I was attacked on a forum thread by someone who never wrote an article on this site. I know this is an issue we discussed other times. But in a time of angry political division, perhaps we should revisit this policy? Why should writers who occasionally go on a forum have to defend themselves against an insulting person who isn't even arguing with real facts and uses hate speech? There is one person who apparently spends all day beginning threads to bait people. I noticed he deleted all his articles.
The topical forums used to be a place where people could engage in conversation when they shared different views. This is not possible in our current U.S. political climate, and it's always the same few who ruin it for others. I thought there used to be a way to report somebody, but can't remember how.
Anyway, I've had this up for hours, and I guess nobody cares how bad hate filled comments and accusations of racism look on our forums. I understand no one has to allow themselves to be baited, but trolls get in the middle of normal discussions between people.
How horrible. Have you reported it, Jean?
I forgot how. You know how these nasty political forums go. I was talking to someone else and they just got into it. I responded once, but was called a racist and a liar. That goes on in all these forums, and the administration doesn't seem to care.
I found the exchange. That person has attacked other people in the same manner.
He or she completely hides his or her identity in the profile. More proof of a troll.
Their posts have the same anger, personality and writing style of another angry poster on here, which makes me wonder if it's a duplicate account.
I'm concerned about what it takes to get someone warned or banned in HP forums. Unfortunately, it seems to take a lot even with multiple personal attacks.
Oh I've had a couple of run-ins with that one. We'd all do well to never respond to him. He's obviously in a lot of pain with nothing better to do than rant on the forum all day. We should feel sorry for him.
It makes me wonder, too. There is a troll who attacks me on forums. If I don't respond, he baits me by saying that I "can't answer his question," like I'm the idiot, not him. But he crossed the line when he attacked me personally when I commented on an article that had nothing to do with politics and my comment was a favorable comment to the author that had nothing to do with him. I reported him for that a couple of days ago and haven't heard back from HP yet. I don't see why legitimate authors have to put up with troll BS on their articles.
Good point. I'm frustrated and discouraged by how much it takes and how it takes for HP to act against bullies and trolls.
This issue also has a legal factor. Our country has laws against online libel, bullying and harrassment. People can sue not only the trolls but also the sites where the trolls post.
The troll(s) you describe sounds like three to four hubbers on this site. Here's something I noticed about them. They're angry, disgruntled, and lack writing talents. In a sense, they are lashing out due to some unforeseen failures in their lives. Oddly, enough, they're extremely arrogant and exceptionally paranoid (which is why some of them are using pseudo-names). And they are extreme ideologists who generalize anyone that challenges them as libs (their nasty word, I guess). I don't know if "troll" is an appropriate title for them. They appear to gravitate toward each other and enable each other's bad behavior. And, some of them (especially one anonymous one) don't seem to get their kicks by starting fights like true trolls do. They want to fight because they can't stand the person they seem to be targeting (i.e. anyone they deem as liberals). Also, they seem to get offended when somebody calls them out on their troll-like actions. They don't like being called trolls.
They do a lot of complaining too. They think the power-that-be at Hubpages is out to get them and they whine a lot about their low hubber scores. Never mind that the most vocal on this matter has lousy page design and/or rambling rants within his articles. I shouldn't get too harsh with them (then again, I'm not condoning their actions). One notorious member of this group (who actually got banned over a year ago) once revealed he was unemployed and collecting on disability. Another got extremely angry at a person who was simply posting words of encouragement on someone's hub. Even the author of that hub was mystified about the unnecessary rage and vitriol aimed at this encouraging hubber.
Jean, this is the nature of our country today. The reactionary is more unpalatable and unreasonable than ever, and assessing the character of the ONE in charge of it all that most of them support, it is no surprise.
I don't like to think of or envision myself as just as unreasonable from the opposite political pole? Could that be true?
The Political Forums are indeed a nasty playing field Jean - I feel your pain. There are ideologists who only see things through their own private pair of rose colored glasses and they'll stop at nothing to provoke an argument. My only advice is to ignore their comments or kill them with kindness. Keep your chin up!
