As the JGR editor said
One of the interesting subsets of the concern troll John is the tone troll. The tone troll need not profess agreement with the consensus but pleads for more civility in language and more respect for other points of view.
We may all disagree, the tone troll maunders, but surely we can all agree to be polite and show each other respect.
Now who could possibly object to that? Of course, this merely opens the door to allowing other invading spammers and trolls simply posting and reposting their talking points as if they have not yet been civilly dealt with. It can't possibly rein in those trolls who come to the group with outlandish and utterly unfounded slanders -- which those of us who see them for what they are are supposed to dignify with counter-argument.
People who post with a reckless disregard for the truth, who lack the seriousness and discipline to anticipate and address likely objections and yet hold themselves out as experts have not earned respect or the right to be dealt with civilly, IMO.
The Golden Rule applies. If you are constructively rude to others, then others are perfectly entitled to respond in quite the same way. It may or may not be wise in practice to do so. Some trolls take pleasure in nuking discussion by making the thread all about them. Not uncommonly, they declare thinly disguised stupidities as bait for those willing to wander off at a tangent. This is all part of the culture war that the trolls for the filth merchant position do.
Nevertheless accepting lectures from concern and tone trolls ought not to be something those of us who take ideas seriously ought to endure.
while I appreciate the value of "taking the high road", I do not object to emphatic statements that conclusions are incorrect. Strong language is needed sometimes when errors must be corrected.An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
UPDATE: Fran continues
For many reasons, Eli thinks that silly is a better word to use to describe trolls than stupid.
If people want to hurl epithets, then while I personally see little value in this for the group, I see greater potential systemic harm in attempts to restrain them. If the person moderating the blog doesn't like it, let that person act as he or she sees fit.
A person hurling epithets must reckon with the possibility that their substantive observations, worthy as they may be, will be deprecated accordingly by some whose respect they would have. That ought to be a sufficient restraint.
One hears persistent objections from the trolls that any robust rejection of the sub-intellectual nonsense some post here in the service of their delusions over the etiology of the climate anomaly amounts to a new iteration of Stalinist patronage of Lysenko or some equivalent. The implicit idea that one could debate tone with a violently repressive autocracy, or that what happens in the blogosphere is comparable is not merely absurd but offensive to anyone who has suffered coercion for dissent.
So FWIW, I don't favour substantial discussions over the tone in which we should answer apparent trolling, even though, paradoxically, I now seem to be in such a discussion.