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I'm in a mood or something, because my nagalicious diary from the other day just wasn't enough.  I think I beat tags pretty well into the ground there, so today will be an expansion on the troll rating issue and I'ma launch into the finer points of the diary guidelines.  I see you shiver with antici.......pation!

I'm just going to be lazy and quote myself from the other day:

I'm not going to belabor this point too much more - Hunter has pretty explicitly laid down the guidelines regarding TR/HR.  So I will just quote the Golden Rule of "rate the comment, not who makes it" and reiterate his main point:

To Troll Rate something has exactly one meaning. When you Troll Rate something, as a trusted user, you are stating that the comment should be made invisible to all site users.  You're saying that the comment is so bad -- so disruptive or damaging to the community -- that it isn't worth even a debate, but should be deleted from the discussion as being simply inflammatory, simply off-topic, or simply a lie.

Remember that, because that is the only use of the troll rating. It is an editorial vote to delete a comment from the conversation.

In my ever-so-humble opinion, the money 'graph, if you will, is the "so disruptive or damaging to the community" bit.  Let it sink in:

             so disruptive or damaging to the community

That's objectively a fairly high threshold.  You've got to be some kind of special to attain that level of asshattery.  So, as I said yesterday, it simply cannot be true that every dkos member is right when he/she decides someone is a bona fide troll.  They simply aren't that common.  Really.  Seriously.

"So disruptive or damaging to the community"...Hunter's guidelines do not include provisions for troll rating comments that are asinine, ignorant, distasteful, anti-cause celebre du jour, pro-teh suck, holding whatever position it is that does not agree with yours.  Etc.  Take, for example, this hidden comment:

Clark's comments have been cropped and he has been smeared, and yet Obama threw him under the bus anyway. Furthermore, the Obama campaign fell down by not running an effective Tier Two effort and being prepared for whatever surrogates say. Clark and Joe Biden have been doing surrogate work for weeks.

In effect, Obama has just discredited Clark as a surrogate for good, putting him out on an island by himself. And in the process, he has just fire-walled McCain from any criticism of his record on military or national security matters, which as Obama supporter Josh Marshall noted, was unwise and totally unnecessary.


The comment's subject line is straight from the title of the cited article...from the leftcoaster.  This is so disruptive or damaging to the community?  Was kos' front-page post about not contributing to Obama because of his response to the Clark folderol disruptive or damaging to the community enough to merit troll rating?

Opinions that differ from yours, even ones you really don't like, do not constitute trolling!

And herein lies one of the failures of troll rating:  comments like the one above citing the leftcoaster article are good opportunities to set the record straight, to get the facts and follow-up with the truth. Obama is going to be challenged on every front over and over in this campaign.  If we can't even tolerate criticism of Obama from other progressives, what the hell have we become?  Orange State? Daily Kos may be all about getting dems elected, but it is not, nor should it ever be, a land of sunshine, rainbows and lollipops where everyone agrees and seldom is heard a discouraging word. That's kindergarten, or perhaps Hello Kitty's Island Adventure.  Or something.

            so disruptive or damaging to the community

Just off the top of my head, here are some random examples that, to my mind, qualify as "so disruptive:

- entirely unrelated spam comments that are derailing a discussion.  like, in a diary about the GOP scandal to end all scandals, someone pipes up with " my diary about ice cream!"  or "sign this petition for a cause having nothing whatsoever to do with this diary!"  stuff like that.

- entirely unrelated comments dragging disputes/disagreements/what have you from one diary into another.  

Think about what it means to be "disruptive":

Main Entry: dis•rupt

Pronunciation: \dis-ˈrəpt\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Latin disruptus, past participle of disrumpere, from dis- + rumpere to break — more at reave
Date: 1793
1 a: to break apart : rupture b: to throw into disorder <agitators trying to disrupt the meeting>

  1. to interrupt the normal course or unity of

A comment being ill-advised, ill-informed, ill-conceived, etc., does not make it "disruptive."  Ask yourself if the comment derails the conversation (think:  margin races).  Even if it does, is the derailment that problematic/pointless/petty as to warrant troll rating, i.e., is it so disruptive that it has absolutely zero redeeming qualities?  If not, don't TR.

