John Moonstroller


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Are you bothered by Cyber Bully's and Trolls?

Are you bothered by Cyber Bully’s, Trolls --people with overly aggressive behavior that cause disruptions in social media locations on the Internet? Cyber Bullying is a sign of a mental disorder. It can be found in the most brilliant of minds as well as the simplest of personalities.

You’ve seen the video and you’ve posed the question or debate. Your ready to be further enlightened by you peers and fellow TEDsters and in comes this one character with an agenda that moderators can’t detect.

Cyber Bully’s or Trolls, insult our intelligence use canned phrases, innuendos, or the blunt force of their superior command of language to hurt our feelings or illicit anger from the group. It can leave you feeling helpless and abused.

Cyber Bullying, or Trolling, is a new form of eliciting personal pleasure by hurting other peoples feelings. Some Physiologists say it is a sign of a mental disorder, perhaps a new form, associated with the Internet. Some say it’s just an old mental malfunction that has found a new venue to elicit twisted pleasure. The more intelligent the disordered mind the more damage it can do. It doesn’t matter if they are a high profile celebrity or an Associate Professor at some University, they are all subject to the same array of mental conflicts as ordinary people.

Sometimes the Internet is not enough and they cross the line, allowing their problems to spill out into the real world where they cause real physical harm. The harm they cause to the feelings of others on the Internet is no less, emotionally painful. It demeans people on a human level hurting the mind and, sometimes, those minds are fragile, or childish or, in fact, children.

The question is, what should we do about Cyber Bullying and Trolls. How can we deal with them? If we stand by and do nothing are we just as guilty as a crowd of people standing by watching a mugger do their work without interfering for fear we will be next? What do you suggest?

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    Sep 25 2012: John, No one can make you feel bad without your permission.

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    Gail .

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    Sep 24 2012: Not offended, but I think that you are the only troll that works so hard to get creationism considered a science. If I were offended, I wouldn't answer.
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      Sep 25 2012: Toll is as Toll does to put it in the words of Forest Gump TL.
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    Sep 23 2012: Trolls and bullies in Internet conversations are difficult to identify in "one-off" exchanges...short-term exchanges. They identify themselves over the long-term, as the trend of their posts will repeat themselves.

    In a forum such as TED, where we exchange "ideas", search for "answers", and engage in "debates", people with passionate feelings about their own views will be a common occurance. Just because they may be passionate about their views and express them that way doesn't necessarily make them a troll or a bully. Written ("typed") communication is fraught with the danger of mis-understanding. There is no face-to-face feedback between posters to augment the poster's communication at the time they are "talking" to you.

    Interent trolls and bullies are a fact of life. Over time, they will identify themselves. In the meantime, remember it takes at least TWO people to have an argument. Like Stevan said, your best response to a troll (or bully) is not to feed it. If you starve them enough, they will take their trolling and bullying somewhere else where they can feed their own egos. In the worst case scenario, place your trust in the moderating staff of the website to toss them out if they become too disruptive to the overall purpose of the community.
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      Sep 23 2012: Outstanding advice Rick. You should forward you thoughts about moderation to the TED staff. Sometimes they appear off for the weekend.

      I've suggested an ignore button that would reset itself after you sign off. If you like that idea perhaps you might send a suggestion to the TED staff, as I have done.

      I will add that passionate "I am, I will, I love, I hate" is different than outright belittling or demeaning others. Conveying passion requires the same rule set as offering or conveying information or persuasion.

      It may become more common, these days, as people let their fingers do the talking, but a slip of the finger is not the same as a slip of the tongue. There's this little problem with time and latency associated with typing and hitting the enter key.
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        Sep 23 2012: John, how does an ignore button work?

        (By the way, I don't know how big the TED staff is, but I have a hunch it is really, really small).
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          Sep 23 2012: They are a small group of professionals.
          I read a conversation, where Colleen and others, were involved with bringing to light a problem with a reply button or function. She received a lot of praise from the TED staff for bringing the problem to their attention.

          I hope my suggestion might be taken with the same seriousness, not so much the same fanfare. It could be implemented very easily by the IT people with little code and no impact on the data flow overhead at all.

          My suggestion would work like this: You enter a discussion and it is in chaos. You click the oldest first button to follow the flow and find the source or post of the confusion. If you find someone is repeatedly throwing everyone off topic or just chatting amongst themselves. You click their nick and select "Ignore this user".

          They are put on a list, (your personal list, not a general users list),only as long as you are in that particular discussion topic. If you leave the topic and go to another topic, the list is automatically reset to zero or some null value.

          You can find Trolls feeding happily in more than one topic and intently contributing to another topic where they feel they have some vested interest to offer. But they just can't stop this behavior to cause confusion and chaos or harm to others.

          Anyway, on my forum site "Peace Through Communication" at,
          I have an ignore list function.

