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Trolling definition makes no sense

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Birchland and the NAF
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Trolling definition makes no sense

Postby Birchland and the NAF » Sat May 01, 2021 1:16 pm

This is how the rules define trolling:

“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people. (like 'ALL JEWS ARE [insert vile comment here]' for example). Someone disagreeing with you does not equate to trolling. Intent is incredibly important and will be judged by the moderators to the best of their abilities. Honest belief does not excuse trolling.”

I was deleted for supposedly trolling the other day after I stated opinions on race, urbanites and environmentalism, however I did not intend these posts as mischief or irritation, rather I just wanted to lay out my opinions and debate them. As far as I’m concerned, “trolling” is 100% based on intent, and if you go by the first sentence of the rules’ definition, I was deleted for something that I didn’t do. The part that makes this nonsensical is the last sentence; “Honest belief does not excuse trolling.” So if stating an honest opinion with no intention of angering or upsetting people is trolling, then the entire rule becomes one massive grey area. At this point, one could only imagine that “trolling” is defined as saying something that is subjectivity offensive, and indeed, some would and did find my posts offensive, but then for every possible viewpoint, there will be somebody who is offended by it, thus, saying anything is trolling? Sure can feel like it. But what do I know, perhaps I’m missing something entirely, in which case I would like somebody to point it out to me.

Edit: I would also like to point out that I am willing to respect the rules, however this one in particular appears to me as ill-defined, subjective and very easy to break without actually meaning to or even being aware of doing so. As a bearer of unorthodox views, this makes it feel as if engaging in genuine debate is not an option.
Last edited by Birchland and the NAF on Sat May 01, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Nihilistic, proudly racialist, anti-urbanite, environmentalist, gun rights absolutist, animal-loving Englishman living in North America. “Birchland” is a location in a children’s novel I am developing and which this nation represents. Factbooks and flag coming soon.
“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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Farnhamia
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Postby Farnhamia » Sun May 02, 2021 2:38 pm

While intent is certainly a part of trolling, it is not the be-all and end-all. Unorthodox opinions are not unwelcome here but they should be expressed in a civil manner.
Birchland and the Northern Armed Front wrote:The disgusting appearance is due to native Central American ancestry. Stumpy, portly barrel-body, enormous, flat skull, bulging nose, utter lack of attractive features. And no he doesn’t believe that, I’ve listened to stuff he says. By the way, I think the alt right are mostly weaklings who believe in the legal system and think that ALL whites are the next best thing since sliced bread. Many whites, in the country at least are domesticated and lame and are no better than the equatorials.

The above is not a civil post. The language is calculated to paint Central American people - all Central American people - in as bad a light as possible. That meets the definition of trolling you quoted. That and any number of the posts you put up before losing Birchland and the Northern Armed Front.
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Birchland and the NAF
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Postby Birchland and the NAF » Sun May 02, 2021 2:51 pm

Farnhamia wrote:While intent is certainly a part of trolling, it is not the be-all and end-all. Unorthodox opinions are not unwelcome here but they should be expressed in a civil manner.
Birchland and the Northern Armed Front wrote:The disgusting appearance is due to native Central American ancestry. Stumpy, portly barrel-body, enormous, flat skull, bulging nose, utter lack of attractive features. And no he doesn’t believe that, I’ve listened to stuff he says. By the way, I think the alt right are mostly weaklings who believe in the legal system and think that ALL whites are the next best thing since sliced bread. Many whites, in the country at least are domesticated and lame and are no better than the equatorials.

The above is not a civil post. The language is calculated to paint Central American people - all Central American people - in as bad a light as possible. That meets the definition of trolling you quoted. That and any number of the posts you put up before losing Birchland and the Northern Armed Front.

Though you must see how that is incredibly subjective, right? I personally would consider that to be civil. Uncivil would be something like “I really hate fucking sp*cs mate.” I am not aware of any universal definition of what is and isn civil.
Nihilistic, proudly racialist, anti-urbanite, environmentalist, gun rights absolutist, animal-loving Englishman living in North America. “Birchland” is a location in a children’s novel I am developing and which this nation represents. Factbooks and flag coming soon.
“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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Washington Resistance Army
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Postby Washington Resistance Army » Sun May 02, 2021 3:19 pm

OP does actually have a point, at least under a plain reading the trolling definition does seem to be self-contradictory. If a belief is earnestly held and expressed not to anger people but to simply offer a differing point of view (even if that view is abhorrent to most people) then it cannot be trolling, that's not what the word has ever meant. But the definition used here explicitly says honest belief doesn't matter, at that point it's not a rule about trolling and more just a means of controlling conversation and kicking out certain ideological beliefs.
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Nilokeras
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Postby Nilokeras » Sun May 02, 2021 3:32 pm

Washington Resistance Army wrote:OP does actually have a point, at least under a plain reading the trolling definition does seem to be self-contradictory. If a belief is earnestly held and expressed not to anger people but to simply offer a differing point of view (even if that view is abhorrent to most people) then it cannot be trolling, that's not what the word has ever meant. But the definition used here explicitly says honest belief doesn't matter, at that point it's not a rule about trolling and more just a means of controlling conversation and kicking out certain ideological beliefs.


