Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/archives/2015/December

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Trolling in trollspace

I've just blocked an obvious trolling account and nuked its comment on User:Cirt's Ahmed Mohamed article. For once the identification of trolling in comments space was straightforward. However, I'd like to invite thoughts from the community on another recent incident that raises the trolling question more generally.

Back in March, User:Soumia Er made a comment at Comments:Zayn Malik leaves pop band One Direction after five years,

Oh my god! Zayn was my favorite member and now he's gone. I don't know about the other directioners but in my opinion One Direction should be untied as a five member british-Irish boyband because we love all about One Direction. I respect Zayn's choice !! and I hope for Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam all the best.

This drew a nasty, trolling response, and the situation snowballed until finally on September 4 Soumia Er blanked the original comment after first attempting a deletion tag with reason

I gave my opinion on this article. And all i get was hate replies. So i want to remove it please it is my comment so it won't hurt anyone

I felt very sad about that. We do call comments space "trollspace" because we want to be very permissive about allowing people with all kinds of opinions to weigh in (usually we cite the example of an interview with a neo-Nazi for this), but here a thoroughly permissive approach to negative comments has had the opposite effect of discouraging comment. It seems to me we should be able to do better. I'm looking for a principle to use to draw the line for such comments. Cf. WN:Comment Space.

Thoughts? --Pi zero (talk) 14:25, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the next concrete step forward is, but I strongly agree with the overall sentiment by Pi zero, above, and agree with his recent actions. Thank you. -- Cirt (talk) 15:29, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I have a wide array of opinions about this matter, but I tend to lean toward the 'hands off' approach when it comes to editing the work of even those pesky little trolls! --Bddpaux (talk) 21:04, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Here's a classic:
Chris Mooney. "The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck" — Mother Jones, January 10, 2013
--Pi zero (talk) 22:23, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Some time ago I promised to look into this. My conclusion is we need proper policy on controlling Trollspace. I'm at home tonight tidying my flat, so I don't have the lengthy blocks of time needed to make a dent on CAT:REV but do have plenty of on-off availability to try and hash something together for the community to toss around. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 19:48, 10 December 2015 (UTC)