An interesting phenomenon has begun spontaneously at Huffington Post, beginning a couple weeks ago and growing by the day. There has been no overt communication amonst the regulars but a lot of reading between the lines. As you all are aware, that site has become infested with not only the regular trolls, but many new ones daily, sent there by GOP sites on a paid basis. It has had its effect, as it had elicited responses that have gotten noteworthy posters like Kevenseven, Volvo Birkenstock and others banned, while these trolls have been allowed to disrupt many good on line discussions.
Rather than leave the site, we are fighting back, albeit in an unorthodox manner, and we don’t know how long HP will allow it, but it is driving the trolls batty. It also had had unintended effects on the regulars, making us a much tighter knit group, more collegial like PlanetPOV, and it’s more fun to go there. We can’t be dead serious all the time or we’ll turn into curmudgeons; there has to be some humor and fun, too, IMO.
So, here’s what is happening. We look for each other and take over a blog and turn it into a meeting place, sort of like Twitter for grownups, where we exchange greetings, post music and other videos, jokes and other chit chat types of conversations that are almost all off topic. So, when a troll appears, their first reaction is “WTF??” “If you want a chat line, go to Facebook!!” Even some regulars who have been away are bewildered, but soon catch on and join in the merriment. There are so many small posts in chat situations, as you all know, that in 5 minutes a troll flame ends up on page 5, effectively being shoved down and easily ignored. Sometimes the trolls rant that HP is allowing us to violate the TOS, which we are, and those rants are getting scrubbed. But they’re, for now, letting us continue. So, every night there’s a party atmosphere. Oh, there is still plenty of on topic discussion, but the troll posts are not as noticeable.
I’m sure HP moderators are debating what to do about this as I’m sure there have been complaints, especially from the troll posts that get scrubbed (how funny is that?); yesterday CheshireCat, a righty but a good guy, railed about his legit posts getting scrubbed while the deluge of off topic posts are allowed. Too funny. They have two choices: 1. scrub all the posts, which would leave the blog practically empty; 2. ban all of us, but if they do that, they ban over 50 regulars, and that would reduce the clicks, wouldn’t it, and therefore reduce their ad income? It’s nice to see Aryanna’s crew caught between a rock and a hard spot.
The pace is varied, depending on the time of day, but it can be breathtaking. Take a 10 minute break, and your post is on page 8 ort 9 sometimes. Yesterday, it began early, in mid morning, and by the time I got home from work, the party was going full bore and continued well into the wee hours. There were hardly any trolls, who had given up and gone elsewhere. The few who stuck it out were all ticked off but we just took turns flaming them back and the rest of us just ignored them. As aforementioned, we’ll see how HP deals with this. By the way, we’ve spread the word about PlanetPOV, too, sneaking in messages in code, and most are aware of this site.
We’ve sneaked chats about this site, and I see a time when PlanetPOV will grow. The one bit of feedback I offer is that the comment portion should be more user friendly and easier to follow, that is inhibiting some from coming here regularly.