Troll in our midst - please ignore them

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Rich Hickey

Jun 28, 2009, 2:51:12 PM6/28/09
to Clojure
It has become obvious to me we now have a troll in our midst, known
first as Wrexsoul, then Four of Seventeen, and now Handkea fumosa.

In spite of their desire for anonymity, their posts identify them for

Posting too often
At too great a length, often histrionically and provocatively
With great consternation whenever Clojure doesn't align with their
Becoming argumentative when the facts are pointed out, or they are
disagreed with
Quick to make the discussion about the discussion itself, or
Degrading eventually to "is so!"/"is not!" drivel

I have moderated all of these nicks, but it is likely that this person
will just show up with another.

It is quite essential, if this group is not to degrade into
comp.lang.lisp, that people like this be completely ignored.

So, as soon as someone says:

Are you calling me a liar?
what the hell is causing this?
I'm shocked...
OMG!! Clojure is broken!!!! The sky will fall if Clojure isn't changed
to meet my needs!!!!!

or anything else inflammatory, argumentative, impatient etc, just
ignore them.

A great litmus test is this - does their post annoy you? Then don't
waste your time and energy with a reply. It is designed to annoy and
provoke you, so stifle it with inattention.

We have had a lot of newbie questions answered here in a great spirit
of cooperation. Most are asked in a general indicator of desire to
learn, some even with some frustration, but also usually a dose of
'this doesn't seem right, am I doing this correctly?', and the best
answers are informative, factual and supportive. Let's keep that up,
but when it becomes obvious someone isn't looking to participate in a
positive community, it is vital that we ignore them rather than argue
with them.

It is doubly important not to reply in kind, in anger etc.

On my end, I will be using moderation aggressively to shut this down.
So, if you are a new member you might find your posts get delayed, and
more than the first one. Please be patient and resist the urge to
double post, as I can only check the moderation queue a few times a

This community is great, positive, intelligent and helpful, and I'm
sure we can rise above this.



Alex Combas

Jun 28, 2009, 4:19:49 PM6/28/09
Hi Rich,
Does this mean you're going to be moderating every post, or just posts from new accounts?

Either way, perhaps you could start looking around for a couple of people who would do this job of
moderating for you because I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that your time would be best used elsewhere. :)

However I do completely agree that more moderation is needed.

Best regards,


Jun 28, 2009, 4:51:42 PM6/28/09
to Clojure
Hi Rich,
I'm very impressed by the effort you put in to moderating and
supporting the community, on top of your work on Clojure. I did notice
that Wrexsoul, Four, and Handkea's posts were tending to the annoying,
but I didn't think to attribute them as being the same person. Do you
have a way of checking, or are you deducing this from their style of


Daniel Renfer

Jun 28, 2009, 7:06:51 PM6/28/09

I know it's hardly conclusive, but all 3 of these people sent their
messages from Gmail. Gmail includes the UserAgent string of the
browser they were sent from.

All 3 of these people have the exact same UserAgent. Furthermore, of
all the people that have sent mail to this list, they are the only 3
to have that exact UA.

Giancarlo Angulo

Jun 28, 2009, 7:16:10 PM6/28/09
I didn't know this! thanks!
-----|-^_^X@^_^, =====|+^_^X++~_~,@-----

"The only thing worse than a hopeless romantic is a hopeful one"

Magbasa bago Mamuna. Mag-isip bago mambatikos

Without Truth there is no Justice,
Without Justice, there is Tyranny

Semper fi

Proof of Desire is Pursuit


Jun 29, 2009, 1:21:54 AM6/29/09
to Clojure
Thank you Denfer,
That's a very interesting trick. I'm sure it'll be handy to me in the
future. I really never considered trolls a possibility on this forum.
It seems if that sort of thing interests you, there's much easier and
satisfying prey elsewhere.

Alex Combas

Jun 29, 2009, 1:56:04 AM6/29/09

heh, well if trolls had brains they wouldn't be trolls now would they?

Best regards,


Jun 29, 2009, 9:03:07 AM6/29/09
to Clojure
It's unfortunate when a troll has a brain and uses it for evildoing.

Thank you Rich for the language, and your efforts at moderation.

On Jun 29, 12:56 am, Alex Combas <> wrote:

Andrew Garman

Jun 29, 2009, 10:21:50 AM6/29/09
to Clojure

I'd also suggest that folks rate the posts that are exceptionally good
or exceptionally bad. If a user account is noted predominately for
bad posts, a moderator - whether in this group or another - will think
twice about allowing the user to freely post. And vice versa, posts
from a user with 5 star rating, like yourself, should be welcomed

Best regards,


Daniel Lyons

Jun 30, 2009, 4:15:54 AM6/30/09

I'd take this with a grain of salt. I think trolls are in it for fame
but they'll take notoriety, and in their immaturity they are likely to
see quantification as a form of scoring. Seems to me that Slashdot's
moderation system has created systemic trolls precisely because it
makes the site more game-like by tracking "karma" which is a lot like
this. I believe managing the side-effects of this kind of system would
be about as hard as just managing the troll problem on a case-by-case

Daniel Lyons

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