Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Power of a Troll 

ACE has decided to ban "Mike," some young guy that was trolling on his comment threads, always repeating anti-Bush stuff that made the ACE crowd go bonkers. In a way, I used to find the whole Mike circus kind of funny, because Mike is clearly very young, and I found the whole Mike troll comments so innocuous and childlike, they never bothered me at all. The whole diatribe back and forth was totally useless, simply a way for people to vent a huge array of frustrations in very simplistic exchanges, in ways that were as productive as a pie throwing fight. Of which we conclude that lots of people need to vent huge amounts of frustration and blogs offer some very accessible ways to do it. Like the road rage phenomenon.

But ACE's decision to ban Mike came as a surprise to me, since ACE, being a staunch conservative regarding particular fundaments, is a strong defender and promoter of the principle and practice of "freedom of speech."

In my opinion, then, regarding the Mike vs. Ace Crowd comment fight, Mike won, and that also came as a surprise since he was against a fierce crowd of people who ganged up on him continuously (David against Goliath comes to mind). And that was kind of intriguing, thinking about the dynamics of conflict in blogs.

On the other hand, I would certainly ban anyone on my blog that decided to continuously pester, but then I don't have a "public debate" type blog like ACE does. Not sure if I had a big blog, if I would just let things roll, even if trolls were active or if I would ban people. I am inclined to think that I would let things roll, but then I don't think I'll ever have a big blog in this life, so my options will always be restricted to speculating on how I would react ;-)

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