2010-09-08 00:48:44Moderation massacres


Right now I feel like Macbeth when he says

"I am in blood

Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o'er."
It all started with the best of intentions.  I noticed that GallopingCamel had posted a minor bit of trollery in the "52 skeptics in a room" thread [gallopingcamel at 14:08 PM on 7 September 2010] in which she/he tried to drag the thread off-topic.  I deleted it.

But by the time I'd done that, HumanityRules had posted a reply [HumanityRules at 20:34 PM on 7 September 2010] which was more or less on topic but unfortunately contained an explicit reference to GallopingCamel's now-deleted comment, so it had to go too.

HumanityRules and Cynicus then each posted additional brief comments [HumanityRules at 21:37 PM on 7 September 2010] and [cynicus at 21:48 PM on 7 September 2010] following up on HR's now-deleted comment.  They got deleted, too.

At that point, it seemed like maybe the mess had been contained, but no.  A few minutes later, theendisfar posted a comment [theendisfar at 23:22 PM on 7 September 2010] which would have been OK except for this little charming piece of trolling:  "Second, as a post that was removed cited, an email regarding the delight in John Daly's death noted that..."  Okay, that obviously couldn't stay.

But even though I got to theendisfar's comment quickly, it wasn't quick enough.  Toby Joyce had already started composing a reply [tobyjoyce at 23:36 PM on 7 September 2010] and then a postscript to that reply [tobyjoyce at 23:43 PM on 7 September 2010].

So, for those who are keeping count, that's seven comments deleted in quick succession, all due to one brief bit of trolling plus a bunch of people inadvertently or deliberately responding to it.

I don't know if my decision to delete GallopingCamel's initial comment was wrong, or if it was just a series of cases of bad timing, or what ... ah, well.  Sorry, John, I hope this one doesn't snowball any further!
2010-09-08 09:01:01

What's worse, having one's dinner spoiled by Banquo's ghost or being endlessly pestered by yammering knee-high trolls?