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kesmarn On November - 12 - 2014
"Walk with me. Talk with me."

“Walk with me. Talk with me.”

“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Well, maybe not in every case, but in the case of trolls – – can we estimate > 99.999% of the time?

These online termites have been around as long as the internet has, but have you noticed that they seldom adapt and evolve as time passes?

They’re still using some of the shady debating techniques that probably annoyed Plato to the “pull-out-my-own beard” point. After all, resisting change is the hallmark of their minds. So, let’s take a look at the Obama-era approaches that they’re using. After all — to know them is not necessarily to love them. But knowing them can definitely help us all to save a bunch of time that we can spend doing more fun things.

Plato

Plato, still in possession of full beard. Pre-troll.

For starters — who has not read or heard the threadbare troll claim: “I voted for Obama. Twice! But now I’m sadly disillusioned. I’ve learned that he’s no different than the rest of ‘them'”?  Then follows the list of bitter complaints against the President — followed by the pitch for the Libertarian or far right GOP  chump (or position) they’re pushing. Do these folks seriously believe we’re buying that? No wonder they’re so easily won over by the climate change deniers. They’ll believe literally anything.

Then we have their standard debating “techniques” — which haven’t changed since Karl Rove had hair (and yet still deeply resented John Kerry‘s success with girls).

U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts

John Kerry, with hair Rove can only dream of.

Let’s take them, one by one:

1.  The Strawman. In my experience, it’s their all-time favorite. Since they don’t actually want to have a debate with you, they’ll create a false “you” (strawman) and debate with it. (Kind of like their approach to dating. Partners may or may not be real.) You’ll find yourself being “quoted” by them as having said all sorts of stuff that you never did — or would, even under the influence of the most powerful drugs. Make sure you don’t get sucked into defending comments that were never yours in the first place — but rather came from some inflatable doppelganger they’ve created!

2. Tu quoque. This translates from Latin as “you too!” “You Dems do it, too!” If you happen to take note of the fact that Dubya bombed the wrong country and crashed our whole economy, they’ll counter that Obama smoked weed in high school. So there. Even. I also think of this as the “two wrongs make a right” argument. And for them, there is no such thing as a scale of “wrongness.” Driving two miles per hour over the speed limit equals serial ax murdering. Period. (Depending which side of that lop-sided equation their guy is on.) Gray areas are not their strong suit. It’s all black and white. Or, in their case, it’s all white.

3. Ad hominem. Here we go again with the Latin. This time it means “to the person.” Meaning, if they can’t rebut the argument, they attack the person who made it. This is where things can get really ugly. Trolls will imply (or straight up say) that you are crazy, stupid, depraved….Preferably all of the above. And thus your argument is invalid. This is usually a last refuge when they really are out of ammo. The other goal of this technique is to make you lose your temper and say something foolish — or better yet, threatening! That just makes their day. Do not play along.

4.Personal incredulity. Because they can’t or won’t understand the argument, it’s invalid. “I refuse to believe that!” “What you’ve said is incomprehensible!” Don’t get tricked into doing their googling for them. They’re already lazy enough.

5.False choice dilemma. Again — the black and white thing. (They do seem fixated on that, don’t they?) They try to force a choice between two diametrically opposed alternatives — ignoring any middle ground between them. E.g.,The President either has to go into full-on war mode in Iraq, committing tens of thousands of ground troops again, or he has to stay out entirely. The middle ground of advisers and air support is just not on for them. This applies to all sorts of other issues as well.

6. Middle Ground. This is the flip side of the False Choice, in which the claim is made that the middle is ALWAYS the correct place to be. For example, since getting rid of the SNAP program for food stamps would be bad, and the GOP doesn’t like the current level of the SNAP program, cutting the program in half would be the right choice. In the Bible, Solomon proposed the middle ground when he announced he would split that disputed baby right down the middle. But he was kidding. They’re not.

