Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On trolling....

As the digital exchange of ideas becomes more common, information professionals need to be cognizant of trolling.

Here is an awesome article on the phenomenon: Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt. It is written by a Julie Zhuo, a product design manager for Facebook, and offers some really good ideas for redesigning comment moderation for blogs and websites.

The article is worth the read, but for those who don't have time at least consider the following snippet:

Trolling, define as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory of provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century, B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges.

That mythical ring gave its owner the power of invisibility, and Plato observed that even a habitually just man who possessed such a ring would become a thief, knowing that he couldn't be caught. Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly.

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