Automatically mark trolls as such in Gmail.
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Trolls: don't feed them. For a survey of various kinds of trolls, see Tantek's TrollTaxonomy. I have several Gmail filters which apply a 'troll' tag to emails from these people. Here's what it looks like:

my gmail troll tag

I find highlighting threads with troll participants with a big, red warning label helps to prioritize other, more productive threads as I read mail.

Now that Gmail supports filter importing and exporting, I thought I'd share my troll filters with others.

People I consider to be trolls:

See also people Tantek considers to be trolls.