Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trolls versus The Thought Police

(Updated below - Update II)

It seems innocent enough -- the latest Dave Stancliff tirade against Internet TROLLS!

If you don't know what an Internet Troll is, you can read what he says about this aberrations on his blog, in the Sunday, May 31, 2009 Time Standard newspaper and on the Internet. What you'll find there is a good example of the "Thought Police" at work.

By the way, this is Wikipedia's definition:
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.
Everyone with a blog, at one time or another, has run afoul of these blessed critters. You can't write about anything relevant and meaningful that you don't attract someone trying to muddy the waters. Nor can you make intelligent, meaningful and relevant comments that some moron doesn't take exception. Mr. Stancliff's description of these aberrant souls, however, really doesn't do them justice. What he fails to note is that not all "Trolls" are online commentators. I encountered several bloggers (blogs) that are nothing less then TROLLS disguised as normal folk. I guess you'd call these blogs (Humbug Blogs?) Troll Lairs. Or is it Troll Liars? Sometimes it's hard to keep it straight.

I was reminded, as I read through his definition of online trolls, that he was speaking of just about everyone that ever made a comment on someone's blog. The fact is, especially with most of the Humbug Bloggers, that if you can't read their minds and don't meet their "standards" -- the kind of thinking that they consider to be stereotypically acceptable you immediately run afoul of the Humbug Trolls, a good example, to wit: Mr. Stancliff. Most of these bloggers run what has revealed to be nothing more than Blog Whorehouses. These are blogs that invite everyone in for fun, pleasure and a good time. Come in, speak your piece, have fun, enjoy yourself, talk to everyone; you know, get to "know" everyone. Never you mind that there is absolutely no mention or nothing posted in big bright letter about how to think and how to talk to everyone. You know, like don't get too rough, too radical, too physical, get emotional (NEVER ANGRY) or violate any of their unposted rules. Should you happen to tweak any of these bloggers fragile sensibilities or any of their clientele naughtily yapping merrily away, you not only DON'T GET FED, (talked to or accepted [bedded]) you get beaten mercilessly, without any way to defend yourself, thrown out into the streets of blogger hell and ostracized forever from all their blog whorehouses.

All this foofaraw about trolls and the Thought Police might be funny except for on thing: Two Thousand years of Dark Age thinking. That World and religious empire ruled with such draconian contempt for humanity, one wonders how anyone survived until today. Today we have people only "accused" of thinking like "terrorists," held and tortured indefinitely, coupled with the deliberate annihilation of the civilian populations because "someone that might think like a terrorist" might be hiding somewhere within all that population. Anyone wonder where and how it all got started?

It got started with simpleminded people like Dave Stancliff and compatriot people that are willing to believe his kind of dogma and impose their thoughts on others all in the name of freedom.

Trolls and the Thought Police? Really! They're one and the same. So, be aware! Watch Out For The Trolls! None of us want to become Troll Bait.

UPDATE :: Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Not everyone gets a free pass to write lengthy columns several times every week in newspapers. Dave Stancliff does. For one thing, he brings a certain value or credibility to what he writes for the simple reason he's being published. That ability comes with a double-edged reality; responsibility and accountability. Furthermore, most bloggers and their commentary, with few exception, rarely meet the same standard-producing credibility. As far as the Report is concerned all we know about or rather we should say, knew about him, was what we read in the newspaper. The questions we ask now, is Dave Stancliff a member of the Thought Police? Or, is he actually revealed to be a simpleminded troll trying to divert attention?

So, was his newspaper column as innocent as he claims where he says, “I advocated ignoring a pest”? We suggest you read our conversation and make up your own minds. Was it all as simple as trying to advocate ways to deal with an online “pest”? Or, was he overtly and covertly trying to justify controlling free speech by personally attacking those “HE” defines as “Internet Trolls,” some aberrant species of "pest"? Too bad Mr. Dave Stancliff didn't leave matters there. He certainly would have revealed a whole lot less about himself if he had only practiced what he preaches. More importantly, however, when you have the right to lock away in a two-by-four box forever anyone you merely “believe” thinks in unacceptable ways, whether they be so-called “troll” or “terrorist,” the deprivation of such tyranny has reached a point of corruption no decent person can withstand. Mr. Stancliff concludes his demagogic tirade with the following comment:

“This Thought Police stuff you're talking about makes it sound like your group is real paranoid about something.

Opinion the way.”