7. Circular argument. We’ve all seen this one. In computer parlance, it’s the “endless loop.” Or it’s the practice of repeating a lie often enough and hoping it will eventually register as truth. This one is a real energy saver for them because they don’t even have to bother listening to what you say. (During those breaks, they can just stick their fingers in their ears and hum “Dixie” to themselves.) Then as soon as you stop, they can repeat the thing they just said, ad nauseum. Rinse and repeat.

I know I’ve only scratched the surface here. I’m sure we all can come up with lots more examples.

But the thing we really need to remember is that trolls are never interested in dialogue. At heart, they’re saboteurs. As we all know, that term comes from the old practice that rebellious Frenchmen had of tossing their “sabots” (wooden shoes) into the gears of machinery to grind it to a halt. The only difference in the internet era is that trolls — lacking wooden shoes — have to toss their heads into the gears. Needless to say, the gears don’t know the difference.

 

Written by kesmarn

History major "back when," who recently retired from having been an RN for a bazillion years. Political junkie. Warren, Sanders and Reich fan. Happy to have been a Planeteer for more than five years now!

85 Responses so far.

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  1. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    [img][/img]

    FOUR KIND OF TROLLS

    Troll Trolls. The most primitive kind, these unhappy denizens are characterized by bad spelling, lots of CAPITAL LETERS, and a fondness for phrases such as “you liberals”, “America haters”, or “OBAMABOTS”.

    Concern Trolls. Marginally more clever, they pretend at being progressive Democrats, but at every turn seem to suggest the most obviously damaging or boneheaded or offensive thing they can. These are easier to catch than you might imagine: since it hardly matters whether someone is an obvious concern troll or just an unmitigated idiot, sometimes it doesn’t pay to think about it too hard.

    Conspiracy Trolls. Anyone who repeatedly posts badly sourced stories from site where lunacy is normalcy. What the topic is — 9/11 theories, Israel theories, whatever — is irrelevant, it is the quality of the evidence presented that matters.

    Purity Trolls. These are trolls from the left. Otherwise known in real-life as drama queens. No matter how pure your position is, their position is more pure. No matter how compassionate or informed or skeptical or vigorous your opinion is, theirs is more of it. These trolls are insistent that they are the true spirit of liberalism, and spend their time being quite put out that the rest of us don’t turn over our resources, our audiences, and our respect to them, regardless of how thin their positions may be on the merits.

    With thanks to Daily Kos.

    • kesmarn says:

      That’s an excellent summary, Murph! I wonder if we could add one more troll type -- the one I always think of as the bomb-thrower.

      They interject their points of view into discussions among progressives, but not with the purpose of adding to the exchange of ideas. Their goal is to de-rail the conversation (and muddy the issues), not to enhance it. If the subject is shifted from whatever the topic had been to a flurry of defensive statements in response to the troll, he gives himself a high five, dons his flight suit, and hangs out the “Mission Accomplished” banner. 😉

  2. James Michael Brodie says:

    Cute Yahoo troll trick — scour Facebook to find something to use as an insult. My response is there as well. (BTW, this was in response to a sports comment I had made)

    Your Daddy
    “@James, that picture of your sister on Facebook, is she still dead?”

    James Michael Brodie
    “Yes, she is. Thanks for asking. May you never know what that feels like.”

  3. monicaangela says:

    Speaking of Trolls:


    :) :) :) :) :) :) !!!!!!!!!!

    • kesmarn says:

      Dana really is the Mistress of the Wall of Sound tactic, isn’t she?

      She could actually be saying “YADDAYADDAYADDAYADDAYADDA!!” And it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference. What’s more — she knows that. She’s long past caring whether what she says makes any sense or is factually true. She might as well be blowing a police whistle. Her job is not so much to speak as to stop other people from speaking.

      Which makes her a classic troll.

