Loading...
 
Print

troll-friendly

This is on the list of process terms applicable to both public and private sector use.

A 'troll-friendly' large public wikis is one that is extremely tolerant of rude or aggressive edit behaviour, including anonymous edits. In particular, it restricts and removes administrators for applying technological means of control to anyone who simply seems to be challenging the dominant authority or major voices on that wiki.

It is common in net discourse to refer to anyone who 'does not mean what they say' or 'annoys others' or 'goes on the net to cause trouble' as a 'troll'. This of course is exactly what any sincere advocate will be accused of in politics as usual - thus all advocates are, rightfully, trolls.

The administrators also, in setting rules and ejecting those who disobey or dissent, are a sort of troll. It creates a more equal power relationship if all of the participants admit, on day one, they are 'trolls'. A troll culture is growing in particular in the mediawiki space that began with open defiance of the administration of Wikipedia, but has now created its own venues, e.g. Anarchopedia, Consumerium, Wikinfo, to escape the unrighful administrative hierarchy created by people whose only distinction is 'being here first':

The distinction between an administrator and a troll is, simply, who got there first to register the domain and set up the software - sometimes not even that. Some trolls assert that they are more capable of making key distinctions than the administrators, some not. In the absence of any democratic means of letting the trolls run for the office of administrator, being 'troll-friendly' is at least a sop in the direction of democracy. In any wiki where democracy itself is the subject, the trolls represent the unwanted or ineloquent public, and must be tolerated on that basis as a sort of bellwether?.

However, there are practical reasons to be 'troll-friendly' too: Because the people who are not yet participating in the wiki are always, as a rule, more knowledgeable and experienced than those who are not, and because the odds of the administrator or founder being the very wisest person on the subject matter on this planet, a lively large public wiki depends on at least the possibility of ceding the key roles to a newcomer, one who brings the so-called New Troll Point of View, i.e. the emerging consensus among the dissidents who reject the administrative assumptions - or in parliamentary language, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition?.

It has also been observed that, from the perspective of the professional politician, the public are often seen as 'trolls', unwanted voices impeding their progress over a bridge that they perhaps should not be on.

The 'use real names' and 'no anonymous edit' policies are not 'troll-friendly': they discourage input from passers-by while encouraging a pathology that is called the wiki witchhunt. Those who accept the label 'trolls' usually argue also that reputation is bad and that all ideas should be acknowledged and debated wholly on their own merits.