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Politics: are we being trolled?

Discussion in 'About This Site' started by Forest, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

  2. sam908

    sam908 Peer Supporter

    I'm noticing that anguish and breast-beating over the past election are creeping into a number of other forums which deal with completely different areas of interest (eg., jazz, New Thought, exercise, relationships, etc.). As a result, I'm starting to think that this is part of a concerted effort on the part of political partisans to deliberately infiltrate these sites, including this forum, in order to advance their own agenda and stir things up. Folks, we're being trolled.
  3. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    I haven't seen this yet on this forum. If there are trolls, go away please. On the other hand, there is a very real increase in depression and anxiety since the election, which I see throughout my clinical practice and in myself. I deal with it by turning off the news, and by doing a lot of art.
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heya, Sam, that's a clever thing to think of, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. For the last 8 years, I've been dealing with a specific sort of troll - the spammer. What I've found during this time is that spammers simply can't blend in well enough to evade detection. Anyone who has read a couple thousand posts on this forum knows what a TMS post looks like. There's a lot of jargon and common knowledge. Unless someone has genuinely turned to this approach to overcome their own symptoms, they are pretty easy to identify and ban.

    On the other hand, given the tensions in society, people's frustrations may come out wherever they are. People who are already part of the community may give in to the temptation to make trollish posts. The forum staff have seen a significant rise in this sort of unhelpful and divisive behavior. As a result, we will be tightening standards up and enforcing policies more aggressively. Our goal is to remove those tension-fueling distractions so people can focus on the discussion and peer support that people find so helpful.
    Bodhigirl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    In terms of this type of stuff, it may be helpful to quote the most relevant rules from our forum rules.
    When it comes to politics, clearly it is the "respectful of other's opinions" that is most important. Politics is both "contentious and off topic," so this rule says that it should be "avoided" on the forum. (Truly, no one will miss it.) If, despite people's best efforts, it does come up, people need to make a "special effort to be polite." This includes stating one's own opinion on contentious topics as an "opinion rather than fact."

    There are grey areas in enforcing rules like these. In these cases, the moderator's decision is final (I may review their decision, but don't get your hopes up) and I urge people to be extra cautious so that they don't develop a reputation. In the end, it really comes down to common sense.

    When I moderate posts, the key thing I look for is whether they were "inflammatory." In other words, did the person make things worse than they had to be? Could they have written things differently so that they wouldn't have "inflamed" other members of the forum? I consider this because conversations in online forums tend to spiral downhill into a flame war when members deliberately or inadvertently "inflame" one another. Our community is very tight knit and I am amazed at the life-changing support that is exchanged here. When inflammatory posts are made, that can weaken the bonds of friendship that make all of this possible. It makes my heart sink to see it because it is completely avoidable if people simply kept their mouths shut before they said something destructive.

    What was it my mom used to say? "If you can't say anything nice, don't post in that thread."

    Nope, that wasn't it... Something like that, though.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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