Autumn (bless her heart) recently tried to rationalize with and civilize a resident troll. I admire the effort and sympathize with the exasperation she must be going through with this guy. But, trolls and idiots (often redundant) are the price that must be paid for a wide-open venue.
I wanted to contend with some of the statements made in her olive branch comment, but all this (I thought) was a bit off topic for the post/thread. Thus... this separate post. I would ask Autumn to please excuse this rare contention (quibble actually), but I question some of her sincerity directed to the troll. Granting that little white lies are a necessary tool when trying to pacify them.
Also granted, this troll and I have a history which may cloud my judgment on the subject. I consider this little guy my personal troll on WB. Sure, he freelances and torments others, but on the whole, he's mine. I wear that as a badge of honor. :) Then there is my nature to poke him with a stick every now and then. What can I say? Sometimes his irrational flailing about is entertaining. :) But back to my point…
First, Autumn points out "You hold the dubious honor of being the participant that I’ve received the most complaints about by far. In fact, excluding complaints regarding you, I don’t recall the last time someone complained about anyone using this site." <sarcasm> Now THAT is a surprise! </sarcasm> :)
But then comes what I contend is a little white lie... Autumn writing "Unlike your complainers, I think your comments generally add value and serve to highlight flaws in logic and reasoning of your opponents."
I don't mean to nit-pick, but... really? I can count on one hand the number of times this troll's comments were relevant to the post at all... and less than that, the number of times anything he wrote added to the thread/discussion. That's if you can even make heads or tails out of what he is writing. Often, it's equivalent to "mambo wanna dog face Traitorlynn to the banana patch".
That little white lie being a little too big to swallow, Autumn had no choice but to add "…emphasis on 'generally'". But I submit "generally" implies majority and I just don't see it. Even the word "rarely" would be a stretch too far. “Practically never”? Probably more accurate.
Then comes the attempt to tame/civilize the troll... "So why not tone it down and say what you need to say without resorting to insults and foul language."
Good advice, and something that would definitely contribute to the overall quality of WB... so I understand at least the attempt. BUT... can a troll really be tempered? It's an age-old question and my opinion is I've never seen it happen in all my days of blogging. You’re asking a duck not to swim. The duck doesn't know anything else. To paraphrase a contemporary artist, "Haters gonna hate. Trolls 're goona troll."
So then comes the carrot... "I think you’ll find your thoughts will be far better received, not to mention...read."
But the carrot assumes those things ("received" and "read") are something the troll values. Again, I doubt it.
The carrot is, at least, a statement of fact; minus the obvious cognition of "where exactly does one go from near ZERO? Other than up"?
I understand wishing circumstances to be different; but then reality must be recognized and dealt with. There will always be trolls... so maybe the better question is; "Is it too much to ask that trolls be at least minimally literate?" The latest/new troll to take up residence under the WB bridge of "reason, civility and coherence" is at least that.