Ignore the Trolls

Tim O'Reilly grabbed some headlines by calling for civility in the blogosphere through the adoption of a "Blogger's Code of Conduct." (See A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs.)

A noble effort, though O'Reilly's code borrows liberally from BlogHer. It is an interesting twist, as section 1 of O'Reilly's code promises to "delete" a comment that "infringes upon a copyright."

Oops, I just did the same thing.

Thank goodness for fair use!

Where O'Reilly did innovate was in section 6 of the code, titled "We ignore the trolls." It reads:

"We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don't veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them -- 'Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.' Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them."

Yes, but when the comments do "veer into abuse or libel," then we should respond vigorously and repeatedly? An odd rule. And how did trolls turn into pigs?

Trolls are scary. You need a few elves and dwarves to take them down. Pigs? Well, they're just not kosher.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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