To that the Report concludes by saying: “The first thing all totalitarian, fascist, Nazi, communistic, extremist fundamental religious, regressive and repressive thinking people do is accuse ANYONE and EVERYONE that doesn't meet their socially acceptable standards of being paranoid or mentally ill. When he accused me or "my group" of being mentally ill he changed the rules from simple Internet conversation to a full-blown personal assault.

If he honestly thought I or any of us were actually paranoid and hostile as he claimed, I doubt he would have had the temerity, let alone the courage to say it directly to me. Why it is he thinks he can come into my Internet home and post his bile on my blog with impunity is beyond any of us. Problem is, he doesn't have a clue who he is talking to. I or we, on the other hand, have his face plastered all over the Internet and news media.

If that's not simpleminded, I don't know what is!”

It should be first noted that I am not in Mr. Stancliff's blog or at his home ranting and raving and making all kinds of wild unsubstantiated and abusive accusations for all his neighbor's to hear. He's in my home. And frankly, he won't leave.

Second, there is a difference between accepting someone's worthless opinions as fact and truth just because they say so or seeing what those facts and truths are for yourself. The reader can accept his angry, hate-filled demagoguery about me or you can accept him for what he is, and that according to his own definition about people who do what he has clearly come into and done on my blog. Truth is self-revealing. All I did was give Dave Stancliff opportunity to reveal his true nature.

It should also be noted that this blog is not written to garner anyone's agreement or make converts. Neither are we interested in anyone's worthless opinions or personal beliefs, for whatever that's worth. Whether we agree or disagree is irrelevant. Whatever you choose to believe, think or hallucinate about and make public is your problem. To hate, show hostility, be angry, be offended or manifest any other emotional response presupposes that person takes everything personally. We do not. We realize that what others do, and in this particular case Dave Stancliff, has nothing to do with either Joe Blow or the person writing this blog for him. We understand that what others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. Dave Stancliff has clearly demonstrated this manifest truth in his continuing foolish tirade.

To conclude, despite answering his question, Dave Stancliff continues to assert and repeat his accusation that my blog article was a personal attack in hypocritical contravention to our own posted wishes, to wit: “Diatribe personally attacking the messenger, is not welcome.” Our written observations were about the messenger, of which he is one, and freedom of speech versus prejudice, bigotry and selective censorship. He identified himself when he wrote that article, “Trolls Exposed: What kind of troll is disrupting your online community”? He sets forth the definition, in part: “They repeat themselves and say stupid off-focus things to disrupt conversations.” Which is exactly what is revealed for all to see. Rather than confront the thesis of our article, he tried to change the focus and tried to get personal. Unfortunately, Dave Stancliff was writing about himself.



  1. Interesting post Joe.

    I would like to point out one fact (that was in the column);

    I'm against any regulations or laws limiting freedom of speech on the web.

    If you read the whole column before you decided to go off on this subject, you would have seen your contention was baseless.
    I've always been against anything that threatens free speech.
    Anyone who has read my work over the years knows this.

    So I find it odd that you take this stance, and call me simpleminded at the same time.
    I respect your opinions, as I do all others, and am professional enough not to call names when someone disagrees with me.
    I can usually make the distinction between a troll and
    a non-troll. I'm sure you can too, if you want too.
    I'm NOT saying you are a troll.
    I just think you picked the wrong subject to take a stand on based upon incomplete knowledge.
    Finally, thanks for reading the column!

  2. Dave,

    First, we are always delighted when the subject of one of our posts responds. Nice to see that you read the Report. What really delights us is when their commentary justifies and legitimizes our right to make these observations in the first place. Notice I said observations. The Joe Blow Reports are NOT about opinions. I realize for most people, those that are unable to get out of their own minds, making the distinction is difficult, if not impossible. Your so-called respect for “my opinion”s is irrelevant.

    You, however, make my point about worthless opinions. You begin by accusing me of baseless opinions because I did not, as you say, "read your whole column." Not only did I read your column completely through, I read it completely through several times. Not only that, but I also follow your many blog comments. Nowhere do I say that you are “against any regulations or laws limiting freedom of speech on the the web.” You are shown here, however, to be the hypocrite I failed to point out earlier.

