Skip to comments.Why Trolls Start Flame Wars: Swearing and Name-Calling Shut Down the Ability to Think and Focus
Posted on 02/25/2014 11:33:55 PM PST by tired&retired
Psychological studies show that swearing and name-calling in Internet discussions shut down our ability to think.
2 professors of science communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison - Dominique Brossard and Dietram A. Scheufele - wrote in the New York Times last year:
In a study published online last month in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, we and three colleagues report on an experiment designed to measure what one might call the nasty effect.
The results were both surprising and disturbing. Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participants interpretation of the news story itself.
In the civil group, those who initially did or did not support the technology whom we identified with preliminary survey questions continued to feel the same way after reading the comments. Those exposed to rude comments, however, ended up with a much more polarized understanding of the risks connected with the technology.
Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than theyd previously thought.
While its hard to quantify the distortional effects of such online nastiness, its bound to be quite substantial, particularly and perhaps ironically in the area of science news
(Excerpt) Read more at zerohedge.com ...
Psychologists say that many of them are psychopaths, sadists and narcissists getting their jollies. It's easy to underestimate how many of these types of sickos are out there: There are millions of sociopaths in the U.S. alone.
But intelligence agencies are also intentionally disrupting political discussion on the web, and ad hominen attacks, name-calling and divide-and-conquer tactics are all well-known, frequently-used disruption techniques.
Now you know why ... flame wars polarize thinking, and stop the ability to focus on the actual topic and facts under discussion.
Indeed, this tactic is so effective that the same wiseguy may play both sides of the fight.
Postscript: Fortunately, it's not that difficult to isolate the trolls and stop their disruption ... if we just point out what they're doing.
I thought this article was a very good one to post here at Free Republic.
Greenwald: How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive and Destroy Reputations
The internet does make people say things they wouldn’t say in person. Not everyone and I believe liberals get nasty more than conservatives. I’ve stopped talking to lots of former friends and relatives because they said things to me on the internet they would never have said to my face.
Scroll through the comments of pretty much any YouTube video and you will find a plethora of not only vile commentary but a lot of atheistic tripe and Jew conspiracy claptrap.
HILLARY CLINTON DURING THE BENGHAZI HEARINGS!
(Hey Hillary, your tactic worked.. NO ONE CHALLENGED YOU AFTER SAYING THIS)
All this comes with the territory or the job. Ignore the idiots or answer them in such a way as to destroy any credibility they seek. Not hard to do once you understand who they are and what they are attempting to do.
Well, this certainly lines up with what I’ve been experiencing on LENR threads.
Ray.... from one CPA to another, at this time of the year, especially at this hour, I can relate to your comment!
WOW, Thanks 2ndDivisionVet. That is one amazing link. It should be linked in the sidebar permanently.
>> I can relate to your comment!
Contradicting the article?
Anyway, the conclusions of the study are questionable. And I think it’s interesting that opinion affecting the credibility of the news story is essentially deemed as hostile to discourse and understanding.
#ing libs ;)
This one, too, I think:
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
“Ignore the idiots”
Yes, there is a small group of juveniles on FR that hate my guts because I am a happy expat. I ignore them.
Some day, maybe they will find a life of their own.
By your last two posts you would fit the description in the article. Here is one of your posts just made on another link:
Romney: Veto Ariz. bill
2/26/2014 4:28:12 AM · 83 of 83
Not your state, a-hole.
So berating Romney for interfering in the affairs of AZ basically relegates my credibility to that of a sociopath?
You attacked the messenger by calling him/her a name rather than stating your valid argument.
Look no further than democraticundeground.com for all the proof one needs!
What messenger did I attack? Context please.
Per your own post this morning immediately after you posted on this link.
“Not your state, a-hole.”
83 posted on 2/26/2014 4:28:12 AM by Gene Eric (Don’t be a statist!)”
Again, what messenger did I attack? Please spell it out.
Perhaps, but I think there is a natural human communication issue at play on the internet. Brevity breeds misunderstanding and insult, with little mechanism to defuse it. Normal rhetorical styles such as hyperbole and satire are not always obvious to the reader. And opinion are not minced, as they are at a social gathering or work.
Yes, there is a special kind of trollish person, but I think you have to get thicker skin and develop a different style on the internet. When I first started on FR I needlessly got into flame wars, and that was with like minded folks.
