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What is the best way for me (an average Workplace user) to help the community deal with an obvious troll?

It seems like the Workplace attracts an inordinate number of troll posts for some reason. Some questions / answers are debatably troll posts, while some others are clearly trolling. In the past, discussions here have centered around how to handle to a particular question or answer, but occasionally a pattern of behavior will emerge, and it becomes apparent that a particular user is a habitual troll.

In those cases where there is a community consensus that a user is a habitual troll, is there anything that we, as average Workplace users, can or should do to help identify the pattern of behavior?

marked as duplicate by David K, Philip Kendall, Jim G., Draken, IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 30 '18 at 11:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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  • Flag posts, down vote. – SiXandSeven8ths Mar 29 '18 at 19:58
  • Yes @AnneDaunted. Thank you for asking. I will edit the question to clarify. – Lumberjack Mar 29 '18 at 19:58
  • @AnneDaunted as an aside, I recently noticed that a Workplace user I had assumed was banned for trolling was still at it. I suspect he had a long term ban and that was recently expired, but I'm not sure. – Lumberjack Mar 29 '18 at 20:01
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    The guidance from the two questions you linked (and the other I linked) all seem pretty clear to me. What would you like to know that you believe isn't addressed in the other posts? – David K Mar 29 '18 at 20:18
  • "I recently noticed that a Workplace user I had assumed was banned for trolling was still at it." I wouldn't be surprised if we were thinking of the same user. But let's not go into further detail. – Anne Daunted Mar 29 '18 at 20:29
  • @AnneDaunted Pop into The Water Cooler if you want to... – Philip Kendall Mar 29 '18 at 20:56
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    @Lumberjack You may want to give this a read: Why we don't keep public records of suspensions. The point of suspensions is that they expire and that users get to try again. We should try to avoid judging those users by their past actions and give them the benefit of the doubt, to the extent possible. Beyond that the advice given in the linked questions still applies of course. – Lilienthal Mar 29 '18 at 20:59
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    @SiXandSeven8ths probably worth keeping in mind that voting down is unlikely to help. Prior experience suggests that trolls somehow figured a way to exploit hot-questions meaning that downvotes from small number of site regulars will be totally obscured by upvotes from "entertained" careless passers-by – gnat Mar 29 '18 at 21:36
  • @DavidK I think that is a fair criticism. I believe both of the questions I linked do a good job of discussing how to handle a bad question or answer. I have edited my question in the hopes that it will now accurately articulate the question I intended to ask, namely: "In those cases where there is a community consensus that a user is a troll, is there anything that we, as average Workplace users, can or should do to help identify the pattern of behavior?" – Lumberjack Mar 29 '18 at 21:58
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    There are no trolls, only people trying to play the game and ask an interesting question. Dont hate the player hate the game. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 29 '18 at 23:12
  • Which question are you concerned about? – Jim G. Mar 30 '18 at 0:21
  • @JimG. The question was already deleted. – Lumberjack Mar 30 '18 at 0:50
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In those cases where there is a community consensus that a user is a habitual troll, is there anything that we, as average Workplace users, can or should do to help identify the pattern of behavior?

As a community, we should be looking for problem posts, not problem users. If you see a question that you think is trolling, then follow the guidance in this answer from another Meta thread on trolling. If you see a problem answer or comment, then downvote and flag it for deletion or for a moderator. It is not our job to identify problem users, but by frequently (and appropriately) using flags, moderators should notice a pattern.

There is only once that I have specifically asked for a user to be suspended, and I do not think it should be done regularly. This is the wording I used when flagging one of their posts:

This user currently has three active answers (likely more that have been deleted), all with an extremely negative score. The answers I have seen all tend to offer very bad and damaging advice. I would ask that moderators consider whether a suspension is appropriate for this user.

In this instance I felt the user was offering possibly harmful advice, and that they had gone under the radar enough that they may not have been known to moderators. When it comes to suspensions and other actions to be taken against a user, that is the decision of the moderation team, not the community. If you notice a pattern from a particular user, then as I did, you are welcome to notify the moderators, but trust that they will take whatever action is appropriate for the situation.

  • I've asked for a couple of users to be deleted, but just asked thin air, didn't actually type it out anywhere. I call them 'troll commenters'. :-) – Kilisi Mar 30 '18 at 11:28

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