          To Colleen Steen,
          I know who you are Colleen. How are you feeling? I haven't heard from you in a while. It's nice to see your pretty, smiling face. Is it cold up there yet?
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          Sep 24 2012: Fritzie, check out this link. It indicates how mental illness knows no boundaries when it comes to Financial class, social position, or very intelligent Academia --like University professors for instance.


          People who exhibit certain behavioral patterns in the social media environment are mentally unstable and can be a threat to their colleagues, Students, Business associates, etc.. We should never assume someone is sane, simply because they exhibit exceptional command of the language or associated with a prodigiously aligned group.

          Trolls and C-Bully's are best identified by their behavior. Sometimes the internet can serve to work against these people because of the low cost of participation and ease of use.

          Some hide behind Anonymity. Some hide behind their supposed intellectual standing in Society. The inference is on: pattern of behavior.
        • Sep 24 2012: @Colleen Steen: Inaccurate information bugs me too. This TED system of keeping the newest threads topmost downs out all the useful corrections provided by knowledgeable commenters. The current system on TED brings new ignorant to the forefront. I wish TED would do something about that.
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          Sep 24 2012: I know Fritzie is going to get this notification....that's how the system works!!!

          @John Frum: Are you aware of the feature at the top of the conversation which says "Sort by"? Upper left at the top of the conversation thread. You have an option there to choose "recently updated", and you'll get the more recent "stuff" first:>)
        • Sep 24 2012: @Colleen Steen: Sure. I have seen that. But the default is to sort by newest. So, new readers will see all the stupid comments first -- comments posted long after all the informative people have given up on a particular discussion :-)
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          Sep 24 2012: John F.......good point, and that is too bad.
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        Sep 24 2012: Hi, John. Your reply above to Colleen (with the Chicago Tribune article) came as a notification to me instead. If you want to make sure Colleen sees it, you might want to PM her also.

        Your caution above immediately brought to my mind Professor Moriarty!
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          Sep 24 2012: I'm sorry Colleen I thought it was accurate with all the TED staff thanking you and asking for more of you help.... I didn't get the impression you associate with my post. I did not mean it in that way. It was flattery.

          I always look at posts from oldest to newest to avoid confusion.

          Sorry to borrow you Fritze. I'll delete this later.
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          Sep 24 2012: Thanks for bringing it to my attention Fritzie. I took care of it. :)
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    Sep 25 2012: i'm much more concerned about the recent trend to call anyone with a harsher tone or opinionated, or just with an opposing point of view, a troll. maybe we need to coin the term: reductio ad trollum. or a new rule in conversation: anyone calling the opponent a troll automatically loses the debate.

    ps: yet another occasion when i failed to come up with something new. reductio ad trollum is in fact an existing term, though haven't gained popularity.
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      Sep 25 2012: That might be cool and sound cool but what if one of the contestants was a Troll? You didn't cover that in your comment. :)
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        Sep 25 2012: easy. you don't debate a troll. you either ignore, or you point out that these are non-arguments or older-than-dirt long-since-refuted arguments that don't require answer, and then ignore.
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          Sep 25 2012: Easy for you and I. Pinter.

          Well, make up your mind colleen was it a he/she/it/little/girl/little boy/dog/cat/ what exactly is it your are referring to in your comment about a story that happened two days ago, here on TED?

          Please get it right. Please make up your mind.

          Yes Colleen a Certified SPC, in the state of Florida. I'm sure my certification has run out since I now live in Canton, Georgia and the certification was recorded around 1992 or 3, I don't remember the date.

          Do you have any certifications or records other than the silly orange tag by your name?

          Are you insinuating that because I did, or allegedly did this behavior it gives you a rubber stamp to follow suit with similar behavior of your own? Are you that easily given over to crowd inspired behavior. You're not Colleen Steen the Actress are you? If so, you are a credit to your career field.
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          Sep 25 2012: Soon as you start to point out things Pinter, you are feeding the troll, if it's a troll.

          You can't both ignore and debate a troll. Could you give me some example(s) of how you would deploy this technique.
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        Sep 25 2012: nice story, but i don't see the troll here. religious intolerance, general intolerance, impatience, aggressive debating style, "fighting spirit", emotional involvement, misunderstanding ... these are all bad things, but not trolling or bullying. whoever decides to write on a public forum needs to understand that opposing opinions might show up, and not everyone has a friendly attitude all the time.

        and i really lost you somewhere near "accusation". who accuses who with what? who did anything immoral here?
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          Sep 25 2012: Krisztian Pinter, The points you make are valid.

          If I have a bad attitude. I can always "choose" to not get in a debate or question something where my "attitude" might cloud my judgement. That would be the appropriate, sane, and mannerly, approach to take in a public venue. Would you agree?

