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Wisdom on forum behavior

Original post made by Peter, Southgate, on Apr 12, 2007

Jon Carroll wrote a fine column this morning about behavior on on-line forums like this one, based on the experience with the Well, the oldest of Internet gathering places. I think it's worthwhile reading.

Web Link

Comments (7)

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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Apr 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for the post. I just joined the postings a short while back and must confess some of the banter back and forth is curious as to what folks are using the Town Square for.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2007 at 8:10 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by George
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 14, 2007 at 12:50 am

It's the Weekly's behavior that is hard to understand. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] The Weekly seems to like the traffic the trolls create, there are always new people who respond for a while until they realize they are dealing with an angry mischief maker, someone just expressing anger anonymously, trying to get a rise out of the readers. Or the nonsense of [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Those meaningless posts seem ok with the Weekly.
The Weekly could limit the number of posts any one person can place in a day.Lots of things they can do to raise the standards here. For some reason, they aren't doing it.

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Posted by Mommy
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 14, 2007 at 9:23 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2007 at 11:50 pm

Did the Palo Alto Online Staff read the article?

First the Well is not anonymous and there is a monthly fee.

Here is a quick summary:

- Don't feed the troll.
- Remember Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
- God bless the bozofilter: This is a handy little tool that allows you to block out all the postings of a specific person.
- Ban the jerk.

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Posted by George
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 15, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Is that software for one's own computer or does the Forum have to make it available?
I want one.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Suggestions for Palo Alto Online (Embarcadero Publishing)

1. Setup logins and stipulate that only non-anonymous accounts can start new topics. (Maybe require a paid subscription like the Times Select accounts so these forums can generate a revenue stream :-)

2. Limit the number of post from the same IP address per day to some number like 10 to encourage longer more reasoned posts.

3. Cut off the discussion on any single topic to some number, like 30, or time period, like 2 days. Additional discussions on the same topic can continue but only if a new topic is created.

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