Shoot the Troll?

Facebook is a bit like what I imagine crack to be like. You can get quite addicted to it. There is this artificial feeling of power in its use, but it can also make you feel quite sick and be poisoning. And if you are in it like me as a propagandist, you have to decide when someone is a troll to be blocked or when it is a thoughtful contributor who has a radically different view.
I am a “shoot first” kind of guy. This is how the conversation went.
I reposted this meme that I thought was clever:
words matter
pnc: Then there is:
“teenager” Michael Brown – 6′ 5″, 289 lb
“teenager” Trayvon Martin – 5′ 11″, 158 lbs
“boy” Tamir Rice – 5’7″, 195lbs
If someone pulls a gun out on me that is indistinguishable from a semi-automatic pistol, it represents imminent death. Reality matters.
Paxus Calta-Star

Paxus Calta-Star The cop who killed Tamir Rice shot him within 2 seconds of getting out of the police car. The judge deemed there was sufficient cause to charge him with reckless homicide and dereliction of duty. You are right reality matters. http://thinkprogress.org/…/what-everyone-should-know…/

Peter Clayton
pnc: The judge wanted to give a grand jury an opportunity to review all of the evidence. The grand jury found no cause for prosecution.
Paxus Calta-Star
Paxus Calta-Starthe city gave a $6 million settlement in the Tamir Rice case
Paxus Calta-Star
Paxus Calta-Starthey are generous in these things
Peter Clayton
pnc:  Absolutely. They’re going to buy a significant voting block making press like that.
===================
At this point I blocked pnc. This conversation had all the feeling of trolling, and I just don’t have the energy for it. But I am a highly public personality and pnc quickly found a way in through my blog comments (which I moderate).
Hello Paxus,
I’m sorry that a difference of opinion over “spin” in mainstream reporting caused you to eject me from your friends list on Facebook today, but I understand “propagandist” in its most fundamental form. Although I agree with a lot of the causes that you advocate for and positions that you take, I would like to believe that positive change can only be wrought when differing opinions are negotiated to compromise acceptable to all.
“Preaching to the choir” may be egotistically rewarding, but changes nothing. Refusing to engage people with opinions other than your own also changes nothing. I wish you the best of success in all of your undertakings.
Peace and Best Regards,
pnc
I am curious about my readership’s judgement – Shoot the Troll? or Engage the Critic? Perhaps I have done both here today.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

6 responses to “Shoot the Troll?”

  1. Nadine Amazon says :

    Hey Paxus, I follow your blog from time to time. Am a free thinker (I hope? I think?) and often get tired of facebook (I often de-activate my account for a time). Anyway, I think that you ought to do what you can handle. Listen to your body. Sometimes our brain shuts and doesn’t want to hear something, or sometimes we can stay cool and argue, but it depends on how we feel that day. Some people just LOVE to argue for arguments sake. As Thich Nhat Hanh likes to remind us in his writings: Work withing your capacity. Its ok to disengage sometimes. Its hard though, on Facebook we are all expected to get along and stay friends or to define it as friend/not friend, but real life is not like that. There are subtleties and differences and arguments and then we get over it or don’t…but online there is no context or humour, so all we have is words words words. I think its ok to defriend and friend again, or whatever. Do what your body and mind tell you.
    And I will leave you with this: a dear friend said so eloquentlyvthese words to me when I was feeling quite alienated from my friends because of the facebook algorithms: “Fuck Facebook!”
    Sometimes that is right too. LOL. Be well and thanks for sharing your stories. I really enjoy them. Cheers. Nadine (aka Amazon)

  2. richard jbird says :

    engage first and if it goes nowhere shoot the troll.

  3. Ed Zavada says :

    The followup message and apology suggest that this person is not trolling and sincerely wanted to engage. Personally I don’t ban people unless they are abusive to me or others.

  4. santalorena says :

    I never shoot the troll. I’m a defender of free speech and refuse to censor even people I disagree with. If they become threatening, they’re gone. And reported. The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them, IMNSHO.

  5. Andrew says :

    Yes… I don’t like censoring other people, even those I disagree with. If you dig deep enough, you will disagree with everyone about something. The only time I would censor or ban someone is if they are being abusive or excessively interruptive. I value tolerance of different opinions, as I do honesty and kindness.

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