Jean, I guessed who was the Troll you were complaining about, and guess what? When I looked at his profile page, I had guessed correctly. I think that there are very few of us whom this troll has not attacked personally on a nasty level. I think we should keep on reporting him until HP is forced to ban him. It does eventually work because HP banned another disruptive troll a few months ago. I don't believe these two are the same person because I've seen them post on the forums at the same time, but I guess it is possible. I did notice that your troll had changed his pen name, but his source name is still the same.
There is also another person who is a borderline troll. I saw him literally take over a very neutral political article and turn it into a nasty forum. I wanted to email the author and ask him why he kept approving the comments and arguing with this jackanapes, but it is his article and his business. I wonder if he thinks all those comments will bring him more money. This ignoramus isn't a dirty name-caller, but he is so insulting that I would probably not approve a first comment by him if he commented on one of my articles because I would know what was coming.
Yes, I've encountered a few trolls. I ignore them for the most part. Nasty people with nothing to offer but their version of hate.
Sorry your went through that.
Sorry you have had to put up with that kind of behaviour Jean.
Butterfly, we all eventually have to put up with this troll unless we ban together and get him banned. He's been a thorn in my side and in anyone else's side who doesn't say "Heil Trump." According to him, we don't have freedom of speech. Only he does.
Hi Jean. This is the reason I never ever visit these forums and I encourage everybody else to ignore them. When I did check in in the past, nothing of any value emerged. It just seemed to be a place where mentally unhealthy people vented their hate.
I don't see why HP, which seems to value quality writing, gives them space. I see it as lowering the tone of the site. Gold Rule: IGNORE THE TROLLS.
I understand your point. My concern is that they give HP a bad reputation and discourage participation. It can hurt all of us in the long run.
I say that as someone who has managed large forums in the past. Advertisers don't like that kind of environment. Visitors have a lower opinion of the site, which can impact traffic.
If a search visitor arrives on the site via a nasty forum post, it sure doesn't encourage them to go looking for our Hubs.
Now somebody is making sense. I don't think we should have to ignore the trolls.
Thanks everyone for your support. The thread didn't start out nasty, somebody decent started it and I asked a question. He never got involved again, made his post and never came back.
Then one person from here got nasty, and another, who possibly may be the same person.
I did report the person, but then guess what? He apologized to me and another person. So I wrote back to the team and told them what happened.
I still think these threads make us look bad. I can defend myself in a rational argument, but this was not one of them. But it seems to have concluded. It wouldn't hurt the administration to look at these things. When trying to build up the site's rep, trolls don't help.
Credence, I hope I'm not being unreasonable from the other point of view. It's something to consider, though I am not mean spirited.
I like your way of thinking,Mizbejabbers. In essence, Christ did tell us to turn the other cheek, but I don't think He meant for us to be kicked in those cheeks either. Christ did throw the thieves out of the temple. In essence, these trolls are trying to "mess with our money" and respectability.
I had one attack me on an article, and I reported the user. I know if we don't stand for something (our names, our work, our site that we our trying to make the best it can be), then those guys win.
Tim, I'm not sure there's anything we can do except boycott the forums, and we shouldn't have to do that. I recently called out a troll. I carefully reviewed her profile page where she had 0 hubs and posted that she wrote for another (unnamed) website and would not write for HP because we were a bunch of "liberals who spewed hate... but that she liked to post in HP's forums." Two HP writers, one an avid conservative and the other a more moderate conservative on the forum defended her against me. So I guess the trolls have more rights here than we contributing authors do.
BTW re: Christ saying we should turn the other cheek. The late Zola Levitt explained on TV that to his Jewish people turning the other cheek had a different meaning than for Christians. He said that if you turn the other cheek to a slap and the person walks away, you forgive him. If he hits you on the other cheek, you have leave to knock the daylights out of him. The Rev. Levitt, a Jew by birth and a convert to evangelical Christianity, said that Christians got it all wrong. Makes sense to me.
I've read that forum with the moderate conservative and the conservative defending that troll (I posted in it, too), eventually, the trolls reveal themselves. I read on in that forum, and discovered my skillful conservative Hubber wound up taking on that troll. (Good for him.) I like reading what other respectable Hubbers are writing. It's the trolls we don't need.
