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FOT Community => Links => Topic started by: yesno on July 31, 2008, 08:20:10 PM

Title: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: yesno on July 31, 2008, 08:20:10 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=magazine&pagewanted=all

4chan mutants referenced, etc.

The actual title of the article is Malwebolence, which is itself troll-worthy.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Son of Dorvid on July 31, 2008, 08:25:30 PM
(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-600.jpg)

Some people just have the ability to look exactly like what they are.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on July 31, 2008, 08:33:54 PM
Best quote:

"read Kant, JS Mill, Bentham, Singer, etc. Noobs.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Beth on July 31, 2008, 09:04:33 PM
That was intense. I need to step away from my computer for a while. Ick.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on July 31, 2008, 09:24:40 PM
barf indeed.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: ericluxury on July 31, 2008, 09:55:28 PM
Wow.
Worst of the worst.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 31, 2008, 10:44:57 PM
Plus that douche in the picture appears to actually be a Nazi.  I think we need to assemble a squad of time-traveling vigilantes to go back in time and molest him.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Stupornaut on July 31, 2008, 11:13:19 PM
Plus that douche in the picture appears to actually be a Nazi.  I think we need to assemble a squad of time-traveling vigilantes to go back in time and molest him.

During my teenage years I knew at least two dudes who looked almost exactly like him and they both thought taunting me with anti-Semitic remarks was a laff riot. There has to be some kind of connection.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 31, 2008, 11:15:43 PM
Well, obviously it's genes.  They're like a master race of trolls.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Sarah on August 01, 2008, 11:12:24 AM
All I can say is, "Mattathias" is an interesting first name.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 11:22:32 AM
Plus that douche in the picture appears to actually be a Nazi.  I think we need to assemble a squad of time-traveling vigilantes to go back in time and molest him.

Then he'd just end up like the other troll in the article.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Martin on August 01, 2008, 12:23:48 PM
All I can say is, "Mattathias" is an interesting first name.

My thoughts too. I know plenty of people called Matt, Mathias and Mattias, but Mattathias? Overdoing it.

That article was very depressing by the way. Losing faith in humanity, etc and so on.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: KickTheBobo on August 01, 2008, 01:01:32 PM
All I can say is, "Mattathias" is an interesting first name.

My thoughts too. I know plenty of people called Matt, Mathias and Mattias, but Mattathias? Overdoing it.

That article was very depressing by the way. Losing faith in humanity, etc and so on.

I know. I've been bummed out all day after reading that.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Martin on August 01, 2008, 01:26:51 PM
After reading the article, I tried to cheer myself up by watching Ken Loach's latest laff-fest, It's a Free World. SPOILER ALERT: It made me even more depressed. Completely destroyed any hopes and dreams for the future of our society I might have had.

Then when I left my apartment a neighbor had put up a note saying that someone had broken into his apartment and completely cleaned out the place. In broad daylight. And no-one saw a thing.

Have a great weekend everybody  :-\
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 01, 2008, 01:53:26 PM

Then when I left my apartment a neighbor had put up a note saying that someone had broken into his apartment and completely cleaned out the place. In broad daylight. And no-one saw a thing.


The Norwegian mafia must be moving over to there, too.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 03:16:55 PM
Definitely very depressing and disturbing.  Also a total fotchan buzzkill. 

I'm pretty perplexed at the editorializing done in the last few paragraphs of that piece.  Seems like the guy profiled two really hardcore mutants, didn't really give any examples of anything socially redeeming about that stuff in general (except some anonymous posters have the capacity to think that empathy is "good") and was trying to argue that it shows how the internet is strong and shouldn't be policed.  How does that work exactly?  What's so great about this nazi goblin child having access to my social security number again??
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Sarah on August 01, 2008, 03:20:29 PM
After reading the article, I tried to cheer myself up by watching Ken Loach's latest laff-fest, It's a Free World. SPOILER ALERT: It made me even more depressed. Completely destroyed any hopes and dreams for the future of our society I might have had.