    Your article is replete with defending the freedoms of speech for everyone, everyone that is, except someone you define and accuse of being a “Troll.” They, like all "cowardly" terrorists, who are without any legitimate or legal rights to exist, let alone be heard, should be put in a cyber-box, starved to death and let die in their own worthless opinions. What you wrote and what I wrote stand on their own merits. The fact is words say what words say. You can try to put words in my mouth or try to parse your meaning, but the truth speaks for itself. There's nothing incomplete about that. Worthless opinions coupled with baseless accusations, is that not part of your definition of a “troll”? Before you accused me of taking the stand you defined, a fictional “stand” you say I took, you should try to practice what you preach. Remember, As It Stands, you are the one writing columns in the local newspaper, not me.

  3. I find it curious that you use the term "we" instead of me.
    Are you royalty?
    Are you a group of writers?

    Weather you (or the whole gang) realize it or not, you just expressed an opinion of me again.
    That's right.
    First I was simple-minded, and now I'm a hypocrite.
    For someone who supposedly only deals in facts and avoids opinions, this is a glaring error!
    You aren't just letting the words speak for themselves as you claim.
    Can't you see that?
    Try dropping the hostility thing, and look at what you are saying, and how you are saying it.
    The truth hurts sometime..

    Remember, you aren't the writer and you are judging writers like me as evidenced by your comments.
    That doesn't give you the high ground your seeking by expressing no opinions.
    Before asking me to practice what I preach why don't you review your last comments?

  4. What was that you said at the end of your comments on the left side of the page?
    "Don't attack the messenger"

  5. Stancliff,

    I gave you a chance to get in touch with reality and what do you do? Practice what you preach? You bet you do. You come right back with more of the same “Troll” behavior. By pointing your self-righteous and self-justifying finger at me again, you define yourself for all to see who and what you really are. You define yourself a hypocrite because what you said about “respect” for my “opinions,” with your tirade of personal assaults, you show to be crap – BS.

    What you wrote in your column defines you. In other words that even you should understand, that is if you actually take the time to read with some understanding what is said, you defined yourself. That's not my opinion nor is it Joe Blow's opinion. “We” merely made the observation. Our larger point was, however, that what you wrote is far more serious and troubling to decent, law-abiding Americans than your troll-like, simpleminded demagoguery hidden behind pious words.

    By the way, where do I say “we deal in facts”? I said “we” make observations – NOT OPINIONS. Even simpleminded individuals (and there are simpleminded people in this world, opinion aside) are capable of understanding that distinction. Your reactions, personal effrontery and diatribe justify and legitimize our basic observation about your real motive behind your column, legitimizing the Thought Police and justifying their right to exist. Like all Thought Police you preach freedom while personally attacking everyone that tries to promote thought. You call them “Trolls,”others of your kind call them “Terrorists.” Whether that's simpleminded or hypocritical is irrelevant to the larger crimes mandated and supported while hiding behind the pious faces of “writers” like you. I, nor we, need to judge your kind. Your actions have already judged you. -- And you thought all you were writing about was Internet trolls, bullies and online predators? We obviously saw something far more sinister and you, bless your little heart, proved us right.

  6. So is it royalty or the collective "we?"
    Because you did say "we" in your last comments, I'll assume there's a group of you.
    I advocated ignoring a pest and you all call that Thought Police?
    I wasn't forcing anyone to take a drastic reaction of any kind. It's no different than if an someone came up to you on the street and starting spewing nonsense. You can ignore them, as I suggest, or you can (now here's your chance at clarity) do what?
    What do you suggest?
    This Thought Police stuff you're talking about makes it sound like your group is real paranoid about something.
    Opinion the way.

  7. Stancliff,

    What's your definition of Internet Trolls? First, you say they are “cowards.” Then their “lonely,” and “their posts seldom show any real imagination and resort to childish name-calling.” Next you say they are “extremely pedantic and rarely answer direct questions.” (Like “royalty”?) Not “smart enough to make a reasonable argument,” as if that was their intention. “Their not interested in reason.” They “repeat themselves and say off-focus things to disrupt conversations.” (Like, “I just think you picked the wrong subject to take a stand on based upon incomplete knowledge.” And ... your comments show that you don't have clue to what that “subject” is.) Continuing, they like to “brag” about how smart they are, then sucker in the simpleminded and “pounce on them with verbal attack.” According to you they get a real kick out of “disrupting other people's emotional equilibrium.” How anyone can do that over the Internet is beyond me. Then there are the REAL troll's that have a “passion for 'pushing people's buttons'” -- You do that by getting personal and accusing them of being hostile or angry? What is it in your case? Now you say I'm “paranoid”? You started your diatribe by going right at the messenger with your filthy accusations and never stopped. Read what you said in your very first comment, your words speak for themselves. First you dreamed up some “baseless contention,” you accused me of saying (“I'm [you] against any regulations or laws limiting freedom of speech on the web.”) then you say I went off on you BEFORE reading your column, accuse me of taking some fictional stance while calling you simpleminded because I “disagreed with you.” -- Like I would bother to either agree or disagree with what some moronic, simpleminded person has to say?

