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February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs" 
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Post February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:46 pm
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Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Interesting story. I read your latest blog entry, ran to the forums and wanted to respond, but there was a constant ringing in the building I'm in which was distracting me from trying to think about what I was going to write. So I continued on through my daily Internet run, coming across a cute news story about a new childrens book that compiled kids' letters to President Obama; proceeds go to charity. It's innocent and funny, but the story's also on a blog. And lo and behold, guess what more than half the comments are:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/ ... book_N.htm

Demeaning, misunderstood insults about democrats and insulting the intelligence of the posted children. This is on the blog of USA Today, who ironically are asking to be "calm and civil" in readers' responses. This is the reason I despise online droogs, especially politically motivated ones. Even in a seemingly innocent story, instead of focusing on the specifics, the droogs instead continue to sound like a broken record and gripe about the bigger picture and insult it because they're supposedly better. The fact that they use this to trumpet their radical political views in our faces for the millionth time is inexplicable. It's sad when we have this brilliant way of communication, and a large amount abuses it by lashing out insults with zero remorse, and never allowing anyone to reason with them. If anyone is using this as a way of channeling anger, they're obviously confused. Hurling derogatory banter on the internet is not a way to harness anger management, since, like you said, it will reach someone and hurt them. Imagine the families of those children reading those blog entries, which are calling these kids, "idiots", "democratic scum", "an embarrassment to our country", I can't help but feel sorry for them.

BTW: About the forums, you have nothing to worry about James. It's already a success as much as I can tell.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:42 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Ryan wrote:
BTW: About the forums, you have nothing to worry about James. It's already a success as much as I can tell.


For now at least. I'm kind of dreading the forums being opened to the general public. I love it now, but of course as with all forums there will be some abuse, and the online droogs will make an appearance. Hopefully the moderators (whoever they may be) stop things before they get too far out of hand. I've never really participated in forums before, mainly because of the types of people that frequent them. I love having intelligent conversations with people, and it seems like the people here do too. Unfortunately, at least with the internet, we seem to be in the minority.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:12 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
You know, I've always been more of a fan of smaller forums where you get to know everyone, so I hope this forum doesn't explode or anything like that. I'm still remaining positive that the community will remain intelligent and without conflict, but I understand vitriol should be a worry. *sigh* The internet's such a terrible place sometimes. Tread lightly.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:53 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
nice reelthought.

Pedro wrote:
You know, I've always been more of a fan of smaller forums where you get to know everyone, so I hope this forum doesn't explode or anything like that. I'm still remaining positive that the community will remain intelligent and without conflict, but I understand vitriol should be a worry. *sigh* The internet's such a terrible place sometimes. Tread lightly.


I agree. not that I don't want the forum to be unsuccessful, but it's much better when there aren't THAT many people. in that case, forums tend to become less focused, trolls and spammers start to appear and yeah, you don't get to know people as much as in smaller, more "personal" (so to speak) forums.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:17 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Very meaningful ReelThought.

I share your insight on the matter that people should behave online as they should in real life. Many may argue that there are serious 'online personalities' who are genuinely good-hearted people in real life. Although they may indeed be a lot nicer in person, I seriously doubt that people should be allowed to get away with being an ass online. People should be judged in everything they do and they should be accountable for every footprint they make.

If one acts differently online as they do in person, it should be clear that they either have a lack of identity or have something to prove in their alternate entities. People are as they are, and cannot conceal themselves behind an online alias because the reality is that once one turns off computer, they return to their original self.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:36 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
It's one of the fun things about the internet too though isn't it? The impersonal nature of it?

It gives a sense of tremendous freedom. You can invent yourself in any number of ways.
It's unfortunate that some people use this freedom poorly, but that happens in real life as well.
A lot of people hide behind the anonymity, but I think the more interesting idea is to embrace it, to create a new persona for yourself. Especially for young people, it provides a great chance to experiment with new ideas, new characters for themselves, without risking the same kind of social ridicule that they might fear in a real life setting.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:47 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
James,

Fear not, all will be well.

I've been on many forums from huge to small as a user and moderator and the problems you worry about do exist but they are a very small minority.

Spammers - maybe it's me but I just have not seen much of this. It's pretty easy to moderate obvious spamming and these people just get their membership revoked.

