The Wisdom of the Crowd - I'm Asking Your Opinion

I was asked for a technical definition of trolling and universal rules regarding trolling that could be implemented in an IT system or adopted by an AI. The problem is coming up with a universal definition. Therefore, I'm asking a very ideologically diverse crowd for your opinions.


What is the definition of a troll?


This should be ideologically neutral definition. Actively debating people wouldn't be trolling, though they may have an opposite behavior. Ad hominem attacks on a regular basis probably is an indication someone is a troll. What would you put in this category?


What is the definition of trolling behaviors?


What actions constitute trolling? What behaviors should, when done by anyone, get them banned on a platform?


The Problematic Nature of "Hate Speech"


"Hate speech" for example doesn't count as trolling, because those in power determine what is officially "love" and can ban everything else as hate speech.

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." - Voltaire

 This is currently a problem of the authoritarian left censoring even moderately conservative opinions as rude, evil, offensive while the far left actively calling for violence against targets or coordinating action is tolerated by censors. They are  not the only target, though, as ex-Muslims, ex-gays and ex-liberals getting censored on Facebook and Twitter demonstrates.


Dino Manalis Added Jan 5, 2019 - 11:26am
 Don't apply too many conditions into one definition, keep it simple, like persuasive and effective disagreement may be considered trolling.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 11:37am
Dino Manalis That's exactly the issue I'm trying to prevent from being considered trolling.
Christians have been prosecuted for blasphemy in Pakistan for explaining their religious views to a Muslim who asked or stated things that were not true. To state the Christian dogma and then defend it or defend their group against false stereotypes was considered an attack on Islamic doctrine and thus blasphemy.
Whether a liberal explaining their views or defending them in a conservative forum or a conservative doing the same is NOT trolling. To say it is would allow ideological purity tests to be applied ... and that's the death of free speech.
Dave Volek Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:07pm
From Wikipedia:
In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroupforumchat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] whether for the troll's amusement or a specific gain.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:10pm
 Dino Manalis Do you consider profanity to be something that should always be banned?
Bill H. Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:15pm
Our own Ryan Messano is the best example we have according to Dave's definition.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:16pm
 Dave Volek I am aware of the Wikipedia definition. It falls short in many ways, hence my questions.
Liberals have the elitist privilege of defining their views and only their views as "love", so everyone else is guilty of hate speech. Defend your views, and you're trolling.
They also have the institutional power through Big Tech to enforce their definitions of "hate speech" and "trolling" to censor those they don't like.
That includes:
* throttling information sharing from sources liberals consider too biased
* applying AI to censor comments trained on the New York Times' comments section and trained by far left developers
* censoring posts and content that uses correct terms those in power don't like such as "illegal aliens" or "Muslim rape gangs"
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:21pm
Another problem is the definition of provoking. There are victims of Muslim lynch mobs in Pakistan and Bangladesh because the murder victim was an atheist or Christian. Their crime and sin was defending their views on the internet or in public. To merely express those views was considered provocation and an assault on public morality ... so it was moral and reasonable to murder them.
Too many in the authoritarian left consider any criticism of social justice to be equally "provoking", while their actual threats of violence or attempts to harm people by getting them fired are considered acceptable responses.
In any other context, we'd consider someone's response to online criticism to track down the person's phone number and send text messages with threats of violence, sending suspicious packages to their home or trying to get them fired both trolling and criminal. But when liberal bullies do it, they're given a pass because they hold the institutional power.
Aside from Tucker Carlson's family's case or threats to Dana Loesch on her personal cell phone to kill her children, you see the no-platforming and attempts to weaponize poverty by cutting off funds for British liberal atheist and Youtuber "Sargon of Akkad".
Would the systemic attacks against Sargon of Akkad or organized group harassment of these conservatives be trolling? Or is that another category? And how do you set a neutral, universal definition of it?
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2019 - 1:31pm
The crowd is as wise as the information it gets and what it is able to do with that.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 5, 2019 - 2:05pm
I think there is no way a machine can recognize a troll because he is in essence destinguishable by a negative: He lacks an argument. A troll is somebody who is trying to be mean and not to make a point. There is no word or phrase or anything that can proof the lack of an argument. People mix content with irrelevance and sometimes slurs, but the troll is the one who goes for vile ad personam attacks only.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 5, 2019 - 2:10pm
I also think that trolls are hardly a thing anymore. Nowadays so many people are on the web that a troll is simply starving for the lack of attention. Nobody engages an empty vessel for long when there are more interesting people around. They usually die.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 2:16pm
The wisdom of the crowd in finding solutions depends on free flow of information, the ability of people to have equal input, and not have "experts" or the loudest voice in the room dominate everyone else.

