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There's a question and answer (now deleted), by two unregistered users.

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These posts sparked much discussion on whether it was a misguided user or a troll, whether the answer was NAA or rude/abusive of the site.

Maybe I'm cynical, but to me this seems a little suspicious that these were posted like this and that they are a copy and paste of part of the help when posting here.

  • Surely there needs to be a minimum bar of comprehension of how to post something on the internet, such that a copy and paste of the help guidance cannot be a mistake for posting an actual question?
  • When is a troll a troll and do we really need to be concerned with penalising such user behaviour?
  • Do we need to keep debating over abuse of the sites ToS?

Can we have an authoritative answer here that we can point to for outlying troll behaviours?

related (about a specific question) Is this a troll question?

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  • By "outlying" do you mean "outlining"?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:04
  • @PolyGeo outlying google.com.au/… distant, remote, outer, outermost, out of the way, faraway, far-flung, peripheral, provincial, inaccessible, obscure, off the beaten track, unfrequented, backwoods "customers from outlying areas will be able to contact the main centres by telephone"
    – user310756
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:06
  • I thought outlining seemed more likely given the remainder of your question but knowing that you were not a victim of autocorrection is useful.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:15
  • @PolyGeo yep, that's helpful and thanks for clarifying :D
    – user310756
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:17
  • 1
    Same gravatar, so same person, most likely Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:17
  • @JourneymanGeek I assumed it was the same person or a pair at work
    – user310756
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:23
  • it's not necessary that it's trolling just because of you being trolled Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 6:12
  • @SargeBorsch what does that mean?
    – user310756
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 6:28
  • 1
    @YvetteColomb it means the original intent could be anything, not necessarily trolling. Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 9:05

1 Answer 1

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It could be this one and It isn't outlying at all - its a clear cut case of trolling.

I suppose this is the canonical post on how to flag it

One of the reasons we may have to destroy a user is "This user was created to post spam or nonsense and has no other positive participation".

Its clearly off topic.

The user knows enough to read parts of the help page, and clearly is trying to elicit a response. While it isn't explicitly not nice, there's a clear intent not to be constructive.

For one so inclined, there's sandboxes on various sites for testing.

So

  • Surely there needs to be a minimum bar of comprehension of how to post something on the internet, such that a copy and paste of the help guidance cannot be a mistake for posting an actual question?

Yup - and if they met it, they clearly have run right into it. Its probably intentional, considering one needs to at least pretend to read the help center to quote it

  • When is a troll a troll and do we really need to be concerned with penalising such user behaviour?

When there's a clear intent to post nonsense or otherwise waste the time of users or to post garbage on a site with such intent.

As these are unregistered users with no other actions in the community, there's no actual loss if they posts and accounts are deleted.

So, flagging as rude or abusive seems to be what's recommended as per the community FAQ, and in this case its fine not to assume the best of these folks.

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  • Thanks for taking the time to address my concerns in my question. I like this answer. It's clear and a great sanity check when people are flagging from chat rooms and focusing on muck and can sometimes be hard to distinguish the forest from the trees and it's good to get another perspective.
    – user310756
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:19

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