Trolls - Generally not an issue on film forums. It's rife where people have agendas and there are groups with opposing or different positions. The structure of this forum does not set this up at all. The worst examples i see are over on DPreview. It's a huge forum where a steady group on Canon and Nikon users seem to exist to try and goad the other group. That said, 99% of the Nikon and Canon members are totally friendly and interested in each others photographs and equipment. the trolls slowly get weeded out by the group and the moderators (which are poor on DP review)

Civility and flame wars - Any brief viewing of the rubbish regularly posted on the boxofficemojo forum will again show almost zero moderation that has lead to a ceaseless torrent of drivel drowning out the interesting discussion. It's a pity becasue there are great people over there trying hard.

Why will your forum succeed?

1) The site
It's a haven for people seeking out intelligent discussion and reviews from an admired critic. It will attract a different demo to newspapers and many other large sites.

2) The people
I think that the forum so far has demonstrated this point admirably. People have disagreed and bantered but always in a great tone. I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting your friends. The best analogy I can provide is that you invited us all around for an evening at your home and we're enjoying the party.

3) Leadership
You're obviously applying a lot more thought to this than simply putting up a forum and leaving it to get along on its own. The rollout strategy is very smart. You're going to ask for help - it would be a horrible time sink and frustrate the hell out of you as it takes time from reviews and reelviews. And we want the reviews and reelviews far more than the forum :-)

4) Dialogue
There seems to be a great dialogue going on about the forum and what i've seen is that everyone likes it and wants it to succeed. I think you've got about 35 moderators already ;-)

Good luck
Rob


Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:03 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Perhaps extremely rude, nasty and obnoxious people and spammers can be banned/removed from the forum. Hurtful posts may also be deleted by moderators. For now, this forum is working quite well likely due to the highly selective pool of members. Hopefully, it will remain this way.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:59 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
sheryl wrote:
Perhaps extremely rude, nasty and obnoxious people and spammers can be banned/removed from the forum. Hurtful posts may also be deleted by moderators. For now, this forum is working quite well likely due to the highly selective pool of members. Hopefully, it will remain this way.


Hi Sheryl

That's the way it generally works on other forums. As a moderator on another forum we gave people a warning by PM and they either changed their behavior or seemed to leave.

We'll get the odd bad apple, but the quality of the main site will make it rare - I hope!

Rob


Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:59 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Interesting Nadsat note:

Droog, as used in A Clockwork Orange (where I'm assuming you took the term) actually means "friend."

It's interesting to see the word used completely differently ... and hey, I think "online droog" is a perfect description of the idiots who usually fill online comments sections (Youtube, anyone? ugh!)


Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:08 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3136
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
jksander wrote:
Interesting Nadsat note:

Droog, as used in A Clockwork Orange (where I'm assuming you took the term) actually means "friend."

It's interesting to see the word used completely differently ... and hey, I think "online droog" is a perfect description of the idiots who usually fill online comments sections (Youtube, anyone? ugh!)


I got an e-mail from someone who speaks Russian. He said that "droog" is the Russian word for "friend." Obviously, it's used very tongue-in-cheek in A Clockwork Orange. I mean, would you consider Malcolm McDowell to be a "friend?"


Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:58 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Malcolm McDowell? Yes. Alex? No.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:03 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
jksander wrote:
Malcolm McDowell? Yes. Alex? No.


I'm not so sure about Malc, either....phenomenal actor, but from what I understand, he's had some issues.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:06 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Although i can empathise with all of you guys viewpoints as i once stood on the same ground, i would have to disagree to a certain degree.

Internet flame i believe is an excellent form of unbiased criticism, by 'unbiased' i am referring to the humane interaction that you have described. How many times have you seen something bad that you did not like, but because you were too afraid of the consequences you didn't say anything about it. If you remove yourself from the human interaction (that is the internet) you get the purest form of criticism although quite nasty i do admit but pure.

That is what i believe the internet is, true freedom that is completely uncensored.

Some comments are uncalled for, some are downright rude and inconsiderate hell some don't even relate to the topic. However they create something that has never been created before. You have your work completely laid out in front of you with every bit of detail that could have been wrong laid out in flesh.

What i believe is really wrong is the fact that the people who see the positive side do not comment equally as passionate as the haters and the inability for the person who is recieving these insults to keep an open mind.

If you proceed to censor and tame the internet you will no longer have free thought in this form.

Anyway that's just my 2 cents.


Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:53 am
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Humga wrote:
Although i can empathise with all of you guys viewpoints as i once stood on the same ground, i would have to disagree to a certain degree.

Internet flame i believe is an excellent form of unbiased criticism, by 'unbiased' i am referring to the humane interaction that you have described. How many times have you seen something bad that you did not like, but because you were too afraid of the consequences you didn't say anything about it. If you remove yourself from the human interaction (that is the internet) you get the purest form of criticism although quite nasty i do admit but pure.