You can read more at my review of the book "The Wisdom of the Crowd".
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 2:18pm

Benjamin Goldstein There's a saying that any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a kook. Titania McGrath strikes me as a good example of this. Yet her Twitter posts are a perfect example of the logical absurdity of the social justice movement - everything is relative, but everyone who disagrees is evil, let's be fair and equitable, but let's oppress all those evil whites/men/conservatives.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 2:18pm
 Stone-Eater There's a saying that any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a kook.
Titania McGrath strikes me as a good example of this. Yet her Twitter posts are a perfect example of the logical absurdity of the social justice movement - everything is relative, but everyone who disagrees is evil, let's be fair and equitable, but let's oppress all those evil whites/men/conservatives. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2019 - 4:58pm
To begin, trolling is a largely subjective issue and therefore will necessarily defy definition.
Allow me to say this is a very pointive remark that requires further examination. Indeed. May I ask you where your preoccupation to this subject comes from ?
It might very well be a subject that could be introduced into a general empirical study about human behavior of people which use the Internet and the so-called "social media" as a means of communication. I would be very pleased to open up a more detailed, and more profound, discussion about this - as seen from today - ever more urgent matter concerning the fact that the vis-à.vis has suffered in the negative favor of people not communicating directly but
...give each other shit on the keyboard, right, Moggie ? 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:26pm
OMG you have also found Titania McGrath. Ann Coulter's feed made me aware of it. It's the best project ever. There are associated accounts that respond to her. I have no idea what group is behind them, but they are really, really funny.
There used to be an American website that has gone offline, unfortunately, making fun of conservatives: "Betty Bowers - America's Best Christian". Loved it! But Titania McGrath is a worthy successor.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:35pm
I know you are severely butt hurt by my replies to your thinly veiled, crudely fashioned uncivil conversation but how many times must I offer you quarter before you accept it?
Sorry teacher, I'm not "butt hurt". It takes more than that, and certainly not on the Internet. And I'm not "uncivil". That's called direct, and whether you accept that or not, well....
I might not be the eleve of Shakespeare, but I know when a comment is substantial or when it's just lettering for the letter's sake.
And to the title: I'm pretty sure that you would deny the "crowd" any wisdom. Why ? Because you make the impression you're superior. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know. But people who think they are superior will often get corrected by the wisdom of the crowd. See politics......never underestimate collective the long run even MSM loses its influence. 
Flying Junior Added Jan 6, 2019 - 2:18am
There are probably four or five basic categories of trolling.  One that we see here a great deal on the WB is the one-hit wonder that seeks to discredit their opponents by pretending to be one of them albeit in an unsupportable manner.
Case in point today would be Janice ELP who claims to be an Eisenhower republican who saw the light and embraced civil rights and other liberal causes, only clinging to personal fiscal responsibility as a remnant of her conservative past.
While her post is entitled, "Elizabeth Warren has proven herself to be trustworthy," in truth the post is a hit piece against Warren as it claims that the Warren campaign set up recurring bank withdrawals against the unfortunate supporter who foolishly gave them her checking account info.
This type of troll might be recognizable by AI even though they usually pull the wool over the eyes of at least half a dozen Writer Beaters.  But given the extreme points of view expressed on the web today, other types of trolls are not so easy to recognize. 
One might look for signs of authenticity to verify that a personality is not a troll.  But random comments and vapid posting will never be clearly defined.
I got a kick out of your claiming that liberals have staked out love as a territory.  It has a kernel of truth.  I'm still chuckling.  Obviously we all love our families, our land, our dogs, our children...  Boys love cars and really bitchen toys.
FacePalm Added Jan 6, 2019 - 3:40am
i don't think i can help you with a definition of a troll...especially one that would help any AI to learn what they are so as to identify and eliminate them from the marketplace of ideas.
As to all the current platforms engaging in blatant discrimination against anyone NOT leftist or who OPPOSES the NWO/OWG satanist pedophile globalists, here's my opinion:
An enterprising law firm should advertise for all the people de-platformed, then file a class action First Amendment violation lawsuit against every damn one of them - facebook, twitter, youtube, all their affiliates and hangers-on like reddit and instagram, and etc.
Simultaneously, a legal attack should be made on every one of these corporations under the following theory:
The operation of any corporate entity is a privilege, not a Right.  Our Right to Free Speech is guaranteed by everyone who's ever sworn an oath to the Constitution, which would be ALL public servants, including but not limited to clerks of court, DMV employees, active and retired military, police, everyone in every alphabet agency, ad near infinitum....and this privilege is granted conditionally, said condition being that it is "in the public interest" for said corporate status to continue.
How can a PRIVILEGE dominate and trump a RIGHT?  The simple answer is "it can't"  ...unless the People lay supinely and allow it to happen to them.
i think that every outlet of the current AI and "internet of things" should be shot, at a minimum with a microwave burst to disable it's communication network(or just find the comm/spy chip and disable it), and any unmanned vehicle driving down the road should be rammed or otherwise compelled to get into an "accident."  What they're attempting to do - and will succeed at unless the People say "No!" most emphatically - is to take our ability to travel where we wish, when we wish, to the destination we choose, with whom we wish, at any time we wish - away from us all, to make us prisoners of the automated vehicles.
i'm personally glad that the AI cannot recognize and eliminate "memes," as well - but as you're probably aware, the EU has banned them from the internet there for that very reason - that, and that leftists have so little imagination when it comes to communication with memes.  "Irony" is difficult for most people to understand, much less define, and i'm hopeful that no AI will ever "get it."
The promoters of the AI envision (and have planned for) a future devoid of humanity.  Those who oppose them envision a future for humanity.  This is at the crux of the argument at this point in time.
To paraphrase Reagan, "There is no left or right, there's only up or down; up, to the maximum amount of liberty possible without tramping on the equal liberty of every other soul, or down to the antheap of totalitarian socialist nightmares."
Don't let 'em drag you down.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 6, 2019 - 3:54am
In the world today, at least according to major social media sites, apparently anyone that believes in liberty, the constitution, national (or individual) sovereignty, common sense ... pretty much anyone to the right of Uncle Ho or Chairman Mao is a troll. 
Dr. Rupert Green Added Jan 6, 2019 - 8:02am
A philosopher stated it is through the senses we discern things. These senses evolved overtime. Here we are being asked to help AI rapidly advance to identify human behaviors that are antithetical to group think. Striker asked what is good and who defined it. Microsoft was known for sending shitty programs out there and let the collective world help him solve them.
I enjoy challenging WB trolls and am not into eliminating them from the site. I am more upset that they delete comments that shows how not smart they are. Indeed, the future heroes will be hackers and trolls, if we can turn them to confound big brother's AI. 
A big problem is the dumbing down of people on social media, perhaps upsetting trolls are the ones Arnold must come from the future to save, given their importance in the future. So, long live the Anti-federalists. Did the world not fare better for them? 
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 6, 2019 - 10:36am

