I found this an enlightening perspective. While I may not agree with all of it, I stirs thought with its well-considered positions.
Thanks Jeff, I agree, well worth reading and considering.
Yes, thanks for pointing this out. As I started to read, I thought it was going to be an apology for trolls, or a hand-wringing essay about our helplessness in the face of bad behavior.
But, this passages gives a clear path for communities like ours that have a good moderation facility:
“Don’t feed the trolls” also ignores an obvious method for addressing online abuse: skilled moderation and the willingness to kick people off platforms for violating rules about abuse. At one website I used to write for, everyone constantly remarked that we had the most amazing, thoughtful commenters. How did we achieve this? Easy: a one-strike policy. Complete zero tolerance. Did people complain? Of course they did. But it stopped people with bad intentions from being a part of the community, and it kept all the well-meaning people on their best behavior. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good.
Helps to stiffen the spine of the all the moderators...
The last sentence is important:
We have to care more about the people they [the trolls] hurt.