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We have a recent uptick in troll activity.
The general advice is: Do not feed the troll.

Based on my own past experience this is sound advice. There is no use arguing with a troll. If he does not like what you wrote he will disagree and insult you without any reason. If you are suspicous of someone you can look at their profile. How they react to disagreement usually shows under downvoted or closed questions. To be fair, critique is upsetting to most people.

If you would save your time, stay away from questions posted by trolls.

This was not really intended as a question but it made me think of one:
Does SE have any way of dealing with trolls? E.g.: IP ban or something if user gets 100 flags?

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Does SE have any way of dealing with trolls?

Yes. Each site has a team of moderators who look after it.

If another user is doing something which you feel is disruptive, hostile, or otherwise unproductive, then flag for moderator attention. Don't engage, don't argue, just ask for help and stay out of the fray.

Alternately, calling someone out publicly on meta, regardless of whatever run ins you (or anyone else in the community) may have had with them usually leads to escalation, and a lot of gnashing of teeth for at least a couple different people. It doesn't end well. Glass houses and all that.

If you have a specific concern, please flag for moderator attention. Otherwise, please enjoy the site and get on with your day.

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Even though Econ.SE is now about a year and a half old, we (the moderators) are still learning how to deal with some of these issues. But the good news is that there is a graduated range of ways that we can deal with problems and keep everything running smoothly. Here are some key steps that can be taken, in increasing order of severity:

  1. community members (i.e. all of us) attempt to constructively engage with problems through the usual channels (comments, etc.)
  2. persistent sources of problems are flagged for moderator attention
  3. moderators more directly engage with problematic users to request behavior changes and issue warnings.
  4. moderators can suspend accounts that continue to be a source of problems.

Now that this workflow is straightened-out, we should hopefully be able to deal with these issues more effectively. Thanks for everyone's patience!

The main thing for everyone to bear in mind is to try to be positive and engage constructively with people on this site, and to use flags to alert moderators of problems where necessary.

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