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What is 'trolling' here?

[Moved on 22 Mar from thread 'Moderation']

This is getting ridiculous. There is 80% trolling in some threads right now. If anything, more bans should be given in my opinion - refraining oneself from insulting anyone should not be reason enough to be allowed posting.

Deliberately derailing threads and provoking others basically prevents any meaningful discussion. It has been weeks now since I last read any worthy exchange of opinions…
 
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So what do people here consider to be the definition of trolling?
There is one provided to mods (I shall ask @SHaines if I have permission to share it, or he may do so on reading this), and little of what I see meets that definition.

Where is the threshhold between extreme fan loyalty and trolling in the opinion of this community?
 
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So what do people here consider to be the definition of trolling?
There is one provided to mods (I shall ask @SHaines if I have permission to share it, or he may do so on reading this), and little of what I see meets that definition.

Where is the threshhold between extreme fan loyalty and trolling in the opinion of this community?
Who's trolling or not, is in the eye of the beholder.
 
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So what do people here consider to be the definition of trolling?
There is one provided to mods (I shall ask @SHaines if I have permission to share it, or he may do so on reading this), and little of what I see meets that definition.

Where is the threshhold between extreme fan loyalty and trolling in the opinion of this community?
I would say first of all being dishonest - meaning not sharing your true opinion but deliberately presenting extreme version of your opinion or completely faking it - with the intention to provoke and/or draw attention.

Now the trick is to separate an opinion which is honest but extreme from the one that is fake and intended to provoke. I fully understand this can be a very difficult task. But sometimes opinions are so bizzare they can’t be anything but trolling. If someone claims Froome is better that Pog at this very moment (to my knowledge, noone actually claimed that) then this can’t be an honest opinion. It’s ridiculous beyond reasonable doubt…
 
I think some of the ridiculous claims are basically one of two things.

1. Generally good rider gets "bad" result
Baah! He's done for. Never gonna win another race, might as well start writing poetry for ants

2. Generally bad rider gets "good" result
OMG! New best thing! He's gonna win the Tour for a 100 years, and invent immortality.

It's all part of a weird exaggaration culture.
 
I would say first of all being dishonest - meaning not sharing your true opinion but deliberately presenting extreme version of your opinion or completely faking it - with the intention to provoke and/or draw attention.

Now the trick is to separate an opinion which is honest but extreme from the one that is fake and intended to provoke. I fully understand this can be a very difficult task. But sometimes opinions are so bizzare they can’t be anything but trolling. If someone claims Froome is better that Pog at this very moment (to my knowledge, noone actually claimed that) then this can’t be an honest opinion. It’s ridiculous beyond reasonable doubt…
The problem is when the lines blur on these. Often statements are not with the intention of provocation but can end up that way.

As an example, allow me to talk about a rider I have some "known" opinions about: Sepp Kuss. My dislike of Kuss the racer, and now the media goody-two-shoes presentation of him, is genuine. Sometimes during racing events, I may get a bit heated and have lost my cool on a few occasions. However, I also know that I do this, and away from racing scenarios I often make jokes about that dislike and lack of self-control, either by way of self-referential humour or by way of exaggerating the dislike to comical proportions. That falls in your definition above because I'm deliberately exaggerating my opinions, but is not intended as trolling, if anything I'm making a joke at my own expense. People who read these posts seriously after seeing the in-race anger and frustration probably perceive this as spoiling for a rumble, a blind, incandescent hatred, rather than exaggeration for comic effect. But then people who read those comments as self-referential humour and not intended seriously may then look at the in-race posts and think I'm trolling Kuss fans rather than expressing genuine emotions when I cheer him getting dropped or throw a tantrum about him succeeding.

Now, while a lot of the out of race posts are usually intended as humorous, the in-race ones usually are not, and that creates an ambiguity, even before we get to the simple fact that I'm no professional comedian, and what I find funny and a line of humour to continue, others may think I'm just trolling away, take for example ManicJack thinking somehow that my conflation of Riley Sheehan the cyclist with Riley Sheahan the hockey player was somehow intended as an insult and perceived this, along with my dislike of Sepp Kuss, to be evidence of some kind of anti-American sentiment (perhaps I shouldn't have done so much commentary on CIA intervention in Latin America in the Race Design Thread, for my part, but it certainly feels like there's a few subsets of posters who are extremely hypersensitive about any criticism of their countrymen, and it's far from being just Americans before that gets jumped on) worthy of reporting as trolling, rather than just an aside that I found amusing but clearly others didn't.
 
I think some of the ridiculous claims are basically one of two things.

1. Generally good rider gets "bad" result
Baah! He's done for. Never gonna win another race, might as well start writing poetry for ants

2. Generally bad rider gets "good" result
OMG! New best thing! He's gonna win the Tour for a 100 years, and invent immortality.

It's all part of a weird exaggaration culture.
An ant was marching.

