I'm going to give a quite simple answer: we don't do that.
First off, it wouldn't help much. There's not anything stopping him from registering another name, and starting all over again. We could do a little to make it harder, but nothing that couldn't be gotten around with siginificant ease, or cause significant bad side-effects.
Second off, it's not a good thing to do. Most trolls (and make no mistake, he is one) eventually change their ways, I think. We should be encouraging that to happen, not giving up on it ever happening.
This isn't to say that we shouldn't do things to discourage him from acting like an ass. We should. But the problem is that the way to do that, from a programatic viewpoint, is to remove the negitive feedback that's being taken by the troll as any-feedback-is-good-feedback, we also remove the negitive feedback from the times when he's actually going to take that as negitive feedback. Everybody has some of both in them, and changes between them in unpridictable ways.
Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).
Amen! Nothing Wassercrats has done warrants the death penalty, as it were.
For my part in attempting to not contribute to the problem, I have stopped
voting on Wassercrats's posts and on the replies they generate. I'm not
going to feed the troll any more. He clearly revels in the large, negative
XP total he as accumulated, and I'm not gonna enable him.
If he changes his spots and stops being a troll, I may reconsider, but I'm
going to be rather conservative in my actions. I encourage others to consider
just not voting on his stuff. If you really want to hurt him, don't vote at
all. Leave his nodes with a reputation of zero. That will stop encouraging
I'd like to see Anyonymous Monk stop provoking Wassercrats. I can understand why people disagree with him, but following him around and continually picking at him without an identity to back it up is rude and a little vicious. He's right in that he deserves more respect than that.
If you have a problem with another monk, register, log in, build an identity for yourself, then bring your request to the community. Let the community judge things based on what it knows of both of you.
Anonymous sniping isn't worth the effort to take seriously. No one should have to defend himself without knowing who stands against him.
I agree, worse than the Wassercrates of this world, who at least are man enough to stand up and be counted for their opinions, are the Anonymous Monkses who apparently are not. Calling for site policy changes (which is what this is, I'm betting we've only ever removed/blocked users if all they did was post illegal stuff etc), while hiding behind anonymity is hardly likely to be taken seriously by anyone..
(I approved this node so that the responses to it will remain.)
This is a community built on the right to do what you will (within reason) and the responsability to not abuse that right, for some value of "abuse". Without giving someone the chance to learn, how can they grow?
Furthermore, Wassercrats has actually contributed to this community in a positive sense. I'm not talking about using him as an example of what not to do. He's actually sparked ideas in others, which is a major function of this community. For example, Living-ness of programming languages. While those ideas may not be huge in some minds, even the greatest ideas were sparked by little observations. While it is apocryphal, I will point to Newton and the apple tree. A better example might be the invention of the sandwich. (Look it up ... kids today eat something invented so that an earl could continue gambling.)
Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing. Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid. Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence. Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.
Wassercrats had at least the guts to sign up with Perlmonks. I'd rather see that accounts of trolls get disabled, but then again, where to stop? There are other monks whose posts I barely ever read, disable them too? No!
If you feel his posts are offensive, rude, annoying, or whatever, simply do not read them!. It's not that hard to do.
I've gone back and read a lot of Wassercrats' postings, and at first, they're pretty normal-looking stuff. But people chose to abuse him, so he got irate. Problem is, he's also a self-described Perl newbie, so he can't fall back on a bunch of XP or grand aura of a module he wrote.
Mob rule quickly took over. Hundreds of downvotes for - near as I can tell - "Anything in a Wassercrats post that isn't perfectly acceptable by the Perl community gets a downvote."
Well, that's just crap, my friends. That's high school clique-ish cowardly behavior. If you can't take criticism - even if it's not (in your opinion) polite or comes from a newbie - have the courage to just SHUT UP. You don't need to reply to every percieved insult to you, PM, the abs() function, Perl, Larry Wall, the number 42, or the letter Z. You don't need to waste your votes downvoting stuff like that either. Go upvote some stellar post by someone else. Much more constructive.
Wassercrats posted over and over in his earlier posts that he was a Perl newbie, which was also obvious based on some of his questions and opinions. However, several monks chose to treat him as if all wisdom imparted should have been instantly absorbed, agreed to, and followed. Suppose your answer wasn't very clear? Suppose he doesn't agree with you? So what if there are a thousand other programmers who do agree with you? LET IT GO. From whence comes the imperative that he has to agree with you?
Later on, Wassercrats became /ahem/ rather bitter and posted some things that were just plain trollish. I can't defend that, but at that point, it was all, "But S/HE said THIS first! I should be allowed to flame! You should understand!"
Just keep telling yourself that. Flames are a waste of space, especially cowardly flames by Anonymous Monk. Anybody who has used AM to flame someone has my full contempt. Gutless nonsense.
If you want to see it stop (and let W have some hope of ever having a non-negative XP again), it might be a good idea for folks to
While I agree that acting upon a request delivered from anonymity could hardly be seen as good form, and would establish a very shameful precedant, the fact remains that Wassercrats's contributions are more akin to graffitti on the monestary walls than serious contributution.
I too have had moments where I wanted to believe that Wassercrats was going to turn things around, but it would appear that those moments were just feints. Wassercrats has become the villan everyone loves to hate. I myself am finding the need to ignore his posts as they are just too rude and obviously provocative for no reason (usually but not always) I simply have better content to read.
And in the course of writing this post I realise I've changed my mind. I had thought to put forward to the Gods that preparation for such proposed action should begin to be pondered and considered. but now I realize that such an action would be very un-monkish.
Dude, Wassercrats is brilliant. He's a carefully crafted parody to be the opposite of what all the Saints (I used to have a saint account ... find me if you want) don't like about his coding style (and the coding style of really bad Perl developers), but not so far off to be unbelievable. He flies just far enough over the radar to be seen, but not called out for what he's got going.
If I had to vote, I'd say he's one of the Gods. His posts are too twisted to be real. Let's face it... there is some bad code posted here, but most of us who post alot are at the upper bound of the Perl echelon... He is a rare exception!
An excellent parody. We should keep him around.
Whether he succeeds at his goal of reminding us of what (little) is bad with Perl and Perl coding is questionable -- but at least he's funny. VarStructor! All your base are belong to us!