Last night, the Yale College Council sought a way to gather student suggestions for improving campus safety. They forwent the traditional surveys and round-table discussions in favor of a novel approach: a Google Doc open to the entire student body. Just an hour and a half later, the YCC locked the Google Doc to prevent further editing. The reason? The document had been overrun by Internet trolls.
According to the Yale Daily News' Cross Campus blog, the document's creators tried in vain to salvage it as students submitted joke responses. "YCC WILL NOT TOLERATE TROLLS" was briefly seen at the top of the document until a prankster followed it up with "YOU SHALL NOT PASSSSSSSSSSSS." Eventually the YCC locked the document, asking students to fill out a form instead.
Though the YCC has since taken efforts to scrub the offending posts from the document, a few gems managed to slip through the cracks. Among the highlights are, "Can we give every student a torch for dark parts of campus? But not like a British torch. An actual torch. With fire." And, more ominously, "Sad people should be eliminated. Immediately."
Harvard's own UC Presidential candidate Michael C. George '14 earned a special thank-you note at the bottom of the document for giving the idea to the Yale College Council. Unfortunately for Yalies, they failed to read the fine print of George's strategy.
In September, the UC put out a Google Doc on Advising at Harvard that they successfully kept free of ever-lurking trolls. "We had constant moderator presence eliminating any troll responses," George said.
We at Flyby are used to digging for Fales ripe for exploitation in anticipation of The Game each November. This year, the YCC did the work for us. Thanks for the help, guys! We'll see you Saturday.