Some trolling actually works

The FtBCon discussion of the psychology of trolls was interesting, but one thing I think it could have used is some appreciation of effective trolling strategies. Look at what they’ve accomplished with wikipedia; they have driven some people off the internet, and the ongoing online harassment is at least a distraction to many of us. This is the real threat: that trolls are working to dominate the discussion, and sometimes they succeed.

Greg Laden is talking about one way trolls work: the Serengeti Strategy. He cites Michael Mann on this topic.

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FtBCon chat rules

We’re taking advantage of the Pharyngula IRC chat room to provide a venue for free-flowing discussion of FtBCon panels this weekend — it’s a bit faster and more interactive than just leaving comments on YouTube videos (which is a bit like throwing jewels into a cesspit, anyway). But I should let you know that the IRC channel does have a Code of Conduct, and a large number of moderators to enforce it. Read and obey.

I have to apologize to Thom True (@G2RSTL)

He’s the organizer for the Gateway To Reason conference coming up this July in St Louis, and apparently, a few of my hatin’ leeches have been pressuring him to drop me from the speaker lineup. Most ironically, a blogger who declares himself a voice for inclusiveness in the atheism and skepticism movements is now writing to all of the other speakers, asking them to add to the pressure to get me booted (I also apologize to all of you, too). This kind of thing happens a lot: I’ve had kooks write to all of the faculty at UMM to denounce me. It gets old fast, I’m afraid.

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We got mentioned on Boing Boing!

That’s the good news. The bad news it’s in an article about rage-blogging, click-baiting, witch-hunting professional victimizers who profit greatly from online hate.

Oh, not us. I know those are accusations frequently leveled against freethoughtblogs, but the irony is that it’s the other side that has been doing a really good job of monetizing obsessive hatred. While we struggle with really ugly ads (we hate them too) just to keep a maintenance level of support for our small community of writers, the gamergate goons and people like Phil Mason have tapped into a much more lucrative income stream: misogyny pays.

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I get email

Did you know there are actually a bunch of low traffic, negligibly interesting, obsessive web sites out there dedicated to hating me? I know. Weird. I can understand disliking me, that’s not at all surprising…but to really, really detest me, and then spend hours scrutinizing every post and every comment on Pharyngula to find things you don’t like, and then to spend more time scribbling up poorly written rebuttals on the most obscure website you can create, well, that’s what I find incomprehensible.

What I do sort of understand, though, is the desire to be noticed. Invariably, these same sad obsessives who have been toiling away at an utterly neglected blog will write to me, demanding that I notice them.

I do.

Imagine how you would feel if someone spent months gathering shit and then sculpting it into a crude bust of yourself (well, they say it’s you…but it’s more like a lump of sagging sludge), and then unveiled it to you and declared their intent to expand it into a monumental equestrian statue, because they hate you so much. “Look at me, look at me!” they scream.

OK, look at “Bob Jones”.

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