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The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck

Science & Tech  (tags: computers, humans, internet, research, trolls, world )

- 1962 days ago -
Everybody who's written or blogged about climate change on a prominent website (or, even worse, spoken about it on YouTube) knows the drill. Shortly after you post, the menagerie of trolls arrives. They're predominantly climate deniers, and they start in

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Kit B (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 6:35 pm

Trolls feed the trolls? That makes sense, once they see others getting bold they grab some courage to get bold which often turns nasty. I just wish these people would do some actual research, they obviously have the Internet, is it really that hard to learn some facts?

David C (29)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:47 am
Kit and Kathy, why is it when I post the other-side on this I called a troll or a climate denier.
Yes I have the net and yes I read a lot of the reports on both-sides in full ( in one case a 450 page report) and if you read a lot of the reports in full the words "we think" or "it looks" are use a lot, which are not facts, but the way people think something will come about!
Do not forget its just 20 years ago that we was told by some of the same people that the world would be in a ice age by 2030
I not a denier the climate is changing, as it has done a lot of times before, is this man made, sorry to say that I still do not know!

Kathy B (106)
Friday January 11, 2013, 7:20 am
David, I had no idea this article would start a debate on whether man is causing the planet to warm, but to me it just makes sense.

In my younger years I was an avid hiker and camper, and am fortunate that here in Washington state we have a lot of trails, and much beauty to see. It always saddened me when I was hiking to see the small ways in which man was very careless with nature. Whether it was seeing hatchet marks in trees, or seeing litter left on trails and campgrounds. When visiting my parents and siblings, who live in the heart of 'logging territory' here in Washington, it distressed me to see clearcut forests, if you've never seen a clearcut forest, trust me, they are very ugly.

Before I knew of the term global warming or global climate change, it wasn't unusual for me to use the term 'mother nature is p*ssed', so when I started hearing the term global warming and started reading about it and the science surrounding it, it wasn't hard for me to believe that man has a huge impact on our current climate woes.

What I witnessed during my hikes was incidences of a small group of people harming nature. When I read about the arrogance of Shell trying to drill for oil in the Arctic, and other huge corporations polluting lakes and streams with their chemical toxins, or of the coal companies blowing the tops off mountains, it's really isn't hard at all for me to believe man has a huge impact on climate change.

I would like to encourage you to visit a site called The Skeptical Scientist. This link on there site has a long list of arguments from global warming skeptics and answers to the arguments.

Janice P (5)
Friday January 11, 2013, 4:30 pm

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Friday January 11, 2013, 4:41 pm
Not everyone who posts against global warming is a troll, just sadly misinformed. I know one guy who simply doesn't believe in global warming, but then he votes conservative...need I say more?

Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday January 11, 2013, 4:50 pm
Death to all trolls and other useful idiots. Off with their heads.

rosemary weston (1)
Friday January 11, 2013, 5:20 pm
i thought this was about trolls and that global warming was used only as an example. i thought a troll was someone who just liked to argue and get personal and nasty more for the sport of trolling, with the subject matter taking second place. they give themselves points for one-ups-manship, making someone else loose their cool, and being extremely rude, especially in what they think are cleverly sutble, indirect ways that they think others don't see through. they aren't really interested in understanding anyone else,s point of view or of truely convincing anyone else of what they purport to believe. trolls get an inflated sense of superiority from their sport. they don't know how to discuss. just because someone else disagrees with us or has a different opinion doesn't mean they are a troll. no matter how ridiculous we may think someone else,s viewpoint may be, we don't need to turn into a troll ourselves to defeat them.

Marcia Singer (1)
Friday January 11, 2013, 5:22 pm
Actually, no matter what the subject, someone somewhere will find it necessary to say something hateful in response. I'm not talking about people who are legitimately presenting a different view on the subject, but rather those who have nothing to really add and are simply in the mood to be negative. You just have to take it with a grain of salt.

donnaa D (14)
Friday January 11, 2013, 5:23 pm
noted, not impressed by some silly comments

Suzanne L (99)
Friday January 11, 2013, 9:27 pm
Down with trolls and especially spammer trolls who post on Care2 to flog wares or lure people to scammy stuff.

Robert Hardy (68)
Friday January 11, 2013, 10:48 pm
NO matter, they still piss you off.

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 12:55 am
They just ruin things for everyone.

glenn m (26)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:03 am
my first experience with a troll was here on care2. and i'd been using the internet for about 5 years without coming across one.
my understanding is that some trolls really love "putting the cat amongst the pigeons" as it were maybe because they have nothing better to do.
while others are more insidious and want to cause actual disruption and discourse.
the worst of course are those masquerading as something they are not in order to create rifts amongst people that genuinely want to discuss subjects that they think are important, constructively. of course the trolls know this and want to sabotage any constructive and progressive discussions because they don't want to see the progress by others, for whatever reason albeit personal, corporate, political or whatever.

the best way of dealing with trolls i find is to ignore them and don't reply to anything they say.

they are like some bullies and will soon give up when they see they can not upset the people they intend to in any forum etc. of course they will probably just find some other forum to troll but if enough people ignore them then maybe they will find something better to do with their lives.


rosemary weston (1)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 8:23 am
i think spammers are motivated quite differently than trolls, but neither are welcome in a discussion.
there may be some aspects of the troll in us that a well practiced troll tries to bring out of us. i agree with those who say that the best way to quiet a troll is to calmly ignore them and encourage others (through messaging ) to do likewise. it sometimes is hard because they are good at pushing buttons, but the best response is not to give one.

Laurie Greenberg (11)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 9:35 am
Glenn M., that is brilliant! I'm with you!

Colleen Prinssen (14)
Monday January 14, 2013, 5:48 am
didn't you know? any rude comment from someone who disagrees with you "is a troll", more if the topic is a special sensitive one that could involve harm to a particular group.

just take all the rich people who use this site who get paid by the meat lobby to tell people things like "I can't acquire iron from plants" or "there is nothing wrong from eating guinea hen eggs when the hens have a job to eat ticks off my property. I let them live here and have a job. they are not fertile so they waste their lives trying to hatch them. it would be like a woman carrying menstrual blood in a jar saying it's her baby"

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