          This, after all is just a virtual reality, not a real reality where we can both see and touch another person. In the real world we can see who were are affronted by or confronting, taking a good percentage of the guess work out of the social equation.

          TED offers us the edit/delete features, but few, apparently, realize the need. They are not buttons. They are virtual levers, that allow someone the opportunity to pry their virtual foot out of their virtual mouth from time to time when they have these "... none friendly virtual attitudes", you allude to. I for one am grateful they exist.
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    Sep 23 2012: Many forums are very ill-mannered & childish, it's a bit worrying really.
    TED is a beacon, but not entirely without bullies & trolls. When I take a hit, it is very encouraging for someone to weigh in on my side. Even if they don't agree with me, it is nice to get a little sympathy. I try & practice what I preach on this one.
    Often a new participant is scared off entirely by bullying behaviour. I've got used to it & tend just to ignore such behaviour, reasoning that others can make the judgement between us. Usually these folks have no rational position with which to debate & indulge in negative stereotypes. Why feed them when others can educate us with reasoned argument ?

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      Sep 23 2012: I've been there and got the T-shirt. Some of those people that present this behavior are actually, diluting their arguments with strife and emotional disparity, which dissolved their argument in the mind of the receiver. But some people either are out having fun for their own personal pleasure or pursuing an agenda of aggressive disputation against something they are too emotionally connected with.

      I think the simple statement, "you are behaving like a troll" can sometimes get their attention, if not flung in their face with other contributory inflections. Please be at peace has worked for me sometimes.

      If someone is smarter than the rest, they need to consider that when participating in a group discussion, not everyone is an expert, in their field; and, it works both ways. When you speak of things with authority that you are not an authority on, you should step out of the way and let more authoritative people take over the argument or invite an authority in to assist. The burden of getting the message across in a thoughtful and meaningful way is upon the speaker, not the audience. We have too many Rush Limbaugh want-a-be's and other Trolls and CB's in the real world. Let us have peace on the internet.

      I have asked TED to implement an ignore button. Perhaps others might suggest it. It doesn't have to have a permanent list function but could have. It could reset itself when a user signs out. I use the Newest first and oldest first selections to find clarity in a discussion. I sometimes go back and read post made by some authors as much a three or so years to get some idea of how to properly engage them in dialog.

      Ted has offered us videos that point to a more mature environment where data is released to the general public for scrutiny so we can accelerate our quest for knowledge. They should also join in this effort by offering us the data so we can do amazing things with it ourselves. :)
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      Sep 24 2012: You are so correct Peter. Here is an example of a University Professor who turned on her colleagues and shot them all at a staff meeting. Here, in Georgia, in recent months, we have experienced a slew of incidents involving Teachers and students attacking one another, sometimes mortally. When their emails and posts on blogs were examined, the pattern of disturbed behavior was evident.

      Sometimes, because people are associated with a prestigious class of individuals or group, they are given a pass on intense scrutiny because of characteristics, sometimes associated with these individuals, such as, sensitivity and egotistical, eccentricity. The emphasis on identifying online C-Bully or Trolls is on the exhibited pattern of behavior while online.,0,6017841.story
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        Sep 25 2012: Not knowing anything about cyberbullying other than what teacher-training involves (which these days is more than you might think), I just spent some time looking at all sorts of material online.

        I know that any demographic could be involved in bullying behaviors, but I see nothing in my reading to suggest that highly educated and successful people are at all typical candidates. The profiles in the online literature are typically not of self-assured people, for example.
        Envy or competitiveness with the target are put forward as some of the most common motivations, much as they are in bullying relationships involving adolescent girls.
        I am noting this here only because your emphasis in your comments here gave me the mistaken impression (which I know you did not intend) that the highly educated/prestigious person had been found to be an important and common category of perpetrator.
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          Sep 25 2012: The less a teacher knows the less bother she/he is. While you're doing all the brain rinsing, those at the top, who should be working, making the system work are surfing the web.

          Fritzie, the smarter you are the more believable lie you can create.

          If you only rake in 70-80K after taxes, it's still hard to afford that lady friend if you're ugly, short and only have a PhD. The smart, pretty girls at the top are completely unaffordable. They want marriage and a gold plated nuptial agreement.
  • Sep 23 2012: Cyber-bullying probably springs out from anonymity that is associated with internet profiles. Hence, one can act unmannerly and irresponsible without sanction, that he or she would probably face in a real life situation.

    Trolling is by definition "fishing for conflict" in an internet discussion, deliberately causing a clash by expressing unpopular opinions, mainly with the intent of attracting attention. Sometimes it has a humorous function, but it often leads into an all-out conflict.

    People who are new to the whole concept of internet discussions might be shocked when facing these forms of behavior.

    However, the most important thing is not to take trolling and e-bullying seriously and not to further fuel it's presence. In internet slang: "Do not feed the troll", by getting hooked up into pointless debates.

