I have just spent some time going through moderator alerts, private messages, troll posts, member profiles, etc, etc.
Yes, a number of trolls have joined recently. I hope that I have banned them all now. This can take time. I have to find the posts, check which are trollish and which are ok, go to each profile, find the IP address, user name, e-mail address, etc.
Then I have to go through the procedure of banning each one in turn.
Thankfully, Lisa had dealt with the obviously obscene usernames, already.
It is possible that I have missed some trolls ~ it isn't always completely obvious which posts are innocent and which aren't, in the middle of such chaos. I have put some members on 'watch'.
If new members spam the site, then they are immediately banned.
However, if long-term members, who have been rule-keepers and sensible posters in the past, suddenly make questionable posts, then they are given a warning and / or a temporary ban, followed by another warning ~then a complete ban, if necessary.
I have to use my own judgement on this, together with consideration of comments received via moderator alerts. It would be as wrong to ban someone, who is innocent, but had simply irritated other members ~ as sometimes happens ~ as it would be to allow trolls to ruin the site. I have a 'watch' facility which I can use to keep an eye on things.
I apologise if I have banned anyone wrongfully, or if I have allowed any to stay, who should have gone. Please use the alert facility to warn us of any future rule violations.
I would like to remind those, who don't already realise this, that I come on here regularly, but not 24 hours per day. It is easy for people to see when I am on line ~ especially ex-members. I am not psychic ~ I cannot ban people before they even consider joining. Neither can I ban people instantaneously ~ I have to spend time going through various parts of the site ~ but I do it as quickly as I can.
Often obscene and unacceptable posts are removed before other members even see them. Obviously, when that happens, members don't even know that I am working behind the scenes to keep the site clean & pleasant.
When members suggest that I don't care about this kind of thing, or do nothing about it, I find that most disappointing.
Similarly, I find the attempted sabotage of the site, that we have just experienced, very disappointing, especially if this really is the work of someone who, for some time, was a pleasant, intelligent and mature site member. This behaviour is immature ~ infantile, indeed.
In conclusion ~ please do not feed the trolls!
~ Do not respond to them.
~ Do not start threads about them.
Simply send a moderator alert ~ ie. click on 'notify'.
And please do not assume that a spate of trolls means that I don't care about the site, or that I want people to leave, or that I am doing nothing about it.
This happens on most forums from time to time ~ and unpleasant behaviour even seems to be actively encouraged on some.
Not so on here!