The Null Device

Troll, counter-troll

Via the newly-resurrected bOING bOING: Everything in Moderation is an online forum (run by Tom "plasticbag.org" Coates) dedicated to the management of online communities, and more specifically, to moderating comments, encouraging good behaviour, discouraging trolls and the like. There you'll find fascinating studies in social engineering and useful practical tips such as simulating technical faults to get rid of unwelcome posters without provoking them into a war, and the use of cookies to detect trolls with multiple tentacles.

And, surprisingly enough, the last one received a comment from an "avowed Slashdot troll", outlining how, against a serious troll with access to cookie-poisoning plugins, anonymous web proxies and thousands of trolling accounts (all automated, natch), such a scheme wouldn't work, and giving an outline of a determined troll's formidable arsenal of tools.

The moral of this story is: never underestimate the ingenuity of guys without girlfriends.

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