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how do you differentiate between a troll and a cop on @news?

0 votes
To elaborate: With the recent grand jury resistors there seems to be a lot of speculation, trolling, and info gathering going on in posts.
asked Nov 14, 2012 by midwestirs (350 points)
im somewhat curious how this effects the ways we interact on @news
It's almost like there is baiting going on in some of the comments
i think thats true, but i guess i just dont understand exactly what the implications are of whether we know people are trolls or cops.  im not hatin, just trying to figure out where yer going with this
Just wondering if people are aware that sometimes they are willingly giving up info that might have an impact on a pending case. You know? I assume you aren't hating on the question.

1 Answer

+3 votes
 
Best answer
One can't necessarily. Sometimes the cops are trolling, and sometimes they are trying to insinuate themselves in to conversation. It really shouldn't matter too much, since @News is not exactly the best place to be talking about anything you wouldn't talk about right in front of a cop, anyway. Don't assume your anonymous posts can't be tracked back to you.

As far as when people call commentors out on being trolls versus being cops, I think normally trolls get called out for asking questions that purposely derail discussion through personal insults ("anarchy fags"), strawmen, or ad hominem attacks. Or by posting as or accusing someone of being someone polarizing ("Megan Guthrie," "Bob Black," etc).

People are most often accused of being cops when they try to use hyper-militant arguments to direct conversation ("they posted a communique about smashing some windows? Real anarchists have their AK's locked and loaded and are ready to shoot some government officials!" - *not a direct quote from @news*), or fishing for information by dropping names, speculating about details that might bait folks to reply with actual factual info that would be privileged, and so forth.

There might be more nuance to it, as mostly I avoid the comments there at this point, except to occasionally inquire about newspaper boxes.
answered Nov 14, 2012 by ingrate (21,720 points)
edited Nov 14, 2012 by ingrate
this this this.
first there is no difference, second it doesn't matter because all anons are cops, third assume they're reading anyway whether they're commenting or not.
or something like that...
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