I have seen this a lot here on FR. It is predictable that every time someone posts an article about a new medical advance, the anti-science kooks come out of the woodwork. Being a scientist, I do not leave pseudoscience unchallenged. When challenged, anti-science nutjobs nearly immediately jump into name-calling. They will not (cannot) support any of their positions, but seem to think that personal attacks are valid arguments.
Keeping in mind that personal attacks and name-calling are tactics meant to shut off debate, it is best (IMO) to remain calm, avoid name-calling, and stick with the facts while challenging the troll to provide evidence for their claims.
It is getting to the point where even on FR, the crude language, jokes and name calling can hardly be distinguished from the liberal sites. I find myself reading less and less post all the way through.
I don’t HATE you Alex. In fact, I have personally defended you to Mike Fleming on the air years ago. As I have said before, I just am offended when you give a very wrong impression of my city.
There’s a few trolls here in FR we could do without.
However, the old rule applies: don’t respond to them (don’t “feed” them), and they’ll go away.
And Gene’s comment was about Mitt Romney, the notorious Father of Gay Marriage in America, pressuring the Governor of AZ to veto the Religious Freedom bill on her desk that allows shop-owners to refuse service to homosexuals.
While not all homosexuals agree with the use of deceptive psychological tactics, these have been promoted by leading homosexual activists. The aforementioned book, After the Ball, is widely regarded as the handbook for the gay agenda, in which two Harvard-trained (homosexual) psychologists  Marshall Kirk (1957 - 2005) and Hunter Madsen (pen name Erastes Pill, who was also schooled in social marketing) advocated avoiding portraying gays as aggressive challengers, but as victims instead, while making all those who opposed them to be evil persecutors. As a means of the latter, they promoted jamming, in which Christians, traditionalists, or anyone else who opposes the gay agenda are publicly smeared. Their strategy was based on the premise that, "In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. The purpose of victim imagery is to make straight people feel very uncomfortable."
"Jamming" homo-hatred (disagreement with homosexual behaviors) was to be done by linking it to Nazi horror, advised Kirk and Madsen. Associate all who oppose homosexuality with images of Klansmen demanding that gays be slaughtered, hysterical backwoods preachers, menacing punks, and a tour of Nazi concentration camps where homosexuals were tortured and gassed. Thus, "propagandistic advertisement can depict homophobic and homohating bigots as crude loudmouths..." - http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual_agenda#Strategies_and_psychological_tactics
And never in any way impugn the Catholic church without expecting it to result in personal insults or an inane image in lieu of an argument.
Very interesting, Daniel.
I considered answering this with a brief list
I don’t know you
and I may dredge up an ally of a troll
which is the same as feeding one
I stated my reasons why I won’t.
I will say there are four I ignore
I, personally, will troll bigots.
Good to hear from you!
Yeah. I hate it when people do that.
Britebart sites comments are frequently diverted by trolls. I suspect all are paid by the DNC/Soros. The site could do better by using + / - next to each conversation so you could rollup the posting and then see the rest of the “normal” comments.
I agree with you and would go to the ends of the earth to support your comments but as the world is flat I might fall off....
Exactly — the comment was addressed to Romney, and tired&retired knew it, but went on to cast me as a sociopathic troll in post #12. I wasn’t offended.
Divisive speech is not necessarily expressed through profanity. To the contrary, a recent article appeared describing truth more closely aligned with crass language.
Name calling, swearing and nastiness incite anger. Even the women are doing more swearing now. Once the cat is out of the bag it causes more to follow suit. It’s also against the rules here.
Simplistic thoughts perhaps, but it’s caused me to do a lot less posting. [Many others have said that too]
Because on the internet nobody can give them the punch in the face they so richly deserve. I don’t think they’re sociopaths, if they were they’d do it person, they’re just regular folks who see the internet as a consequence free zone so they don’t bother to edit themselves.
He is back! Okay, listen up little fella. Nobody hates anyone here. The only thing hate might be reserved for is anti-American gutless cowards like you who take run out powders and then continue to bash America from turd world countries. Oh yeah one more thing: WHERE IS THE QUOTE LIAR?
There ya go again with the lies.
There are lots of happy expats around here.
But they don’t tell us we’re idiots for not being expats.
So we leave them alone.
Facts: You left America, went to the Philippines, constantly bash the US on FR, then you said if the Philippines became a US state, you would leave there. That is a double rejection of the United States, but you keep posting on FR, which is in the US, continually trouncing the US. In my opinion, you are a troll with no redeeming value.
His feelings got hurt again, evidently...
Thin skinned. Too much sun...
For a guy so intent on “ignoring them”, you sure do seem to bring us up at every opportunity.