FacePalm I agree that there is serious censorship going on. Many liberals have abandoned the principle of free speech, or else they'd be pushing back on private censorship on social media and vigilante persecution of various wrong-thinkers. Instead, many argue "the right is only violated if the STATE does it".
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 6, 2019 - 10:37am
Then again, that attitude does line up with a worldview where rights only derive from the government.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 6, 2019 - 11:03am
And they are privileges when they come from the government, not rights. Contracted privileges at that.
FacePalm Added Jan 6, 2019 - 11:46am
You're right, the argument that the 1st Amendment only applies to gov't agents is likely the tack they'll take - which is why i recommended a simultaneous attack on the corporate charters, under the aforementioned theory that a privilege is never superior to a right.
Take their corporate charter and force them to re-organize as sole proprietorships or partnerships, and watch them go right the hell out of business, which is what i prefer.  Even the mere THREAT to do this will cause a massive stock sell-off, i suspect.
i suppose the question would turn on just what is "in the public interest."  If a leftist judge hears it, he's liable to come down on the side of the anti-human corporate interests; for example, a bar can forbid it's patrons from discussion of religion or politics, and has every right to kick out those who violate those rules - however, if they allow a subset to discuss both and toss out the others - say, for example, all Catholics are allowed to remain and speak on both subjects - they've violated their own rules, and should be held accountable.
As is (or should be) obvious by now, if they'll allow anti-semites like Farakkhan to remain, if they allow antifa and others calling for the MURDER of republicans and the president, they've created an uneven playing field, tilted the table, so to speak...which is essentially unjust...AND, i hear, influences voters, as well, like when google changes up their algorithm to skew search results to eliminate or push back positive articles about republicans, including on youtube.
The Snowden revelations revealed that multiple "modern" appliances spy on individual Americans - dishwashers, teevees, washer/dryers, even toasters and etc. - and idiot Americans have put Siri, Alexa, and the other allegedly voice-activated computer AI's in their homes, and they listen ALL THE TIME, not just when "activated." Personally, i like my privacy, and don't care for spies at all...especially by the Chinese, who have been busily building spy chips into virtually every product they sell, particularly their phones, but then, Americans have been doing the same thing.  If i recall correctly, even the "Furbies" were spying!
But the smartphones - nice trick!  They also spy on us all the time, and charge us a pretty penny to do so, so we PAY for our own surveillance!
Not me, though.  i won't have a phone i can't take the battery out of easily.
Spartacus Added Jan 7, 2019 - 12:59pm
Tamara, no software system today would be able to detect the subtle nuance required to define a "troll".  Impossible.
There are "trolls" which seek to only cause disruption in online discourse.  They have no political motive.  Their only goal is to create a negative emotional response.
"R U MAD BRO?"  
If these 12-year-olds can actually cause someone else to have an emotional meltdown, it is a victory because they have some control over another person.  It is a control thing for them when they have no means to control their own life.  
The word "troll" is massively overused.  There is a very limited definition for the word and is far too subjective to be "detected" by any algorithm.  
If your goal here is some material for a futuristic story, you might look further into "block-chain" authentication systems.  These systems will affect the reliability of information on the web and will be used to validate web participation.  In the future, a 12-year-old "troll" will then be far less effective if his web identification is consistently paired with negative responses.  This is where your "wisdom of the crowd" may have actual technical grounding.   
Good luck in your next book!
Dave Volek Added Jan 7, 2019 - 3:31pm
I think you are asking for the difference between a troll and a passionate yet unreasonable advocate for a certain cause. Like many other things, there are shades of grey.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 8, 2019 - 1:29pm

Spartacus You are right that I write science fiction, but the goal here was technical specifications for a software/AI system.
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 19, 2019 - 8:14pm
Thank you everyone for the feedback.