Discussion Discussion: A Word About Trolls And Stupid People, From The Deadspin Kinja Faeries

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"Ultimately, who gives a shit?"

"he sucks."

"Wow, am I'm supposed to watch THIS sport with my son?!?!?!?"

"well, at least he didn't rape him..."

There's your representative sample of the wider world of internet sports discussion, a dystopian wasteland stalked by psychotics and cannibals and psychotic cannibals, as well as the poor, wretched, well-intentioned naïfs upon whom they feast, whose tortured husks make burnt offerings to their fucking corn gods or whatever.


Oh, what's that you say? Those are from Deadspin?


Look, Kinja is here, and we all need to make some adjustments. Here's what we want: We want readers to read posts, scroll down, and see an excellent discussion of one kind or another Funny jokes; incisive observations; intelligent questions; reasoned, articulate, and constructive debate; more funny jokes—these are the sorts of things that enrich the experience of reading a post, either by furthering the discussion or by tacking some penis-related laughs to the end of it.

The more seamlessly they do that, the better—which is why we're the Deadspin Comment Faeries and not, say, the Comment Marauding Band of Vikings Squadron, or the Comment 37-Piece Brass Band of Terror Squadron, or the Comment Fran Drescher's Ear-Drilling Laugh Squadron. The idea is to flit about in silence, working our woodland magic only when necessary and to maximum effect: to minimize the needless, ugly, and distracting spectacle of comment policing, which is boring and unattractive and internet-cruddy and totally not what we want our discussion section to be about.

That only works—it only results in a reasonably seamless section—if you guys hold up your end of the arrangement, by sticking to making quality comments and leaving the motion-sensor flushers to do their thing. (That goes for you, too, Deadspin writers.) We're still here moderating and we will reiterate what we've always said: We may not catch everything on our own; we may not choose to act on everything that strikes you as awful. That's where, if your thirst for justice compels you to act, you can choose to help out in a way that doesn't draw a bunch of attention to your own church-lady orthodoxy: shoot an email. Keep it out of the public eye. Conversely we invite you all to bring attention to good discussion. Whether by responding to the comment itself, or by letting an author, editor or moderator know you think it's worth highlighting.


But if there is one thing we cannot stress enough, it's this: do not, do not, do not feed the trolls. We want malnourished, dying-of-starvation trolls, not the healthy robust kind. And let's dispense with a crackpot idea straight away: terrible, worthless comments have been around forever. This is not, like, some new thing to crop up with Kinja. We'd have been in the unemployment line a long time ago were that the case. We just have new tools to deal with the terrible responses, now.


Rather than moving comments to #hineyholeisland, say, the offending comment gets buried (under a bridge?) and is no longer displayed on the main page unless you go looking for it. If that sounds an awful lot like clicking the old hineyhole hashtag to see what Brady_Quinn's_Penis_Sheath had to say before it got moved, that's because it is an awful lot like clicking the old hineyhole hashtag. Do it if you want, but you don't have to. And the less you feel compelled to read and indulge the garbage, the less of it there will be. The catch? It's all up to you, now more than ever. This all hinges on your ability to ignore the waste, and come up with your own cracking remarks. So, if you care about this piece of e-real estate that you have made your own, protect it.


Now, just in case you can't be moved to compliance by that invocation of the e-social i-contract, let's make it even clearer: You should expect that if you take it upon yourself to go all vigilante and start acknowledging terrible comments to make an example of things, you're going to catch a faerie wand in your asshole. We will look more harshly on comment vigilantism than we do on run-of-the-mill crummy comments, for the simple reason that a plain old crummy comment might still be a well-intentioned attempt at doing what comments are supposed to do. Don't think there's much of a deterrent in commenting poorly? Try us.

Welcome to the new world order. You are now not only responsible for making quality discussion, but for curating it as well. Take the challenge and choose wisely, won't you?


Here's a start.

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Theodore Donald Kerabatsos


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