      • monicaangela says:

        What I can’t understand is why she continues to be invited onto shows on the MSM. I haven’t been watching MSNBC lately, but do know about Dana and many like her who generally appear on Faux News, and networks like that. Imagine my surprise when a friend called me and asked me if I knew who the troll was on MSNBC. I tuned in and found this. :) I suppose now that the republicans have taken control of both houses in congress we will begin to see more and more trolls paraded around on the networks.

        • Hey Monica! I saw that episode and wondered the same thing, but after thinking about it, I think Ed has people like her on the show to reveal their dishonest and rude nature.

          At the end of the segment, after she was gone, he lined out just what she was doing and why she was “wrong.” Of course, she was intentionally wrong. She was deliberately muddying the waters.

        • kesmarn says:

          She and that whole crew of GOP women — Ann Coulter, Megyn Kelly, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sarah Palin and even ole Phyllis Schlaffly — just make my skin crawl.

          Everything they advocate is bad for women. They’re the consummate back-stabbers.

  4. James Michael Brodie says:

    Kesmarn, my friend, you hit the nail on the head. I have tried, really hard, to engage with the fine minds at Yahoo…

    (yeah, I’m gonna let that linger for a minute…)

    What I have seen is all of what you point out, with the most fun being the notion that only Black and Brown peole commit crimes. And that somehow it is a statistical possibility that 20 percent of the population can commit all of the crimes in America — which, of, course, is justification for the slave trade…

    When I heard this I felt as though I was letting down the race — not doing my part. I need to hit a few liquor stores and fast, lest I be called a traitor or something…

    Then, or course, I get labeled a racist for pointing out the racist things I am responding to.

    On a good day, it can be kinda fun seeing how many “thumbs down” I can collect.

    On other days…

    • kesmarn says:

      Oh Michael! I have tears in my eyes — from laughter.

      When I heard this I felt as though I was letting down the race — not doing my part. I need to hit a few liquor stores and fast, lest I be called a traitor or something…

      Too funny! Just not pulling your weight in the crime department there, are ya? You’d better get a move on!

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Yahoo really does seem to be among the worst of the cesspools. (Although I did check in briefly at Breitbart and felt like I should be wearing an Ebola protection suit there.)

      You’re right. They’re so spring-loaded with anger, it doesn’t take anything at all to set them off. The temptation is almost irresistible. I’ve done it. But as you and KT both said — after a while you feel a little icky about it. It feels almost like bear-baiting.

      (Except that bears are so much cuter, smarter and nicer than they are.)

    • Hey JM, always good to “see,” you here. About a year ago I was spending quite a bit of time over on Yahoo, where all the yahoos hang out. The name of the site is so fitting.

      It was like watching a train wreck or a really bad car accident. Horrifying, but you can’t quite look away. I ended up being something of a troll myself, only in reverse. I would tease and taunt the racists and homophobes and fanatical RW Christians, often with a lot of joy. I knew that I was pretty much sinking to their level, but there was a real (perverse) joy in doing that. I used to really infuriate them, by easily shooting down their prejudices and various forms of paranoia.

      I had to stop doing that after a while though. I was seriously worried about becoming even a little bit like them. I also realized that such activity was bad for my brain. I have to admit though, it was fun, knowing that I could get them so irate, with such ease.

      • James Michael Brodie says:

        Indeed, KillgoreTrout, my friend. Sometimes it is almost too easy. I am usually done when they resort to the insults.

        At other times, it can get a little depressing to think there are so many people who think that way — or at least so many “accounts” that post that way… :-)

        • Nirek says:

          Brodie, I think you are right about the accounts. There can’t be that many people who are so prejudice. On second thought maybe there can be. I ran into one playing cribbage last night with seniors. She said PBO was a poor leader. One rule at the senior center is no politics, so I said the President was an extraordinary leader and left it like that.

