The Troll Whisperer
Seth Godin’s got a great pointer to a Cory Doctorow essay which is a must for anyone moderating forums or online communities, particularly dealing with Trolls.
Teresa is a troll-whisperer. For some reason, she can spot irredeemable trolls and separate them from the merely unsocialized. She can keep discussions calm and moving forward. She knows when deleting a troll’s message will discourage him, and when it will only spark a game of whack-a-mole.
Teresa calls it “having an ear for text” and she is full of maddeningly unquantifiable tips for spotting the right rod to twiddle to keep the reactor firing happily without sparking a meltdown.
I particularly love the bit about “Disemvoweling” as a punishment. she leaves the post, but removes the vowels. An incredibly interesting punishment, most likely coming to a certain Saltwater Fly Fishing community at the next outbreak of hostilities (which from past experience ought to be about mid-June, just prior to commercial fishing season).
Go forth and read.
Here are a couple other bits on forum management you ought to read: