I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed, but off-topic threads trading barbs has reached an annoying level. Part of this is due to some conservative commenters who add little of substance and can’t resist inflaming others in whatever they say. But all BMG conservatives are not created equal, and we do some of them an injustice by lumping them altogether.
JohnD is one of the conservative BMGers who, in my opinion, doesn’t deserve the scorn he’s receiving. Click on his name and look at his archive. JohnD has contributed more than 250 diaries. I’m talking about posts, not comments. Then click on your own name. How does your record compare to JohnD’s? How many BMG liberals can claim such a record? I’ve been on BMG almost from the beginning. I’ve got 119 diaries under my name, and 93 under an alias I once used. KBusch has 94 posts. MethuenProgressive has 93. (To put these numbers in perspective, David has made 3625 posts, Bob has made 1899 Posts, Charley has made 2174). My point is that diaries are the bread and butter of BMG. Without them, there are no comments.
Writing a diary isn’t equivalent to be a valuable member of the BMG community. Plenty of people comment, stimulate conversation, and make me (at least) think. I’m not saying everyone has to write a diary to be constructive. I’m just asking that we liberals use more discretion as we deal with our conservatives. Are they all trolls? A troll is,
someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community… with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”
Almost everyone here is guilty of posting inflammatory or off-topic comments at some point. Sometimes doing so is fun. Sometimes it is instructive. Unfortunately, the troll content of some conservative comments is high. In the absence of comment ratings, which allow readers to disapprove of comments and helps alleviate the compulsion to respond, we can either ignore the troll, which is akin to doing a stand-up comedy act and ignoring a heckler, or abuse them. What we shouldn’t do, however, is treat every ideologically opposed comment as the grunt of a troll. And although we end up feeding a hungry troll on occasion, we should also take care not to bait him.