  5. funksands says:

    Kes, this was a great article and as Ad mentioned, should be a required primer for anyone looking to engage in conversation on the internet. The anonymity and distance of the internet is certainly a double-edged sword. It allows everyone a chance express their inner selves in a manner that they may not be comfortable with face to face.

    Unfortunately, too many people (of all stripes and persuasions) have issues…many many issues…

    As my old pappy once told me: “Son, half of the people in the world are assholes. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that only half of that half are easy to identify. The rest you’ll have to find out the hard way”

    Thanks internet for giving us a much easier way to identify them! :-)

    • kesmarn says:

      funk, your Pappy was a wise, wise man. I love that quote.

      I was talking with some friends the other day and joked that I had named the phenomenon of keyboard-based false courage the “Punching Distance Factor.” If someone is within punching distance, it’s amazing how much more polite and less aggressive many of them become.

      But put them behind the wheel of a big SUV or at a computer keyboard a thousand miles away — suddenly they turn green, become very muscular and start throwing their virtual weight around. (“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…”)

      Maybe the next generation of computers needs to come equipped with a little mechanical fist that zzzings out into the user’s face when trolling activity is detected. (Would that work with SUVs too?)

  6. pinkpantheroz says:

    Kes, many people are just hard wired to be contrary ratbags and will spout all kinds of nonsense to justify their position. It is wonderful to see the way the folks in our Planet respond to trolls and give them nothing in the way of satisfaction before banishing them to the ether. It has been a very successful strategy, in that few trolls get past their first rant before they are recognized and dealt with, with humor, firmness and politeness, which they can’t stand. Let’s all keep POV as troll free as we can, giving no ground to their idiocy.

    • kesmarn says:

      PPO, I am SO with you. Of course, the usual cry is “what about freedom of speech?” when the terms of usage are enforced. But I think we all know that just having a different opinion will never get anyone booted from the Planet.

      The (few) times folks have been put in moderation it’s been when they resorted to personal insults or other really inappropriate stuff that belongs elsewhere (or nowhere?).

      The result is a think tank “playground” where the bullies are not allowed to disrupt the rest of the folks.

      Thanks so much for all those kind words. We’re glad you’re here.

    • Nirek says:

      PPO, I agree. If they want to discuss our differences that is one thing, but to intrude just to disrupt the Planet. NO! Banish them forever!

    • monicaangela says:

      Very well said PPO!! I agree 100%.

  7. GreenChica says:

    Pre-internet troll: Check out this anonymous letter written to MLK by JE Hoover’s FBI, in hopes that MLK would take his own life. It turned out Coretta was the one who had to open it.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2832413/You-filthy-abnormal-animal-graphic-content-anonymous-letter-sent-FBI-Martin-Luther-King-FINALLY-revealed-50-years-sent.html

    • James Michael Brodie says:

      Hoover was nothing but a thug with connections.

    • kesmarn says:

      Chica, that is shocking. Like most people, I was aware that Hoover and the FBI had it in for Dr. King, but I had never seen even the redacted copy of this letter before. How malicious!

      I posted the link you supplied in our Twitter feed, with credit to you. This needs to be circulated widely.

      You’re right — Hoover was the troll prototype.

    • monicaangela says:

      He was worse than any troll I’ve ever met on the Internet. According to President Harry S. Truman, Hoover transformed the FBI into his private secret police force; Truman stated that “we want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him”.

      Presidents Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy each considered dismissing Hoover as FBI Director, but ultimately concluded that the political cost of doing so would be too great. Government failure at it’s worst IMHO. This is why many in this nation do not trust government leaders, imagine allowing one man to control the nation in this way, a man with a license to kill.


    • Nirek says:

      Chica, I could only read a little of the letter before I was so disgusted and ANGRY! This is the kind of thing that jerks with tiny hearts and no conscience do. MLK was a wonderful loving man and deserved better.