    In my experience with TED, it is mostly troll-free, so discussions can be enjoyed without this form of primitivism.
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      Sep 23 2012: Thank you Stevan, you reiterate my thoughts on the issue in a more concise fashion.

      I''ve suggested an ignore button that could reset itself after the User signs off. Perhaps you could push this up the ladder for me(us).

      The tag, "don't feed the troll" is akin to just "say no" a popular phrase offed to combat drug use in the 80's that appears to had little effect. It used time, (some) capital and a modest infrastructure. It crashed. New comers would have to learn this idea and TED could, lose customers, so to speak, by not offering them a highly visible means of controlling the Chaos they may find here in these discussions. It's well within the scope of the IT people to implement this function. They already have Newest and oldest first which serves to add clarity. The code is similar.

      Thank you for your advice and observations Stevan S.
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      Sep 24 2012: Would you say, Stevan and John, that the attitude toward e-bullying on a site affects who will continue to participate on a site? That the extent of trolling or e-bullying affects who will be sharing ideas on the site and who will not stay?

      For example, do sites with lots of bullying tend to retain as active participants mostly aggressive people?
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        Sep 24 2012: Yes, and you could include turning normally calm, gently personalities into demeaning, subservient participants.

        And, Fritzie, don't forget the cheering section. :)

        Yes Fritzie. When you say, "For example, do sites with lots of bullying tend to retain as active participants mostly aggressive people?" There are some sites that come to mind.
      • Sep 25 2012: Dear Fritzie and John,

        Yes, the site's attitude towards trolls certainly shapes the attending crowd. Additionally, it can cause the transformation John mentioned, which is interesting when crossed with the psychological viewpoint you propose.

        However, when it comes to TED, I would not like "thumbs down/report spam/flag" buttons to be flashing all over the board.

        TED is aimed at "the intelligent general audience", and trust should be invested into TEDsters that we will maintain the quality of our posts (grammar and idea-wise).

        In case of obvious trolling/bullying moderators should manually remove threats.
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          Sep 25 2012: I agree, Stevan, with all you have said here. The less drama, the better.
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          Sep 25 2012: I don't see a thumbs down button. Where's mine?
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    Sep 25 2012: There is one thing about cyber trolling and bullying that no one has mentioned yet.

    Having TWO trolls or bullies with opposing views debating a topic can be more entertaining than watching reality TV shows.

    It won't be very informative, but if I want to just take a "mind break" for 30 minutes and laugh my butt off, it beats watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo". And there are no commercials!
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      Sep 25 2012: Being in the drivers seat does have it's advantages Rick. I know the feeling.

      That's one of the reasons I believe TED should have a verifiable system of checking out profiles. Make people accountable. :)

      But that's just me.

      So give me your take on Trolls and Cyber Bully's if you please Ryan.
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        Sep 25 2012: I'm not sure I would want a "verifiable system of checking profiles". A person should be able to decide if they want their info displayed or not. There are too many people who can't take constructive criticism (different ideas, beliefs, opinions, etc) objectively, and think "the answer" is to retaliate using physical force. Heck, if they will attack your views in an uncivilized manner with words on a forum, that isn't far from hunting you down and coming after you physically.

        As for Cyber Teams, we get out. We just don't talk about it much when we are still employed and performing the job. Same with the Intelligence community. Couple of reasons for that. Primary one is you can't talk about it in the first place without compromising the activity. You can't say, "This is how we are getting the Intel" or "This is the real Intel we have". If you do that, somebody could relatively easily figure out how you are doing the Intel gathering and close those resources to you. As for Cyber Teams, if you say, "This is what we are doing to combat Cyber Attacks", you immediately make your security systems ineffective. For some reason, the "general public" can't comprehend those concepts, and still insist that all information be made public.

        My take on trolls and cyber bullies? They exist, so you have to deal with them. It's not rocket science. There are effective ways to do it, and ways that make no sense at all because you may just waste your time and efforts.
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          Sep 25 2012: The verifiable system would be similar to secure servers in money transactions. Like having a virtual social security number, so to speak.

          TED wouldn't have access to the servers but they could say person x is a real person applying for membership in the TED community, Is a class A or B citizen and is not noted on any blacklists (kinda like the no fly list)

          Just as you say, "" the idea is coming and people should think about it and get their personal information in order. This just might be a good question to ask in a TED conversation.

          Cyber Bully's beware. :) "Bad Boys, what you gonna do... when they come for you."
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        Sep 26 2012: I'll toss out one other thought to nibble on, without going into any specifics.

        If you post on this forum, and somebody really, REALLY wants to find out "who you are", you can't hide it. Given enough time and effort, your identity can be known.

        Both sides of the "Cyber World"...the good guys and the bad guys...have the tools to do it. In some cases, it is a 13-year old who acquired the "tools" for free on the Internet and just learned how to use them.

