that is wrong. If one is surrounded by a gang intent on harming you, does ignoring them solve your problem? Do you ignore the fire consuming your house at night and go back to sleep? Do you ignore the bully pushing you around? Do you ignore all your troubles? How does that work out? If Everyone had ignored those people saying the world was round, we'd still be living in a flat world. All that is required for evil to triumph is for good to do nothing.
"[Civility] is claiming and caring for one's identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else's in the process. We aren't expecting people to always agree, nor would we want them to be anything less than passionate about their positions. But a person should not have to resort to rudeness, hostility and/or falsehood to make a reasoned point."
So, when a child rapist comes on here and starts talking about how he used aikido to subdue a 5 year old girl, we should not only not degrade this person, but accept that all opinions are valid, and just ignore the graphic and explicit posts of the rapists account of his/her exploits? Are these truly the principles you want to be known for? Would you stand before the parents of a 5 year old victim and tell them these are the kinds of principles you encourage? Your stance that all opinions are valid, to ignore those people who are "trolls", and to not degrade them?
Principles should hold true no matter the degree. Wrong is wrong. Trollish behavior should not be ignored nor tolerated, no matter if outright or passive-aggressive.
Trollish behavior is a play for attention. Attention is its fuel. Trying to silence trolls by arguing with them is like trying to quench a fire with gasoline. You put out the fire by denying it fuel.
This isn't just good advice on the internet; in real life, when people try to stir us up, we defeat them by staying centered and not gratifying them with rash reactions.
I work at a school with a particularly difficult third grader. This afternoon, as the class was packing up to go home, he got angry and decided to try and stir things up by screaming repeatedly at the top of his lungs. His teachers told him to stop, his classmates begged him to stop, but this only egged him on. At this point, I could hear him from down the hallway, so I came over and invited everyone in the class except him to come sit in my room. I took away his audience. The screaming stopped, and he has a date with the principal tomorrow. I could have joined the chorus of voices telling him that he was being rude and breaking rules, but what would that have done? He can certainly out-scream me. I beat him by denying him the attention he sought.