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Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence

by blogical (Pilgrim)
on Feb 19, 2007 at 20:23 UTC ( #600950=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Suggestion: Require posts by monks with a negative XP total below n to be approved pre-emptively. I suggest -30 for n.

Purpose: To allow the community to recognize and limit activity from an potentially malicious account to the same level of moderation required of Anonymous postings.

"One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for the myriad instances and applications?"
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by mirod (Canon) on Feb 19, 2007 at 20:29 UTC

    PerlMonks has been running for quite a few years without needing such a system. I don't think the fact that we got recently visited by a new troll deserves to waste any developer time.

      Perl 5 is pretty great too. Why waste time on 6? ;) Thank you for responding with an actual point instead of just downvoting, mirod.

      "One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for the myriad instances and applications?"
      - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Feb 20, 2007 at 03:10 UTC

    Just to say, that I dont think that will happen here. Its against our culture and tradition. I know i would vote against in the gods straw poll. We have effective mechanisms for dealing with this type of thing, we dont need any new ones in my opinion. And frankly let the fools open their mouths to prove what they are. Ridicule is more effective than censorship IMO.

    ---
    $world=~s/war/peace/g

      We have effective mechanisms for dealing with this type of thing...

      Ridicule is more effective than censorship

      I guess that depends on how you define effectiveness. And I'd wager that many monks don't particularly agree with you on the definition.

      A word spoken in Mind will reach its own level, in the objective world, by its own weight
Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by GrandFather (Saint) on Feb 19, 2007 at 21:01 UTC

    What does "approved pre-emptively" mean? Presently all nodes are unapproved until they are given approval by an appropriately privileged monk. Anonymous postings are no different in that regard.


    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel

      I thought anonymous posts recieved more scrutiny than they do, and that regular posts recieved less than they do. As it stand, I suppose the current Approval system more or less serves in this manner... I just had something more distributed in mind.

      Relevant nodes for further reading

Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by CountZero (Bishop) on Feb 20, 2007 at 07:28 UTC
    I voted your idea ++,not because I like it, but because it shows you have been thinking and caring about our Monastery.

    I still think it will not solve this problem as a deliberate troll will simply create another log-in once his XP becomes too negative.

    CountZero

    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by dws (Chancellor) on Feb 20, 2007 at 04:37 UTC

    By implementing such a mechanism, we would be removing a learning opportunity for the community of non-trolls who've not yet had the experience of dealing effectively with trolls. Compared with other on-line communities, Perlmonks is actually rather good about dealing with trolls, and we're also good about coaching people on how to deal with trolls. Sadly, we also occassionaly model ineffective troll-countering behavior, but that too can be educational.

Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by exussum0 (Vicar) on Feb 19, 2007 at 21:13 UTC
    Anyone can twist statistics in their favour. I can post a regular question, get upvotes, and then post junk. Or create an XP team to vote me up constantly so that I can post.

      Anyone can but the bar would be raised for the casual troll. I am not so sure about the method of requiring pre-approval but once someone gets $n level of down votes we have a fair indication they are up to no good.

      Perhaps life can be made harder for trolls and spammers with little chance of hurting true seakers of knowledge. The community certainly seams to get their number pretty quickly and flag them with heavy downvoting. At least a goal worthy of discussion

      Cheers,
      R.

      Pereant, qui ante nos nostra dixerunt!
        Perhaps life can be made harder for trolls and spammers with little chance of hurting true seekers of knowledge.
        This place is more wiki style than slashdot style. Such is the culture and gosh darn it, I like it.

        As for $n level of down votes, some people, in earnest, don't get it from time to time or for a large spanning period. Good contributions are good contributions.

      This is the basis of most "security" measures- not ensuring absolute security, but decreasing the likelihood of an undesirable event occuring by, as Random_Walk pointed out, "raising the bar" in such a manner as to create the least possible interference with the affairs of regular users.

      "One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for the myriad instances and applications?"
      - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by NovMonk (Chaplain) on Feb 20, 2007 at 15:56 UTC
    I agree with CountZero: ++ for the thought behind the idea, but not the idea itself. I kind of like knowing which posts I should avoid (or view if I need a laugh.) Giving trolls incentive to change their names and come back as innocent, all-new users rather defeats that purpose. Plus, it clutters our rolls with (potentially) multiple false/ inactive accounts.

    My thoughts, for whatever they are worth. And I must say, I, at least, learned a lot from some of the more serious responses to our latest Troll. Kudos to the patient monks who tried to enlighten him. It was not wasted effort.

    Pax,
    NovMonk

      I think that's the best point I've heard yet, or rather, the clearest summary of it: not providing any incentive to create further bogus accounts. Thanks! ☺

      Now, if "dormant for x days" accounts with "negative XP below n" were simply dableeted as zombies... oh nevermind.

        not providing any incentive to create further bogus accounts.

        I disagree. I've never heard of this phenomenon happening beyond a few very unusual cases. Trolls, in general, aren't after XP. In fact, many are happy to see their XP sink to plutonic lows. Some appear to have taken pride in the rate of their XP decline.

        Thus, if anything, forcing them to abandon their accounts after reaching some negative XP threshold might be more of a disincentive.

        A word spoken in Mind will reach its own level, in the objective world, by its own weight
Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by Moron (Curate) on Feb 20, 2007 at 16:39 UTC
    As reasonable as it might seem to make rules to react to recent problems, this is one of the things governments tend to do ... and it nearly always goes wrong! To pick an extreme case to illustrate the point: In Great Britain some years back, two nine-year-old boys murdered a baby. Until then, children couldn't be tried in an adult court, but the law was changed just to satisfy expected public reaction to the limited sentencing powers of a juvenile court for that one case. It's like saying well, the law says children aren't held as responsible for their actions as adults, but we're going to throw these two to the wolves in the interests of politics.

    In other words, good lawmaking should be based on the longer run rather than being tempted by a single instance.

    -M

    Free your mind

      I agree with the anti-reactionist sentiment you and others have expressed. I would like to know how you believe an existing institution can evolve if not in response to recognizing an opportunity for growth, or need to address a shortcoming?

      As shown by the different opinions expressed here, no one on the pmdev team is rushing off to make any hasty changes. Discussion helps because the issue is considered and potential responses (and reasons for inaction) vetted.

        I would say that development and evolution are almost opposites. Designing, building, testing and correcting and only releasing when you are sure is the way of the developer whereas accident is the mechanism of evolution. I always cringe when people say they want an organisation to evolve rather than develop :)

        -M

        Free your mind

Re: Limiting Spam posts, Trolls, Joe Jobs and other maleficence
by Marza (Vicar) on Feb 20, 2007 at 18:31 UTC
    Hmmmmm? No.

    The system in place works just fine. In order to have a good site you have to have to put up with questionable material.

    There are cases of fanatism here. Somebody could make a valid point and be sent to the negatives.

    A noob could make a mistake and be turned off by having to be approved.

    There are times I think anon monk is abused to take potshots but hey. Whatever floats your boat.

    If you can show people leaving because of trolling, then you might have a case. It's just not happening.

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