Troll Control : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am seriously dismayed by the troll situation on this forum. This divisive nastiness has served no purpose other than to disrupt the discussion and drive participants away. After giving the issue considerable thought, I would like to suggest the following...

1) PASSWORDS: This is becoming imperative. Despite the red-lining of the most notorious, the attacks continue. Clearly, they are not phased or deterred by the cyber "No Vacancy" sign.

I don't know if the present software or operating system will support it, but my suggestion would be a password KEYED to an e-mail address or ISP number. In other words, the password must match the e-mail or the ISP. Same idea as logging on to a web based e-mail account.

2) BANS: Only the SYSOPS would know this for sure, but does a method exist where the worst, documented offenders could be stopped at the gates, before they actually hit the forum??? The DeBonkers crowd will hit the ceiling at that remark, I'm sure.

I am a damn sick and tired of having to contend with the nasty stuff in here. This is an important forum that is evolving and growing with a number of issues. We can all agree to agree OR disagree as we see fit. NOBODY has the right or special privilege to carry out repetitive D.O.S. actions or engage in personal attack. We have a unique opportunity here to discuss the issues confronting us. Can we agree, as a group, that steps must be taken to preserve the integrity of this forum???

All thoughtful comments welcome.

-- Irving (, January 22, 2000


Why don't we have a brief IQ quiz and then dole out passwords based on the results?

If we banned all posters with an IQ above a certain level, most of the polly trolls would no longer be able to access the board, leaving the important chemtrail workers to carry on.

-- ImSo (, January 22, 2000.

Dear forum participants;

Let's stay cool. Keep in mind that we're only 22 days past rollover, and that we have a LONG way to go. The polly-trolls have never had respect from the truly active participants of the forum - and that's what irritated them before the rollover. Now, in a sense, they feel they have been vindicated. They're wrong. They may have been "right" - but they are far from vindicated; and that is why they have been so terribly disruptive. Ed Yourdon said it best with a maxim that I wish I could quote verbatim - but he took that article off his site. Something to the effect - "The honest man will respect us for our persistance, our effort and our integrity - the public for our 'luck'". Ironically - ALL of us were "lucky" that Y2K has been anything but TEOTWAWKI. But the pollie-trolls want credit for that "luck", wish to deny us any benefit from it unless we credit them with it, and have never respected us for our "persistance, effort and integrity." Of course, none of us are going to give ANY credit for Y2K being a dud to the likes of LL and Y2K Pro - and THAT my friends is what's burning their candles, and making our lives miserable here in the short run. The problem with the pollie-trolls will erode with time. Remember, it's darkest before the dawn. And just as our patience is running out, theirs is too! Their frustration at not having won ANY respect has burnt them to a crisp and fuels thier attacks. That is why attacking them back only worsens things. Then "they" feel martyred. Time will thin the herd. Emotions cannot run red-hot for long. Take a breath, take a break. The "civility" of the forum will return within a couple of weeks or so. Let's not do anything rash that will destroy the usefullness of this forum in the meantime.

-- Phil Erup (, January 22, 2000.

The Sysops are "seriously dismayed" as well. A pain in the ASCII.

Options? Comments on this thread....

OT-Any possibility of a PASSWORD protected TB2000? 002NoH

-- Diane J. Squire (, January 22, 2000.

Sometimes it's darkest right before it's pitch black, especially when one perseverates in pursuing the wrong turn.

-- ImSo (, January 22, 2000.

The choice is yours Irving. You can either put them in their place, or simply ignore them until they get bored and go looking for a bite elsewhere. If you choose to take them on you better be prepared to prove to them that they are in the wrong, or they will continue to hound you. The easiest thing is to just ignore them, but whatever you do you shouldn't let them bother you. They don't bother me unless they are sabotaging the system that is serving up this forum, and it seems that Phil has solved that problem.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), January 22, 2000.

I agree with Hawk. Why even click on their topics? Just scroll past them.

-- X (, January 22, 2000.

Hawk...actually, my biggest concern is the integrity of the forum itself. They have minimal impact on me personally as I refuse to fire broadsides at the intellectually unarmed.

Thanks for your response.

-- Irving (, January 22, 2000.

Sysops, thanks for putting up with it and making the whole thing-good and bad-possible. The people who have pointed out that the Forum is an emerging phenomenon are absolutely correct.Also, security is an issue since the openess that makes this a living, growing entity allows attack as well, so the password issue is valid. There are many, many well-behaved SIGS with well established protocols. The Forum could be turned into one of them. However,all of us need to keep in mind that information control is a very dangerous concept. We also need to keep in mind that "Sysops Rule" and if we allow bratty behavior to exhaust thier patience, we all lose: big time. I hate to say it folks, but there are interests that would breathe a sigh of heartfelt relief if someone put a lid on it.I can see it now. We could break away and become the equivalent of an adult (?) hacker underground, only posting community events and local equipment downs instead of credit card numbers....

-- mike in houston (, January 22, 2000.

The key thing is, what can Philip Greenspun do to keep it openly internet visible, but passworded for posting.

THAT will be my question to him.

BTW, if you hunt around, you'll see that he's playing with a new LUSENET chat function. "Interesting."


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 22, 2000.

To all,

If we keep in mind the following, maybe these posts wouldn't affect us as much:

To the extent that anyone's post consists principally of ad hominem, we should recognize this as, in essence, the absence of a "mind" (e.g., reason, logic, civility) behind the post. Then we can liken the "message" as akin to the random utterances of a parrot.