Then when I left my apartment a neighbor had put up a note saying that someone had broken into his apartment and completely cleaned out the place. In broad daylight. And no-one saw a thing.

Have a great weekend everybody  :-\

Happy birthday, Martin!

P.S.  It's a Free World sounds like my precise cup of tea. 
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Emerson on August 01, 2008, 03:27:33 PM
How does that work exactly?  What's so great about this nazi goblin child having access to my social security number again??

The LULZ. Pay attention.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Susannah on August 01, 2008, 03:37:39 PM
I know the guy who wrote this article--he used to be the publisher for the Philadelphia Independent, which I believe is now defunct.  I just know him as "Matt."


I guess in some way reading this article made me feel justified in participating in an online community comprised of people I've felt compelled to meet, and many have become good friends.  I'm not sure about Matt's overall thesis, but I sure am glad that none of the FOT (even James!) approach anything close to that level of mutantcy.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 01, 2008, 03:44:43 PM
the article also fails to distinguish between "hacking" which can be good or bad, but is a technical skill, and "trolling," which is internetese for being an asshole.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Susannah on August 01, 2008, 03:57:27 PM
Just wondering now: what do "Weev" and Jeff Fortuny have to gain from being profiled in this article? Do you think they just thrive on the attention and publicity?  Wouldn't they prefer to remain relatively anonymous, or am I missing something?

At work, we talk a lot about "cyberbullying" and how to prevent it, which was something I didn't have to worry about as a teenager.  I keep marveling about how, in the six short years since I've graduated from high school, the opportunities for adolescent cruelty have grown by leaps and bounds.  Students at my school (and, since it's 6th-12th grades, all-girls, we see the worst of the "Mean Girls" dynamics) constantly find themselves the subjects of "Gossip Girl"-style anonymous blogs, and find grainy cell-phone pictures of themselves misbehaving all over the web. I can talk about limiting an internet persona until I'm blue in the face, and encourage my students to keep their MySpace and Facebook privacy settings as restricted as possible, but it doesn't make a difference.  I'm also not sure how much of this should fall under the jurisdiction of the school to protect its students, and how much the students' parents are aware of these issues.

This is sticky ethical ground--my school administrators feel that photographic evidence of a student misbehaving (maybe drinking a beer or something) popping up on Facebook is grounds for punishment if it's brought to the school's attention as a violation of school policy, and they also feel compelled to investigate any rumors of bad behavior that might show up (however unsubstantiated) on blogs belonging to students.  I'm not sure how I feel about this...and I'm not sure what this has to do with the OP, sorry, I'm rambling.  What do you think?
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 01, 2008, 04:05:48 PM
Susannah, it reminds me of the issue whereby more and more people are being denied entry into the US from Canada not because rules have changed, but because border agents have increased access to databases which reveal evidence of past minor misbehavior.

I would say that a school should look into evidence that surfaces through those means of really serious crimes, but turn a blind eye to evidence that surfaces of petty stuff.  I suppose there are liability issues where the school feels that if it doesn't act in response to reports of, say, underage drinking, it could be held responsible for anything that goes wrong, that need to be worked out.  I know that if I worked in a school, I would want to know as little as possible about what my students were up to, given the shit that I did in high school.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Denim Gremlin on August 01, 2008, 04:07:46 PM
Just wondering now: what do "Weev" and Jeff Fortuny have to gain from being profiled in this article? Do you think they just thrive on the attention and publicity?  Wouldn't they prefer to remain relatively anonymous, or am I missing something?

At work, we talk a lot about "cyberbullying" and how to prevent it, which was something I didn't have to worry about as a teenager.  I keep marveling about how, in the six short years since I've graduated from high school, the opportunities for adolescent cruelty have grown by leaps and bounds.  Students at my school (and, since it's 6th-12th grades, all-girls, we see the worst of the "Mean Girls" dynamics) constantly find themselves the subjects of "Gossip Girl"-style anonymous blogs, and find grainy cell-phone pictures of themselves misbehaving all over the web. I can talk about limiting an internet persona until I'm blue in the face, and encourage my students to keep their MySpace and Facebook privacy settings as restricted as possible, but it doesn't make a difference.  I'm also not sure how much of this should fall under the jurisdiction of the school to protect its students, and how much the students' parents are aware of these issues.

