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Provocateurs

Original post made by Peter, Southgate, on Aug 2, 2007

Here we go again. There seems to be a rash of provocateurs on this forum. They post in various topics with various aliases with no thought to engage in dialog but merely to stir things up for their own amusement. Unfortunately, they suck more serious-minded folk into interminable and useless back-and-forths. Recent posts on threads such as "Why don't bikes stop at stop signs?" and "Friends of Briones house win again in court" contain the most recent examples.

There is no way to exclude them, so the only way to combat these people is to ignore them when it becomes apparent what they're trying to do. To answer them is to make them happy, because an answer hands them another chance to provoke.

I'm not ranting about civility or niceness, just time and effort wasting.

Comments (17)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by alig
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 2, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Maybe if people on these forums werent such petty whiners people wouldnt find it so hilarious to trick them into responding angrily to ridiculous comments


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 2, 2007 at 8:56 pm

In Britain, August is known as silly season in the press due to the fact that there isn't enough going on to make sensible articles about.

I think this is silly season here and will remain so until our kids get back to school and there are important issues like homework for them to play around with.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 2, 2007 at 9:45 pm

It could be fixed, too bad, this could be a such great community resource, instead of what it is.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Live And Learn
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 2, 2007 at 11:48 pm

I've been snookered! All this time I thought the more extreme pro-MI posters who avoid the issues by calling attention to irrelevant personal attacks were legitimate. Now I learn there's even a name for them: provocateurs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disagree
a resident of another community
on Aug 3, 2007 at 4:10 am

Whatever happened to free speech and the first amendment? Just another PA geriatric with a prissy fit. I think anyone should say anything they want, so go at it!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 3, 2007 at 12:41 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Actually, I think Peter is refering to people who intentionally post messages about sensitive topics on this forum to cause controversy trying to bait others into responding.

But I could be wrong


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No Name
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 3, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Hiding behind anonymity lets us choose to say all kinds of things we would never be willing to sign our names to.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Leonard S.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2007 at 2:06 pm

"sensitive topics", lol! the one in the "why dont bikes stop at stop signs?" consists of whiney neighbors complaining about cyclists not stopping at stop signs, and then some whiney parent started complaining about cyclists wearing spandex, then whiney cyclists started complaining about the parent complaining about spandex. what a sorry state of affairs!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by gohillary
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 3, 2007 at 2:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Leonard S,

I think you misunderstand me, there will always be personality issues, misunderstandings, people who read tone into posts that were not meant and disagreements that go overboard.

There is another class, the poster that creates issues for sport.

I am talking about people that misrepresent their background or their beliefs just to get a rise out of people.

My examples would be different, but I'll use one of yours, I do not believe the person complaining about spandex was a mother with a 5 year old child. It was just someone trying to get people worked up for their own personal entertainment. One could really detect it in the later posts that got deleted.

Thats what I think Peter is refering to.

Under this style of forum though, that sort of posting is going to happen, there is no real way to prevent it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Leonard S.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2007 at 6:15 pm

RS, what did the deleted posts say? that complaining parent struck me as a typical poster on these forums with petty complaints to air out to anyone who will read them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Sorry, I'm not going to repeat what PAonline decided to delete and do I want to improve the skills of that poster by pointing out what I noticed.

Mainly I am trying to explain what I think Peter is pointing at, posters that masquerade for the pure joy of irritating others.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Leonard S.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2007 at 7:21 pm

does PA online censor only the most obscene, pornographic, profane material or does it also censor controversial or touchy comments that have the potential to, god forbid, possibly offend someone?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frankly
a resident of Ventura
on Aug 3, 2007 at 7:47 pm


Leonard S.:

To answer your question regarding what sort of posts get deleted in this forum, please start by going to the thread titled "Bringing light to the world" found here: Web Link

In response to what seemed to me to be a fluff piece about a local Chabad, I've posted some information about Chabad Lubovitch leadership and belief sytems, including a link to a Chabad website.

This is exactly the sort of information that is routinely deleted by this forum's moderators.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by jew
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 9, 2007 at 6:52 pm

I love these Palo Alto online topics, they all turn into somebody busting out with some inner hatred for the Jews


 +   Like this comment
Posted by i saw the comment before it got censored
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 9, 2007 at 6:53 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Walter, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2007 at 12:41 pm



hahahaha, this one used to say something about the Jews taking over the world


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