        There is another conversation thread taking place about "fear". Someone (sorry...I don't remember who right now) made the analogy about as freedoms increase, fears and risks increase also from a safety and security standpoint. That is a very accurate analogy. Don't fool yourself in thinking you can "hide" if you use the Internet. Given enough time and effort and knowledge and available "tools", anybody can discover who you are if they want to.
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          Sep 26 2012: Cyber Bully's are not the same but sometimes they can be pretty smart. It starts at the bottom and works it's way to the top. It has many flavors also.

          Today, on a global level, the Cyber Bully bad guys are entire countries bent on destroying the communications network of of our country. That's where our Air Force Cyber soldiers hold the line in our national defenses, but in this case the line leads all the way to our computers, locate inside the building to theirs, also located inside the building. I like to think that we have the edge in this virtual war on communication but sometimes it gets pretty close wouldn't you say Rick?
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        Sep 26 2012: "Have the edge"? Depends on what you mean.

        The reality of it is the same reality of politics and politicians.

        Nobody "runs" the Internet. Nobody is "in charge of" the Internet. "Cyber Soldiers" can do nothing more than wait for something to happen, then REACT to it. New cyber attacks come out every day, they become "known", then the "Cyber Soldiers" get to work to plug the holes the new attacks created.

        Politics and politicians are the same way. None of them "run" an economy. They simply can't...the entity of an economy is too vast for anyone to "run" it. The best any "man" can do is monitor it, look for trends to see if it is headed for inflation or depression, then REACT to that trend to try to move it back in the other direction towards "stasis". The people themselves...the same people who complain about the polititcians and corporations screwing up everything, have more control over what happens to "an economy".

        If you don't think so, everybody go to your bank when it opens up in the morning and tell them you want to withdraw ALL your money in hard cash. If enough of the population does that tomorrow morning at 9 AM, the banks will have to close their doors by 12 PM, and there won't be an economy by dinner time.

        Cyber trolls and bullies are the least of my concerns. I have a financial institution (bank) that reimburses identity theft losses if someone hacks into my account and "steals" my assets.

        On the other hand, my fellow citizens could bring the entire economy to a screeching halt by simply driving to their banks and demanding their money. But I'm not to worried about that either. The banks would see what was happening and "close early", then the politicians would REACT to what was happening and try to solve the problem.

        People aren't Gods. They don't have super-human qualities. At the end of the day, regardless of their "title", they can only do what any other human could do. I don't expect anybody to be perfect.
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        Sep 26 2012: John,

        Let me clarify something about my last post, so everybody doesn't think I went looney-tunes with it.

        All I was getting at was I don't fear the everyday stuff we all face. Whether it be cyber bullies, trolls, fluctuating economies, whatever...I believe there ARE people in-place already who can respond to any potential disasters we face from these things. If the people "in charge" of these areas weren't capable of making decisions..."pre-emptive" or "post reactive" prevent total disasters, we would have gone bye-bye a long time ago and we'd all be living in tents fighting for clean water and food.

        I am more concerned about "public panic". When the public thinks ALL the people "in charge" of our organizations, governments, businesses, etc are incompetant, panic is a very serious threat. My example of everyone making a "run" on the banks is a real threat if the public panics during an economic "crisis". The public can end up being the actual cause of the total failure of an economy, regardless of whatever actions our leaders may take.

        As for the topic of this conversation, the "public" here on TED could also be the cause of a "total failure" of the purpose of the community if it "panics" about cyber bullies and trolls. There are ways to solve problems without panicing about them.

        Edward started a tongue-in-cheek conversation last night about astromomers re-defining the distance of the Sun from the Earth...the title is "The Sky Is Falling!...The Sky Is Falling!". It's funny, but there is a lot of truth to it also.

        So everybody relax. I haven't agreed to drink the Kool-Aid. ;-)
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          Sep 27 2012: Rick, The people on this site, I have found, are very well informed and except for having the Coffee on the deck detachment from the real world around them, are very capable of reconciling what they read in the news with the state of readiness of our national protectors.

          Perl Harbor happened. The fall of the Soviet Union Happened. While Ronald Reagan was having fun in Europe, during a joint military exercise, and forgot to tell the Russians, WWIII almost happened. If you work in the Intelligence field, you know the person responsible for diffusing the situation and what I'm talking about. Not all Russian Generals are stupid enough to press the button.
          Also, The twin towers did happen.

          We know all about the ready state of our protection forces here in this country and the readiness of the rest of the word.

          Thanks for the head up anyway.
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    Sep 25 2012: Pat, if one already has an army they need no intentions, simply an agenda.

