Which is four too many, but hey, it’s a start.
Originally posted on Quartz:
People aren’t very nice to each other online. Everyone has read a comment thread and been annoyed at the vicious remarks, or witnessed a flame war under a YouTube video. Many online communities now have moderators, and they aim to ban trolls—those people who just who can’t stay civil.
But can you identify trolls before they ruin a community? Researchers from Stanford and Cornell think they can (pdf), after analyzing 18 months worth of Disqus threads from the news site CNN, the right-wing political site Breitbart, and the gaming site IGN. That amounted to 1.7 million users, almost 40 million comments, and 100 million up- or down-votes on those comments.
They compared users who were later banned from a community with users who were never banned. Of the trolls, they observed:
We find that such users tend to concentrate their efforts in a small number of threads, are more likely to post irrelevantly, and are more successful…
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