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Commentary :: Media
Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
27 Oct 2004
I would like to request that IMCs talk about this option: What if we set it up so the author of the article could *choose* to have an OPEN OR CLOSED comment area. The *author's choice*, not the IMC editorial's choice. Authors would have to decide open or closed BEFORE comments happened. One shot deal. But if you choose CLOSED comments, all comments will simply be blocked from that article from day one, and permanently the comments will just not happen.
I would like to request that IMCs talk about this option:

What if we set it up so the author of the article could *choose* to have an OPEN OR CLOSED comment area. The *author's choice*, not the IMC editorial's choice. Authors would have to decide open or closed BEFORE comments happened. One shot deal. But if you choose CLOSED comments, all comments will simply be blocked from that article from day one, and permanently the comments will just not happen.

I would be willing to write on IMCs again, (as I want very much to write on IMCs), if this option existed to close the comment area on any article you write that you post on IMCs. This would give me the power, myself, to control the trolls on my articles.


I am not going to describe all the weird shit that has transpired on IMCs re trolling me. But, for instance, this last week, on one IMC in Ca. that posted an article of mine themselves (I did not post it), three comments were posted on an article I wrote about how to accomodate vegans and vegetarians at holiday meals, calling me a hog, and saying I should write a diet book, and that I am too fat to be a vegetarian, etc. I simply do not think that people should be subjected to crap like that to write articles on IMCs. Plain and simple.

What do you think? Is that idea of letting the authors *themselves* choose to block comment areas or not too radical? To me, it seems logical, and an option that does not require that much website tweaking to become reality. It would also cut down on the work of the volunteers at IMCs through less editing...so that more content, etc. could go up instead of trolls purposely wasting our time on rude and inflammatory comments.

I would like to hear constructive comments on this, yet I fear this comment area will fill with hateful trolls again, right off the bat...telling me to lose weight, shut up, get a life, etc. At least by now, I have learned the hard way how not to *feed* the trolls. We will see how this goes. I am posting with high hopes...but this comment area may end up, once again, illustrating why open comment areas can suck, instead of addressing this issue.
See also:
http://www.kirstenanderberg.com

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Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
27 Oct 2004
I rarely write on, but often read, IMC's for what they are designed for, for alternative, progressive news and opinions. I agree with Kirsten, that writers should have a choice of whether or not to allow comments. Allowing trolls like the one above to take control of IMC, which has been happening for far too long in Boston, serves only one purpose - to discourage progressive thought by allowing yet another arena for harrassment and intimidation. Allowing trolling is not progressive, but detracts. Let the author choose whether she/he wants to risk the harrassment, and stop respecting "the rights?" of these reactionary trolls.
Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
27 Oct 2004
The comment by the troll "above" that Steve is referring to. The Boston IMC now has a policy of hiding comments that are obviously by trolls--those that are clearly insulting and nonconstructive.
Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
27 Oct 2004
I think it's a poor idea.

Perhaps you need thicker skin if you wish to continue to put yourself in the public spotlight.

Victoria indymedia has a fairly balanced policy to deal with hate:

http://victoria.indymedia.org/features/indymedia/

Look for "Activist Publishing"
Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
28 Oct 2004
Why can't I send an E-Mail to the Boston editors to complain about nasty posts any more?

That was a good feature of your IMC.
Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
28 Oct 2004
I'm not sure what you mean when you say that you can't send a complaint to us any more. People are certainly still free to do so. Is the issue that the e-mail addresses you should use are no longer readily accessible? I know we've been rearranging the site a lot. In any case, our e-mail is imc-boston-office (at) indymedia.org. Feel free to contact us there to report posts that violate our editorial policy.
Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
29 Oct 2004
"to discourage progressive thought by allowing yet another arena for harrassment"

In a Free American Society that is what new ideas must allow themselves to exposed to-- contradiction and criticism. What you are asking for is a blockaded ivory tower from which socialist manifestoes and diktats can be proclaimed without being subject to any form of rebuttal (as are many articles here anyway). You would make a great Communist leader.
Re: Solutions: Reining In Trolls on IMCs
29 Oct 2004
One cannot be progressive and a resistance at the same time. Resistance, by definition is a reactive, reactionary doctrine.

Pro-gressive means to move forward.
Ag-gressive means to move against.

Resistance is Retrogressive, meaning to move backward to the state in the reaction prior to which a force was initiated.