The recent discussion on The Grove about moderating new memberships, hit & run email farming, and Trolls was the result of Miles' concerns that moderating people's participation is akin to passing judgement, and that telling someone to STFU is a violation of their right to free speech.
What about my right to choose to not listen? Tony Brown, serving HP of NC Piedmont Church of Wicca, uses this brilliant quote that sums it up nicely to me: "Your right to swing your fist ends at my face". BTW, if somebody knows who came up with that, holler, will ya?
If you tell a troll (both the wild internet variety and the domesticated Real Life breed) to go away and leave you alone if they can't play nice (or at least fair), seems like the first ideological bugaboo they whip out is the "you're limiting my freedom" ploy, or it's close relative, the "you're
disrespecting my beliefs/culture/ethnicity" card.
Have seen the latter option used even if whatever group appears to have a population of one, the Troll itself. It's just a lame attempt to deflect criticism of bad behavior back onto the person who objected to said behavior in the first place, a bratty effort to play "you're a bad person, so your complaint must be invalid" games. It's almost as dim as the clueless, irresponsible parent who shrieks that you hate children because you had a problem with their 5 year old drawing on your coffee table with a Sharpie.
I have no problem banishing a troll from my personal space, or the electronic clubhouse we gather in. If Carolina Grove's purpose was to be a political or other debate floor, it would be different. We go there in order to enjoy hanging out for awhile with people who (ideally) don't value vicious attacks and passive/aggressive strife-mongering as a form of social interaction. People are free to go to forums that exist for cutthroat verbal bloodletting; other people should be equally free to have places that do not.
Came up with this last fall, after a huge insurgence of asshatness and widespread troll dung (I found out that Mercury had, in fact, subbed out his retrograde to Mars, a disgruntled DMV Enforcement employee, and a pack of rabid mandrills on bad acid). It's been tweaked a bit:
Snooze's Anti-Troll Ritual
Spell To Guard Against Trolls and Banish Troll Dung Odors
Hear the words of the Gods and Goddesses, who are tired of petty
malice and socially stunted, bored morons:
When the Trolls have rampaged, and defiled the sacred glades and
groves (and internet sites) with icky smelly poopyness, gather thee all together, for
together thou art powerful (and loud). As a sign that thou art free of
Asshatness, ye shall be clothed in the Regalia Of Humor - t-shirts
with giggleworthy smartass slogans, and possibly also funny hats, and
adore the spirit of we who are King and Queen of the Wise-ass But Generally Not
Cast the circle with salt and chocolate chips, to repel all negativity
Call The Quarters:
(East) We call upon the Spirit of Intelligence, that we may do our
homework and always use our brains! Hail and welcome!
(South) We call upon the Spirit of Humor, that we may laugh a whole
lot and never take ourselves too seriously! Hail and welcome!
(West) We call upon the Spirit of Compassion, that our hearts may pour
out love that does not contain high fructose corn syrup! Hail and welcome!
(North) We call upon the Spirit of Maturity, That we may never fall
into Stupid Drama! Hail and welcome!
Invoke the Deities:
Bright, Intelligent Lord, who teaches us to play well with others, we
welcome you into our circle!
Loving, Laughing Lady, who teaches us to care about each other and
look on the bright side without the falseness of Hallmark Card
Fluffyness, we welcome you into our circle!
Hereby dance, sing, discuss quantum physics or Aristotle or how to get
your cat to quit peeing on things, for all acts of goodly interaction
are our rituals and will cleanse any place of the pollution of Trolls
and other evils.
As sign that you are family, thou shalt share cakes and ale (or big,
gooey fresh cookies and homemade mead if you've got it), saying to
each other in turn, "May you never be bummed by stupid bastards", and
replying to each other, "Thou art cool".
Release and thank Lord and Lady and the Quarters, saying "Ya'll drive
careful now", and open the circle, taking the magic out into the world
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!
Nov 2008 posted on Carolina Grove Yahoo Group message #7423
revised Apr 2009