  8. Beatlex says:

    Kesmarn,I ran into some trolls on another site a couple days ago.They were trying to get a rise out of me,and they finally succeeded.It was a thread about that young man who died after having his neck manipulated by a Chiropractor.I have been having that procedure done for 30+ years and was defending it.I usually ignore Trolls,but these ones got to me and I ended up telling them to F off.I am only human after all.And I was being ganged up on!HP was rife with Trolls,and it was fun toying with them once in a while.

    • kesmarn says:

      Beatlex, I think we’ve all been there. I know I have. Like savants, some of these folks have no marketable skills at all (and may not even be that bright), but they have a sort of uncanny ability to detect what’s going to tick someone off. It’s like they’re completely insensitive in every area — except that one. PhD level ability to provoke irritation.

      But I think you’ll agree that a lot of that anger they’re trying to incite is the mirror image of what they feel internally every day of their lives. Their lives suck and they’d be thrilled if yours would too. So they’re more than willing to help you get at least halfway there.

      AdLib’s comment below eloquently exposes the internal processes that produce this kind of behavior. And in your case, doesn’t it just figure that they would call in their pals (who also have too much time on their hands) to pile on? It’s how they roll.

      Or maybe — how they troll.

  9. AdLib says:

    Kes, this is a great primer that every blogger should read to understand the games trolls play.

    Along the way, I’ve tried to imagine what such people are actually like in the real world, people who would dedicate themselves to such mindlessness.

    I can only imagine that most are social misfits and have few friends, are probably low on the economic rung and desperate to feel a sense of power and purpose instead of the insignificance they feel about themselves day after day.

    The desire to disrupt the healthy discussions of others seems like a natural to come from those who envy the ability to have such discussions.

    And lastly, their need to believe in delusions, to override their dismal realities, could make them as aggressive as they are to interject their groundless, follow-the-authority-figure’s BS into every conversation between reasonable people that they can.

    Even so, I think most do so with the intention to spread what they know in some way is phony propaganda and disrupt the substantive arguments of the reasonable. To such people, the end always justifies the means so they can somehow justify being dishonest and spreading lies since they see it as advancing their “team’s” cause.

    Unprincipled, emotionally disabled, obnoxious and ignorant. Sounds like the ideal Repub demographic to me.

    • James Michael Brodie says:

      True, and most would never have the bravery to say such things to a person’s face.

      One trollie, who I called out on this, noted that I was using my real name and looked up some info on me and posted it, figuring I would be scared or something.

      Unprincipled.

      Emotionally disabled.

      Obnoxious.

      Ignorant.

      Yeah, that about covers it.

      • kesmarn says:

        Michael, that was pretty close to stalking, don’t you think? I’m glad you weren’t intimidated by it — in spite of the fact that intimidation was almost certainly the goal that troll had in mind.

        But then, stalking is often what they do online. Following people from comment to comment in some cases. Refusing to be frightened and/or to engage seems to be the only way for sane people to go.

        • James Michael Brodie says:

          It is stalking. They figure they can intimidate you, I guess. One guy made a rude comment about my dead sister, which he pulled from my Facebook account.

          Of course, the guy never would have said that to my face.

          In some ways, cyberspace is the Land of Id…

      • AdLib says:

        James, I would guess because the greatest fear they have is what they projected on you, if their identity was to be made public, they know how they would be seen and treated as the awful people they are and that’s why they need anonymity.

        The idea of someone believing in the integrity of what they write and seeing it as a positive reflection of who they are is a foreign concept to them.

        • James Michael Brodie says:

          I agree, my friend. It is a primary reason why I use my name. Nothing against those who do not. I have learned that integrity is integrity — no matter what handle one uses.

          I made a career as a writer, so it seemed to make sense to keep my name out there. In the early days, I dreamed of a grand meetingplace of ideas and concepts.

          Besides this site, where even disagreements are civil, I have seen very little of that.