That is what i believe the internet is, true freedom that is completely uncensored.

Some comments are uncalled for, some are downright rude and inconsiderate hell some don't even relate to the topic. However they create something that has never been created before. You have your work completely laid out in front of you with every bit of detail that could have been wrong laid out in flesh.

What i believe is really wrong is the fact that the people who see the positive side do not comment equally as passionate as the haters and the inability for the person who is recieving these insults to keep an open mind.

If you proceed to censor and tame the internet you will no longer have free thought in this form.

Anyway that's just my 2 cents.

That's an interesting viewpoint - and I agree on some points (refer to my previous post).

However, when you get people who are trolls, who are just goading other people on, and don't really care about the topic under discussion - I fail to see the benefit.
I don't think this reflects any passion regarding the subject, just passion regarding their ability to incite anger in others.
Sure, it can reflect people's passion for the subject when they respond in kind, incensed by the troll. But is this a useful discourse? The author of the works being discussed isn't reading these threads to be able to see the passion on display (most likely). Nothing new is being discovered unlike in more intelligent discourse where the film might be better understood.

An internet flame is not a form of criticism. If it is, it is akin to a thumbs up or down. And that kind of criticism only matters from critics who we already respect.


Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:07 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Hello,

Second time poster here. Thanks for the article -- I enjoyed reading it.

I have been reading your review for some time now. I don't know how I found your site -- that's a fact lost in the mists of time. But I always read your reviews because, if you like a file, I almost invariably like it. (I actually don't think I've ever differed with you on films you like!) We're not always eye-to-eye on films you dislike.

In any case, thank you for the reviews. Even if we disagree, they're always a good read and usually give me some insight to films I would not have had otherwise.

Best regards,

-- Bob


Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:45 pm
Post Re: February 4, 2009: "Attack of the On-Line Droogs"
Quote:

Quote:
Humga wrote:
Although i can empathise with all of you guys viewpoints as i once stood on the same ground, i would have to disagree to a certain degree.

Internet flame i believe is an excellent form of unbiased criticism, by 'unbiased' i am referring to the humane interaction that you have described. How many times have you seen something bad that you did not like, but because you were too afraid of the consequences you didn't say anything about it. If you remove yourself from the human interaction (that is the internet) you get the purest form of criticism although quite nasty i do admit but pure.

That is what i believe the internet is, true freedom that is completely uncensored.

Some comments are uncalled for, some are downright rude and inconsiderate hell some don't even relate to the topic. However they create something that has never been created before. You have your work completely laid out in front of you with every bit of detail that could have been wrong laid out in flesh.

What i believe is really wrong is the fact that the people who see the positive side do not comment equally as passionate as the haters and the inability for the person who is recieving these insults to keep an open mind.

If you proceed to censor and tame the internet you will no longer have free thought in this form.

Anyway that's just my 2 cents.


That's an interesting viewpoint - and I agree on some points (refer to my previous post).

However, when you get people who are trolls, who are just goading other people on, and don't really care about the topic under discussion - I fail to see the benefit.
I don't think this reflects any passion regarding the subject, just passion regarding their ability to incite anger in others.
Sure, it can reflect people's passion for the subject when they respond in kind, incensed by the troll. But is this a useful discourse? The author of the works being discussed isn't reading these threads to be able to see the passion on display (most likely). Nothing new is being discovered unlike in more intelligent discourse where the film might be better understood.

An internet flame is not a form of criticism. If it is, it is akin to a thumbs up or down. And that kind of criticism only matters from critics who we already respect.


Imagine that. We take away rules and offer full anonymity, and the most unbiased form of exchange that educated and creative individuals of the 21st century engage in is demeaning discriminatory outbursts. Don't know if purity belongs in the same sentence.

An example. I was browsing through some Rotten Tomatoes featurettes on the Oscars today. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Reading the first couple of comments made me wanna vomit.
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/slumdog_millionaire/news/1798187/complete_oscar_winners_list_here

It's well known that to build something up is much harder than to tear it down. Even a proper criticism is something that must be engineered and this is the reason I'm so into Reelviews. James doesn't merely justify, but he justifies everything objectively. Tact and respect is a responsibility that comes with the freedom to express your views, on a forum and anywhere else in life. "Flame" is more impulse than thought based anyway and I truly don't believe it amounts to anything of value, except for in an intelectual junk yard anyway.


Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:44 pm
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