Sunday, 23 August 2015

Trolling along ...

I have been trolled ... well, I think that I have been!

When I checked my emails this morning I found the following message in my inbox. It was entitled AIRFIX BISMARCK COMMENTS, and the text was as follows:

'Bob,
Try shaving the obligatory, "I'm so insecure about my looks" Do Nut beard....
You might actually be taken seriously.
Your off the mark and highly negative comments about the Airfix Bismarck set completely misses the point. It is there for the enjoyment of modelers and if your childish and apparently compulsive need to play war games is not suited for this set, keep your bloody rude and obnoxious comments to yourself!
N'
How interesting!

Whoever 'N' is (and the email did have a name and email address), they are obviously miffed about something ... but they have either got the wrong 'Bob' or have what my students used to call 'issues'.

So what to do about it?

I could just ignore it ... but somehow I feel that this person deserves an answer, and I have – therefore – sent the following reply:

‘N,
Thank you very much for your recent email. As you have taken the time to contact me, I felt that it would rude of me not to reply.
I regret to inform you that I don’t have any insecurity about my looks; I acknowledged the fact that I am no Adonis many, many years ago. As to my beard … well we have been together now for over forty-five years and I cannot see us parting company in the near future. With regard to my need to be taken seriously … well I gave up worrying about that a long time ago and leave those concerns to people whose self-esteem needs that sort of support.
I assume that my ‘off the mark and highly negative comments about the Airfix Bismarck set’ are the ones I made on my blog back in February 2012. I will take issue with you about what you refer to as my ‘bloody rude and obnoxious comments’, as the title of that particular blog entry was ‘Why the Airfix ‘Sink the Bismarck’ set is so useful’ and contained nothing but praise for the models that were included.
Finally, may I address what you call my ‘childish and apparently compulsive need to play war games’. Well, you are entitled to your opinion about what I do in my spare time, and to some people it may well appear to be childish. So what? I happen to think that watching twenty-two overpaid, so-called ‘athletes’ kicking a football about for ninety minutes is ninety minutes wasted … but if that is what some people want to do with their spare time, that is their choice. As long as what they do does not impact upon what I want to do, I think that we can live in harmony ignoring each other.
All the best,
Bob
PS. If you are not the ‘N’ who sent me this email, then may I apologise for the certain level of sarcasm that may have pervaded the text of my email … and inform you that someone has used your email address to send a rather rude email to me.’
I somehow doubt that I will get a reply ...
I was wrong; I have just received a profound apology from N, and I was only too please to accept it. I hope now that we can move on to other, better things.

30 comments:

  1. Paul Liddle,

    Thanks for your kind comment.

    I know that one is not supposed to get angry but to get even ... but in this instance all I felt was a degree of sadness for the person who felt the need to send the email to me.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  2. I really think that as a teacher you might have helped him more.
    Spelling and grammar correction is needed. :0)

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  3. As the saying goes 'A troll a day helps you..' No, think I might be mixing up my sayings... probably an age. Well, must dash, time to get a shave, wouldn't want lots of hairy stuff to hide my face...

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  4. An excellent response Bob. If you're being trolled, you must be doing something right :)

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  5. I agree with Tamsin, getting "trolled" is a proof point of making progress in the wilds of the Internet.

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  6. My 'professional' advice from 42 years in IT would be to completely ignore the posting but keep a copy, just in case.

    If the 'issue' keeps on coming up then there are other ways of dealing with this sort of thing other than the sarcasm which you have chosen on this occasion.

    The 'poster' may well be in need of help but would probably resist anyway so 'walk away Bob, walk away'.

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  7. Nobby,

    I was tempted to correct the errors ... but decided that it probably would have not have been appreciated.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Xaltotun of Python,

    I am surprised that it has taken this long for me 'attract' a troll!

    As to shaving ... well each to his own. I have never liked having to do it, and stopped as soon as I became a student. I have shaved my beard off once ... and my wife immediately told me to regrow it ASAP!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. TamsinP,

    Cheers! I had not thought about it that way ... but I hope that you are right!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Jmilesr,

    Thanks very much for your kind comment and support. I just do what I can, and if other people enjoy my blog, that is a bonus!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Jim Duncan,

    Thanks for your very sound advice,

    My first reaction was to ignore the email ... but my second was to reply and to write about it on my blog.

    Judging by the time it was sent, the spelling, and the phraseology used, I suspect that the writer was either 'tired and emotional' at the time the email was written or not in the best frame of mind. Luckily they managed to include their name and email address on their email, so if they persist I will contact their service provider with a complaint.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. I'm just struggling to understand how making up a child's construction set as a grown adult and putting it on a shelf is more mature than doing the same and then gaming with it- surely a matter of degrees here?