Towards the stack and up it climbed.

But then, a stomp!
 
Going on the windup to a reasonable degree isn't problematic on it's own, as long as it's done in an amusing and clever way, it's been a necessary feature of every workplace, every social gathering and every message board since time began. I would say that once you lay the bait, don't repeat the same thing over and over again until someone bites, and don't make it personal. Trolling is a art, as they used to say on /b/.

The reason I post here and mostly avoid twitter is that humour there consists of gimmicked accounts of uncreative people that at one point received favourable reactions for something such that they repeated the same gag, with it eventually becoming crystallised into their entire internet persona. Fandom nowadays seems to be more about wishing to be defined by association to riders and characters themselves, rather than by ones relationship to the sport as a whole. People will pick a rider or an opinion and tie themselves in knots working backwards to try and prove what they initially tied to the mast, ignoring anything to the contrary. Most of the time it's mildly irritating, but it can be funny, even endearing if done by the right person, like Taxus being the last person flying the flag for Froome is brilliant.

There is a creeping deification of cyclists as well at the moment due to social media hype and in my opinion, the lack of anyone big being popped for something really dodgy snapping them back into reality. Wait till someone gets caught with a needle up their arse trying to transfuse dolphin blood during a Tour rest day in a KFC toilet. I'm sure Cristiano Ronaldo vs Messi twitter will find another sport.
 
Going on the windup to a reasonable degree isn't problematic on it's own, as long as it's done in an amusing and clever way, it's been a necessary feature of every workplace, every social gathering and every message board since time began. I would say that once you lay the bait, don't repeat the same thing over and over again until someone bites, and don't make it personal. Trolling is a art, as they used to say on /b/.

The reason I post here and mostly avoid twitter is that humour there consists of gimmicked accounts of uncreative people that at one point received favourable reactions for something such that they repeated the same gag, with it eventually becoming crystallised into their entire internet persona. Fandom nowadays seems to be more about wishing to be defined by association to riders and characters themselves, rather than by ones relationship to the sport as a whole. People will pick a rider or an opinion and tie themselves in knots working backwards to try and prove what they initially tied to the mast, ignoring anything to the contrary. Most of the time it's mildly irritating, but it can be funny, even endearing if done by the right person, like Taxus being the last person flying the flag for Froome is brilliant.

There is a creeping deification of cyclists as well at the moment due to social media hype and in my opinion, the lack of anyone big being popped for something really dodgy snapping them back into reality. Wait till someone gets caught with a needle up their arse trying to transfuse dolphin blood during a Tour rest day in a KFC toilet. I'm sure Cristiano Ronaldo vs Messi twitter will find another sport.
Aye.

At least the Nibali thread was always humorous.
 
I'm all for being tougher on trolling as i have said repeatedly. The problem is that trolling in the past was left without consequence. And as a result you will get people who think it is ok to troll, since they themselves have been trolled up the wazoo before.

I think trolling in the form of provocation should be slammed hard, i'm amazed by what some posters continue to get away with in the guise of "i'm not offending another poster (directly), so i should be able to shitpost all i want".

The difficulty for moderation should lie in discerning when a post is meant as a joke, or when it is meant to rile up other posters. I'm not a fan of Roglic, but when i say after a disappointing Paris Nice "at least he got to suck some wheels so it was a good week after all", that is meant as a joke. I also recognise that for instance JohnnyMax's trolling in the Evenepoel topic lately, is meant to be funny. However, constant, incessant and demeaning comments about any rider should not be tolerated imho. This is a forum for cycling fans and as such also for fans of cyclists. Attacking, mocking, incessantly making demeaning comments about any rider as a result will always heat up things.

I would like admins/mods to at least give an indication whether a forum member is permanently banned, or not. Or in case of account termination, whether this was at the request of the poster or not.
 
I'm all for being tougher on trolling as i have said repeatedly. The problem is that trolling in the past was left without consequence. And as a result you will get people who think it is ok to troll, since they themselves have been trolled up the wazoo before.

I think trolling in the form of provocation should be slammed hard, i'm amazed by what some posters continue to get away with in the guise of "i'm not offending another poster (directly), so i should be able to shitpost all i want".

The difficulty for moderation should lie in discerning when a post is meant as a joke, or when it is meant to rile up other posters. I'm not a fan of Roglic, but when i say after a disappointing Paris Nice "at least he got to suck some wheels so it was a good week after all", that is meant as a joke. I also recognise that for instance JohnnyMax's trolling in the Evenepoel topic lately, is meant to be funny. However, constant, incessant and demeaning comments about any rider should not be tolerated imho. This is a forum for cycling fans and as such also for fans of cyclists. Attacking, mocking, incessantly making demeaning comments about any rider as a result will always heat up things.