Self-contradictory or at least redundant. From the OSRS:

Flamebaiting: Posts that are made with the aim of angering someone indirectly. Not outright flame, but still liable to bring angry replies. Flame baiting is a far more subtle and covert action; it is an underhanded tactic that is designed to provoke a response from another player. It's in the same context of trolling but with flamebaiting it's just the one person. Also included under flamebaiting is malicious quote editing, changing the contents of a quoted post without showing the original text, either through color changes or strike-out.


Trolling/Baiting/Gloating: Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people. (like 'ALL JEWS ARE [insert vile comment here]' for example). Someone disagreeing with you does not equate to trolling. Intent is incredibly important and will be judged by the moderators to the best of their abilities. Honest belief does not excuse trolling. Disagreements are expected and conducting yourself in a civil manner is ideal. Trollbaiting is the action of making posts that attract trolls. A prime example of trollbaiting would be gloating over the results of an election.

Gloating over punishments handed out to other players is not acceptable. Another form of the offense, IGNORE gloating, is typically seen in the roleplay forums, though it can appear elsewhere. Politely informing another nation that you are henceforth using the "ignore" feature is acceptable, but repeating it in different threads or over long periods is considered gloating and will be dealt with appropriately. Other cases will be considered on an ad hoc basis.

Attempting to dehumanize ethnic or religious groups by referring to them with a lowercase letter and censoring another letter out is not allowed. Calling a group by its proper name is cool. Trolling via censoring it as if it is a profanity -- not cool. Don't do it.


Emphasis mine. It seems to me that a lot of what gets prosecuted as 'trolling' can also be called 'flamebaiting' because of a disconnect between the formal definition used on NS - where 'trolling' can encompass sincerely held but indelicately argued beliefs - and the wider internet, where trolling has a connotation of dishonestly holding or presenting an argument with the explicit intent to anger. For the purposes of making the OSRS more coherent it might be useful to eliminate the 'trolling' category and use just 'flamebaiting', since it covers all of the same ground, or re-defining 'trolling' so as to encompass only provenly dishonest or bad faith arguments, like when someone uses a troll puppet or engages in harassment.

ie 'Flamebaiting is defined as a post or posts that are explicitly targeted at specific posters with the intent to anger' vs. 'Trolling is defined as a post or posts that are made in bad faith with the explicit intent of disrupting a thread, angering other players more generally or engaging in targeted harassment'
Last edited by Nilokeras on Sun May 02, 2021 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Saiwania
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Postby Saiwania » Sun May 02, 2021 3:38 pm

I also want to complain about the trolling rule being overly broad and if it is ever decided to phase it out entirely or in part in favor of a new definition or way of enforcing it, I'd hope that any instances where I was hit with this can be retroactively lifted. Along with anyone else who requests the same.
Last edited by Saiwania on Sun May 02, 2021 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Drop Your Pants
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Postby Drop Your Pants » Sun May 02, 2021 3:48 pm

Saiwania wrote:I'd hope that any instances where I was hit with this can be retroactively lifted. Along with anyone else who requests the same.

And that right there is why the mods will point blank refuse to even consider this. They spend enough of their time here for free as it is, I doubt they'll want to sort through players extensive warning history's .
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Kashimura
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Postby Kashimura » Sun May 02, 2021 5:44 pm

The general rule of thumb I’ve observed is if a post portrays a certain user or entire demographic in a poor light (i.e. you, our good mod Farnhamia, Republicans, atheists, the Chinese, etc.) in an out of character context and/or contains slurs against such parties, it’s over the line. Posts attacking the logic behind such users’ arguments or the greater associations of a demographic (i.e. the Church as opposed to Christians, or the Isaeli Government as opposed to Israelis) are tense, but fair game when following the same rulings I’ve generally witnessed. By those measures, intent and honest belief would serve as a context to the proposed offense, ruling, and harshness of punishment. The rules on every forum site I’ve been to are usually left intentionally broad to avoid rules lawyering that might possibly excuse an otherwise heinous action and to allow the rules to adapt to the shifting bars of acceptance.

But of course, that is just observation, and I’m /notamod.
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Postby Katganistan » Sun May 02, 2021 6:28 pm

Flamebaiting is a subset of trolling, so of course, the definitions overlap. That's not an error.

