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Anonymous Monk's Logging

by developers (Initiate)
on May 08, 2000 at 03:12 UTC ( #10544=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

A while back, cciulla wrote in Voting:

Unfortunately, some monks vote-- without the benefit of an explanation. FWIW, I have been hit with a couple of these, but that's not my motiviation, as this does not further perl, perl development, nor the author's knowledge of why his/her writeup "sucked."

As an extentsion to that, today I noticed that some coward really bashed reptile's Thought I\'d Give it a Shot.

What would other monks think of having the IP address of the poster displayed on every reply? That way one could tell by association what user was most likely to have posted a flame if he re-logs on as an Anonymous Monk. Something along the lines of
This color sucks! 1 reply by Anonymous Monk
on Sun May 07 2000 at 2000 from

I know we are all pretty paranoid (at least I am), but I really don't think that should be such a big issue. I would assume that most of use posting here are doing so behind a firewall or packet filter of some sort (I know I am).

# Trust no1!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Get rid of Anonymous Monks?
by neshura (Chaplain) on May 08, 2000 at 03:48 UTC
    How does an IP address deter flaming? I don't know if it would really, considering how many people are still tied to dialup and dynamic IPs....
    To be honest, I don't see any need for Anonymous Monks at all. A registered login can be just as anonymous -- you could probably track me down using my login, but you'd have to have a serious problem with one (or many) of my posts to go to all that trouble. (And if I'm that offensive, maybe someone SHOULD be able to track me down to tell me so in person)
    On /., it's one thing to have ACs, who are protected because they might be DOJ employees or Microserfs. But who needs to hide behind a veil of anonymity here at Perl Monks? Only flamers and cowards, and the people who keep losing their passwords. I fully expect you privacy advocates to jump all over this. While I support anonymity in general on the Internet, I see no compelling reason to offer monks a disguise so they can flame at will.
    I read the AC's response to reptile's first attempt at obfuscation, and found it completely unwarranted and quite mean-spirited. But of course, I had no way to vote it down.

    It seems unbalanced, that people can log in and get XP for their knowledge, and then log out to be rude -- and not take the hit to their reputation. I greatly look forward to logging in tomorrow and seeing my XP take a dive. That's the way it works. The only way a community with a common interest in sharing and accumulating knowledge can work is when people stand behind their opinions (whether moderate or extreme).

    Oh yes, I can think of many excellent reasons to disagree with me, but I'm not going to give anyone free ammunition :-)

    e-mail neshura

      I can see this turning into a very long node if we get into the netiquette, the AC, flammers, et al discussion, but I don't want to let this one go just yet...

      You said:
      While I support anonymity in general on the Internet, I see no compelling reason to offer monks a disguise so they can flame at will.
      and I totally agree with that! As a matter of fact, just to set the record straight, my name is John Burbridge and I can be reached at (+55-11) 3744-1760 or "talk". :o)

      But I beleive strongly in anonimity and I think it is a matter which each individual user should have the right to opt for. Being known as BBQ or John makes absolutely no difference to me, but I know I does to a bunch of people. I think the idea of cutting off the Anonymous Monks sounds a bit ... err.. radical(?), and the only other imminent solution that I can think of is the IP posting. I agree that it doesn't solve the issue, but I think it helps.(This could be a pretty good poll question, btw)
        Indeed it does sound radical. That was my point. I posted something not just radical but inimical to a great many people (including myself, sometimes), under my only login. (Which I use everywhere, it's as much me as my real name is)

        Yes, this could be a long thread if we were to really take up the question of anonymity on the Internet, but I just wanted to throw an idea out there. I don't mind long threads -- no discussion should be unwelcome.

        Though anonymity is, of course, a sacred cow to every proper freedom-loving technoanarchist.

        (and I do so love hamburgers)

        Maybe I'm a troublemaker, suggesting something like getting rid of AMs. But let's go back to the original question. We know that there will be a real problem that will most probably occur -- the signal to noise ratio plummeting. So, what will keep the site usable if this happens? We don't have a lot of case studies to go on...e2 and /. are about all that there is. And e2 is ALL noise. That's okay, that's what it's there for -- it self-selects for the gibbering sort of person. /. is a study in riot control, and it lives on the edge of chaos -- an interesting place to be, unless you are frustrated with the GD module and you need a quick answer because your boss expects something ready to go in less than 14 hours. Perl Monks is painted as a monastery -- probably a more apropos metaphor than the founders even intended. Knowledge is sacred and noise is banned in quite a few real monasteries, even today.

        Okay, so noise bothers me, personally. But this is a democracy. Just because I get upset when some tentative newbie is crudely flamed does not mean that I am right. I actually think the IP suggestion could work. But it seems hypocritical when compared with my idea -- "Yeah, we're definitely pro-anonymity, but we're gonna log your IP address just in case". In case what? Someone uses the shield of anonymity to say something rude or unpopular, possibly over and over again? If the majority is pro-anonymity, then the majority should be willing to let AMs roam unencumbered. To do otherwise would be a farce.

        So, nice to meet you John (really!). My name's Amanda. If you or anyone else would like to talk/argue/bitch me out, my home # is (408) 530-9348. I welcome your opinions.

        email neshura ::I'm not anti-noise, I'm pro-signal::

RE: Anonymous Monk's Logging
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 08, 2000 at 04:26 UTC
    Hmm, I don't see a compelling reason to keep Anonymous Monk around -- but I don't see any good reason to get rid of it, either.

    I think we ought to take a hint from comp.lang.perl.misc in discouraging from post-but-don't-read users, who ask "Please e-mail me the answer because I don't check here," because that defeats one purpose for the site. It would also be nice to encourage people to repeat questions, and to post them in the most appropriate sections, but that might be a lot to ask.

