Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More on the science of trolling

The subject I explored in Who's hiding under the bridge of an online science article? is back.  For anyone who knows trolls and trolling, this should come as no surprise.

First, Discovery News puts in their two cents about trolls in Inside the Brains of Internet Trolls.

Internet Trolls- We've all seen 'em throwing around insults and taking over message boards. But what drives these people? Trace goes troll hunting and finds out.
Paul Basken of The Chronicle of Higher Education has more to say about the effects of trolls on discorse in How Rude! Reader Comments May Undermine Scientists’ Authority
Boston — Scientists have a hard enough time getting people to understand what they’re talking about.

Their thoughts can be complicated. Their sentences can be laden with jargon. And their conclusions can offend political or religious sensibilities.

And now, to make things worse, readers have an immediate forum to talk back. And when some readers post uncivil comments at the bottom of online articles, that alone can raise doubts about the underlying science, a new study has found. Or at least reinforce those doubts.
Scientific American has a commentary on this article in More on rudeness, civility, and the care and feeding of online conversations.

Unfortunately, none of these sources have anything to say about trolls who are also Agents.  Too bad, as a lot of them are.

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