• coccyx

Results of the "Disqus Home Troll Baiting Experiment"

As my esteemed colleagues already know, the Disqus Home experiment recently concluded after approximately 3 years. An summary of our study methodology and results follows:


We investigated whether a group of commenters known for their constant demonstrated antisocial behavior (such as racism, sexism, general trolling, etc) who we designated as "MALCONTENTS" for study purposes, would eventually go insane when presented with various obstacles. In the first phase of the study, all participants (control group + malcontents) were told they would be allowed to create "channels" (i.e. no-charge discussion sites) on Disqus Home to discuss whatever they'd like, after having been exposed to the very few channels created and run by Disqus Corporate. Channels created by users immediately fell into the following categories:




To further along the experiment, we then designated random users as "All Stars", gave them a star emoji in front of their usernames, and introduced them to the community as being "star posters that you should know". Malcontents reactions can be summed up thusly:



Even though the malcontents started threatening to leave Disqus, the creation of All Stars apparently wasn't enough to get them motivated to do so. At this point, Disqus announced its Hate Speech policy, after which several malcontents' accounts were removed. However, this was not enough to deter them making new accounts over and over again (aka "sockpuppeting"), like a form of OCD, even though they supposedly hated Disqus so much. The most egregious example of this was a malcontent we will refer to as "mahatmashitbag", who had over 100 sock accounts which he used to talk to and upvote himself. [Please refer to our other paper, "When Multiple Personality Disorder Strikes - Nuke It ", to be published next month after peer review.]


In conclusion, the commenters tested were too far gone before testing, and the Disqus system did not allow for stemming the tide of creation of multiple accounts by a single user, therefore all the results of this experiment are moot. We will start our revised experiment on our new testing ground, known as "realms", starting immediately.



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