I would like admins/mods to at least give an indication whether a forum member is permanently banned, or not. Or in case of account termination, whether this was at the request of the poster or not.
I think most of the time, we should be able to distinct joking from trolling. If in doubt, there’s always interaction with a poster where an exchange quickly tells whether it was a joke or not.

Then of course, there are genuine negative opinions about a rider which are not trolling and every poster is entitled to them. Those I think are harder to distinct. Personally, I look at posting history. If a poster dedicates their life to writing *** about a rider and exaggerates consistently - that’s a troll. And if it’s not by any chance, a little bit of cooling off should do them well anyway…
 
The problem is when the lines blur on these. Often statements are not with the intention of provocation but can end up that way.

As an example, allow me to talk about a rider I have some "known" opinions about: Sepp Kuss. My dislike of Kuss the racer, and now the media goody-two-shoes presentation of him, is genuine. Sometimes during racing events, I may get a bit heated and have lost my cool on a few occasions. However, I also know that I do this, and away from racing scenarios I often make jokes about that dislike and lack of self-control, either by way of self-referential humour or by way of exaggerating the dislike to comical proportions. That falls in your definition above because I'm deliberately exaggerating my opinions, but is not intended as trolling, if anything I'm making a joke at my own expense. People who read these posts seriously after seeing the in-race anger and frustration probably perceive this as spoiling for a rumble, a blind, incandescent hatred, rather than exaggeration for comic effect. But then people who read those comments as self-referential humour and not intended seriously may then look at the in-race posts and think I'm trolling Kuss fans rather than expressing genuine emotions when I cheer him getting dropped or throw a tantrum about him succeeding.

Now, while a lot of the out of race posts are usually intended as humorous, the in-race ones usually are not, and that creates an ambiguity, even before we get to the simple fact that I'm no professional comedian, and what I find funny and a line of humour to continue, others may think I'm just trolling away, take for example ManicJack thinking somehow that my conflation of Riley Sheehan the cyclist with Riley Sheahan the hockey player was somehow intended as an insult and perceived this, along with my dislike of Sepp Kuss, to be evidence of some kind of anti-American sentiment (perhaps I shouldn't have done so much commentary on CIA intervention in Latin America in the Race Design Thread, for my part, but it certainly feels like there's a few subsets of posters who are extremely hypersensitive about any criticism of their countrymen, and it's far from being just Americans before that gets jumped on) worthy of reporting as trolling, rather than just an aside that I found amusing but clearly others didn't.

Never let them forget about stage 6 Kuss Libertine.
 
However, constant, incessant and demeaning comments about any rider should not be tolerated imho. This is a forum for cycling fans and as such also for fans of cyclists. Attacking, mocking, incessantly making demeaning comments about any rider as a result will always heat up things.
So is this getting towards a cycling forum specific definition of trolling? A joke, based on a rider's performance or something else notable, is fine, but continuing to make it long after it was original is to be interpreted as disruptive and incitement to anger for other board users.



So (everyone, this is not just a reply to LiyF): Does this seem like a standard upon which you would be happy that I (and other mods, I'm hoping not to be left alone in this) apply? A standard you would be willing to be held to and to consider a trigger for reporting others?

Identifying trolling when we have a standard of "Most Respectful Interpretation" is difficult, so agreement on this (or another standard) would be helpful. When I started following cycling, one of the things I liked was that it was not as polemical as, for example, football, but we seem to have stumbled into a partisanship whereby some think their following of one rider is incomplete unless it incorporates gross insult of his rival. I don't think that that is where most of us want this board to go, so is this how we prevent it?
 
So is this getting towards a cycling forum specific definition of trolling? A joke, based on a rider's performance or something else notable, is fine, but continuing to make it long after it was original is to be interpreted as disruptive and incitement to anger for other board users.



So (everyone, this is not just a reply to LiyF): Does this seem like a standard upon which you would be happy that I (and other mods, I'm hoping not to be left alone in this) apply? A standard you would be willing to be held to and to consider a trigger for reporting others?

Identifying trolling when we have a standard of "Most Respectful Interpretation" is difficult, so agreement on this (or another standard) would be helpful. When I started following cycling, one of the things I liked was that it was not as polemical as, for example, football, but we seem to have stumbled into a partisanship whereby some think their following of one rider is incomplete unless it incorporates gross insult of his rival. I don't think that that is where most of us want this board to go, so is this how we prevent it?
Absolutely not.
Who decides when the last word in the debate is spoken? Who decides the winner?
Poster A say something Poster B feels need an answer in the same manner.
Where does the 'trolling' start?
With Poster B or Poster A's reply to Poster B?
 
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I don't think incessant demeaning comments about riders are any worse than incessant praising comments about riders. The two go together. If you can express an opinion, you can just as well disagree with said opinion. Done reasonably, politely or humorously.

If there's great demand for places of sanctity where worshippers can assemble without fear of profanities, I'd much rather have a dedicated fan-boy zone. But that two-sided discussions can take place in the main section.