Anyone who has ever been on a Message Board is familiar with the following scenario;
An offensive post is made, there are complaints. The Mod bows to ‘freedom of speech’. 99% of all users leave the message board. Then the person who made the offensive post leaves. The Message Board is now dead.
This method has been successfully used since the earliest days of online communication. It is done ‘for fun’ or there is a political/social purpose in shutting up enemies.
As most owners/mods are not particularly astute they do not understand what it means to the users of the site to allow the Troll’s post to stand. They do not perceive the insult paid to their members. Most mod/owners do not consider ‘bad taste’, ‘relevance’ or make a judgement call; i.e. that this post, that the sentiments contained in this post, do not carry the discussion further, and are not in the interest of the site and are offensive to the members.
Most mods/owners opt for a kind of destructive ‘equality’. This suits the Troll.
Very often persons with vested interests, (for a example a shill for another writing site) will begin spewing invective. They may insult other users by name, may denegrate their writing and their sentiments, may even send offensive PMs. The likelihood their posts will be ‘equal’ to those of a real member is all they need. As soon as a real member appreciates s/he is equal to the troll, the real member leaves. This is exactly what the Troll desires.
It is a simple fact; persons who belong to site feel part of that site in the sense of Belonger, The Troll, aware of this, will pit himself against the Belonger. The belief is that the word of the Belonger should be given higher credit than the word of a Troll. As most of us are aware, this is not true. The Mods/Admins do not differentiate between the Troll who has popped over to destroy the message Board, and the Belonger who is there to maintain it. Hence the ‘equality’ insults the Belonger who leaves. One Belonger usually takes others with him/her. The Troll, who might be on the site as a shill from a rival site, is victorious. He’s shut the site down, he’s silenced the most active members.
Although this protocol has been operating since 1990 very few Mods/Owners seem to be aware of it. Which is why so many previously useful Message Boards or other sites have disappeared.
On writing sites, for example, there are those with vested interests in another site. They will do all they can to destroy this wirting site. They will attack other users, they will post virtual garbage, they will have an army of duals attack a particular ‘foundation’ member. When the Mods/Owner do nothing the Foundation member leaves. Thus, dropping he standards of the site even further.