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Jan 10 - The Impact of Internet Trolls

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 Jan 10 - The Impact of Internet Trolls
Unread 01-10-2013, 09:53 AMJoined Jan 2005 - on now - #1
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P DRILLA 82 heat pts82 space
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Everybody who's written or blogged about climate change on a prominent website (or, even worse, spoken about it on YouTube) knows the drill. Shortly after you post, the menagerie of trolls arrives. They're predominantly climate deniers, and they start in immediately arguing over the content and attacking the science—sometimes by slinging insults and even occasional obscenities. To cite a recent example:

What part of "we haven't warmed any in 16 years" don't you understand? Heh. "Cherry-picking" as defined by you alarmists: any time period selected containing data that refutes your hysterical hypothesis. Can be any length of time from 4 billion years to one hour. fu-k off, little man! comment stolen from a bx thread?image

It was reasonably obvious already that these folks were doing nothing good for the public's understanding of the science of climate change (to say nothing of their own comprehension). But now there's actual evidence to back this idea up.

In 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 U.S. 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 nano-risks were low tended to become more sure of themselves when exposed to name-calling; while those who though nano-risks 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 pre-existing beliefs.

Why are people so quick to buy junk theories on climate, creationism, and vaccines? Chris Mooney explains in "The Science of Why We Don't Believe in Science."
In the context of the psychological theory of motivated reasoning, this makes a great deal of sense. Based on pretty indisputable observations about how the brain works, the theory notes that people feel first, and think second. The emotions come faster than the "rational" thoughts—and also shape the retrieval of those thoughts from memory. Therefore, if reading insults activates one's emotions, the "thinking" process may be more likely to be defensive in nature, and focused on preserving one's identity and pre-existing beliefs.

The study did not examine online climate change trolls directly—but there is good reason to think that the effects of their obnoxious behavior will, if anything, be worse. As the researchers note in the paper, compared with climate change, relatively few people know much about or have strong feelings about nanotechnology. When it comes to climate change, in contrast, "the controversy that you see in comments falls on more fertile ground, and resonates more with an established set of values that the reader may bring to the table," explains study co-author Dietram Scheufele, a professor of science communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If commenters have stronger emotions and more of a stake, it stands to reason that the polarizing effect of their insults may be even stronger—although, to be sure, this needs to be studied.

The upshot of this research? This is not your father's media environment any longer. In the golden oldie days of media, newspaper articles were consumed in the context of…other newspaper articles. But now, adds Scheufele, it's like "reading the news article in the middle of the town square, with people screaming in my ear what I should believe about it."

To be sure, we all retain the option of not reading the comments. Which, in light of the latest research, is looking smarter than ever.

The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck | Mother Jones
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The following 2 BX residents gave props to P DRILLA (Sent To 9,442 Subscribers)  nightmare (01-10-2013) , HOT TOPIC  (01-10-2013)

24 comments for "Jan 10 - The Impact of Internet Trolls"

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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:32 PMJoined Apr 2007 - away - #2
Rob De Niro 108 heat pts108 space
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Didnt read
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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:41 PMJoined Dec 2006 - away - #3
nightmare 429 heat pts429 space
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Originally Posted by Rob De Niro
Didnt read
oh the irony
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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:43 PMJoined Dec 2006 - away - #4
nightmare 429 heat pts429 space
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this explained why bx is full of salty a.ss n*ggas, and why we have so many race/ideological wars over and over again
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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:59 PMJoined Jan 2006 - away - #5
Drumatic50 7 heat pts space
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Originally Posted by nightmare
this explained why bx is full of salty a.ss n*ggas, and why we have so many race/ideological wars over and over again
was just about to say, bx has alot of these..
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Unread 01-11-2013, 01:20 AMJoined Dec 2005 - away - #6
dangermouse 34 heat pts34 space
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They see me trolling, they hating...


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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:42 AMJoined Jan 2005 - on now - #7
P DRILLA 82 heat pts82 space
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Originally Posted by Rob De Niro
Didnt read

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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:46 AMJoined Dec 2006 - away - #8
nightmare 429 heat pts429 space
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Originally Posted by Drumatic50
was just about to say, bx has alot of these..
basically if people were polite on here, we wouldnt have all these wars and people would be much more open to criticism
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:53 AMJoined Feb 2004 - away - #9
Silver N Black 15 heat pts15 space
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Unread 01-11-2013, 08:53 AMJoined Apr 2005 - away - #10
steeLTown 127 heat pts127 space
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Originally Posted by S.TEX
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:04 AMJoined Dec 2009 - away - #11
Final Boss 122 heat pts122 space
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it's like "reading the news article in the middle of the town square, with people screaming in my ear what I should believe about it."
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:46 AMJoined Jun 2012 - away - #12
Leezee  space
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Originally Posted by S.TEX
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:24 AMJoined Apr 2006 - away - #13
Aleandroid 388 heat pts388 space
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Originally Posted by S.TEX
sounds like he was cutting a WWE promo
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:25 AMJoined Mar 2004 - away - #14
MochaWhitey 10 heat pts10 space
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Originally Posted by S.TEX
He back traced it
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Unread 01-11-2013, 11:38 AMJoined Apr 2010 - away - #15
MonopolyMan  space
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Originally Posted by Aleandroid
sounds like he was cutting a WWE promo
!!!!!!
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Unread 01-11-2013, 01:02 PMJoined Jul 2010 - on now - #16
Infamous2o1x 22 heat pts22 space
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Originally Posted by Aleandroid
sounds like he was cutting a WWE promo
Ooooh yeah the Macho Dad *spins around*
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Unread 01-11-2013, 04:13 PMJoined Dec 2006 - away - #17
nightmare 429 heat pts429 space
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Originally Posted by S.TEX
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Unread 01-11-2013, 06:15 PMJoined Jun 2005 - away - #18
GST  space
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i started to read
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Unread 01-11-2013, 06:51 PMJoined Jun 2011 - away - #19
RileyEsco 3 heat pts space
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Originally Posted by S.TEX


"CONSEQUENCES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!"







You dun goofed


Dude was legendary. Died like a year back from a heart attack (we seen that coming ) though.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:04 PMJoined Nov 2009 - on now - #20
Zaosyn 255 heat pts255 space
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Everyone thinks if you have a different opinion than them then you're a troll or some dude trying to provoke an argument for no reason. The internet has gotten way too sensitive.
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