Comrades, it's me again. My last few fanposts have dealt less with the wheelings (and, naturally, the dealings) of the MMA landscape and more with BE itself. The last year has seen a lot of change impact the BE community and it's been a mix of good and bad. New moderators - good. Need for new moderators because of loathsome trolls - bad.
I claim a small amount of responsibility for this recent change, probably because I wrote this little number. Wait a sec, that's not the one. It was most likely this manifesto. Nope, wrong again. Biting wit and hard-hitting investigatory journalism? I'm like Murphy-fucking-Brown!
Self-love aside, I wrote this after the Condit/Diaz fight and its ensuing controversy: Unleash the Banhammer ASAP. While I acknowledge that these types of fights do tend to elicit strong emotions and comments, the nature of many of the comments in this specific case really irritated me. Not necessarily because I disagreed with them, but because many of them were lazy/stupid/derivative. I inject a healthy amount of snark into a lot my comments but I also self-edit or cancel them if I feel the point I'm making has been made already or is somehow not of much value. That's a personal standard that I don't expect everyone to embrace, but I don't like seeing the same points brought up over and over again, especially if nothing new is brought to the table. But there is a danger of extremism in this area too, and it manifested itself in the following comment on psychoblack's latest fanpost:
Why would I do what this Sherdog troll tells me to do? He’s ruining the BE comment section which I one help in such high regard.Sigh
"So what," you may be asking, "exactly is your fucking point jackass? You're already at 250 words and haven't even left the introduction stage. Maybe your self-edit button is broken."
Here's my point: BE needs trolls, but they have to be a certain type of troll. They need to be unique and set themselves apart from the trollscape in some way that keeps BE vibrant and interesting and lets the rest of us use their entertaining crackpot delusions to articulate valid points/counterpoints. These BE-level trolls should be tagged and protected like an endangered species while the rest of the troll herd is culled by the fiery hammers of our Lord God Ban. I'm not sure if our protected population should be officially marked in some way (sig line identifier, etc.) or if an informal understanding of who has special status among members and mods is enough.
I don't want these trolls to be treated like capering mascots, either. They've earned enough respect to be playfully derided and criticized but I want them to keep contributing because their presence makes BE that much more interesting. I won't presume to make recommendations (fuck, maybe you all think I should be Troll Zero) but I think that as BE continues to grow and develop we should be conscious of and work to protect this wonderful resource.
Alright, one recommendation: subo.