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  13. Pete.,

    As the person has apologised for what he wrote, I think that my reply must echo Francis Urquhart's famous phrase ... you might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. So, you're a gruff billy goat, then?

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  15. Stu Rat,

    I suppose so. I'm certainly gruff ... and I have a goatee-like beard ...

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. Very decent of him to apologise, rare to see that on the 'net, rare but welcome.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  17. Sometimes it's a troll and sometimes it's a person with their own issues. Sounds like it might've been the latter in this case, as you said he apologized. I try to follow the "don't feed the trolls" rule, but in this case I think your well-written reply had a salubrious effect.

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  18. Pete.,

    It takes real strength of character to apologise when you have made a mistake of this magnitude, and I applaude N for doing that.

    As you write, it doesn't happen very often on the Internet, and It really does make a very pleasant change when it does.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  19. Fitz-Badger,

    I suspect that you are right.

    I know that one should not 'feed' trolls, but I also think that people should have a right of reply when someone makes unsubstantiated personal comments. I exercised that right of reply ... and N acknowledged that he had been in error.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  20. Bob,
    I think your reply was entirely appropriate - especially your remarks about a certain game that Edward III wisely banned so that young men could spend their time on archery practice instead! And Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt surely prove how wise he was. - as is your acceptance of N's apology.

    Very occasionally I look at the comments in response to some news article that interests me, and also regularly visit The Miniatures Page, only to be both horrified and rather disturbed by the viciousness of some of the personal attacks in which posters vent their spleen at someone who has committed the cardinal sin of disagreeing with them.

    They make the trolls of folklore and JRR Tolkien seem positively gentlemanly.

    Regards,
    Arthur

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  21. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

    I somehow suspect that banning football and replacing it with archery might be somewhat problematic in this day and age ... although I would certainly enjoy seeing it done! The sight of obese men trying - and failing - to draw a bowstring back far enough to propel an arrow would be ... interesting ... and the shouts of pain as the bowstring zipped across their beer bellies might be too excruciating for my delicate ears!

    The level of invective used by some posters on TMP is horrifying, and I have had to use the 'stifle' option more than once recently. I particularly dislike the 'how dare you say anything that I think is detrimental about these rules/this figure manufacturer/this political point-of-view, and I hope that something really nasty happens to you and your family' type of comments. (As you will no doubt realise, I have toned down the sort of phraseology some poster use.)

    At least the trolls of folklore used to turn to stone in sunlight ... unlike internet trolls who probably have little idea what sunlight (either the real thing or the soap that bears that name) actually is. (Now that was quite rude, and I apologise in advance to any internet trolls who read this.)

    All the best,

    Bob

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  22. Good for you Bob.
    Having recently subscribed to your blog posts I can now put a name - and a face - to the blog
    Keep up the good work and "to hell with them what don't like it."

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  23. Generalwhiskers,

    It is always good to hear from a new blog follower ... and I hope that my bearded face hasn't put you off too much!

    I hope to write a couple more OHW battle reports as the week progresses, and please feel free to make comments if you wish to.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  24. Archduke Piccolo,

    On this occasion, this would appear to be the truth ...

    All the best,

    Bob

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  25. Thank you for the laugh. It's nice to see a peaceful resolution to that matter. TMP appears to be populated by "too emotional" people, I think Lead Adventure Forum is a better place to read/write about miniatures and model making.
    Kind regards from France,

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  26. I liked the 'football/archery' comment.

    However, I once caught the Royal Company of Archers having a shoot in Edinburghs Meadows as my office was just around the corner.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Company_of_Archers

    There were a couple of dozen of them and certainly wouldn't have wasted their youth playing football. Archery wasn't their strong point either as I didn't see a single shaft hit a target placed only a 100 yards away.

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  27. Ulu Elsomalien,

    Bonjour! (and that pretty well exhausts my command of the French language!)

    It was very satisfying for me that the whole episode ended up amicably ... unlike some of the 'flame wars' that occasionally occur on TMP.

    I don't think that I have ever visited the Lead Adventure Forum ... but I will do so now.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  28. Jim Duncan,

    I don't suppose that the French at Agincourt (or Cressy for that matter) would be much afeared of our modern-day British football-archers ... or of the Royal Company of Archers if there abilities in that direction are anything to go by.

    Nice uniform thought ... and one that I think featured in a photograph of a number of Britains 54mm-scale figures in Joseph Morschauser's book.

    All the best,

    Bob

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