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Anonymity and Trolling.

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Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Kojip on Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:58 pm

An online forum does not easily become a genuine community. It is more likely to do so if there are some shared basic values, but even then anonymity makes it delicate. This is because community involves trust. When there is trust I might let some of my daily life, daily practice, who and where I live, slowly come out . Trolling depends on keeping the who and where a secret. It uses anonymity as a mask for acting in ways that I would not do if who and where I am are known. It degrades trust that may have taken time to build. It undermines community. Trolling behavior feeds on a certain good-natured naivety, a willingness to go the extra mile to accommodate. Maybe the person is having psychological issues? Maybe he/she is just misunderstood? It is impossible to say what motivates someone to ride the edge of conduct guidelines and alienate a community, but it is easy to see the effect on people who need a trusting social environment, so they can feel safe in order to open up and connect.

So my question is ....How is an online community cultivated when anonymous trolling can turn it into another impersonal internet space where the the worst in people comes out? ( long sentence there :) )

Thanks Richard /\
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Dan74 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Kojip wrote:An online forum does not easily become a genuine community. It is more likely to do so if there are some shared basic values, but even then anonymity makes it delicate. This is because community involves trust. When there is trust I might let some of my daily life, daily practice, who and where I live, slowly come out . Trolling depends on keeping the who and where a secret. It uses anonymity as a mask for acting in ways that I would not do if who and where I am are known. It degrades trust that may have taken time to build. It undermines community. Trolling behavior feeds on a certain good-natured naivety, a willingness to go the extra mile to accommodate. Maybe the person is having psychological issues? Maybe he/she is just misunderstood? It is impossible to say what motivates someone to ride the edge of conduct guidelines and alienate a community, but it is easy to see the effect on people who need a trusting social environment, so they can feel safe in order to open up and connect.

So my question is ....How is an online community cultivated when anonymous trolling can turn it into another impersonal internet space where the the worst in people comes out? ( long sentence there :) )

Thanks Richard /\


Ignore posts/threads that sound too suss?

I don't have an answer, Richard, having been mostly absent over the last year or more. This 'shared values' thing has become difficult for a number of reasons, most of which probably reside with me rather than the forum. There are still some great (IMHO) threads popping up from time to time so I lurk and smile in appreciation and gratitude when I stumble upon one like that. And I don't worry about the others (for the reasons that you've listed) but equally I don't tend to reply because I seriously doubt that anything I say is going to be of any use.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Kojip on Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:52 pm

For what it's worth I've always appreciated what you have to say, and your presence.
By shared values i just mean an effort to keep respectful speech and conduct, and a shared interest in Zen Buddhist practice. It is great when teachers engage.
I don't mean a group-think loyalty test or anything like that.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Sevidal on Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:00 pm

You just deal of what is being said. I don't understand why a Zen Forum is so controlling. I begin to realize that this must be a New Age Forum where if they don't like what you say or you don't fit their groove they charge you with anonymity and trolling. If they don't understand what you are saying you are a troll.

But actually isn't talking too much or posting to long posts is trolling?
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Jugglesaurus on Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:24 pm

I've found that juggling forums tend to be really low on trolling. The usernames are still anonymous, but because many jugglers go to international gatherings and it's a close-knit community spread over several countries, there's a good chance that if you're a juggler, you know other forum posters or knows someone who knows them. If not, there's still a good chance you'll meet them in person at some point. I think that has more of an effect than knowing someone's real name.
I guess we don't have that dvantage here so much, but even if trolling happens it doesn't have to bring out the worst in people. Okay, if you get pulled into trying to be helpful to someone and it turns out they're just trying to wind you up, that's annoying. But reacting angrily doesn't get you your time back. It's a sunk cost.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:28 pm

partofit22 wrote:There are plenty of members on this forum that do not disclose their names, their faces and where they live and breathe


Marcel Vuijst (Marshall Fist)
Lorentzstraat 148
2041 SG, Zandvoort
Netherlands (christmas and birthday cards straight to the trashbin)

Social security nr: 186702855
Bank account: 1311702
Internet names: fukasetsu/hentopan/hento

:heya:
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:11 pm

Sevidal wrote:
.... I don't understand why a Zen Forum is so controlling. ....


a most excellent question
Last edited by Linda Anderson on Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby babybuddha on Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:44 pm

:heya:
Kojip wrote:So my question is ....How is an online community cultivated when anonymous trolling can turn it into another impersonal internet space where the the worst in people comes out? ( long sentence there :) )

Thanks Richard /\


I feel that anonymous is not a problem,
off topics, posts and breaking TOS can
be more enforced.

Some examples:

There can be a forum catagory
like questions and answers.
Questions that falls into this catagory
should be moved to the proper forum section.

if someone create a new topic and ask a question
like:

What is zazen?

After a proper answer are given by either members / moderators / teachers
the post then needs to be closed/locked thus prevents any off topic discussions.

For discussion topics like "any thing else discussions"
for example like smoking:

as long the conversations stays on topic and
doesn't not break TOS it's good discussion where
members can shared, discuss, experience, what is being said.

if a users posts smart remarks / off topic answers / etc.
then suggestions/actions for a moderator should take or do:

- move topic to the correct forum section
- erase the off topic remarks and replace with the word OFF TOPIC, or TOS 5. etc.
- repeated violators can be warned or suspended from forum use for 3 days, 1 week, 30 days, or permanent ban, etc.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Avisitor on Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:59 pm

I find people who troll ... they want a response.
Given any type of response, they will continue their ways.
If, however, all other members ignore the trolling
then the person, who trolls, loses interest and finds another area or forum.

Yes, anonymity does afford one to say things which one would normally not say.
It can allow one to say things about a personal experience which one believes is not normal and would not speak of otherwise.
It allows for help to come in when normally it would remain shut, closed to the world.

