Debate:Should we feed the trolls

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Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by Crundy.

So over here there arose two POVs about whether we should actually bother debating with the morons who show up here, make weak points with no evidence, and then bypass any difficult questions, completely shift the discussion to another topic, or even spawn new personalities to try and get some support. One side of the argument is that it is a complete waste of time debating with people who will not acknowledge any evidence which does not support their beliefs, and the other side of the argument is that it is good training for debating creationists, as they use these exact tactics. Discuss. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Um look here. - π 11:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah, missed that one. My search-fu is weak at the moment. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


Ok, I see that there another debate with almost the same title, but in the RW tradition of creative anarchic confusion (CAC - well that always used to be the tradition) I'll chime in here.

Yes, we should debate anybody who comes in as long as they keep a more-or-less civil tongue in their mouths. Even if we think they are a troll. I say this for multiple reasons.

  1. The mainpage says: We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.
  2. We all share similar perspectives. We need to be aware of the possibility of groupthink.
  3. It's fun, funny, good practice and you may learn something. I learned from TM's demolishing of The Science of Miracles.
  4. If people don't want to get involved they can simply make a personal decision to "Don't feel the troll" and stay out. I made this decision personally with TK and it served me well. If you think a certain poster is just going to raise your blood pressure then just igonre that poster. You do not need others to join in your boycott.

Obviously there is a line that could be crossed, but I don't think that Bob the BON is anywhere near it.--Bobbing up 11:24, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Anyone who wants to can do as they wish - it can be fun for third parties to watch. This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 11:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep, and if anyone doesn't want to get involved, then they can just not click on the talk page or read it. I never got into the whole CUR thing like others because it didn't interest me, I left those with considerably more time on their hands to do it. Similarly, any "troll" should get the attention of whoever wants to give it to them, and they can take responsibility for the headdesking conquences. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:39, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Sure. We'd might as well. It's totally voluntary. At least it keeps things from getting stale and boring. It's also interesting to see to what lengths people will go to in defending nonsense. --Edgerunner76 Buddy christ.jpg 13:30, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes. The giggle-value is not to be equaled. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • That talk page debate has been the single most cathartic experience I have had in a really bad week. These debates are often very fun, good practice, and a chance for me to wiki link random terms in my arguments and feel warm inside when I see that someone has all ready made an article on it. More seriously, I think the debates are core to our site and some of the most interesting material emerges from them, and the voluntary nature of everything on here means that those who don't want to be dragged into such things can usually avoid it. I have managed more than once to avoid much larger scale debates that I didn't want anything to do with, it is pretty easy. tmtoulouse 16:01, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


  • But they are not trolls per say. Disagreeing, even stupidly, is not trolling. Creating pages with nasty message and redirecting them to user pages is trolling. Edit warring by repeated adding the same offensive material over and over again is trolling. Being a shit debater is not trolling. If they have a legitimate, or even illegitimate, disagreement and they keep it to talkpages and debate pages until is resolved argue away. - π


Wtf? Localhost disagrees. Get back to your feedback'ing! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Really, it depends on the troll. TK? Absolutely not. Someone trying to make a point with some level of reasoning? There yes? Sterile fact tag 17:30, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
They hardly ever have any level of reasoning though. This is a typical argument:
This article is wrong
OK, why is it wrong?
Because it is. There was a study a while ago which proves you're wrong
Could you link to the results of this study please?
Ugh. I'm not doing your work for you. You find it
You're the one making the claim, you find the article
Fine, here [random youtube link]
Where is the claim in there? All I can see in that video is someone ranting about [insert nonsense here]
God's sake, you're such a moron. You should open your mind instead of being a stupid idiot like you obviously are
Repeat the last few steps (along with some burdon of proof shifting) until the troll gets bored. What's fun about that? If they actually provided good articles and evidence for us to review and criticise then I wouldn't have a problem. In the end these discussions just make me headdesk. A lot. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 07:54, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

See also[edit]

An earlier page