I can see by the comments to my Monday post on Internet etiquette that you all are wonderful, considerate people who would never dream of being obnoxious on someone else's blog.
Of course I knew that anyway. *grin*
However, several of you were confused by my question about trolling. Let me clarify. The all-mighty Wikipedia defines a troll thusly...
"In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."
In other words, trolls are like those people at parties that everyone avoids. They are hugely negative, they try to sell you things or tell you how corrupt the establishment is. They talk endlessly about themselves and what they think. And no matter what you say, they never listen. You cannot have a discussion with them.
Here are the examples the made me start thinking about this. (And these are just this month.)
Agent Kristin Nelson decides to put comment moderation on her blog after previous comment threads are taken over by people who like to rant. (example here)
Jim C. Hines, fantasy author and long-time rape information advocate, posted recently about rape on his blog. He had to stop several livejournal threads that got out of hand, and ended up having to ban someone all together.
And just this week, the lovely Moonrat disabled anonymous comments because of the comments on this post.
If you look at the comments that offended in each of these cases, you'll have good idea of the kind of trolling and Internet rudeness I was talking about.
I see this all the time:
~Some people claim that comment moderation or deleting offensive remarks amounts to censorship.
~Some people appear to believe that as long as they're speaking "the truth", they can say whatever the heck they want. And do it on any forum they can gain access to.
~Some people think it's okay to be personally insulting and to call other people names, because it's a free Internet.
I know what I think about this. What do YOU think?