Ok, usually the #stuff category is for things outside the realm of Flash/AIR/AS3 but that are still technical in nature, and here well... it is more social in nature but that can still apply to the technical.
Phoenix Perry (@phoenixperry), Professor, CS PhD researcher, etc., wrote an interesting article on medium
What’s next with Nazis? Let me school you on trolling.
Hey liberal friends I need you to put the latte down and take 2 minutes before you pick your kids up and take a beat. I know your life is busy and stressful. However, if we keep trundling down this path, we are headed to a critical junction. We need your help to stop this situation before we end up in a global war. In order to do that, we need to crib you up on social media trolling and how it has evolved to work over the last couple of years in the geopolitical landscape.
That's the short intro, and let not make it only political.
Yes, it is technical too, as a programmer, open source contributor, social media user, etc.
you will most likely encounter trolls, and knowing their tactics is always a good thing,
at least to avoid wasting time on them.
As much as trolling was a very tiny part of the Internet long time ago, it has grown to a point
it almost had become a "sport" for some people, wether they are stupid, malevolent, bored, whatever ...
you just see more and more trolling every goddam day.
Here, Phoenix Perry, isolate four specific trolling tactics and I think everyone should know about that
to not fall for it , and my comments are more about the angle "when this happen in technical arguing online"...
Appear logical and open the time vortex
If you want to see a good example of this, go read the Google bro’s letter. He isn’t shouting. He’s not screaming. He’s calmly stating a really radically broken ideology which has a logical frame around it until you apply actual facts to it. He wants you to spend time dealing with him and his nonsense. This argument is really hard to deal with because it has got the guise of discussion and bait you will engage with. Warning now, he does not want to change. He wants to waste your mental energy. That is his bait. He wants your attention. He will find ways to lead you again and again into exhaustion. Hate comes disguised as logical debate. Guess what you can’t do while debating them? Impact real change.
This one is a classic and hard to avoid, because it does appear logic and most people when dragged in such logic argument kind of answer by wanting to help to the point where all this logic run in circles and make you waste an awful amount of time.
Specifically for open source projects also check out this video
Google I/O 2008 - Open Source Projects and Poisonous People
That "bozo bit" they are talking about is exactly that.
Keep your hands clean
This is the tactic of having 2 (or more) accounts, one public and one or more which is anonymous. They say and do very different things. One might even be having a conversation which looks logical while the other attacks you. Some accounts exist only to harasses people. Also, this can be someone who has two faces in person. When some people are in the room they act one way and when you are alone with them they act another. If a person who has a marginalised status tells you this is happening, believe it. It is. The counter to this is doxxing the anon account and linking it back to their real life. At work or in social settings, feel free to record and screen capture people. I now am. Do not trust. This is why unmasking the Nazis is important. They are used to being able to deny their hate in different contexts when it suits them. Because of their privilege, they can get away with it. Don’t allow it.
This one is quite vicious, when it does happen to you it tend to make you more paranoid, I know the part "At work or in social settings, feel free to record and screen capture people." feel extreme, but sometimes it is the only weapon you have to fight it back.
I see it as a kind of social trojan horse, the anonymous account(s) on the side that are attacking you are here only to increase your emotional response.
Or let see it like that, if you are arguing with 1 person, 1 vs 1 you are on equal plan, but if suddenly you are arguing about the same thing vs 3 or 4 other people, it feels like you are wrong.
But it get worst, take 3 different people that communicate with each others to "take you down",
and all those people have anonymous accounts to multiply "their say" and now you are arguing with a dozen people, a group, and all they say is that "you are wrong" well ... it can get nasty pretty fast.
Here few more tips:
if 2 or more different accounts reuse the same pattern: way of writing, expressions, etc.
it is usually a tale it is controlled by 1 person
- chained arguments
something that say "account 1" is logically followed by something that say "account 2", etc.
eg. all those arguments are following each other a little too well, a little too organised,
timing is a little too perfect ... that's a tale too
- the fake friend
the account that seems is agreeing with you but to only give more ammunition
to the other attacking accounts ... and suddenly take you apart in "private message" etc.
well... don't be too paranoid, but look at the timing, it is probably not a "friend"
Signalling as Intimidation
Signalling is a way of dropping hints people in the know within communities pick up on to raise or align their social standing. This is functionally like shouting hate on the street to people adept in social but it’s not something you can take to HR or point out as hate speech to people who don’t get where we are at online. This is something these people do that liberals who don’t live online just don’t get and that is tremendously dangerous. If someone is signalling an ideology and a member of a marginalised group picks up on it and is upset by it, believe them. They are expressing real affiliations which are threatening and dangerous to the other person.
In technical sphere it's not exactly the same thing, not as dangerous, but still...
ever got the "joke" on LinkedIn about being an "actionscript expert" ?
Oh it's just a joke right?, but ultimately some circles like to shame other circles for their preference in tech,
they try to intimidate you into being silent about the tech you like and/or use,
eg. "don't say you like this because it could be bad for your career"
And here how the trolls work: they will try to blame you about "not being able to take it as a joke"
and with other tactics they will get all offended that you made a joke yourself about something else.
Claim to be the victim
This one will take the cake. They do it when they know they have done something wrong and you’ve finally shouted back or stood up for what you believe in. I am now of the opinion that if you are a person of color, woman or queer person and you refuse to be treated like trash, you’ll been called a bully by one of these men in the last 2 years. This is a new, odious strategy to discredit us to other liberals who can’t read social cues connected to online spaces. If you fall for this one you can become their allies in persecuting us out of a place where we rightfully belong. If you see a white man hold up the, “I am being bullied” sign realise he’s most likely the aggressor and finally it has backfired on him.
Yeah this one does take the cake, it is fucking infuriating, and yeah I agree when it happen in the technical world is not that dramatic but still... being manipulated in such way by trolls is not something you want to let happen, not to yourself, not to anyone else.
Some general advices about trolling is to "not feed the troll", but you can't always do that
as sometimes just the fact to say nothing will be taken as proof to go against your argument etc.
Anyway, being aware of those tactics can help to detect them sooner and avoid to fall for them.
For indie dev where time is one of your more valuable assets I would say define for yourself
a "max amount of time to give away", wether it is 5mn, 10mn, etc.
trolls use those tactics in general to get your attention, which is you spending time on their bullshit,
wether you detect it or not, putting a limit in time allow you to not waste too much time on it.
Plain and simple