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

by spiritway (Vicar)
on Nov 27, 2005 at 08:50 UTC ( #511997=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll

First, I have to agree with several other Monks who think your first suggestion is the best. Simply don't feed the trolls. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to do this. I keep thinking that a reasonable reply will convince them, but of course they're usually just trying to stir up controversy. So - I'll try to do better in the future and not feed the trolls.

Reaping would be OK, I guess, but once you start doing that, where do you draw the line? It's one thing to reap an empty post, or a duplicate. If you start reaping ones with content - even trollish content - it begins to resemble censorship. Who gets to decide what's a troll, versus just an unpopular, but valid, point?

Your idea of publishing Anonymous Monks' IP numbers seems to be excessive. Remember that there are valid reasons why someone posts anonymously, and many AM's post well-considered, respectful messages. Publishing their IP's would be punishing them for not being able to sign in (or being unwilling to do so). AM != troll.

So, yes, I'll try to restrain my enthusiasm when encountering trollish posts, especially anonymous ones. It's probably the best way to handle it. Being ignored is worse than being smacked down...


Comment on Re: Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll
Re^2: Dealing with An(?:no|on)ytroll
by tirwhan (Abbot) on Nov 27, 2005 at 10:28 UTC

    Simply don't feed the trolls. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to do this.

    Yeah, me too :-), my post was as much to remind myself as everyone else.

    Publishing their IP's would be punishing them for not being able to sign in

    Does associating an IP with a post constitute a punishment? I can see where it would be disadvantageous (e.g. if someone is posting from their workplace without permission), but is it too much to ask that someone log in with a user name in order to enjoy anonymity?

    Are there situations where a user can not log in for posting? I thought allowing AM posts was just a convenience thing (so users could post without having to go through the two-minute procedure of registering or the x-second procedure of logging in), but it seems I'm missing something here. What scenarios prevent users from logging in?


    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
      I thought allowing AM posts was just a convenience thing
      Sometimes anonymity is necessary to be able to say things that need to be said, but no one dares to say under their own name.

        And I would oppose measures that made anonymous posting to PM impossible. But you can still keep your real-life anonymity while logged in as a user to PM, no-one knows that user somerandoname is the same RL person as someotherrandomname (and it can be made impossible to trace somerandomname to a real person as well). Or you can post as AM with the slight drawback that your IP address is known and your posting can be traced back to your RL person by a determined entity(this is true today as well). As I said, I don't think that the inconvenience of creating a separate user is too great, given the benefits of such a measure.

        Also, while I agree with your statement in principle I'm not sure it is perfectly valid with regard to PM. It's not like somebody is going to come and kneecap you for saying something unpopular. The worst that can happen is that you lose some XP which you can regain with a few thoughtful posts. And, for that matter, even if your view is unpopular I don't think you'll be downvoted overmuch if the view is presented in a rational and non-offensive manner.


        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

        Again, voicing the unpopular (but only by a certain percentage) opinion, I answer this:

        Anonymous Monk posted (on Nov 27, 2005 at 08:10 GMT+5):
        Sometimes anonymity is necessary to be able to say things that need to be said, but no one dares to say under their own name.

        There are no such things.

        There is no such thing as "a thing that needs to be said" but that you don't "dare" say under an identifiable personal handle in this Perlmonks community. Maybe in a forum discussing as its primary topic "childhood sexual abuse" or "substance addiction", yes. Not in Perlmonks. This is a completely bogus argument, and I am sorry to see that I was apparently the first one to call it what it is.

        It's disastrous to a society when moral cowardice is in charge. People who seek to avoid all risk of personal loss (defined broadly) while still having an influence on the world around them, and even seek to have this "protection" from the reality of human life ("the world is a harsh place", "life is often unfair", "adults take responsibility for their own actions/choices", yada, yada) instititutionalized are cowardly. Hey, sorry, but this isn't name-calling. This is what "cowardice" is. Check a dictionary.

        I agree with all 3 of tirwhan's proposals, and not merely because I was a target of an anonymous troll's campaign earlier this year. I continue to perceive a degradation of the quality of content on Perlmonks resulting from this misconceived fake "tolerance" (it's passivity masquerading as something benign) of Anonymous Abuse.

      Does associating an IP with a post constitute a punishment?

      It does, in my opinion. It is an intrusion into privacy that could potentially lead to problems, but which would appear to serve no useful purpose. The problems, in other words, seem to outweigh the possible benefits. One issue is simply that for many people, their IP number changes from day to day.

      I don't know if there are situations where a user cannot sign in. I do know that quite a few reasonable, respectful, and well-thought comments come from AM, for whatever reason. Maybe they're at work and keystrokes are logged, and they want to avoid giving away their password - I don't know. But some people do post good things anonymously. Still, I am not adamant about all this. I think the community will form a consensus, and that's how we'll go. I might not agree with it, but I'll abide by it...

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