increasingly aware of is that trolls do not really care if you know THEY did things, all too often rushing to the “I didn’t do anything” or “other people were doing it so I thought I would join in” excuse, but rarely an apology or recognition that they in any way compromised the community they disrupted.

Feeding Trolls is counterproductive

Feeding Trolls is counterproductive

…so what do you do? No, seriously, what do you do if you want to stamp out troll-like behaviour?

If someone is determined to be a troll, they can be one in so many ways – the interweb is an empowering place for determined trolls. Noticing and correcting their actions all too often “feeds” the behaviour, attempting to remediate it only exacerbates it, or gets other semi-trolls to come out of their shells and go full-troll.

So what is the solution? How do we do TROLL MANAGEMENT?

…is there anyone out there? I would love to know what you think.

I would hate to think a project on a scale such as MyWorld was destroyed by trolls, but nightly I am in, cleaning up junk and putting out fires – kids UNSUPERVISED running riot, claiming innocence, not thinking they are accountable. It is very frustrating indeed, maybe I am taking it personally but it is really hard to see something you have spent a lot of time in, being broken maliciously.  I would love to think we have the support of the supervising teachers, but how does that evidence itself?

Do we need a world charter, an acceptable use policy? How do we police it? Do we even need to consider such a thing?

Cure or Panacea

Cure or Panacea

…discuss, please.

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