          HP came close during its glory days, but…

    • kesmarn says:

      AdLib, are you sure that your day job isn’t Professor of Forensic Psychology at some Ivy League university? 😉 I think you nailed it on the profile of the classic troll. Especially the part about their pre-occupation with spreading “what they know in some way is phony propaganda.”

      A month or so ago I saw an old b & w film of a debate between William F. Buckley and Saul Alinsky. Alinsky was so astute in the way he studied and analyzed — in real time — Buckley’s carefully crafted TV persona.

      Eventually he just said (I’m paraphrasing here): “You don’t even believe what you’re saying yourself, do you?” Buckley’s eyebrows shot up (the way they often did) and just for a moment you could detect a glint of mirth in his eyes. It was as though someone else was finally in on his P. T. Barnum joke, and he just had to — for a split second — acknowledge it. He didn’t deny the charge.

      I think that’s what we’ve — you in particular — have sensed here. These people are frauds — in every possible way.

      And the GOP is always ready to send the welcome wagon out to the latest fraud — er — PAC contributor.

  10. GreenChica says:

    Hi Kes, I always say, if they had anything of substance to use to support their beliefs, they’d use it, wouldn’t they?

    • kesmarn says:

      You nailed it, Chica. One thing that is conspicuously absent is any link to a credible source to back up whatever is the current obsession. (Ebola being only the most recent case. Plenty of fear. No science.)

  11. Kalima says:

    I’m back and want to thank you for this very timely article, kes.

    After leaving the HP slum, and once again finding my equilibrium, I made it a rule to never engage or feed another troll unless they insulted me personally. Now having to patrol to keep the peace on The Planet, it’s not that easy to ignore them once they are outed and become ferocious. When that happens we will tell them their behaviour is unacceptable, and if they continue we have no choice other than to either moderate their comments or remove them. Our policy on disruptive trolls is plainly stated at the end of our Terms of Use.

    I agree on the complete waste of time and effort in trying to have a normal conversation. Having a normal conversation is not what they come here for. However hard it is to ignore them, it’s the quickest way to ensure that they will move on if no one bothers to challenge their nonsense.

    As we all know, many have tried here, but all have failed. I think we have seen it all in our 5 years, don’t you? Keep up the good work!

    As a small reward for an excellent post kes, here by popular demand, is the “troll-lo-lo” sing along. :)

    Troll-lo-lo Sing Along!


    • GreenChica says:

      I still love that!

    • funksands says:

      I think I’ve found the song for my funeral… 😯

    • monicaangela says:

      LOL !!!!

    • kesmarn says:

      😆 😆 😆 I can’t ever make it through that video without falling apart laughing!

      How many times have we played this one over the history of the Planet? In good times and bad. It’s one of our unofficial theme songs! We’ve played it during election campaigns, throughout the whole health care cliffhanger voting, in victory and defeat, when the Prez was re-elected, and when McTurtle and the Boehner made us want to set our own hair on fire. That Russian ham has been our go-to guy for laughter for five years. We should send him a case of vodka! Troll-lol-lol!

      Thanks again for those kind words. And for being eternally vigilant way over there across the globe. While we’re peacefully sleeping, you have your eye out for hackers, spammers and — yes — trolls.

      • Kalima says:

        It never fails does it kes? 😆 If we imagine this to be the face of the average troll, it’s even funnier.

        Yes it’s seen us through many situations and never fails to make us laugh.

        Keeping our Planet safe is my vocation, so you never have to thank me. I do it with pride and love.

        Now just one more look at the video and the rest of my day will be made. :)

        Take care and enjoy a peaceful evening. See you soonish.

        P.S.

        Maybe we should hold off on that vodka though after that article I posted on MB about the alarming number of alcohol/vodka related deaths in Russian men in their 50’s? After all he’s trying his best. We could send him a box of teeth whitening toothpaste and maybe some hair gel though. 😉

  12. RSGmusic says:

    HI Kes ,
    Ya you got it all there on trolls and the GOP strategy.

    congrats

    The Ghost!!