    Oh, yeah! I almost forgot your last definition, “lonely misfits and people who have trouble communicating in the real world.” I guess that “real world” is the one you define? The one full of “powerless” rock “crawlers” trying to create “chaos,” too gutless to say things directly to people's faces? So I ask you, based upon what you wrote in the newspaper and everyone of your posted comments to me, what's the point? You'd never hear anything they've got to say anyway. You've already judged these terrorist trolls trying to get off emotionally jacking you around just for the pure pleasure of it.

    Your first “fact” was to accuse me of writing something about you that was NOT true. I pointed that out and gave you an opportunity to clarify your accusation. What did you do? You ignored the issue. Instead you get unimaginatively mealy-mouthed about my use of “me” and “we.” Not once, but twice! You trying to push my buttons? Apparently your free to assume anything you want. That seems to be the basis for you worthless opinions. Try using your imagination. Someone has to write for Joe Blow.

    My point to this little sashay was to show the Thought Police in action. In that regard, I already answered your question. Thank you for your unabashed candor.

  8. Use my imagination because someone has to write for Joe Blow?
    Say what?
    I thought Joe Blow was a 5th generation Eureka resident. It looks like Joe is someone you just made up. Or are all of you 5th generation Eureka born?

    After looking at some of your past posts there's little doubt in my mind that some of you are real angry at the world however.

    If you could just stop calling me (or other people - see past posts)names...your blog would be more professional.
    I'm not sure if that matters to you or not. Like I said, there's been a lot of angry posts on your blog and lashing out at people that dare to disagree with you. It appears (based upon your own words in response to people's comments))to be your style.

    The only reason I even responded to one of your posts was you decided to take me to task.
    When I tried to have a conversation with ended up with you calling me simple-minded and moronic. (And I'm not saying your a pack of trolls either okay?)

    While I enjoy your candor (to a certain degree)your anger turns me off. In the past I've avoided commenting on your blog for just that reason, but when you had to personally attack me I felt it was necessary to respond.

    Your whole thing is you decided
    I belong to your imaginary Thought Police (Orwell's book was fiction-even if it did address some great future points).

    This may come as a surprise to you, but everyone who writes something you don't like is NOT a member of the fictional Thought Police.

    One thing I think is obvious: we both have our points, but your group seems to have a real anger issue (which I don't understand).

    Whatever happened to civil discourse?

    You also ignored what I said about your own comment about not attacking the messenger. What's the reason for that? Is it because you realize you were doing just what you told your readers not to?

    I don't want to engage in constant verbal combat with all of you because we don't seem to be getting anywhere.


  9. Stancliff:

    What you say on this blog defines you, but more importantly reveals and confirms the truth of your column as we observed. No one assaulted you personally as you have done on this blog in every statement you made. Your column about Online Trolls was an assault on all freedom-loving people as observed. Therefore, according to your own justification for coming on this blog and trying to personally denigrate me with your worthless opinions and baseless accusations, whatever our observation as written was totally justified. For that “we” thank you.

    We tried to give you a graceful way out, too bad you didn't take it.

  10. Give me a graceful way out of what?

    To agree with you or to be insulted?

    Still no response to your own comment about not attacking the messenger, I see.
    Not one word about the other people you verbally assaulted on your own blog. You want an observation?"
    You (and whoever else contributes to this blog)are hypocrites.
    Your own words (a phrase you like to use)-and lack of responses to direct questions condemn you as such.

    Your world view - condemning others opinions - is a case of collective negatives that end up becoming a hate site lashing out at those who don't believe the way you do.

    What does your blog offer people? Can you think of one positive message that you offer readers?
    Or does that even matter?
    Maybe you're into confrontations.
    Reviewing your recent comments gives credence to this thought.

    You don't want peace. You just want everyone to know how superior you are in all that you say.
    Call me what you want. It seems to be one of your pleasures in life.
    However, when the day is done your words "out" you.