Related to the question about trolling in comments, but it was only a matter of time after public beta launched that Christianity.SE would be linked to on prominent atheist communities. Indeed, it's already been linked to on /r/Atheism.

I've already seen a few instances of troll answers and questions in the last couple of hours because of that link: the answers received down-votes and comments for explanation, and in one instance, a question was revised to make an obvious troll question more constructive.

But how should we as a community deal with what is essentially systematic and methodical trolling by people who would prefer a site like this does not exist? Should we be trying to assimilate their content into the site, or flagging it for deletion?

  • I.... can't believe those comments. If they're serious, they're as bad as they claim us to be >.>
    – RCIX
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 13:30
  • @RCIX. Meh. It's Reddit. What do you expect?
    – TRiG
    Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 22:02

6 Answers 6


Don't feed the trolls

If someone is looking for satirical value in a post, don't give it to them. I would think the best course would be to treat each post seriously (within reason, obviously trolling questions will get flagged naturally).

If someone comes here looking to get a laugh at a reaction to a question, they will only be encouraged if we bring their games to light. Any ridiculous posts will be removed quietly, without incident. All other posts, though seaming absurd, should be treated seriously. Even if the OP doesn't benefit from the answers, someone else out there might.


Be careful in rushing to judgment. Some questions that appear argumentative may simply be an unsophisticated way of asking a question that the OP legitimately wants an answer to, or even an attempt to clear up a misconception.

However, if it becomes clear that someone is acting maliciously, and they're not willing to clean up their act, then yes, we should definitely throw them out. This is Christianity.stackexchange.com and not IsChristianityValid.stackexchange.com. You have to be willing to find at least a modicum of common ground in order to have any sort of constructive discussion.


One comment from Reddit:

I think it's critical r/atheism gain some presence on that forum. I can tell already that the theists are creating an echo chamber.

Given that, I think in the long run we're probably going to need to delete a lot of content to keep the signal to noise ratio somewhere in the ballpark of humanly filterable while reading. We expect people to be able to find answers (and ask questions) about Christianity without being bombarded by Atheists.

If anybody has anything constructive to add, integrate it. If we need some correcting, let them correct us. However trolling for the sake of an agenda or "presence" on the site does not seem like it is in the best interests of this site any more than Windows geeks piling on to the Unix and Linux site would be welcome just for the sake of having competing systems represented.

  • 8
    I think we're largely over-reacting. We had one troll come from your quote--the author of the quote. And he's already been suspended for a week. I think the SE system works, and we need to give it time to work. If in a week or a month we're experiencing unbearable troll pain, that will be the time to consider changing the way we respond.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 0:07
  • @Flimzy: That's actually kind of funny because I hadn't made the connection or seen the bit about being a self-professed troll. I didn't know they ever did that!
    – Caleb
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 0:20

Hate the trolling, love the troll. :)


I don't see that as a good example of "systematic and methodical trolling". Is it actually happening or is one example making you jumpy?

The example provided I wouldn't even put in the trolling bucket, its just a poorly written question. It may have even been written by someone who is looking for a genuine answer. Although poorly written, I think it is better than some of the other fluff I have read on here.

I would suggest not being overly sensitive and not being overly precious.

As a Christian you should edit any salvageable question (like the question linked above) into something viable, then provide a mind-blowingly fantastic answer.

I think if you can't provide answers to reasonable questions by atheists then you are just an echo chamber.

  • In turn, I would suggest reading the linked /r/Atheism thread, where the user openly implored people to troll Christianity.SE before getting suspended for doing so himself. While the /r/Atheism thread is one specific case, this question is about the general issue of methodical trolling, which will no doubt come up often in the lifespan of the site. It really has nothing to do with reasonable questions asked by Atheists or any other group of people.
    – user72
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 12:06
  • @Mark - I think it does have to do with reasonable questions asked by others because you haven't provided an example of trolling. You provided a poorly written question, that seems reasonable to me, but labelled it as "obvious trolling". When it obviously is not.
    – going
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 1:53
  • @xiahouzi79 Again, I direct you to the /r/Atheism thread, where the person who asked the question specifically implored people to troll Christianity.SE. The words I used was "obvious troll question": the example provided is, in fact, a question asked by an obvious troll (he specifically labeled himself as such). This question isn't about whether reasonable questions asked by Atheists are obvious trolling: it's specifically about questions and answers by people who have already been identified as methodically trolling the site.
    – user72
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 2:32

See the "they are unfun to us" column.


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