    Assuming vroom provides good guidelines on which (if any) writeups to make disappear, those of us with editorial powers can get rid of the worst stuff. (The only thing I've seen that I'd get rid of was the reply to reptile's post. And a lot of blank nodes, but that's a different story.)

    If things get out of hand, maybe we should worry about it. Until then, let's worry instead about improving the signal.

RE: Anonymous Monk's Logging
by cciulla (Friar) on May 08, 2000 at 14:48 UTC
    Dumb question, but does the "show unmoderated content" option on "user settings" ignore AM writeups?

    If not, perhaps an option to this very thing would be apropos (see, I can spell apropos now).

    Something along the lines of:
    <input type=checkbox checked>Ignore dumbasses?

    Then, a big old honkin' sign on The Monastery Gates saying, "You can post anonymously here, but it will probably be ignored by default."

RE: Anonymous Monk's Logging
by reptile (Monk) on May 08, 2000 at 04:13 UTC

    Would an IP help that much? I'm not sure it would. If it could log the host, maybe, so it would be easy to identify even anonymous monks, but IPs are hard to recognize. I'm afraid I don't have a solution beyond eliminating anonymous posting altogether, and whether that should be done or not I won't say. I've thought about this at length before, and written about it even for some other sites; I don't particularly want to go into that now.

    I don't care what the Anonymous Monk said about my code. I was bored and wrote that and thought it had some value, but in that person's opinion it didn't. Too bad they couldn't have been a little nicer about it :)

    I think we can all handle an occasional troll here and there, but if such things become common, I really hope we can come up with something to keep this from becoming another slashdot.

    Just my thoughts on the subject.


      Man, I'm glad you can keep such a good attitude about the post. I know I was really pissed when I saw it, but maybe I just get carried away too much.

      I've had very irritating experiences reading /., chatting on irc, playing qw (with cheaters on the server), etc, and I just don't want that kind of stuff to come over to perlmonks. Ever since this site went up I've felt as if it where a haven. Not really underground but a strong community center. I just don't want to see it spoiled.

      At any rate, congratulations on the attitude! I'm going to shut-up now. :o)

        Yeah having to put up with people like that my entire life helps. An individual is not what you want to be where I grew up. Anyway, I know what you're saying. I hope we can keep this place sane as it grows.

        PS. Thanks for the defense, but ya think you went a little overboard on the compliments? Maybe I was born knowing perl, but I've never even seen a line of ADA in my life ;)


RE: Anonymous Monk's Logging
by mikfire (Deacon) on May 08, 2000 at 21:18 UTC
    My first statement is to say lets not fix this until we have a problem. I have seen remarkably few nasty posts. If the AM does not cause harm, let's keep AM around until it does.

    In a broader sense, though, is the AM really desirable in this forum?

    This is a very supportive community. There is very little of the silliness that you would find on, say, slashdot. I would like to keep it that way. It seems, for some odd reason, a very human trait to be nastier when posting anonymously. Rather than asking people to resist temptation, why not remove the temptation? I value the closeness of the community ( not to mention the terrific signal/noise ) more than the ability to post anonymously.

    Yes, we can go on at length about anonyminity. I think on forums like /., an honest argument can be made - people who are afraid their bosses, spouses, cow-orkers, whatever will read a post and serious repercusions will occur can post as an AC and still make their point. Is this really a concern of ours? Do we discuss this kind of topic? Are there people here who regularly post as AM so they cannot be recognized? I, obviously, do not have answers but we need to consider this and weigh it against our desire to protect the community.

    What if we said AM could not reply to anything, but could start a new thread? This could still be abused - somebody could start a Monks Discussion entitled "mikfire is a real knee biter". But it would at least allow people to ask questions without joining the Monastery.

    Mik Firestone ( perlus bigotus maximus )

RE: Anonymous Monk's Logging
by undefined (Novice) on May 15, 2000 at 04:11 UTC
    Although I'm brand new around here, I thought I'd give my input as well.

    I've watched other sites, most notably /. quickly deteriorate because of anonymous posters. Although it only takes about 2 seconds to create an account here, I think this alone would be enough to deter most trouble makers. Allowing only one account per email address would also be a good thing I think. If we force people to open an account, we can also ban them if thet repeatedly abuse the system.

    Some would say, "I want to be anonymous". My answer to that is, go sign up a yahoo mail account, fake your Real(tm) Name, and choose your username wisely. This will allow you to be anonymous and allow us to impose a few rules. There are almost as many "petrified, hot grits down Natalie Portmans pants" posts over at /. as there are real comments. That is why this is my new home page, and I won't be visiting /. much any more.

    I think we need to remember (or learn :) why this site was built and not allow the trollers to destroy what appears to be a great community.

    Thanks for your time. :)

    Check out
    KNowledge EXchange Auction (Preview Release)
RE: Anonymous Monk's Logging
by Adam (Vicar) on May 08, 2000 at 21:12 UTC
    I think we should look at this from the perspective of, "What is the point of the Perl Monastery?" I think of it as a place where people interested in Perl can ask each other questions, be creative (writing poetry and obfuscated code), and learn from each other. For this purpose anonymity (sp?) makes no sense. However this site has one major advantage over other Perl sites... people who know perl. I think that this would be a great place for newbies to come and ask questions of the Monks. For that, there is no reason to force them into an identity. That said, my proposal would be to retain Anonymous (but don't call it Anonymous Monk... come up with some other names and have a poll or something...) but only allow Anonymous to post questions, and not to reply or comment on other peoples nodes. I think that would prevent excessive noise without damaging the spirit of

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