Monday, October 7, 2013

When trying to educate on dog message boards (warning, .gif post)

We've had a spate of new (and some not so new) users on Doberman Talk who have bought their puppies from less than reputable breeders and are being very public about how it was their choice, they're going to love their dogs anyway, we're all meany butts, etc. etc.

Okay. Fair point, it is their choice. And at least one of them is a troll, more likely than not. It doesn't take a lot of Doberman Talk browsing to learn what the hot buttons are: taking a puppy home too soon, bringing a male puppy into a house where there are other males, ear crop issues when a natural eared puppy was purchased from a backyard breeder and the new owner is searching for or has found a less than optimal cropping vet.

I'm not the most knowledgeable of members on Doberman Talk. There are many people there who have been in Dobermans for longer than I've been alive. There are people there who have been picking up the pieces from bad breeders for years and years, working with rescues, getting puppies shoved at them, almost anything you can imagine.

Trolling is the Internet sport of, essentially, getting people all riled up and angry for the sake of it. It's so weird; who trolls a dog message board? So there are stages of assessing the veracity of a user's posts.

Stage one: Not sure if trolling or just stupid:

In the interest of diplomacy, I would say "ignorant" rather than "stupid". Ignorance can be fixed. Sometimes you just don't know any better. But you can't fix stupid. I was once ignorant. I have learned such that I try to teach others, and try to do so diplomatically. I still have the patience; I haven't burned out from years of rescue and talking myself blue in the face to people.

Stage two: The Lord is Testing Me.

It's still unsure if the person is "real" or a troll. Trying to trot out the information while understanding that yes, buying a puppy is exciting. Yes, puppies are the cutest most adorable thing in the world, hands down. Yes, money may have already exchanged hands. But...the puppy is how old? The parents are what? They're kept where? 

Stage three: Three things can happen in stage three: 

It is confirmed the user is a troll. 

It is confirmed the user was just ignorant.

It is confirmed the user would in fact rather just do what they want and nobody else could possibly have the right answer.

Stage four: Beating the dead horse. 

And going in circles.

The information is out there. You know the user has seen it. Everybody else in the thread has said it. But you try anyway. And try. And try. Which leads to feelings of deep frustration.

And disappointment.

And anger

Stage five: memes and .gifs. When a thread truly goes south on DobermanTalk, the .gifs and memes (like the ones in this post) come out. 

The term "drama llama" is occasionally applied. 

We play Flounce Bingo (though Flounce Bingo was clearly created for LiveJournal, it is generalizable.

At that point, there's only so long before a moderator locks the thread. 

The inciting member (depending on what happened in stage three) may or may not have a temporary ban, or an actual ban. And then the cycle starts anew with the next person who's bringing home a 6 week old puppy. Or whose puppy has smelly cropped ears. Or who all of the sudden has a male dog and a male Doberman puppy, which, while not necessarily an immediate problem, and while it may not be an eventual problem, depending on the dog, can still be a problem.  Same sex aggression is unfortunately present in the Doberman breed. But that, my friends, is a story for another day.


  1. I have a troll on my facebook page, it's quite annoying. I've actually started blocking him.

    It's sad when people choose to be ignorant and when you are in a forum or on a message board and everyone is telling you the same thing, then you are choosing to be ignorant. I find if most people acknowledge they didn't know, but are trying to educate themselves it goes much farther. A shame really.

    1. Sometimes, blocking them is all you can do. Don't feed the trolls!

      It is a shame, though, I do agree. Why wouldn't you want to learn?

  2. Ugh. So aggravating. Everybody gets so worked up in the internet, and they do and say stuff that they'd NEVER say to someone's face in person.

    1. Yes, there is a lot of back and forth that sometimes really surprises me. Some people take no time before the gloves come off.Though I'll tell you a secret: I have a guilty pleasure in reading Internet drama that isn't directed at me.

  3. Ahhhh, trolls! I thinks they need to get a life. Really. Who gets off on that? And, on a dog message board????? WTF?! I have seen them on political sites (wow, have I !! one of the main reasons I stopped going to them), butt a dog message board???
    Odd. Strange. And, might I say, a little narcissistic....
    Anyhu, screw em'!! That's what Ma says anyway!
    Ruby ♥

    1. Yeah, on a dog message board. It just blows my mind! But, getting people worked up is the goal, and it isn't hard to figure out what buttons to push....

  4. I enjoyed this post immensely! If it helps, the same things happen on Greyhound and German Shepherd boards, but I try to stay out of the fray! You can't fix stupid!

    1. Hah, thank you! It was fun to put together, certainly :D

      You can't fix stupid, that's very true. Mostly, I stay out of the fray, though I do spectate.

  5. Reading this brought back memories of when I was involved in a Newf forum. The forum was very educational for me but it got to be too much drama so I just stopped going to it.I 'll still go back now and then to look something up and then snoop around and it still seems like the same drama.

    1. Funny where drama is found, isn't it? Especially in what's supposed to be an educational venue.