This is sticky ethical ground--my school administrators feel that photographic evidence of a student misbehaving (maybe drinking a beer or something) popping up on Facebook is grounds for punishment if it's brought to the school's attention as a violation of school policy, and they also feel compelled to investigate any rumors of bad behavior that might show up (however unsubstantiated) on blogs belonging to students.  I'm not sure how I feel about this...and I'm not sure what this has to do with the OP, sorry, I'm rambling.  What do you think?


snitches get stitches
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Emerson on August 01, 2008, 04:15:18 PM
Just wondering now: what do "Weev" and Jeff Fortuny have to gain from being profiled in this article? Do you think they just thrive on the attention and publicity?  Wouldn't they prefer to remain relatively anonymous, or am I missing something?

Fortuny is nothing if not a try-hard publicity whore (http://rfjason.livejournal.com/).

And beneath all the antagonism, both of them seem to think of themselves as Important Intellectuals Of Our Time, with a Message that Must Be Heard. If I thought I was among the <1% of humans that deserved to be alive, I'd certainly want everyone else to know about it.

This is sticky ethical ground--my school administrators feel that photographic evidence of a student misbehaving (maybe drinking a beer or something) popping up on Facebook is grounds for punishment if it's brought to the school's attention as a violation of school policy, and they also feel compelled to investigate any rumors of bad behavior that might show up (however unsubstantiated) on blogs belonging to students.  I'm not sure how I feel about this...and I'm not sure what this has to do with the OP, sorry, I'm rambling.  What do you think?

Too much free time. Tell them to go scrub the gang tags off the urinals.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 04:24:10 PM
Susannah, that's one of the reasons I'm not on facebook anymore.  Students would befriend me on that thing, and then I'd be privy to photos of their travails, misbehavior, etc.  I guess school's have a kind of "obligation" to investigate these things, but those policies have usually been drafted long before the cyber age.  I think following through on rumours is always a bad route, but sometimes it seems necessary.  If you get several different students saying another student has a drug habit, it would seem appropriate to speak with the student about this possibility, but obviously not to assume they actually have a drug problem, but bear in mind that they (A) may have a legitimate drug problem that their friends are concerned about, or (B) are being thrown under the bus by other students for whatever reason and need to know that you are fair and will listen to all sides of a story and will not "punish" them outright, or (C) are being misunderstood by others who don't necessarily have ill will towards them but nevertheless are complicating their day with their baseless assumptions that they are on drugs.  I don't think it's right to use myspace or facebook pics as evidence against students --it's a TOTAL slippery slope because then you become complicit with malicious blackmail attempts and other such nonsense.  It's important for a school to be above that. I feel like it's important to maintain a degree of integrity when dealing with younger people.  You're supposed to actually lead by example, after all.

I personally wouldn't have any problem if the shit was regulated out of the internet.  I mean, I'd miss the freedom to say dumb shit a little, but it's not like my life will be less nuanced if my net freedoms are impinged upon.  This is all mostly time-killing and O.C.D. habit stuff for me.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: todd on August 01, 2008, 04:28:28 PM
The problem with articles like this is that they have a tendency to make trolls out to be this force to be reckoned with. They're just sad little men doing sad little things.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: gravy boat on August 01, 2008, 04:40:02 PM
Susannah,
Don't know if you missed this story about a New York City prep school that had crazy Myspace goings-on and cyber-bullying of students, and even teachers getting bullied and canned, but it sounds similar to some of the stuff in your school.  http://nymag.com/news/features/45592/

I think John Junk is right -- teachers and admins should just ignore facebook or myspace and not use it as a basis to investigate a student.  To me, that just legitimizes any rumors or other crap floating around on the pages.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: erika on August 01, 2008, 04:42:17 PM
While I think it may be outside the school's moral jurisdiction to punish kids for what they see on the internet, they should most definitely be reporting that shit to the parents.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: todd on August 01, 2008, 04:48:45 PM
While I think it may be outside the school's moral jurisdiction to punish kids for what they see on the internet, they should most definitely be reporting that shit to the parents.

