The recent discussion about how to handle the topic-hijacking trolls who occasionally (albiet more frequently) infest discussions around these parts brought out a lot of good opinions and information. But one topic that came up was just how to define the problem.
I cited some commenters who will post long excerpts (or occasionally, full pieces) from other sources into a completely unrelated discussion to make whatever point they wish to on another topic. It occurred to me that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a good example is worth far more than any descriptions.
Recently around these parts, Lorie Byrd briefly touched upon the controversy around Markos “Kos” “Screw them” Zuniga and his writing partner, Jerome Armstrong. (I’ll have a little more on this myself later.) Lorie was discussing Kos’ letter to a rather select group of prominent bloggers, asking them to maintain a Cone Of Silence on the story for a while, hoping it would die away.
The very first comment came from Lee, who took a great deal of interest in my discussion about trolls. (That tickled me no end, as he is one of the primary offenders I was discussing.) In a stunning display of doing Kos’ bidding, he immediately tried to change the subject away from Kos and Armstrong, and towards defending John Murtha and touting the alleged misdeeds of US servicemembers in Iraq. And, sadly, the tactic largely succeeded.
So, here is your concrete example, demonstrating exactly what the issue is that had me so annoyed. Lee might not be the most flagrant offender, or even the most recent, but it was his efforts that struck me most recently. Had it been one of my threads, I would have acted immediately, but it was Lorie’s, and therefore her place first to act — or not.
(Lee also deserves credit for inspiring my idea of using “Blood For Odin!” as a response to such a troll. And while I’m giving credit where it is due, I’d like to thank Buffy The Vampire Slayer for giving us Olaf The Troll and his mighty hammer. It’s no Mjollnir, but if it’s good enough for Buffy to use in defeating a god, it’ll do for me.)