I agree. I'll keep reporting them. Maybe the team should create some guidelines for trolls. For example:
If you have a new account and haven't written an article in two years, but you are receiving complaints, then they should be banned.
If your comments constantly attack other Hubbers which are improving the value of the site, and you have not written a single article, then the account should be closed.
If your articles are filled with "hate speech," " then the account should be shut down.
Freedom of speech does have limits.
I am familiar with Zola Levitt ministries and I have never seen nor heard of the interpretation you give here of “ turn the other cheek” by Levitt or anyone else so I searched the internet and in multiple places I found that this video expresses the Jewish version of turn the other cheek which in no way suggests Christians got anything wrong but maybe you have.
Can you tell me where I can find specific evidence of what you say Levitt (or anyone else) said about it because if he said it on tv I’d think it could be found in his writings on the internet and I don’t see it.
That is not "my interpretation" it is Zola Levitt's. I have never seen it in his writings, but I don't read his writings. He said it on his program on VTN, (Channel 25 in my city). It struck a cord with me because he was a Jew by birth and a Christian by conversion.
By the Way, TSAD, your video is irrelevant to what I said. What Zola Levitt described was the JEWISH perspective, and he stated in his message that Christians, most of whom know little to nothing of Judaism, get it wrong. Your video was the viewpoint of a Christian. which would not have been Christ's viewpoint. I hate to burst your bubble, but Christ was not a Christian. He was a Jew; Christ was trained in the synagog by Jews. Jews consider a slap an insult. To be slapped on both cheeks would justify retaliation in self defense. I don't think you understand that. Levitt made that clear in his sermon. I looked it up. Because he didn't want to waste time arguing with people like you, he softened his description in his newsletter of 2003, but in his sermon he used the words "cold-cock" when describing retaliation.
"My concern is that they give HP a bad reputation and discourage participation. It can hurt all of us in the long run."
I agree. However, will overt censorship ("I don't like what you say so you can't say anything") cause even more damage, both internal and external? Just a thought...
You have a point if censorship is exercised by banning anyone with whom we don't agree. However, Tim has a point, Freedom of speech does have its limits. Just joining a forum to make hateful speech and name-calling should be limited or banned because it has a chilling effect on the rightful participants. Besides, in this day and time, we don't know if we are dealing with a hate-filled person or a bot. American or Russian. It gets complicated. Somebody said on one of the forums, "put on your big pants and deal with it." Why should we have to, especially if it turns out to be a bot?
I'm beginning to wonder if this troll is a bot because I notice that "she" doesn't come back at anyone who objects to her personally. She just uses her Gish Gallop (thank you Dean Traylor) arguments, which could be written by a bot.
There should be a rule: anyone who doesn't have a hub, SHOULDN'T participate in the forums PERIOD! One has to have AT LEAST 20 featured hubs to participate in the forums!
That's silly. What about new hubbers who need help?
Good point ragged edge, I visited the forums asking questions and getting helpful feedback over a year before I started writing articles. I think a better rule would be that if you don’t write one article in 6 months you lose your membership or at least access to forums but HP has been doing this for a long time and they seem to be short handed and losing writers, online reviews suck, so they probably don’t want to do anything that gives them more work or limits new members.
I think HP used to throw a troll off the forums for 3 days if they called somebody a name, that's the criteria they USED to use. I once got into it with somebody near an Election time. The person actually insulted me, and I got kicked off. I wrote in and got it corrected.
It's just that many of us feel passionate about politics right now in the U.S. As writers, we do know how to express ourselves without being nasty.
But even someone on this thread who sounds so rational is the one who started that thread, and never came back to support his claims. I asked him a question because I was interested, (he's not a trouble maker, nice guy) and got other responses that didn't even get my question answered.
Bev is right as well, I would be in great jeopardy without the help forums, although the spirit is different there.