Really? I don't think its the schools job to police children outside of the school.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: erika on August 01, 2008, 04:52:18 PM
If a kid is involved with "cyberbullying" or whatever and the teacher catches wind of it then yeah, I think they should tell the parents of the kids involved. It's then up to the parents to do whatever punishing or whatever.

My opinion.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 05:07:47 PM
Man, gravyboat,  that whole private school, you-work-for-me mentality is very real and palpable. 



Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Emerson on August 01, 2008, 05:22:18 PM
Don't know if you missed this story about a New York City prep school that had crazy Myspace goings-on and cyber-bullying of students, and even teachers getting bullied and canned, but it sounds similar to some of the stuff in your school.  http://nymag.com/news/features/45592/

Utterly fascinating.

I guess the best default policy is to ignore and illegitimize that stuff as much as possible. At least until they've got your SS#.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Gilly on August 01, 2008, 05:47:29 PM

I personally wouldn't have any problem if the shit was regulated out of the internet.  I mean, I'd miss the freedom to say dumb shit a little, but it's not like my life will be less nuanced if my net freedoms are impinged upon.  This is all mostly time-killing and O.C.D. habit stuff for me.

So you'd allow the government to trample on everyone's liberties just because it wouldn't bother you? That kind of attitude is why we're looking more like a fascist state these days than a democracy.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 01, 2008, 06:11:16 PM
Gilly, I think you're being a little harsh. Courts sometimes already order website operators, etc, to reveal the identities of "anonymous" posters, to the extent that IP address or other records are kept. 

There is no inalienable right to anonymously defame someone.  "Regulation" could simply take the form of requiring that IP address records be kept for certain periods.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Gilly on August 01, 2008, 06:50:36 PM
When I think of regulating the internet I imagine forums like this disappearing and the internet being more like cable TV. The internet is the wild west right now and I don't know if I want that to change because with good change comes a whole lot of bad.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 07:22:20 PM
So you'd allow the government to trample on everyone's liberties just because it wouldn't bother you?

No, of course not. 

If people are going to spend a huge chunk of everyday online, it stands to reason that cyberspace be subject to the same laws as the actual world.  In fact, it already is, but there is a massive gap in enforcement, as well as a massive lowering of the standards of conduct that people expect from one another online.  This is a temporary situation.  It is inevitable that eventually lawmakers, law enforcement, etc. will become sophisticated enough of the time, on enough fronts, that they will actually be able to regulate the internet with the same success as they regulate "real life".  That is to say: In some instances they'll do a good job, in other instances they'll do a terrible job.  All I'm saying is I'm not against regulation in general, as I don't feel that being "online" should be an instant suspension of all social and legal responsibilities.  Characterizing cyberspace as The Wild West is romantic and naive.  It is a gigantic part of everyone's life and we have been  groomed, for better or worse, to become dependent on it and to think of it as something good in-and-of-itself.   There is nothing inherently positive or negative about the internet, and irresponsible or reckless behavior is not absolved or made irrelevant by virtue of it happening online rather than, say, in print.  Do I want someone to come charging in to my apartment and arresting me for calling someone a douche on the forum?  No, of course not.  Do I think, on the other hand, that one should feel confident in one's ability to press charges if one's image is being used and name is being subject to libelous slander online?  Absolutely. 

So that was what I meant. 

I'm not going to address that "fascist state" thing.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: todd on August 01, 2008, 07:23:54 PM
There is no inalienable right to anonymously defame someone. 

