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Re^4: Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll

by tirwhan (Abbot)
on Nov 28, 2005 at 13:39 UTC ( #512169=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll
in thread Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll

You already know from previous posts that this is a troll, and you don't need to reply.

No I don't, because these posts may just be coming from different AM's. I can't tell, because I can only evaluate the post based on its content, I don't know where it came from. If the IP address is displayed I can tell, thus my decision-making capability is improved. If the IP address of the posts is not the same I cannot make the reverse conclusion of course, I can still only judge based on content, but I'm no worse off than before, when no IP address was displayed. And I've made it a bit harder for the AM troll to ply his trade.

I don't know whether people would use this information enough to make it worthwhile, thus my proposal (as opposed to a request). I personally would, so I guess I was scratching my own itch. I've heard good things sometimes come from that :-).

Anonymonks monks having their IP addresses listed aren't really anonymous, are they?

That depends who you want to be anonymous to. Some random DSL/company/university IP is not going to tell the average PM user anything about the person behind it. If you're trying to be anonymous against a government agency or your employer (and in certain jurisdictions powerful copyright holders), then you're right, that anonymity is not there. But that is already the case now.

What's an unofficial "anonymous" login?

An alternative login which you use when you don't want your reply associated with your normal login (or your IP address, according to my proposal). It's sufficiently anonymous because it does not lead back to a real or virtual identity (except in the cases detailed above). Sorry for being unclear, I thought I'd talked about that enough in my other posts.

And there's nothing that keeps a troll from creating alternate logins, but it's that extra bit of effort which may be enough to stop him from posting. The entry barrier required to discourage trolls isn't usually very high.

...Let's equip all red cars with a siren, so we know he's coming

No, it's more like saying "Let's stick a unique and identifiable number on the front and back of every car, so if one breaks the speed limit we know where to send the ticket." Now wouldn't that be a really fascist and impractical thing to do ;-)?


Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian W. Kernighan


Comment on Re^4: Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll
Re^5: Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll
by Perl Mouse (Chaplain) on Nov 28, 2005 at 14:36 UTC
    No I don't, because these posts may just be coming from different AM's. I can't tell, because I can only evaluate the post based on its content, I don't know where it came from. If the IP address is displayed I can tell, thus my decision-making capability is improved.
    Wait a moment. First you say that posting with content like
    1. "Perl is dead and all you people are stupid idiots"
    2. "I heard Perl is dead at conference X from IT celebrity Y, help, will I become unemployed"
    3. "I've talked to the experienced programmers at my company and they told me Perl is an inferior language and I should use XYZ instead"
    are clearly trolls. And now you are saying you can't be sure, because all you have is the content? What is it? Is someone saying that Perl is dead and all of are stupid idiots a troll, or is he only a troll if you know his IP address?

    Look, it's very simple. If you aren't sure whether someone is a troll, don't reply. Problem solved.

    Some random DSL/company/university IP is not going to tell the average PM user anything about the person behind it.
    I disagree with that. I may know where certain people work (in fact, I know where quite a lot of Perl people work). Or I can gather the IP address(es) of the boxes they most often use from their IRC presense, mailing list postings or Usenet contributions. If, for whatever reason, they decide to post here anonymously, I know who did it. Or, worse, I may be convinced who posted here but be wrong. And even if I haven't gathered data, if a reverse DNS query links WWW.XXX.YYY.ZZZ to <well-known-name>.com it would strongly suggest who is behind the anonymous monk, wouldn't it?

    And that for a scheme that may not even work. Perhaps the troll you are chasing dials up to a large ISP with a gazillion different proxies. Perhaps he's mobile. Or, more likely, it just stops one person from responding: you, but not all the others.

    If you're trying to be anonymous against a government agency or your employer (and in certain jurisdictions powerful copyright holders), then you're right, that anonymity is not there. But that is already the case now.
    Really? If I'm a company, I know who each AM is?
    No, it's more like saying "Let's stick a unique and identifiable number on the front and back of every car, so if one breaks the speed limit we know where to send the ticket."
    Oh, and here I am, thinking you only wanted to add the IP address of anonymous monks. But your proposal is to list every ones IP address.
    Perl --((8:>*
      First you say that posting with content like...are clearly trolls

      No I didn't, reread my post. I said that post (emphasis added) 1 is clearly a troll but I couldn't tell with certainty whether 2 or 3 are without further information. I was talking about three different posts (and said so).

      Really? If I'm a company, I know who each AM is?

      If you're a company with even a hint of a clue about network security you can easily find out whether a given AM is an employee of yours because you control your network gateway and can read the posts (if you're so inclined). Anyone who believes that their employer cannot find out a given AM post originates with them either trusts their employer not to care/check (in which case, why should they be worried about an IP address display) or is a fool.

      Look, we're going round in circles here and I'm sorry but I have a feeling you're either trying hard to misunderstand me or our perceptions of reality do not overlap sufficiently to make understanding possible. Please give me a valid case scenario where both of the following are true:

      1. A user does not want either their real-world or virtual identity attached to a post they send to PM
      2. The user cannot create a user account and log in with that.

      If there is such a scenario I'll agree that you're right and retract my proposal. If you believe the requirement of logging in to achieve anonymity is too harsh and 2. would pose too much of an inconvenience to people, I would like to agree to disagree at this point.

      But your proposal is to list every ones IP address.

      No, I'm only proposing to list AM IP addresses. Posts from logged-in users already have a unique identifier, their username, a second one is not necessary for any purpose I can see. This is where the car analogy breaks down, because cars only have one way of uniquely identifying them.


      Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian W. Kernighan
        If you're a company with even a hint of a clue about network security you can easily find out whether a given AM is an employee of yours because you control your network gateway and can read the posts (if you're so inclined).
        Most certainly. However, you can't go back in the past and find out who wrote some stuff you don't like. Which is a gigantic difference.
        Please give me a valid case scenario where both of the following are true
        That's not the point I'm making. Your arguments can as well be used to get rid of anonymous monks all together.
        If there is such a scenario I'll agree that you're right and retract my proposal. If you believe the requirement of logging in to achieve anonymity is too harsh and 2. would pose too much of an inconvenience to people, I would like to agree to disagree at this point.
        That's not my point at all. If convenience is an issue, here's an extremely convenient one: don't reply to trolls. Doesn't require any work on your side. Doesn't require giving up anonymity of anon monks. Doesn't require code changes.
        But your proposal is to list every ones IP address.
        No, I'm only proposing to list AM IP addresses.
        Now I'm confused. I make an anology to single out all red cars (and not blue cars, yellow cars, black cars, white cars) and change them because a single red car is a nuisance, and you claim that changing all cars is a better anology.

        So, what is it? All cars (that is, IP addresses listed for everyone), or just red cars (that is, IP addresses for AMs)?

        Posts from logged-in users already have a unique identifier, their username, a second one is not necessary for any purpose I can see.
        Well, posts have a unique identifier in the sense that each post only has one user name. The user name may be reused in a different post. However, there's nothing enforcing a person to use a single unique user name. Users can have as many user names as they want. And believe me, there are users with different user names.

        Look, we're going round in circles here and I'm sorry but I have a feeling you're either trying hard to misunderstand me or our perceptions of reality do not overlap sufficiently to make understanding possible.
        Indeed. You seem to think your solution is actually going to solve the problem. I claim that the price of that solution is very high (giving up anonymity - like giving out phone numbers) and that it's very doubtful that it will actually solve the problem.
        Perl --((8:>*

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