And yes, it, also, does allow for trolls to disrupt a community.
It is a double edge sword.
It can give space to those to express their need for help
and it can give space for those who only provide a negative influence on a community.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:06 pm

Avisitor wrote:If, however, all other members ignore the trolling


I have yet to witness a situation where all members did.
Even if all members do, there are always members who come online who haven't seen the old trolling topics and have no knowledge of the history, so then it starts again.

That being said, it are moderator issues, and I'll leave it in their capable hands.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:14 pm

I feel that the prime reason for people remaining anonymous is caution over wide internet exposure and vulnerability, not exposure to participants in this forum. However, it is clear that the vast majority of serious practitioners here are open about their ID. To me this is one sign that they are genuine. I feel that is rather difficult to become fully immersed in this community without disclosing in a range of ways our personal details. Yes, there is a degree of risk, but it is one that many of us are prepared to take. I am yet to experience any detrimental impact from disclosing my ID.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:30 pm

Michaeljc wrote:Yes, there is a degree of risk, but it is one that many of us are prepared to take.


What kind of risks?
Are you all coming over to gangrape me or something?
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Chrisd on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:37 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Michaeljc wrote:Yes, there is a degree of risk, but it is one that many of us are prepared to take.


What kind of risks?
Are you all coming over to gangrape me or something?


:lol2:
I remember Meido suggesting a big group hug irl, but that didn't work out :(
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:43 am

Chrisd wrote: :lol2:
I remember Meido suggesting a big group hug irl, but that didn't work out :(


If you know a free of charge travelling system I'm game. :)
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Avisitor on Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:58 am

fukasetsu wrote:
Avisitor wrote:If, however, all other members ignore the trolling


I have yet to witness a situation where all members did.
Even if all members do, there are always members who come online who haven't seen the old trolling topics and have no knowledge of the history, so then it starts again.

That being said, it are moderator issues, and I'll leave it in their capable hands.


It is not impossible ... just not probable.
And it has always been in the hands of the moderators.

The topic here is to discuss and maybe to learn more about this situation.
Thanks for having an open mind.
:tee:

Now, there is also the question of safety using internet forums and exposing some of ones personal information.
Where one lives and how many people in the house and how one lives ... etc.
We don't want anything dangerous to happen just because we wish to have a close community.
The probability would be low ... I guess ... but who wants to take the chance??
:EEK:
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:36 am

Avisitor wrote:Now, there is also the question of safety using internet forums and exposing some of ones personal information.
Where one lives and how many people in the house and how one lives ... etc.
We don't want anything dangerous to happen just because we wish to have a close community.
The probability would be low ... I guess ... but who wants to take the chance??
:EEK:


I understand what you say.

I just gave my adress for fun, I live alone with my 3 cats.
But I don't see "danger" anyway, I would call cowboy Poetin gay and give the KGB my address :lol2:
So I'm not saying anyone shouldn't be careful of that which they need to protect, I just wouldn't know what needs protection :) I understand it would be different if I'd live with a spous/kids etc

Regarding the topic of anonymity, Kojip has raised it before.
Whatever I would say of it might be perceived too "zenny" or "absolute" anyway
if folks want to stay "anonymous" or "non-anonymous" is fine by me.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby partofit22 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:53 am

Many members supported the idea of creating an area where people practicing with a teacher could participate- While I don't know what all personal information needs to be revealed to post in that area I imagine people would be a little more free about sharing personal information when PMing the MODS to request permission to post there- And although any member can read what all goes on in that section I imagine there would be less anonymity among the participants and more than likely no trolling- The thing is, after all the ruckus (and there was a lot of it) about wanting such an area it hardly ever gets used- I'm referring to the Formal practice section-
Last edited by partofit22 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Linda Anderson on Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:24 am

fukasetsu wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:
Sevidal wrote:
.... I don't understand why a Zen Forum is so controlling. ....


a most excellent question


It's another outflow question, so it obstruct self-inquiry.

A proper inquiry would be;

"How does the perception of "so controlling" come into being.

any "why" is directed outward, any "how" is directed inward.

Why is this a chair
How is this a chair.

It's a neat "excerisize"

Same applies to;
Why is this (seeks to judge objectively)
What is this (seeks to understand/observing mind)


oh yes ofc, but I was musing about the inflow.... how am I so controlling, how are we that have traditions. tilt, tilt
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby Dazzled on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:22 pm

I don't think there's anything wrong in women remaining anonymous about their personal details on internet forums and doing that certainly doesn't make them trolls.

Not everyone on the vastness of the internet has pure motivation as we can sometimes discover from news items about strangers disrupting private parties mentioned on social networking sites and even worse scenarios.

The general public are able to read the posts on most Buddhist forums and therefore can also note the personal details of members. Being "safe rather than sorry" makes a lot of sense to me.


:peace:
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Re: Anonymity and Trolling.

Postby littletsu on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:50 pm

Although I am not very active here, I personally like that many people are "present" with their everyday identity
and that it is made clear who are formal teachers. Bringing these hierarchical structures into this space is useful,
because hierarchy is something that is always evident (offline) and I think it has to do with how one acquires knowledge and
training in anything. Just like we have to face the reality of our physical body, there is hierarchy and social relations.
Other forums that I have looked at seem to be more cautious about pictures and identity, interestingly. And they also seem
to lack that hierarchy.
I was wondering if it takes a Zen Buddhist forum to have this quality?
I am reading Zen Baggage from Red Pine right now and he says Zen was successful in China because the 4th Patriarch laid out
the foundations of a new form of practice - "no work, no food" - where the sangha cultivated land and became self-sustainable.
Maybe Zen always comes up with something unique? :)
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