We're not getting rid of the rules about trolling. Literally thousands of people have used this site, and it's nowhere near the majority of posters who run afoul of the rule.

It boils down to be civil. If a minority of posters can't manage that, then it's not for the majority of posters to change their behavior.

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Nilokeras
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Postby Nilokeras » Sun May 02, 2021 7:13 pm

Katganistan wrote:Flamebaiting is a subset of trolling, so of course, the definitions overlap. That's not an error.


That much is not actually clear from the definitions though. Hence the suggestion of rewriting the rules to make the distinction clearer, which wouldn't substantially change what is actually being prosecuted, just make the boundaries clearer for both users and mods.

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Birchland and the NAF
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Postby Birchland and the NAF » Sun May 02, 2021 7:25 pm

Katganistan wrote:Flamebaiting is a subset of trolling, so of course, the definitions overlap. That's not an error.

We're not getting rid of the rules about trolling. Literally thousands of people have used this site, and it's nowhere near the majority of posters who run afoul of the rule.

It boils down to be civil. If a minority of posters can't manage that, then it's not for the majority of posters to change their behavior.

It doesn’t seem like it should be, as flamebaiting can be unintentional, whereas, by any typical definition, trolling is fundamentally intentional.
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“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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The Reformed American Republic
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Sun May 02, 2021 7:27 pm

Nilokeras wrote:
Katganistan wrote:Flamebaiting is a subset of trolling, so of course, the definitions overlap. That's not an error.


That much is not actually clear from the definitions though. Hence the suggestion of rewriting the rules to make the distinction clearer, which wouldn't substantially change what is actually being prosecuted, just make the boundaries clearer for both users and mods.

I second this. No rule enforcement changes, but better wording is what I think would be better.

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Postby Victorious Decepticons » Mon May 03, 2021 12:41 am

Birchland and the NAF wrote:Though you must see how that is incredibly subjective, right? I personally would consider that to be civil. Uncivil would be something like “I really hate fucking sp*cs mate.” I am not aware of any universal definition of what is and isn't civil.

It's flamebaiting and/or trolling because any Central American with a shred of self-esteem would be raging at your description. You need to refrain from posting stuff that will insult entire groups of people, or even single posters. Instead, aim attacks at their arguments, behaviors, and stuff like that. Basically things that aren't fundamental to the person/people themselves.

ETA: And, be careful how you do it. No saying certain people act like [insert animal here] because those people are [race/ethnicity/nationality].
Last edited by Victorious Decepticons on Mon May 03, 2021 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Birchland and the NAF
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Postby Birchland and the NAF » Mon May 03, 2021 8:24 pm

Victorious Decepticons wrote:
Birchland and the NAF wrote:Though you must see how that is incredibly subjective, right? I personally would consider that to be civil. Uncivil would be something like “I really hate fucking sp*cs mate.” I am not aware of any universal definition of what is and isn't civil.

It's flamebaiting and/or trolling because any Central American with a shred of self-esteem would be raging at your description. You need to refrain from posting stuff that will insult entire groups of people, or even single posters. Instead, aim attacks at their arguments, behaviors, and stuff like that. Basically things that aren't fundamental to the person/people themselves.

ETA: And, be careful how you do it. No saying certain people act like [insert animal here] because those people are [race/ethnicity/nationality].

Nobody with a shred of self-esteem rages over a forum post. I don’t even take myself too seriously, I’m a pretty easy-going fellow, let alone somebody else.
Last edited by Birchland and the NAF on Mon May 03, 2021 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nihilistic, proudly racialist, anti-urbanite, environmentalist, gun rights absolutist, animal-loving Englishman living in North America. “Birchland” is a location in a children’s novel I am developing and which this nation represents. Factbooks and flag coming soon.
“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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New Jacobland
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Postby New Jacobland » Tue May 04, 2021 3:32 am

Birchland and the NAF wrote:
Victorious Decepticons wrote:It's flamebaiting and/or trolling because any Central American with a shred of self-esteem would be raging at your description. You need to refrain from posting stuff that will insult entire groups of people, or even single posters. Instead, aim attacks at their arguments, behaviors, and stuff like that. Basically things that aren't fundamental to the person/people themselves.

ETA: And, be careful how you do it. No saying certain people act like [insert animal here] because those people are [race/ethnicity/nationality].

Nobody with a shred of self-esteem rages over a forum post. I don’t even take myself too seriously, I’m a pretty easy-going fellow, let alone somebody else.

Would you not be offended if I called you a slur?
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Birchland and the NAF
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Postby Birchland and the NAF » Tue May 04, 2021 8:47 am

New Jacobland wrote:
Birchland and the NAF wrote:Nobody with a shred of self-esteem rages over a forum post. I don’t even take myself too seriously, I’m a pretty easy-going fellow, let alone somebody else.