    I am a very professional, energetic, stout minded, conservative individual, with more than enough wit, to overcome any, obtrusive postulation. I also have a wonderful sense of humor and I don't eat pork. :)
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      Sep 25 2012: You are nothing but a talking head in a virtual reality game. Colleen, I don't have a clue what you are talking about. I do know I have had enough of your silly deceitfulness. Obviously you are not who you claim to be.

      I would really appreciate it if you would leave my question area, I have never asked anyone to leave before but I must make an exception of you. I see post after post where your presumptive "Honest" and "none harsh" talking head has continually upset people and instigated questionable behavior, bringing the notion of your rationality and soundness of mind into question. You are not the type of personality I would want around children. Please leave and delete your posts. Please.

      You have no right to interfere in the projects and questions of others this way. When I engaged you in this virtual play ground, because it was a TED installation I automatically assume soundness of mind, with someone who has an orange tag with the number 200 + on it. I now understand that if you multiply that number by minus one, you get an indicator of their weirdness. Having a low number is better. After you leave I promise to delete all posts associated with your NICK.

      Because you have attacked me in the public venue, I have no reason but to protect my public self-esteem and I present the post in reference to my comments about the "reply button problem that occured on Oct. 15, 2011.

      Collen... please Leave. You have no right to treat other people this way and in my opinion, you may be harmful to children or other fragile personalities. Please. Leave.
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    Sep 25 2012: Robert.... I don't feel bad about anything.

    Here's what I'm doing right now. I'm writing a bash script to interface with a perl script that will be run by a php script located on my server that will help me distribute the audio streams from the audio/visual, part of my forum I want to offer my members. It's a real neat form of online chatting for those who don't have hands or know how to type, or just plain lazy and hasn't been invented yet because I don't have it working yet. My son helps.

    At the same time I'm monitoring my forum; I'm in two other blogs trying to steal the moderators from them to go to work in mine and cleaning up a couple of accounting problems with my wife on our account because her mom overran her bank account....

    My friend.... I don't have time to feel bad.

    I almost forgot to mention I have to answer on average about 22 comments each hour from people who don't know how to think for themselves or use the buttons on the forums. I'm supposed to be retired.
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    Sep 24 2012: I'm not a Troll TL but thank you for the other compliment. The topic is about Trolls and Cyber Bully's.
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    Sep 24 2012: nope. people with opinions will opine and it is meaningless (unless you want to convince someone to buy whatever you're peddling)
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      Sep 24 2012: Does "Nope", mean you're not bothered by Trolls and CB's?

      What you selling Scott? Is that your real name. I know a Scott Armstrong from my past. You can pm me if you'd rather not public it.
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        Sep 24 2012: financial transaction? not interested. opinionating on an opinion site, that's free. you are free to read and disagree or not read at all.

        "nope" as in, you go public with anything, be prepared for public opinion. you give said trolls currency by getting hurt by them. if it is so bothersome to you, don't post on public sites. or ignore the silly comments.

        you're just jealous cos my name is real and an Armstrong really did stroll the moon ;)
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          Sep 24 2012: I'm sorry scott. that doesn't make very much sense with all the bad grammer and such. I don't mean to be rude but It's unreadable to me.

          Can you clean it up and use the Kings English, if you know what I mean?

          I did get that last part about the moon :) cool.....

          Thanks in advance Scott. :) If you're not to busy you can stop by my website and check out my forum located at Just register and your get an email then go back and check it out.
  • Sep 23 2012: Nah... I'm not bothered by it. I use the tit-for-tat principle. I have realized that some people won't quit trolling unless I speak to them in their own language. However, I always make an effort to write in a rational manner.

    I am much more bothered by pathological ignorance.

    Sticks and stones
    May break my bones
    But words will never hurt me.
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      Sep 23 2012: That's very revealing John Frum, Thank you for your contribution.
      • Sep 23 2012: Considering your question about "standing by watching" vs interfering, the only time I interfered on TED was when someone was condemning suicide attempters as cowards or idiots. I have a fair idea how vulnerable people are when they are driven to suicide or close to it. I also don't like the idea of being rude to children. But then, I haven't come across many kids on TED.
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          Sep 23 2012: I think your a commendable person John. I like your position on children. There are many very smart kids on this site, hidden behind their seemingly adult like vocabulary. Sometimes we can see a little bit of the unenlightened wisdom, peeking out from behind their facade.
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      Sep 25 2012: Word, to a child or fragile mind could be like a stick or a stone, in a way.
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    Sep 23 2012: Hi, John. Your question reminded me of a featured conversation a few months ago about bullying. The person who started it (who apparently was not a bully offline) described his own behavior in an online game in which he not only killed another player's avatar, but I guess in how such games work, players can normally revive an avatar to keep playing. The person who posted the conversation shared that he actually lay in wait for anytime that player tried to revive his avatar.

    To him it was part of his play rather than any actual animosity toward the person. To him it was fun.

    I did not follow that whole conversation, but if you did, do you remember any ideas from that that are on point here?

