Flaming and trolling - a how not to.

Formal rules, our polices, and using etiquette

Flaming and trolling - a how not to.

Postby Christie » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:24 pm

We enjoying having a Gun Dog Community Forum for others to meet and interact. While we expect differing views, we do ask that our members behave in a civil manner towards one another. Attacking another member through the use of name calling and vulgar or derogatory statements is termed Flaming. Creating a thread or post for the express purpose of inflaming other members is termed Trolling. Flaming and trolling are not to be confused with non-constructive criticism which may be blunt or a strikingly different point of view.

Neither flaming nor trolling is tolerated on Versatiledogs.com. However, we do realize that members can get caught up in the situation and may not realize that their actions constitute this disruptive behavior. Because identifying flaming and trolling can be subjective, we have created examples below as well as alternative responses to these situations.

Examples of flaming

  1. Any unflattering name calling but especially calling a member stupid, an idiot, a jackass, a PETA-lover (when they obviously aren't), etc.
  2. Calling a member a liar or even implying that they are lying without tangible proof.
  3. Accusing a member of being on drugs, drunk, or smoking crack when they wrote a particular statement just because you don't agree with them. This includes telling a member their statement is BS or horse/bull pucky/hockey/crap/plop/scat/etc, or they are "full of crap".
  4. Implying a member is speaking from their derriere. Ie, I can't hear you when you are sitting down..
  5. Cursing at a member, even by using the symbols above the numbers on your keyboard or purposely misspelling it. Cussing is cussing, no matter how you say it.
  6. Taunting another member by stating they don't know anything about hunting, dogs, or training for the purpose of making them angry.
  7. Telling another member they lost a previous argument or "had their butt handed to them" for the purpose of discrediting their participation in the forum.
  8. Telling another member to shut up or to go away from this forum.
  9. Posting derogatory images of a member, their product, their business, or their animals in an attempt to harass them.
  10. Posting comments directed towards one particular member in an attempt to harass them through mocking, taunting, or baseless accusations.
  11. Labeling another member using terms contradictory to the statement they made previously in the thread. For example:

      MEMBER-1: Me and my golden retriever hunt pheasants in Kansas every year.
      MEMBER-2: You don't hunt, you own a golden retriever. You just walk around with a shotgun!
Alternatives to flaming
Most flaming occurs when a member disagrees with another member's position and is so emotionally furious that they write the first thing that comes to mind. When this happens, the annoyed member should just write I disagree with you, here is why... or I think that statement is wrong. here is why..., etc without taking the subject to a personal level.

In the event a flame war breaks out and neither side can move on, then the bickering should be taken private through the use of private messages. Flaming can get a member suspended and so we ask that you preview your message and make sure that what you submit doesn't violate any of our posting rules.

Occasionally, flaming occurs because a member wants attention. In these situations, members should not respond to a flamer's post. Responding to flaming messages only feeds into the flamer's behavior perpetuating their need to create more flames to get more attention. The administrator should be notified so the flaming can be stopped.

Examples of trolling

  1. Creating a new thread with a subject that was recently locked up by the administrator in a previous thread just for the sake of continuing a flammable thread.
  2. Asking a question in such a way that members must automatically defend themselves or product. Ie,
  3. If you have force fetched your dog, is he really a natural retriever? or Why would anyone want to own and hunt with a "soft-breed" like a Brittany or Weim? Neither of these statements have any objectivity or likely truth.
  4. Asking the same question repeatedly by rephrasing it within a thread, even though the question has already been answered.
  5. "Begging the question". Assuming the question you just asked to be true while asking others to prove it.
  6. Rephrasing another member's statement instead of quoting. Ie, Jonboy just said in his last post that... instead of using their direct quote using the forum "quote" feature.
  7. Providing information or making a statement as if it were fact when it is really just your opinion. If it is your opinion, say so. Otherwise, provide proof when making controversial statements. This is a top cause of flaming so be careful to distinguish fact and opinion.
  8. Purposely taking a thread off topic despite repeated attempts by other members to get it back on track again (hijacking).

Responding to trolling
Trollers are just like flamers who want attention. Don't respond to their posts, don't even private message them. Trollers want attention and by responding to their threads and posts, you are giving them exactly what they want. Instead, you should use the "report-a-post" to notify the administrator that trolling is present on the forum.

We don't want this policy to prevent the creation of threads with controversial/debatable topics. When posters follow the flaming rules, we believe these topics can remain civil throughout its postings. You may still attemp to post these controversial/debatable topics. However, if they get out of hand with flaming because the rules on trolling were not applied, the entire topic will be removed and result in a warning to its original creator.
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