Since when is free speech contingent on revealing your identity? I understand the difference between speech and harassment, but requiring ISPs to log everyones internet activity is draconian. I'm shocked that some of you seem to support that.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Gilly on August 01, 2008, 08:19:23 PM
The internet is subject to the same laws as the real world and just like the real world you can get away with breaking the law if you hide it well and aren't caught. Maybe there isn't enough enforcement but the last thing we need is more regulation.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 01, 2008, 08:21:52 PM
There is no inalienable right to anonymously defame someone. 

Since when is free speech contingent on revealing your identity? I understand the difference between speech and harassment, but requiring ISPs to log everyones internet activity is draconian. I'm shocked that some of you seem to support that.

Well, most already do keep records, which they do in fact disclose in court proceedings on a regular basis.  I think Mailinator never writes anything to disk which is about the only way to keep from creating a "record."

It's hard to think of a solution to problems like the ones described. Notice and takedown, like we have with copyright, has shown itself prone to abuse, and it really can't cope with anonymity (the idea being to make the fight be between the poster and the complainer, and keep the ISP out of it).  Another solution might be to make it easier for complaining parties to have posts removed without identifying the poster.  But this would be very burdensome for ISPs, and would almost certainly result in things being taken down that shouldn't.  Every business operator would try to get negative reviews taken down as being defamatory, in the same way that people try to get things taken down today under bs copyright or trademark claims, because takedown notices aren't reviewed by a judge.

As the law stands now, ISPs (which in this context includes website operators) are free from liability for the content they carry, if that content was put there by a user.  If you really left things "unregulated," then Craigslist et al. might be liable for what they publish in the same way that newspapers are.

My point was just that the law is already involved with this stuff, and in fact the only reason that ISPs are free from all manner of lawsuits or burdens to actively police what's posted, is because Congress stepped in.

I think the best solution is probably to just wait 15 years and see if social norms evolve.  But I don't think it's fair to characterize Junk's point as being extreme.  The whole premise of a lot of computer law has been to disintermediate ISPs.  If this is no longer possible, then the only other option may be to allow people to go directly after ISPs. I think that would probably be worse.

Given the tremendous amount of law and regulation the internet is already subject to, to characterize it as the wild west overstates things. Also, you could say that if we can't make antiharrasment and defamation law enforceable online, we may as well just give up on it entirely.  That may be right.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on August 01, 2008, 08:38:41 PM
I've heard cases of schools punishing kids for things on the internet when it really wasn't justified- things like criticizing the principal on a private blog, or someone I know was made to remove his Livejournal for some weird reason that wasn't even related to school. My sister said kids with Myspace profiles were disciplined just for having them at her middle school (not that they should have them, but it's not the job of the school to regulate that). Yet Facebook consists largely of evidence of drinking/drug use and I've never heard of any consequences of that, so I guess there's some limit.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Josh on August 01, 2008, 08:58:58 PM
I've heard cases of schools punishing kids for things on the internet when it really wasn't justified- things like criticizing the principal on a private blog, or someone I know was made to remove his Livejournal for some weird reason that wasn't even related to school. My sister said kids with Myspace profiles were disciplined just for having them at her middle school (not that they should have them, but it's not the job of the school to regulate that). Yet Facebook consists largely of evidence of drinking/drug use and I've never heard of any consequences of that, so I guess there's some limit.

Private or public school?
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on August 01, 2008, 09:01:23 PM
Public! I'm not fancy.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 09:23:29 PM

Given the tremendous amount of law and regulation the internet is already subject to, to characterize it as the wild west overstates things. Also, you could say that if we can't make antiharrasment and defamation law enforceable online, we may as well just give up on it entirely.  That may be right.

I agree with you.  I was admittedly being flip when I was saying "regulate the shit out".  I don't know much about this stuff to be honest, but I guess I meant that I wouldn't be sorry to see real-world enforcement of libel laws etc. carried out on the internet. 

