The Goblin Market

(In which the Internet is imagined to be a bag full of cats and goblins, shaken by a Troll.)
'Like' buttons are everywhere, sprinkled across content like a cheap garnish. Mostly they do nothing useful, beyond the up/down vote gamification* of value. What we need is a 'Idiotic' button, which applys to comments, not to content.

My critical thinking skills were developed on dead-tree media and my taste is idiosyncratic, not cosmopolitan. I ignore the like-scoring of content as irrelevant at best and misleading at worse.
Comments, on the other hand...

The Internet still can't figure out how to deal with them. Comments are often useful, but picking the utility out of the sea of crap is labor-intensive. And the trolls are offensive. Its irritating even to the thick-skinned to read twenty paragraphs of hate-mail and general crassness. Anyone de-sensatized enough that isn't rankled by half the remarks under any typical Youtube video has got a real problem, and one that is not going to be solved by more Internet.

Its not just Youtube comments***. One of the problems I have with Stack Overflow is related to this, but I'll go into that another day. What we need is some way to penalize crappy remarks. We're dealing with baby trolls, with goblins.

Trolls are the worse case situations. How do you deal with a troll? If its your site you can deploy the Ban; if you're a casual reader, you are helpless. I'm not about to** create a ephemeral user account to quarrel with a bully, but by saying nothing, I'm giving him freedom to operate. Set a threshold, and drop the comment to the bottom of the page after enough Idiotic flags.

Implement such a system, and skeletorhatesmankind may be driven from the Internet!

*I'm going to pretend this a real word, but it sounds more like Pointy-Haired-Manager talk than an adverb.
**Read this as 'lazy'
***Notice to goblins...if you think a teenager's cover of 'Heartshaped Box' is the only place to discuss the Z-O-G, marijuana curing cancer, or Bizarro-World racism, you need to re-assess your scope of venues.

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