-- eve (, January 22, 2000.

i found this site quite by accident only a few weeks ago .....and i think it is the most wonderful exchange of intellgent and meaningful ideas and concerns on, bar none! has become my number 1 place to go to get the information that concerns me during these trying times. i agree that it is being hit rather hard by those that do not have a `clue` but i also know that i for one probably would not have found it if it had been a closed / sign up site!..makes me wonder how many others will NOT find this great place if it has to go that way!!!....i am not the most intelligent being on the earth by FAR but i AM concerned about what i see happening in many areas!!!....thank you ALL for being here !!!!

-- mutter (, January 22, 2000.

Eve, please don't insult my parrot.

-- TrollStomper (DoomersUnited@TB2000.Net), January 22, 2000.

Eve, feel free to insult my parrot anytime you feel the need. He really is a good parrot but a little constructive criticsm wouldn't hurt.

-- Butt Nugget (, January 22, 2000.

Please forgive me for being redundant, but this topic has been on my mind for several weeks. The following is my response to a previous thread concerning trolls, "There is too much at!" posted below.

IMHO these troll attacks of late (mostly since the first of the year) seem to be highly ORGANIZED.

The pattern seems to be that they post long, long documents, copies of articles, correspondence, etc. They continuously use the word "scary" in their posts. They make a statement and then ask the question, "What do you think?" They seem to be baiting us to be setuip so another troll (or they themselves under other names) can come back and attack us. One troll often replies to another's post instantly (often with equally long posts including attachments). Are they trying to overload the system?

My guess is that these trolls belong to some sort of agency, college psychology/marketing/public relations class project, or they are just a group of extremely bright, well-educated people who are doing this for some reason (other than being purely obnoxious). These trolls concern me more than the crude, nasty, spammer posters. Perhaps some of them belong to both groups.

I've also noticed that they often refer to psychological needs or reasons as to why a person would continue to be visiting or posting on this forum since the rollover has already occurred and not much has happened. What the he** does it matter to them? Why are THEY here? Are we their guinea pigs or their lab specimens? What is their *real* agenda?

America has always been a nation of freethinkers. Does it bother them that a group of such like-minded people have come together to exchange info, ideas, and viewpoints? Why should it bother them?

The internet can be and is a wonderful tool. Let's hope these turkeys will soon depart and leave us alone to our own private musings. And if it takes passwording to keep us up and rolling, then let's do it.

-- Lurkess (Lurkess@Lurking.Net), January 22, 2000.


"Perseverates" a psychological term. Not a word found in the average person's vocabulary. But, then again, we're doomers.

-- Lurkess (Lurkess@Lurking.Net), January 22, 2000.

Diane: Maybe we can take a tip from the sports world on warnings and ejections (banishments). In soccer, where players speak different languages, the referee show the "yellow card" to a player as a warning. More violations lead to ejection. In hockey, there is the penalty box. On this board, perhaps: behave reasonably or you are out.

A standard warning (public) might show people when they are over the edge, and also cut down on everyone else needing to say the same thing.

Do not make the policy too complex; this will conserve sysop time and effort. Maybe a three strikes and you are out would be a good idea.

Thank you! Heckie

-- Heckie (, January 22, 2000.


Then after the three strikes, the turkey comes back with a new name and ISP.

-- Lurkess (Lurkess@Lurking.Net), January 22, 2000.

Irving, these witless weasels have been around here for a long time. I notice that their presence becomes more intense when things seem to be unraveling with regards to y2k.

I think we can use them as a barometer with regard to the current and future seriousness of y2k problems. Let the idiots babble, it only takes a second to skip over their ignorant postings.


-- Ray (, January 22, 2000.

There is an answer to this problem. There is already a password protected forum. However, it is by invitation only. If you send me an email, I will forward it to the sysops and they will respond to you.

-- sunshine (, January 22, 2000.

Passwords would kill this forum I suspect.

-- Hokie (, January 23, 2000.

Passwording this forum would pinch off any hope of getting realtime information from knowledgeable persons in industry and government.

The current format invites abuse -- but any other format would eliminate precisely what makes this forum interesting.

-- Tom Carey (, January 23, 2000.

Heckie has a brainstorm idea.

I have an idea, but, it's a bit controversial, and perhaps cannot be discussed here. But hey! you asked for ideas! So, here goes:

Summary: Reach out to our young rebels with out best diplomats; define the problems.

Background: In Mexico and other South American countries, where desperate rebels kidnap people and hold them for ransom, suppression seldom works. I mean, the more you step on the Sandanista or Chiapas rebels, the more they resolve to resist. The same holds with our young rebels. Enter the diplomats. Yes, sooner or later, most rebels do come to the bargaining table (after God knows how many bombs and personal tragedies). After all, they want something to change, but what? At a bargaining table, we can find out what they want.

Details: Therefore, my main idea is to engage our best diplomats! We will treat our rebel associates like south American rebels, and try to figure out what the problems are. Then we can approach a solution. I have some specific ideas, but hesitate to offer them here for fear of divulging the diplomatic details.

Perhaps someone (the sysop?) is willing to set up a small, short- term, by-invitation, private forum, perhaps we can kick these ideas around.

Suggestions and starting points:

The topic of discussion might be: "signal/noise ratio", or "information improvement", but not "troll control" since that tends to push away the people we are reaching out to.

Our young rebels have their own point of view, perhaps they need a place to discuss among themselves to find a common point of vi . . . [comments deleted]

Anyone wishing to receive a more detailed proposal can me email to my personal address. This might work if we can reach out to our young associates!

Hey, it's better than asking the sysops to delete posts all day! That's no fun! And, after all, this is supposed to be fun! Thanks, Heckie

-- Heckie (, January 24, 2000.

TO: - Lurkess (Lurkess@Lurking.Net), January 22, 2000.

I sent a private answer to you, but, unfortunately, your email bounced. Thank you! -Heckie

-- Heckie (, January 24, 2000.

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