I was thinking about this more, and I believe that there is a problem where one party considers something private, and another considers it a vast public forum.  There are things I've said about my teachers that are certainly worse than what is quoted in that article (though it's hinted that there was much worse stuff on the site) but for the most part this slagging manifested itself verbally, or on pieces of paper, or on audio tape (I actually knew some kids who did a "radio show" on tape in their attic and would sell it to kids at school the next day--total Opie and Anthony style.  Totally stupid and racist/sexist --everything.  And pretty much harmless, if also idiotic) all of which would be scandalous and horrible if actually received by the faculty in question, but all done under the assumption that they never would.  And certainly we would've just done it all online today.  But it's true that if it's online, it's accessible by an enormous swath of humanity.  So I guess these are just things that need to be ironed out.  I still think that if you're spying on your students as faculty or staff of a school, you're really asking for trouble and almost always overstepping.

On the other hand...
Incidentally, when I was in grad school some students started a myspace page under the name of a professor.  This prof. was african american and there was a racist angle to this fake myspace page.  Basically the professor got wind of it (a student told him about it) and sent a cease-and-desist style e-mail or letter to the person running the site.  Basically the prof. simply asserted his legal rights, alerted the person running the site that if he continued using his name he would sue him for harassment etc., and the guy took the thing down.  I'm sure the prof. had the support of the school, but I'm also not sure the school had anything to do with it.  It was the threat of a civil suit, and did not manifest itself academically, as far as I know.  The f'd up thing about that new york piece is that the Board of Directors was completely interfering with student/faculty relationships at the school and that there was basically no integrity to be found in the whole situation. 

Blah blah I'll stop now.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Josh on August 01, 2008, 09:30:47 PM
Ah. Susannah (you look BEAUTIFUL in your avatar btw!), I think what you described is borderline. Parents are paying money to put their kids in a safe place, and anything outside of school the administration or faculty is aware of that could affect a student in school (bullying, drinking, etc.) is fair game in my eyes. If you saw a student drinking a 40 behind the gas station, wouldn't you alert the parents? Then again, with stuff like this (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08157/887288-56.stm), I more and more think that even folks our age don't understand kids or law enforcement.



Quote
On May 20, Alex Phillips, 17, of LaCrosse, Wis., was charged with possessing child pornography, sexual exploitation of a child and defamation after he posted naked pictures of his 16-year old ex-girlfriend from his cell phone onto MySpace.

At Westerville (Ohio) South High School, at least 30 students received the image of a teenager fondling himself when he sent a cell phone video to female classmates in April.

In Pennsylvania, state police were dispatched to Allentown's Parkland High School in January to remove video and photos of two high school girls from the cell phones of at least 40 students.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Gilly on August 01, 2008, 09:41:48 PM
That professor did the right thing and that's what people should do if they find themselves in that situation. I don't think any more regulation is needed because it's obvious that libel laws apply to the internet and just like any person who's libeled it's their decision if they want to go to court with it. Same goes for copyright law. I don't think we want anything written in law that criminalizes copyright infringement. It's a civil matter.

I just don't see how the internet is any different from real world. There are going to be a ton of people who get away with breaking every law in the book because they've dedicated their life to it and are professionals and the people who get caught are always the small potatoes who didn't realize how to hide. It's sad, but it's the truth and no matter how you police the net people are going to find out how to break the law and hide.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: John Junk 2.0 on August 01, 2008, 09:43:47 PM
I think I actually totally agree with you about everything, Gilly.

so nevermind! :)
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 01, 2008, 09:53:46 PM
I just don't see how the internet is any different from real world.

The key difference between traditional libel issues and the internet is that we've passed a specific law telling people they can't sue websites for stuff they host.  I can't imagine a newspaper that would just print thousands of letters every day without reviewing them, but that's exactly what the internet allows, so the law is probably a good idea. It is also an example of "regulation" that treats the internet differently than the "real" world.