    In terms of my own reaction, I dislike when people derail conversations intentionally (and understand sometimes a person doesn't actually mean to do it), but it is painful to me when I see personal attacks or gambits to intimidate people from further participation in conversations.

    I have not done the research you have into the underlying psychology of it.

    I think there is a difference also in whether people are poking at each other in a way that somehow suits them both than if one person is a continual aggressor. The judgments about intervention on a school playground try to take this into account as well. Sometimes rough play is two way and the participants both enjoy it. Sometimes it looks two way to the outsider, but really one is only putting on an act of enjoying it. The case that demands that people step in is the case of a one way behavior. The other case is more challenging and bystanders are more likely to miss their cue..
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      Sep 23 2012: The inadequacies of Virtual world communication are illuminated in your comment Fritzie. It's one reason many people do not allow their children, church members, etc., office personnel to participate in the forums and blogs Inhabiting the virtual world community. To the new initiates and children, this Cyberspace, is new and exciting. It is filled with information and glittering eye candy. Someone's first visit to Wikipedia, or TED reveals this fact with vivid intensity.

      While many are old hand at "surfing the net". an alarming number of people have never explored it or are incapable due to lack of typing or computer skills.

      These unattached people are viewed as a marketable population in economic circles and somewhat socially challenged by their lack of skills. The goal is to bring everyone in contact with the web in every daily venue that makes up our life today, the doctors office, shopping, Mail, travel ports, cooking dinner, just about any place where monetary transactions are made or information is desired.

      Trolls and C-Bully's, can be a nightmare to new web-surfers. They understand there is a real person attached to the name or Nick as they are called in cyber speak. Children especially and older people can become frightened when these Negative personalities make virtual contact. If a Troll or C-bully notices that the uninitiated user is new. It emboldens them to invade their privacy space and inflict fear and unwanted attention and be rewarded with a shot of mental pleasure.

      Sometimes we average people, become angry and use our ability, knowingly, to do this but not for the intention of getting a thrill, or twisted pleasure from it. To us, it's no different than calling someone on the phone and giving them a piece of our mind. or letting them know to stay away from their children. Many people report it to the police. You can't hide your identity on the Internet
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        Sep 23 2012: John, I agree with your observation that some people will be hit broadside, surprised at such aggressive behaviors, and that one response is for someone (possibly someone else) to step in to flag that he is "on to him." Peter in this conversation mentiions appreciating support/sympathy when he has been targeted.

        A couple of people mention the policy: Please don't feed the troll, which is to say that ignoring someone who is motivated by a need for attention may induce such a person to move on to better hunting ground.

        John C. writes of speaking the person's language, which I am sure suits some people's temperament and doesn't work as a strategy for others.
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          Sep 23 2012: I read you loud and clear Fritzie. Doesn't "Please don't feed the troll" have the ring of "Just say no"?

          I've suggested to TED they implement an ignore button, highly visible to new comers and oldsters alike.

          Cyber Bully's are a different animal. They have serious mental issues.
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    Sep 23 2012: Yes sometimes they hurt my feelings. Oh my god are you saying that I'm a cyber bully?

    On TED anything that remotely resembles that is yanked and sometimes the offender is suspended. Can you give me an example of what you mean?
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      Sep 23 2012: I know your being facetious Pat :)

      I've seen very smart people with the tremendous capacity to use language, Bullying people over and over right here in the TED forum. The pattern of their posts indicate they are purposely molding the conversation to their advantage in order to pepper their victim with indecent innuendo and outright threats. They exhibit a continual and aggressive pattern of suggesting or hinting or insinuating an open or veiled reflection on your intelligence, character or affiliations. I've studied one C-Bully on TED that has made almost 2000 posts fitting this characterization.

      Your mind feels the impact in the overly aggressive CB (Cyber Bully). In short, they continually insult people and their characteristics, or beliefs about life and the world. Failing to honestly and mannerly participate in the real topic of the conversation.We all stray off the path but that is what the delete and edit buttons are for.

      Some have an agenda and feel empowered to attack any idea that arises they feel threatens their real world environment or allegiance. They do so aggressively, imparting an emotional inflection on their posts almost every time.

      They have gained national and world attention because they interfere with the free and open exchange of ideas through out the internet. They are causing alarm among leaders, teachers and religious people, who have the power to corral this behavior but lack the fortitude because they don't want to attack and/or alter the laws that protect our rights to Freedom of speech on the World Wide Web.

      So, they have developed other methods and volunteer organizations to deal with the problem of suppressing this behavior by legal, subtle and, (in my opinion) intrusive ways that skirt the boundaries of personal privacy.
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        Sep 23 2012: When I say examples, I mean a link and a name. So I see what you are referring to.

