I have a fairly strict policy on comment trolls. If people who disagree want to have a reasoned debate, that’s fine. Witness the recent “Macy’s mannequin mess” thread that went on for over 100 comments. What I won’t tolerate are trolls who post inflammatory comments lacking in logic or rhetorical merit (building straw men, et al.) and refuse to respond to what people write in reply. I especially lack patience for trolls who come here by way of blogs of opposing viewpoint soliciting such trolling. So I ban them.
It wasn’t much of a problem when I required registration for commenting. Most trolls don’t have the courage to enter even a valid email address (which is required for registration), never mind use their real name.
One such example is a guy who calls himself “Citizen Charles Foster Kane.” He dropped a trolling comment in a recent thread so I banned him. On his blog (which I won’t dignify by linking it), he declares it a victory by calling me a “glass jaw conservative.” I left a comment on the thread explaining why I took this action and, predictably, he engages in hypocrisy by deleting it. Instead he emailed me, repeating his same worthless argument from the original comment, and adds: “Someone calls you on the nonsense you write and you run like a punk.”
I find this hilarious, being called a coward by someone who won’t even use his real name in a direct email to me. Yeah, it takes real courage to snipe at a guy, mano a mano, behind a pseudonym. You want to blog anonymously? Fine. But if you want to accuse me of cowardice in a personal email, then take off the mask when you do it.