I don't know what we're arguing about since I think we all agree that new laws aren't needed.  The current system is pretty fucked, because I hate me a troll, but I have zero confidence that anything can be done about it.  Anyway, people will adapt.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Gilly on August 01, 2008, 10:15:13 PM
Anyway, people will adapt.

Yep.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Susannah on August 01, 2008, 10:51:28 PM
Wow, I posted this whole thing about my school's policy, and then I wondered whether or not I could get in trouble for it!
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: Gilly on August 01, 2008, 10:58:44 PM
I don't know what to think about the teacher/student debate. A part of me thinks that teachers should not get involved with anything outside of the school grounds if it isn't affecting their school work and the teacher doesn't think there is a clear threat. If pictures are brought to school or are being looked at on school computers I think that's when teachers should step in. But, I don't think a teacher has any right looking on a Facebook or MySpace site just to take a look or because a student said something.

I can't believe kids aren't tech savvy enough to set their privacy settings right!
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: buffcoat on August 02, 2008, 09:48:18 AM
Kids are stupid.  We just keep inventing ways to let their stupidity follow them into adult life.

Imagine that the most embarrassing thing that happened to you - or that you did - in high school was entered into some corner of the public record for the rest of your life.  I can't begin to.

I would have been one of those jerky kids who refused to put anything personal on his myspace or facebook page.  The other kids would have made fun of me, but I would have known that I didn't want my thoughts about Stephanie from English class getting back to her then, much less being accessible to my grandkids.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: emma on August 02, 2008, 12:24:49 PM
Oh man yes. I think I got email in like grade 5, and I wince when I even think about my ten-line email "signature" or all the forwards I forwarded. If I'd had facebook then, too...? Urghhhhhhhhhugh.

As it stands, I try to keep my facebook profile really really private and not filled with super-personal content. I've seen enough Semi-Serious Shit Go Down that I'm extra paranoid about photos and who I'm friends with and etc. I'll probably still screw up majorly at some point, though.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 02, 2008, 01:04:58 PM
I think I'm lucky to have cut my teeth on BBSs and shell-only internet access for years before heading into the internet.  By the time it became super popular I already had some of those Life Skills learned. 

Recently, I wasn't too impressed with the way that last.fm would make it seem like I was way more into grindcore than I really am, what with the albums of 100 45 second songs.  But I goodbyed that timewaster.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Matthew_S on August 02, 2008, 08:28:10 PM
(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-600.jpg)

Some people just have the ability to look exactly like what they are.

I thought something along the same lines.  But I also felt he looked familiar.  Not in a separated at birth kind of way but something... And then I realized I was thinking of Human Giant's Paul Scheer :

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/Paulscheer.jpg)
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Regular Joe on August 02, 2008, 09:03:19 PM
I thought something along the same lines.  But I also felt he looked familiar.  Not in a separated at birth kind of way but something... And then I realized I was thinking of Human Giant's Paul Scheer :

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/Paulscheer.jpg)

I'm mortified just knowing Mr. Scheer may reasonably see that comment. Of all the people in the world to be compared to!
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: jamesp on August 03, 2008, 03:46:54 PM
I love that these trolls won't reveal their real identities for the article.

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-600.jpg)

Does anybody else find it highly suspect that a kid that hideous, who spends his time posting hateful stuff on message boards keeps baseball games on in the background?

I'd love to hear Tom's outraged opinion about this on Tuesday.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Clint on August 03, 2008, 05:32:30 PM
I love that these trolls won't reveal their real identities for the article.

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-600.jpg)

Does anybody else find it highly suspect that a kid that hideous, who spends his time posting hateful stuff on message boards keeps baseball games on in the background?

I'd love to hear Tom's outraged opinion about this on Tuesday.

That V for Vendetta mask makes me pity him for some reason.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: mokin on August 03, 2008, 05:49:10 PM
I love that these trolls won't reveal their real identities for the article.

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-600.jpg)

Does anybody else find it highly suspect that a kid that hideous, who spends his time posting hateful stuff on message boards keeps baseball games on in the background?

