The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2013 11:32 PM GMT
    Probably applies to RJ that standard most of us here are trolls.icon_lol.gif a recent study, a team of researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and several other institutions employed a survey of 1,183 Americans to get at the negative consequences of vituperative online comments for the public understanding of science. Participants were asked to read a blog post containing a balanced discussion of the risks and benefits of nanotechnology (which is already all around us and supports a $91 billion US industry). The text of the post was the same for all participants, but the tone of the comments varied. Sometimes, they were "civil"—e.g., no name calling or flaming. But sometimes they were more like this: "If you don’t see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these products, you're an idiot."

    The researchers were trying to find out what effect exposure to such rudeness had on public perceptions of nanotech risks. They found that it wasn't a good one. Rather, it polarized the audience: Those who already thought nanorisks were low tended to become more sure of themselves when exposed to name-calling, while those who thought nanorisks are high were more likely to move in their own favored direction. In other words, it appeared that pushing people's emotional buttons, through derogatory comments, made them double down on their preexisting beliefs
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 14, 2013 11:51 PM GMT
    That definitely seems to apply to RJ. Although we do occasionally see people have breakthroughs and change their preexisting beliefs, no one's ever gotten anyone to see it their way by name calling, at least not when it comes to politics.
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    Feb 15, 2013 12:06 AM GMT
    Was playing a game when an incident happened.

    2 people took some stuff that was meant for someone else. I wrote to the one saying "that doesn't belong to you, we were trying to donate it, please give it back". He gave it back and said "I'm so sorry".

    For the other guy who took stuff: a player called him an asshat and told him to give it back, doing it so others could hear. The person not only didn't give it back, but took the stance that he deserved it more.

    Calling names and ridiculing people is never done to accomplish something or teach someone tough love. It's just an impulse to make one's self feel better in that moment, even if it means losing one's goal. I'm sad for the species.