Friday, November 7, 2014

Putting trolls in their place

Several times I've started typing, deleted, and re-started a post expressing my reaction to an email I received via the Model Rail Radio mailing list from Jim Gore earlier this week.
I can't begin to describe how angry this email made me - (posted as I received it):

Dear All,
First, I want to thank so many of you who have said nice things about my layout feature in Model Railroader. Never intended that to be one of my goals in model railroading – it just happened because a friend of a friend talked with Lou Sassi who needed some place to visit in Florida during the winter.
I have always believed that this hobby of ours is exactly that … a hobby. It is something that gives us individual satisfaction and a certain amount of contentment. Ultimately, there is only one person that has to be satisfied, the owner of the model railroad; the rest being “gravy”.
It seems that my fictionalized railroad, as a branch-line of the Chili Lines, has sparked outright hatred and animosity among a group of prototype modelers, presumably who are strict Chili Line adherents. If you know any of these persons, can you tell them to stop sending me nasty emails and phone calls. Good gravy … it’s a hobby !!!!

As I blogged in my post on Clinic Etiquette, most model railroaders - the overwhelming majority - are well adjusted people who appreciate good modeling and a good story. They also know to appreciate a layout - I still remember some sage words I first heard years ago "Learn something from every layout you see - every modeler has a story to tell, and it's worthwhile even if it's not the layout you'd build."
Sadly there area few  (thankfully only a few) "model railroaders" for whom the hobby is more about badgering others than any worthwhile efforts -
My friend Trevor Marshall has expressed it better than I could, so I'll simply provide a link to his excellent post -

As far as the Trolls go - I've decided I'm not going to tolerate them any more.


Trevor said...

"As far as the Trolls go - I've decided I'm not going to tolerate them any more."

Hear hear!

This is something that all of us should commit to. I have, as well. I moderate a few newsgroups, plus the comments sections on my blogs, and I'm ready with the "flush and ban" button. Rudeness just should not - and will not - be tolerated. And invasion of privacy? Those people are not welcome in my circles.

I'm surprised at the number of hobby forums and groups online where such rudeness IS tolerated, however. We can't necessarily change bad manners - trolls will be trolls, and that's all there is to it. But moderators can certainly prevent trolls from using their groups and forums to spread their nastiness.

Thanks for the shout-out. Always appreciated.


- Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

Greg said...

Well said Marty, thanks for addressing!

Resources such as blogs and forums are the golden opportunities for us to share and build up the Model Railroad community in this technology savvy era, not deface the contributors that inspire and encourage.

(Michigan Interstate St. Clair Sub)

Unknown said...

Well put, Gentlemen. Well put.