The Jury Talks Back


Sin Bin for Trolls

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Fritz @ 3:23 pm

I saw this post at Althouse.  A perfect example of a troll doing what it is that trolls do.  Althouse makes the excellent point that there is a difference between dissent and trolling.  I’ll note without evidence that liberal blogs are much more likely to ban what is obviously honest dissent and call it trolling than their conservative brethren.  Where does the line get drawn?

Maybe blogs need some sort of “penalty box” or “sin bin”.  Instead of deleting the offending comment, it gets removed and replaced with a link that connects to an area where all sorts of offensive content can be placed for public review.  That way you can avoid the charge of purging for venal motives (i.e., because you simply disagree), while at the same time de-cluttering comments threads.


  1. That was a moby, not a troll.

    Comment by gp — 9/15/2009 @ 4:53 pm

  2. The guys over at Rooster Teeth (they do the shorts “Red vs Blue) have an AWESOME system for trolls…

    Often they will be made invisible, and so they will still post, but no one else ever sees what they post, depriving them of the reaction they so dearly need.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 9/15/2009 @ 6:28 pm

  3. I’ve seen sites that have the feature Scott mentions, including one that gives readers the option to skip comments by commenters they want to ignore. I like those features but they probably require big servers and extensive tech help, and I suspect it costs a lot of money to support those servers, tech help and features.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/16/2009 @ 12:18 am

  4. I dunno…

    Usually such features are a part of some forum software. I’m not aware of blogs-propper that have such a feature…

    Though Burnie from RoosterTeeth had a great suggestion on how to keep trolls completely off your forums…

    Take your forum off the internet.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 9/16/2009 @ 5:28 am

  5. DRJ, the Green Bay Press-Gazette has such a system on their forums. Only thing is they’ve gone nuts with “the ban stick” and it’s fairly boring in there.

    First they banned the Conservatives. Then when called on their partisan banning, the Libs got what they richly deserved. Now, pretty much the middle is left and you know how rudderless and boring that is.

    Comment by PCD — 9/16/2009 @ 5:38 am

  6. I liked Teresa Nielsen-Hayden’s solution: take all of the vowels out.

    This makes it difficult to read and ensures that only those who really want to read it will do so.

    Comment by aphrael — 9/16/2009 @ 6:07 am

  7. aphrael,

    Not in Northern Wisconsin. You ever notice all the names with lack of vowels?

    Comment by PCD — 9/16/2009 @ 7:15 am

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