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From Martin Cooper <mart...@apache.org>
Subject Re: At what point do you unsubscribe/deny a misbehaving user?
Date Sat, 17 Dec 2005 04:03:06 GMT

On Fri, 16 Dec 2005, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> On Dec 16, 2005, at 6:28 PM, Jean T. Anderson wrote:
>>> For crying out loud, would you please supply links to the exact posts
>>> you consider to be in poor taste and the person's name?  I just wasted
>>> 10 minutes trying to follow the bread crumbs.  You have to make it
>>> easier on reviewers -- everyone seems to be painfully avoiding
>>> a pointer to an actual message.
>> sorry -- I'm not trying to frustrate folks. I considered posting specific 
>> links, but withdrew them at the end, even though they are links to public 
>> archives. The name at the core is Michael Segel.
>> Below are links to public responses to some of his posts (which are 
>> numerous enough that they alone would be frustrating to wade through):
> Well, yes, but what I asked for was the posts that you consider to be
> in poor taste, not responses to those posts.  But now that I know who
> you are talking about I could use the view-by-author and see that this
> person is better than the typical troll with diarrhea of the fingers.
> He is usually right, even when though he would fail miserably as a
> strategist, and most of his posts in October were both useful
> and normal.  In others, he slides into troll mode on responses.
> The answer is to ask your community not to feed the troll when it
> gets grumpy and just ignore him,

This is what we try to do on the Struts lists, where we have an annoying 
troll who keeps claiming he's leaving for elsewhere but never actually 
does it. Ignoring him doesn't keep him away, but it does keep him at bay, 
minimising the continuation of threads from his posts onwards.

As someone else has pointed out, throwing someone off the list isn't 
effective. For one thing, it's only going to get their back up even more, 
and for another, they can just create a new mail account, perhaps with a 
different name, and come right back. (Our Struts troll has at least 3 
different identities that we know of.)

Martin Cooper

> and to limit discussion to the
> topic of the list.  Yes, he is an annoying troll, but on balance
> he hasn't done anything truly disruptive or offensive that I could find.
> Personally, if I had been on the list when he started inventing big
> words about GPL and IBM, I would have flamed him to a crisp so badly
> that he would have unsubscribed (and I probably would have been
> banned outright).  Your calls for politeness will only restrain those
> who care.
>> The last two were recent (this week). Off line communication makes me 
>> believe he has no intention of moderating his behavior, hence the question 
>> of at what point you unsubscribe/deny a user.
> When his presence is worse than his absence, you can deny him, but
> it is better to ask everyone in the community to simply shun him.
> He doesn't start off in troll mode.
>> One of the DB PMC members was asking about frequency of denial, which is an 
>> excellent question, which Noel responded to with "Rarely.  Really really 
>> rarely."  It's helpful for us to know how other projects at the ASF handle 
>> such situations. I'm getting questions from users asking why we don't just 
>> boot him. I'm happy to respond with "The ASF doesn't like to do that except 
>> for the most extreme cases" if that is the right answer. This case is 
>> merely very annoying, not extreme.
>> I think ignoring is an excellent tactic for a developer's list. I worry 
>> that isn't strong enough for a user's list, but I also wouldn't want to 
>> embark on a path that could backfire.
> Then feel free to delete the users list.  I am serious.
> ....Roy
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