Okay guys, the off-season is officially here and the morons are coming out of the woodworks. Unfortunately it’s only going to get worse from here on out. Posts about “Vick sux we needz the Manning time,” “McCoy or Harrison: Who should start?” and “why we need to draft a big wr” are going to pour in non-stop. Trolls will run rampant and many of us will be tempted to leave for a long time (and some of us will actually do it).
But we, my fellow BGNers, can stop this. We can limit the trolling! Remember when Smoky the Bear said, “Only you can prevent forest fires?” I used to think he actually meant me, and the tremendous responsibility really weighed on me. I was rather dismayed when a large forest fire broke out in California later that year, and I was racked with guilt. Was I making a point…? Oh yes, WE can stop these damned trolls. It’s not JasonB, JimmyK, or BobQ’s, responsibility. Most SBN sites have a staff of at least 5 writers, moderators, editors, and others. We only have three all purpose guys who put up better material more often than any site on SBN, and they don’t need to waste their time patrolling the fences here.
So here are some guidelines for dealing with trolls. I know I’m a hypocrite for not following some of these rules, but if we band together it will be a lot easier for everyone to follow them.
Rule #1: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. EVER. Do not engage them in conversation, do not insult them, do not respond to them in any manner or pay any attention to them. Attention is their life blood and controversy their cocaine. Don’t do it. I know it’s tempting, but you have to completely ignore them in order to keep them in check.
Rule #2: Use the flag button. Flag every single comment as trolling. Every single one. The more attention that is brought to the trolling behavior the sooner it can be dealt with. While the big three shouldn’t have to go on patrol, they’re more than willing to boot the trolls if they get flagged. Use the little button, it’s your internet pepper spray.
Rule #3: Use the “o” system. This one’s gonna be controversial, but I think if the entire post is bullshit you may either ignore it or type a single “o” in the subject line. Don’t respond to any messages, keep it in a straight line. Don’t respond to the troll if he comments, don’t say anything other than “o”, and flag the post. Either that, or ignore the whole thing. “o” or ignore: those are your options when dealing with a troll-post.
Rule #4: Remind others of these rules. When you see a non-troll or a BGN regular engaging a troll in conversation, remind them not to reply to the trolls. Make sure you don’t engage the troll or comment on the troll’s trollish-ness during this reminder, and do not reply to the troll when he attacks you for referring to him as a troll. We have to stay united in order to fight this!
Alright, so this was a little tongue-in-cheek, but I do think it’s important to stand by these guidelines. If we ignore the trolls they’ll go away. If not they’ll keep popping up and we’ll keep bothering Jason, Jimmy, and Bob. I know the trolls can be fun at times, but resist the urge to fight them. Ignore them and flag them and this will be a home to great off-season news, just as it should be.