"Don't feed the trolls," is good advice.
I'm not talking about the one the Billy Goats Gruff ran across under the bridge. Trolls are bored folks in their mom's basement that try to ruin the internet. Typical troll tactics include posting insults, fake data, porn, lengthy rants or anything else they can think of to take a post off topic.
Sometimes, there are so many trolls feasting at once it can bring down a poorly-designed website.
That's what happened to "ReaganBook," which touts itself as "Facebook for Patriots."
ReaganBook tried a soft launch earlier this week, but was placed in "offline mode" Wednesday because it couldn't keep the site "free from obscenity, pornography, and those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family."
Raw Story reports trolls created fake accounts and started posting porn and profanity under the names of Vladimir Putin, Sarah Palin, Manuel Noriega and other well-known names.
The site did not require individuals to verify their identity and status updates could be viewed by anyone on the site, not just "friends." This gave way to chaos, said The Verge.
ReaganBook, on its now-static homepage, promises to reopen soon with "additional protections in place. As Reagan taught us, trust, but verify."
I also remember Reagan taught us ketchup is a vegetable.
Ohio Republican Janet Porter is the person behind ReaganBook. She decided the internet needed a "patriotic" alternative to Facebook after employees of the social media giant took part in a LGBT rights demonstration in San Francisco.
I visited the site before the trolls took over, and the site was so slow I thought I was on Healthcare.gov.
I use Facebook all the time and my news feed is a lively mix of left, right, religious, atheist and everything else you care to name. I guess the creators of ReaganBook aren't keen on a diversity of viewpoints, or want to "control the message."
If Ronald Reagan was alive today, he's probably stick to chopping wood.
More Friday news:
- Drone crashes trying to deliver marijuana, phones to S.C. prison
- Belgian doctor refuses to treat Jewish patient
- Cats take over island near Buffalo
- Man kills girlfriend's dog, planned to eat it
- 625-pound man claims he's to fat to face criminal trial
- Woman in fatal crash who texted on two phones gets 6-year sentence
- U.S. military, the largest in the world, is not big enough, panel says
- Gym for dogs opens near D.C.