And here, again off the top of my head, are some fictional, random examples of what, to me, would be so damaging to the community as to warrant being hidden:

- "too bad hitler failed"

- "barack osama" and the like

- "<fill in the blank > should be tortured/killed/sodomized" and the like <br>

I reiterate:  the level of douchebaggery required for one's comment to have absolutely no merit whatsoever, be so worthless that it shouldn't even be dignified with any response, is very difficult to attain.  One really has to work hard to be that patently offensive.

Ask those who have been here the longest--and no; this is not more low UID elitist claptrap--they will tell you that back in their day, when they walked 2 miles to blog, uphill...both ways, that it was very rare indeed to actually troll rate a comment and unheard of to go after a particular user.  Granted, those were different times and the membership was less than 1/5th what it is now.  

I do recognize and admit that there are some folks who post here that are only about causing trouble. But the percentage of those who actually are trolls, who actually meet the criteria of so disruptive or damaging to the community, is much lower than the accusations of trollery and the practice of "hunting" them would indicate.

So, please, for the love of all that doesn't suck, knock it off.  

But enough of that...on to comments masquerading as diaries.  These are the quotes from management (from both the FAQ and the diary guidelines) that pertain here:

Somebody recently opined that you shouldn't put up a diary unless you'd put about an hour's time into writing it. That may be excessive. But you should be prepared to put in a little more time than a few minutes to make a quality diary entry.

If what you want to post isn't worth that kind of time, consider a comment on an open thread or somebody else's diary on the same or similar topic.

No single-line diaries. If you want to bring attention to a single link, or make a one-line pithy comment, head on over to the Open Threads or an appropriate post or diary entry.

First and foremost, and I don't think this can be reiterated enough, a 1 or 2 line entry does NOT a diary make.

Got a poll or other link you'd like people to see? Use the open threads, that's what they're for.

If your entire entry shows up on the diary pages, that's not a proper diary entry - that's what the open threads are for.

Diaries should be substantive. A good guideline is that if you don't have at least three solid paragraphs to write about your subject, you should probably post a comment in an open thread, or in a recent diary or front-page post that covers a topic relevant to what you wish to write about.

Duplicative diaries are prohibited. Please scan the recent diaries and front-page posts before starting to compose your own diary. This rule operates on a sliding scale. A repeat diary with minimal analysis or originality (particularly on "breaking news" items) is prohibited. Such diaries are subject to deletion without notice. But if you write on a recently-covered subject and provide original analysis or research, that is acceptable and in fact welcome.

If you receive a reasonable request from a fellow Kossack to delete your diary (i.e., your diary is duplicative as per above), please do so.

Some topics which tend to make for poor diaries: Breaking news. Something you just saw on a TV show. Something currently on the front page of a major news site (eg, New York Times). Something currently on the front page of a major blog (eg, Atrios).

What makes for a good diary: Anything which showcases original research or original analysis. Political calls to action with substantive information on how to get involved. News (plus analysis) on interesting/relevant topics that are not widely discussed.

Yes; there are always exceptions.  I think the list of life's certainties needs to be expanded to "death, taxes, exceptions to every rule."  But, just as it cannot be that each dkos member is right about who is and isn't a troll, it also cannot be that every violation of these diary guidelines is an appropriate exception.

As you go to post your one-paragraph diary, ask yourself:  is this so earth-shattering/important/urgent to warrant violating the guidelines?  99% fo the time, the answer is "no."  

I'm sorry, but dkos is not * your * blog.  It's a community in which we are all members and have been granted the privilege of posting diaries.  If there's a one-paragraph post that you simply MUST make, use the open threads, or a diary on that topic.  Dkos is not your personal microphone to the internets.  That's what * your * blog is for.

I'm not writing this because I just love rules so much and cannot sleep knowing they are being flouted.  It is simply not fair to diarists who post thoughtful, original and informative diaries that their work gets shoved into oblivion by a flood of comments masquerading as diaries.  It just ain't right.

So, please; let's make this the best sandbox it can be!  Please?  

Originally posted to Cedwyn on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:23 AM PDT.


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