You're right. The hubpages forums are great for new hubbers who need help. We are talking about the topical or regular forums. Regarding the regular forums, only those who have AT LEAST 20 featured hubs should participate. Anyone who is a troll regardless of hubs should be PERMANENTLY BANNED from the forums. Anyone who engages in incessant arguments w/those whom h/she disagrees with also should be PERMANENTLY BANNED from the forums.
It's important to note that even our Supreme Court has indicated there is a limit to freedom of speech under "clear and present danger." People can't yell fire in a crowded theater if no fire exists.
Other western societies have said certain words and symbols (a flag with the swastika on it can get you in big trouble in Germany) is inappropriate.
Certain corporations have banned profanity on the job site.
Hub Pages is a "private" business. They have a right to decide what language is appropriate on their site. That doesn't amount to censorship. This is because the "troll" has a right to go somewhere else.
Unfortunately, I had similar experiences in the final years Epinions was an active site. People who harassed and plagiarized would be reported, but Epinions did nothing to them. Other members, though, made sure such people did not get any money for their activity. Just deny their comment or ignore it. No decent Hubber appreciates this sort of poster, and we all deserve better,
I assume the troll has been reported? I don;t go to that side of the forum but generally find that nasty posts do get deleted albeit sometimes after a day or so, and people eventually banned based on them.
Keep reporting the troll. Sooner or later, h/she will be BANNED from the forums temporarily, if not...…..PERMANENTLY...….
I just saw this post, Jean. I agree trolls should be reported.
Yes, they should. The forums should be a place of intelligent discourse. We all don't have to be in agreement with each other; however, disagreement should be civil, logical, & mature.
I agree Grace. We are all adults, at least in theory! At our ages we know age has little to do with maturity.
Wilderness brings up a point about free speech which is valid. Sometimes censorship can also go too far. So it's not an easy issue.
But we are primarily a writer's site, and all of you who posted on this thread have spent as much time as me fixing, changing, and improving our work. It was my work which was attacked in one of the troll's posts, and I take my writing seriously, I waited until a certain point in my life to have time to indulge my interest and creativity into it.
So why should a troll who never writes here be able to write nonsensical posts and make illogical arguments? She clearly has no main issue to make other than hating liberals. And we have enough of that around here. Sometimes I feel like all the political posts are conservatives beating on liberals. I can make a logical argument, or one from the heart, but the main offenders always say the same things. We know who the problem people are.
I remember the days of Compuserve, Netcom, AOL, Yahoo, etc. Flame Wars Galore!
Most times the trolls are 12-year-old kids who feel brave behind their anonymous computer screens. So just consider the source.
These days, when I sense an impending attack; I just simply say:
"Forum rules do not permit me to respond. Am departing thread"
And then I actually do depart the thread. This includes clicking the unfollow button, so I won't be reminded.
That's good advice. Normally I avoid nasty forums. I was nervous about a Dr. appt. that day and stayed online to kill time. So my frame of mind was more sensitive than usual. Some people aren't worth it, and our time is better served writing if we are on here.
So funny how comments are 'logical and reasonable' when one makes them, but comments which disagree with the same are 'hate filled.' LOL@humans.
Also trolls are ENVIOUS, NEGATIVE people. If they WEREN'T, they wouldn't be TROLLING the forums...……..
It's an issue that is unfortunate and hurtful. Let's remember: one or three bad apples do not ruin the barrel. They just need to be removed, we carry on, and then there will be none.
I agree. The same person starts quite a few of these threads each day. I sort of feel sorry for him, and notice on a few of them, nobody bites, they just don't answer.
I understand the administration is busy with changes and editing, but do believe trolls hurt us. Especially when we are being corrected for writing a piece for the slightest oversite, and our standards have to be so high, why should trolls drag us down?
You counted THREE, me TOO! Of course, trolls need to be removed. They are trolling just to be SEEN. Sad that they didn't get parental attention in their formative years & other accolades of accomplishment whether in school or in their careers.
The big issue is the need to protect our "brand." That includes HP, our fellow writers, and our names. Trolls are not motivated by "respectability" or "good behavior." That's counter to what we as writers want to accomplish.
Oh, well! Does anyone know where we can find three billy goats? Get off our bridge trolls!
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