I'd love to hear Tom's outraged opinion about this on Tuesday.

That V for Vendetta mask makes me pity him for some reason.

I don't know if Weev is involved in the "Anonymous" protesting of Scientology, but if he was it would explain the mask.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: KickTheBobo on August 03, 2008, 08:31:01 PM
When Weev weighs in on the whole Colecovision vs. Intellivision debate, it's comedy gold!

(http://www.kickthebobo.com/bwevertroll.jpg)
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Martin on August 03, 2008, 09:04:03 PM
Hahaha!
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: chrisfoll577 on August 03, 2008, 10:56:32 PM
Hahaha! lulz
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: jamesp on August 03, 2008, 10:57:22 PM
I blame Fight Club for inspiring a generation of morons.  Seriously though, between reading this and about hipsters, my whole day has felt depressing.

It's great that "weev" can afford moving from condo to condo at his whim and having a chauffeured rented Rolls Royce but he still has the same crappy TV that I do.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: yesno on August 03, 2008, 11:01:30 PM
Seriously though, between reading this and about hipsters, my whole day has felt depressing.

You're welcome!  Now, let me tell you about how modern agriculture depends on fossil fuel-based fertilizers....
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Susannah on August 25, 2008, 07:33:46 PM
A little update: I arrived back to school for faculty meetings this week, and found that the school administration finally wised up and blocked access to Facebook, MySpace and a number of other social-networking sites via the school's network.  This probably won't stem the tide of cyberbullying--we can't monitor what kids do on their personal computers at home--but at least it relieves the burden of liability a little bit.

Unfortunately, however, cell phones are now allowed back on campus after being banned last year.  I expect to spend at least 5% of each class period confiscating BlackBerries.  How do my students think I can't tell they're texting?  Why are they texting during my classes?  Am I a bad teacher?  Professional anxiety rears its ugly head.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: Sarah on August 26, 2008, 08:04:52 AM
Don't feel bad, Susannah.  It's nothing personal.  I know that during my short tenure in high school I thought all my teachers were bad, whether they were or not. 
Title: .
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 26, 2008, 08:17:30 AM
Yeah, it s not personal at all.  Or if it is, my students feel the same way about me that yours do about you.  It s also worth mentioning that even the most fun classes aren t THAT fun.
Title: Re: .
Post by: dave from knoxville on August 26, 2008, 04:14:07 PM
Yeah, it s not personal at all.  Or if it is, my students feel the same way about me that yours do about you.  It s also worth mentioning that even the most fun classes aren t THAT fun.

How dare you! Why just today we were having an uproarious discussion of the fine distinction between ordinal and nominal data, and I accidentally said "norminal!" Oh, we all chortled gaily over that gaffe, believe you me!
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magaz
Post by: tenspeed on August 26, 2008, 05:00:59 PM
I expect to spend at least 5% of each class period confiscating BlackBerries.  How do my students think I can't tell they're texting?  Why are they texting during my classes?  Am I a bad teacher?  Professional anxiety rears its ugly head.

I know how you feel...my first year of teaching I spent 5% of each class period confiscating my cellphone. 


Title: Re: .
Post by: emma on August 26, 2008, 10:28:15 PM
Yeah, it s not personal at all.  Or if it is, my students feel the same way about me that yours do about you.  It s also worth mentioning that even the most fun classes aren t THAT fun.

How dare you! Why just today we were having an uproarious discussion of the fine distinction between ordinal and nominal data, and I accidentally said "norminal!" Oh, we all chortled gaily over that gaffe, believe you me!

I must say, math is okay and everything, but I like what teaching Old-Timey Grammar And Language Skills to summer school kids has done for you, DFK.
Title: Re: Inside the World of Online Trolls: article from this Sunday's NY Times Magazine
Post by: mokin on August 27, 2008, 04:20:16 AM
Maybe a cell phone jammer (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/technology/04jammer.html) would be a good solution, Susannah? They're pricey but possibly worth it.