I suppose blogging is a kind of vanity publishing. There’s no quality control – I can write what I like. But the main difference between Topsyturvydom and some execrable self-published collection of poems is that I can, to some extent, control the reaction to it. After all, an author publishing in the usual way is open to criticism and has to take it. On the interweb, however, my space (someone should use that as the name for a web site) is my castle, and I can repel boarders if I wish.
In four years of blogging, I’ve never attracted the kind of malicious commenter designated a troll by the internet geeks. Until now, that is. Thanks to a friend who understands how these things work, I have been able to use my sitemeter to identify the troll’s IP address- not that I really needed to, as I know who the person is, but you never know when you might need proof. Having a colleague who is an expert in forensic linguistics is useful too.
The upshot is that comment moderation is now in place. It won’t trouble any genuine commenter, beyond having to wait a matter of some hours perhaps before their comment appears. But I really don’t see why I should give cyber house-room to people who simply want to insult me. So I won’t.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Trolls by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

11 Responses to “Trolls”

  1. Ooh, you seem to have had some fun with trolls and I missed all the excitement. Most people seem to use moderation anyway, it stops you getting those silly web-crawlers with Chinese fonts. If it's any consolation, there were no dissenters amongst your students in my day. Only one complained in my earshot, and he admitted to having anger issues anyway. When we were to work together once in a pre-booked study room, we got there to find it already in use. In his best Wigan accent, he shouted 'get the hell out of here – you're not working anyway, you're just fart-arsing about!' They scuttled away and I kept my head down for the rest of the morning…

  2. Arf! Just the one troll I think, who did submit another lovely comment that I decided not to publish- but I've kept it as a memento. The focus was mainly on what they used to call my organ of generation…

  3. Yes- wizened bloke in tweed jacket with leather elbow-patches. So no change there then.
    I'm warming to this now. Who to cast in the film? Trevor Eve as the older me, I think. The young me – David Walliams?

  4. I haven't seen that movie, but Mr Moustache looks worth a second glance. Are you sure you wouldn't be better represented by something more in the Peter Wyngarde line, say in his Tabac era?

  5. Ah Peter Wyngarde! Jason King was an adolescent hero of mine. I particularly liked the way his shirt cuffs were folded back. I think my first after shave was Tabac, too.
    Madame – yes, wearisome stuff. I may entertain my reader with some choice extracts in future posts.
    Loved your Iceland adventure. Another on my list!

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