| | 04-27-11, 04:40 PM Thread Author #1
Cleaning up the CrackBerry Forums by Taking out the Trolling Trash...
Time for another State of the CrackBerry Nation Address and I'll do my best to keep it from turning into too long a novel.
Here's the deal. While things are mainly good here on the busiest and best BlackBerry forum on the net, a lot of members, including myself, are starting to get really annoyed with some of the posts being made by a small group of individuals. We have a lot of names for these undesirables (most of them which would get filtered out if I tried to use them here), so let's call them by the Internet accepted name, TROLLS.
What's a Forum Troll? It's a person who likes nothing better than to seek negative attention by stirring the pot. In the case of CrackBerry these days, you'll find these people are the ones who take a thread that's about one specific topic, and somehow turn it back onto a negative topic of the troll's choosing. They're the ones who drop a one line statement of BlackBerry negativity into a thread that was about something totally different, derailing the conversation and turning it into a pi$$ing match. When you look at the threads by a forum troll, you'll find the vast majority of them add little to no value to the CrackBerry community. Sure they're making posts and chiming in here or there, but it's really of no value. They're not helping anybody, and they're not adding anything to the conversation that hasn't already been heard by everyone, as they've already trolled it out there every chance they've had. Instead of adding value to the forums, they aim to undo the forums.
I've never quite understood why somebody would want to troll to begin with. I'm sure there are lots of reasons. Some might just be jaded individuals who have too much time on their hands and nothing better to do. It makes them feel big. I've even heard stories of companies paying people to troll against products online and even of sites having members try to invade other sites to cause a stir. Whatever the intent is really doesn't matter - the end result is we're going to be taking out the troll trash.
Our CrackBerry forum community serves two primary groups of users:
1. It's a BlackBerry enthusiast community where people who are knowledgeable of BlackBerry Products come to meet. They may love BlackBerry, like BlackBerry, or even be a little unimpressed by BlackBerry at the moment, but they respect the company and our community. And of course, having awesome knowledge of all things BlackBerry, this enthusiast core helps the BlackBerry owners who come to the site looking for help.
2. CrackBerry is a help forum. One of the main reasons members join CrackBerry is simply to ask for help with an issue they're having. If they can't find the answer by browsing the forums, they register and ask the question. You'll notice that most of the time when looking at CrackBerry's forum homepage statistics that show the number of members logged in vs. the number that are browsing, that the vast majority are simply browsing (often a 10:1 ratio). These are people not logged in, but are simply reading the forums looking for their answers. Most people don't want to register with a website -- they're already registered with enough sites as it is -- but they still need help, and are a valued part of our community, albeit not a vocal one. We as a community help these casual browsers when our engaged core community helps the members who do come to the site looking for a help. One answered question on the forums will help thousands of people over the following year or two.
Trolls don't fit into the above. I have no issue with people saying negative things about BlackBerry. Over the years we've always kept these forums very open and loosely moderated. I don't like to clamp down on conversation, and I don't expect everybody on these forums to get along. I've used the analogy before that we call ourselves Crackberry Nation, and if you think smaller -- like the city you live in -- not everybody gets a long as one big happy family. There's some people you'll like, and some people you won't. The diversity and varying points of view are what make this forum awesome. But having something negative to say based on a formed opinion when you put it out there is one thing, and simply chiming in with crap to stir the pot is another. Just like nations put away the unsavory of society (they go to jail as they're not wanted walking the streets), we're going to do the same here with trolls. If you can't respect the community and its members, it's time for you to leave.
As for any of you who've been around a long time and think this is bad for CrackBerry and don't like this announcement, the truth is this isn't anything new or harsh here. Our sibling sites' forums (AndroidCentral, PreCentral, TiPb.com) all moderate their communities this way. Me being easy going and not easily offended have always aimed to keep things very lax here. But enough is enough. So we're bringing up our troll modding to the level of our other Smartphone Experts sites.
So that's it. We're not clamping down on conversation. But we'll be zeroing in on the trolls past, present and future who don't add any value to this community and will be taking out the trash-talking trolls to the trash.
Let's make this a friendlier CrackBery community, starting now.
PS. If you spot a troll, don't feed him. Report him or her to the moderation team.