Would you not be offended if I called you a slur?

Not at all. Take your best shot.
Nihilistic, proudly racialist, anti-urbanite, environmentalist, gun rights absolutist, animal-loving Englishman living in North America. “Birchland” is a location in a children’s novel I am developing and which this nation represents. Factbooks and flag coming soon.
“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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Drop Your Pants
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Postby Drop Your Pants » Tue May 04, 2021 11:03 am

Just to note, your disclaimer in your sig won't save you from future rulings. I'd actually advise against it, it's like a big neon sign saying 'hey look at all my posts mods'.
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Postby Juristonia » Tue May 04, 2021 11:27 am

Birchland and the NAF wrote:
New Jacobland wrote:Would you not be offended if I called you a slur?

Not at all. Take your best shot.

I mean, as evidenced by this, and your previous thread in moderation, you seem pretty offended by mods simply doing their job.
That seems touchier than someone getting mad at someone using slurs against them to me.
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The Rich Port
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Postby The Rich Port » Tue May 04, 2021 12:39 pm

Birchland... You're basically complaining that you have to THINK about what your post means before you post and whether your post isn't a lie.

It's almost like racist ideas are themselves inherently contradictory or something.
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New Vedan
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Postby New Vedan » Tue May 04, 2021 12:46 pm

Yea the trolling rule is just something they made up do the mods can arbitrarily get rid of people they don't like. I've had 3 puppets banned already that did nothing wrong, aside from go against the progressive grain that the mods seem to follow.

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Postby Sedgistan » Tue May 04, 2021 12:53 pm

New Vedan wrote:Yea the trolling rule is just something they made up do the mods can arbitrarily get rid of people they don't like. I've had 3 puppets banned already that did nothing wrong, aside from go against the progressive grain that the mods seem to follow.

You're not going to get much sympathy for the loss of "Kung-Flu", "The Slaver States of Dixieland" and alternate-Hitler nation "Adam Hilt". The problem isn't that the rules make no sense, it's that you've got no interest at all in behaving decently.

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Birchland and the NAF
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Postby Birchland and the NAF » Tue May 04, 2021 1:45 pm

Juristonia wrote:
Birchland and the NAF wrote:Not at all. Take your best shot.

I mean, as evidenced by this, and your previous thread in moderation, you seem pretty offended by mods simply doing their job.
That seems touchier than someone getting mad at someone using slurs against them to me.

I don’t get offended, but I do find it a bit irritating how the rules can feel like a minefield. Once I got flamed by someone and got punished (worse than they did) for supposedly baiting them, even though my post was unassuming and I could never have foreseen it breaking the rules.
Nihilistic, proudly racialist, anti-urbanite, environmentalist, gun rights absolutist, animal-loving Englishman living in North America. “Birchland” is a location in a children’s novel I am developing and which this nation represents. Factbooks and flag coming soon.
“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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New Vedan
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Postby New Vedan » Tue May 04, 2021 1:52 pm

Sedgistan wrote:
New Vedan wrote:Yea the trolling rule is just something they made up do the mods can arbitrarily get rid of people they don't like. I've had 3 puppets banned already that did nothing wrong, aside from go against the progressive grain that the mods seem to follow.

You're not going to get much sympathy for the loss of "Kung-Flu", "The Slaver States of Dixieland" and alternate-Hitler nation "Adam Hilt". The problem isn't that the rules make no sense, it's that you've got no interest at all in behaving decently.



I've never heard of the slaver states of Dixieland. But kung flu and Adam hilt were both mine, and both of them were banned wrongfully, as well as Chairmen winnie the flu, which you banned before it ever even posted on the RMB. And for the record all three of those were hilarious and I want them all back.

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Badassistanian
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Postby Badassistanian » Tue May 04, 2021 1:53 pm

The problem here is that some ideologies and opinions have what I can only describe as "hate and disgust of the other" as integral parts. These ideologies, though not banned in of themselves, will always break rules regarding flamebaiting or trolling due to their nature.
Last edited by Badassistanian on Tue May 04, 2021 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Birchland and the NAF
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Postby Birchland and the NAF » Tue May 04, 2021 1:54 pm

Badassistanian wrote:The problem here is that some ideologies and opinions have what I can only describe as "hate and disgust of the other" as integral parts. Thes ideologies, though not banned in of themselves, will always break rules regarding flamebaiting or trolling due to their nature.

That’s a good way of putting it. A backdoor ban so to speak.
Nihilistic, proudly racialist, anti-urbanite, environmentalist, gun rights absolutist, animal-loving Englishman living in North America. “Birchland” is a location in a children’s novel I am developing and which this nation represents. Factbooks and flag coming soon.
“Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people.“
This is not something I do, have done or plan on doing.

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