    • kesmarn says:

      Thanks so much, RSG! And thanks for being a part of the Planet community — in so many ways.

      We really do have a truly diverse group of people here, which makes discussions so interesting and fruitful.

  13. Kalima says:

    This is wonderful, kes, and I will be back here as soon as I can. Well done!!

  14. monicaangela says:

    Excellent article Kes, well thought out, and I don’t believe there is a need to add more to help describe the act of trolling on the internet, well maybe I’ll just contribute this:


    Seriously speaking though, when I first encountered trolls on the net, I couldn’t distinguish a troll from a regular user. I would wonder what I said that offended, or why my questions were not being answered, or why even being polite and acquiescing to some of their less lethal ideas did not work. Then one day it hit me……I thought of a ladder, and then I thought of a troll on that ladder either refusing to or not knowing how to use it. A ladder as we all know is meant to be climbed, a manner in which one gets from one lower position to a higher position right? Well I begin to think of trolls as not having the ability to move off the first rung of that ladder. No change in thought, no change in attitude, no growth, just the same repetition of garbage collecting around that bottom rung..made me feel a bit sad for them, so instead of arguing with them, I consider the source and move on. :)

    • funksands says:

      Moncia, I love this video! So true on so many levels. You are spot on with your ladder analogy! I’ve always viewed trolls as people that can only engage the lizard parts of their brains: Stimulus = response = stimulus = response.

      Anything outside of that pattern is simply beyond them.

    • kesmarn says:

      Love that video, monica! That just about sums it up, doesn’t it? The most effective way to deal with them? LOL! There isn’t one. Your ladder analogy is perfect.

      “Consider the source and move on.”

      Wise words.

    • Hey Monica, pretty much the same for me, although I was perfect troll-bait when I got my first computer. I started on Yahoo’s old “message boards,” and seriously tried to debate with them.

      After a few months I found a really nice site called Grassrooters. It was pretty cool and had few trolls. That’s where I first saw music videos being posted and I really fell in love with the site. Unfortunately, it was eventually taken down and Yahoo had eliminated their message boards, so I was without a place to go for discussion.

      I tried Politico, but soon found it to be a real snake pit. Then I found HuffPo and it was really great….for a while. I got to hone my debating skills and began learning more and more about politics. When Arianna sold out to AOL, I had had enough, as the moderation became completely ridiculous. I realized I was wasting a whole lot of my time and thought with each comment that disappeared into the ether, never to be seen again.

      Then, with great fortune, a fellow at HuffPo told me about the Planet. I actually felt quite at home here and reveled in my new found freedom to express myself, without all the rigid control. I’ve been here ever since, and have no plans of leaving anytime soon.

      I’ve learned a lot here, about all sorts of things, including how to be more tolerant and accepting of differing views. I DO consider the Planet to be a real community of not only bright people, but good friends as well. I think, if possible at all, my IQ has gone up a few points since becoming a member here.

      • monicaangela says:

        I remember reading your comments at HP, I was so happy to find you here when I arrived. I agree with your assessment of the Planet, we are all fortunate to have this place where we can actually have meaningful conversation, comradery, chastisement when necessary, friendship and fellowship when needed etc., I too enjoy the atmosphere here, and it is all thanks to the members beginning with AdLib and Kalima, but you, Nirek, Kes and others are instrumental in keeping this place going. Btw: Have you heard anything from Sally? I really miss the Sunday Funnies. I hope all is well with her and her family.

      • kesmarn says:

        I’m with you, Homie! I’ve learned so much here. I think the membership here is the brightest (and most compassionate) online community I’ve ever encountered.

    • EXFANOFARIANA says:

      Monica, I LMAO! Precious! And I admire your posture in studying the structure of trolls. It came to a point where I’d lose my mind on HuffiePuffie..So I realized that’s exactly what they wish.I shrugged them off and never gave a damn dignifying their imbecilic posts.


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