An internet discussion forum is considered troll-friendly if it does not take steps to discourage trolling. Troll-friendly policies include:
- not banning or moderating accused trolls,
- not preventing the forum being accessed from open proxies,
- allowing anonymous posting or allowing easy creation of new accounts,
- not permitting deletions of materials based solely on accusation of authorship
- redefining trolling as vandalism arbitrarily
- selecting its own political labels on controversial topics
- subverting due process for any cases of outing or alleged and collective identity confusion, in particular, banning all "user X is user Y" class of comments as irrelevant or biasing
Because controversies on these issues are common, usage of this phrase has also become very common:
- "We also have troll friendly proxies," - brawl-hall.com
- "VT is definitely a troll-friendly environment, but I make a habit
of using the report option when they get too far out of line." - re: VersionTracker
- " Fanhome is a Troll friendly environment. ... Yet here you are. Like I said,
Fanhome is Troll-friendly." - Vancouver Canucks "FanHome" site
Some services say as explicit matter of policy that they are not troll-friendly. For instance, Wikipedia goes on wiki witchhunts against presumed trolls who question its sysop power structure. The term troll-friendly is quite common:
- "We are not Troll friendly. Postings that have been placed on the boards to disrupt the flow of conversation will be removed..." - CruiseAddicts.com forum guidelines
troll-friendly politics as usual
Troll-friendly wiki management practices are designed to accomodate the New Troll point of view as much as possible. Rather than attempting to classify, categorize, restrict and challenge what trolls do, it attempts instead to engage them using political virtues:
- adaptability, and
Very tellingly, the article that is supposed to explain this is a mere stub at Wikipedia. This will not surprise anyone familiar with their GodKing or sysop power structure, which lacks very considerably in these virtues.
trolling, trusting, process and forgiving
Any troll-friendly system or social software-based service assumes that built trust is very low, found trust is very high. It further assumes that grown trust will not happen unless a degree of politics as usual is allowed to apply in that system. This seems to be one motivation for proposing explicit faction support.
The main motive for troll-friendly policy is that consensus has to form on the basis of strict due process. Low-integrity editors must be "driven off":
Trolls believe that when someone has actively participated in building a sysop power structure that engages in ad hominem revert, ad hominem delete, witch-hunt, inquisitor, psychiatry, libel and echo chamber tactics, under the same identity, they should be actively driven off by trolls, and good riddance. If they wish this not to happen, they should make a new identity, and change their behaviour under the old one on any large public wiki where they are known for this inexcusable sysop vandalism - probably also giving up any position in the sysop power structure as well.
If they do all this and become an advocate for true soft security at least in cases other than simple vandalism, and become widely known for changing their spots, at that point, trolls usually say it is the obligation of any troll-friendly wiki to not only accept them back, but honour their conversion to the ways of trolls...
Implications for Consumerium Services
For consumerium, this means sysops should not push their luck or assume they are in charge of every faction or can resolve political dispute when people devote their lives to that in the real world and fail. In the long term it means that the Consumerium social club shouldn't over-ride consensus rules. It pays to push this process out to user-land to support a reliable Consumerium buying signal.