        The only ones that I see as mildly an example of what you are talking about are Debra Smith and Don the guy who calls himself from the silent generation. Of course all liberals get on my nerves but I'm getting a higher tolerance to them.

        On the Flip side there are people on TED who I truly enjoy and learn from but I won't mention any names (8^(l)

        The thing that really bothers me is that TED is so addictive, and internet for that matter, that I waste too much time. My name is Pat and I'm a Tedaholic...
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          Sep 23 2012: Liberals bother me too pat that's why I'm staying a Demorcrate.

          Go figure.

          Debra was entertaining and sometimes athouritive about what she posted.
          Don is fast becoming a friend of mine, we email each other all the time. He is a lot different on a personal level, very smart, and busy. He has a past I find compatability with. I like Don.

          No that pat what's his name character, I always forget his last name. He not only has a sneaking smile, Don bit jos eyes are a bit close together don't you think?

          I have to go don. Let me know if you get this email, there is some problem with the internet right now. I have to go work on my wife's computer. Later.
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          Sep 23 2012: Don's pretty cool in my book. Like most people with an extremely high IQ he can be confusing at times. But I like don. I like Debra too but she bailed.

          You should join my forum Pat.
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        Sep 24 2012: If you look at Debra's account it say suspended. She had a stroke a few weeks ago, I noticed that her posts seemed more agitated than usual. If I were to guess I would say they had her on some medication that did not agree with her.

        I wish her all the best.
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          Sep 24 2012: I thought something was wrong I saw the distortions. I also hope the best for her.
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          Sep 24 2012: Pat, what do you get out of being a member of TED?
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        Sep 25 2012: It is mostly a diversion that is addictive. I will say that forums that have a purpose can be tremendously educational. But with no purpose it is just a chat room. I suppose my purpose is to learn people about some things i.e. wake them up.
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          Sep 25 2012: This is good Pat. This is a good thing to do. I agree.

          To me, the arguments offered by the liberals that the unregulated Internet offers revolutionary opportunities to render the most uneducated of mind the opportunity for enlightenment, are in fact, without merit. TED and other such website are, nothing more, as you imply, than a "chat room".

          I agree with this postulation. When we regulate and develop controls to remove people of questionable character and install features that demonstrate a child can participate on the internet and not be mentally molested by grown adults, then I might make the case that a mature venue for human communication exists. But the internet is a long way from being a mature, reality that does not impart opportunities for harm to our children.

          Children are, in my opinion, the earmark to establish the acceptability of a communications medium and if it can be employed successfully in schools. Some, conservatively believe that Website like TED that tout themselves as the educational venue of the future, should not be allowed in schools or anywhere near a school because of the possible harm the might introduce in a child's, "real" world environment.

          Maybe if they only provide information and socially acceptable audio videos to enhance education, this idea might change, but I don't see it in the near future, considering that the porn industry is not voluntarily choosing some options like the dot xxx tag to help separate pedophiles from their victims. They have failed to keep their smut and other sexual innuendo away from our kids.

          We have tested and it is very easy to post a link to a sexually explicit porn site in the TED question and debate areas as well as the comments section where people comment on the videos themselves. Should this be presented as part of a political campaign to regulate the Internet and sites such as TED, is still being bantered about by those who deal with such matters. I prefer freedom of speech.
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        Sep 25 2012: John my other purpose is to get in the last word (8^(l)

        The long of it and the short of it is to bring people up one notch at a time and 1 person at a time. If that is ones intention he will be happier as well as those who might otherwise oppose him.

        I am not always success at this as some people piss me off and it is harder than you might think to do this.
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    Sep 23 2012: I've seen many instances of cyber bullying and trolling by TEdsters that cross all social lines of classification, from senior citizens to teenagers, from simpletons to Associate professors with a tremendous grasp of the written language.Trolls drag others into conflicting conversations, resulting in the elicitation of anger and hostile emotional behavior. They start the fight then watch the sparks fly when it calms down, in they go again the start the show all over. Tolls are sick minds. Cyber Bully's illicit anger and frustration with the intended design of gratifying their pleasure centers of the brain. Cyber Bully's are a more damaging form of the mental illness. They cause actual emotional harm leaving people feeling helpless and abused.

    We don't always realize what is happening. We think it is the normal course of the conversation, until we pause and examine the full conversation from newest to oldest and then from oldest to newest. Then we see the personalities and what they are doing to manipulate the group, communal mind. These bully's are just as hurtful to the emotions of human beings as the bully on the play ground who pushes another kid causing them physical or emotional pain.

    You can tell if you suspect you are a cyber bully or troll by going over your past comments and posts to look for the behaviors I've described above. If you participated in these types of conflicts and you do it over and over again, you might be a cyber bully or a troll.

    From many of the comments and posts I've read on TED. the name Troll may be new to many of you but it is as old as the internet to those of use who have been participating in blogs and forums for many years.