Here's a nice collection of what trolls and astroturfers really hate, being outed. When caught red handed, M$ employees usually quit posting. Their goal is to disrupt legitimate communications and community as they promised in their Halloween Documents and to turn Slashdot into a M$ advertising platform. Documenting their activity prevents this and gives their paymasters second thoughts about their effectiveness. As ESR put it,
Because coexistence is not a stable solution for them, it cannot be for us either. We have to assume that Microsoft's long-term aim is to crush our culture and drive us to extinction by whatever combination of technical, economic, legal, and political means they can muster.
It's a game M$ has been playing against their competitors for a long time and the same people infest newsgoups. M$'s sociopathic nature has been documented in their own words in court. They have turned their methods against the entire free software community, and relentlessly harass anyone who says or thinks anything negative about M$. Those of you who don't believe M$ pays people to do this can ask Bruce Perens, who recently shared his personal experience about it:
just about every PR firm offers to help "manage the perception of your company in online communities" these days. What do you think that means? Astroturfing Slashdot, Youtube, etc. In my various manangement positions it's been offered to me. Indeed, some of the companies offer to create negative publicity for your competition that way - HP had a publicity firm for its Linux activities that told us it would do that when we wanted. I never asked them to do so and hope nobody else did either. This stuff is just standard these days. You've got to expect it.
- To control mental output you to have to control mental input
- Take control of the channels by which developers receive information
- Then they can only think about the things you tell them
- Thus, you control mindshare
No, they are not joking and this is why they also hate and attack Google. The proof of how fanatical they are is the attention lavished on an insignificant person like me, partially documented below. Tim Bray is a good example of just how far M$ will go to get their way:
in 1997, I was sitting on the XML Working Group and co-editing the spec, on a pro bono basis as an indie consultant. Netscape hired me to represent their interests, and when I announced this, controversy ensued. Which is a nice way of saying that Microsoft went berserk; tried unsuccessfully to get me fired as co-editor, and then launched a vicious, deeply personal extended attack in which they tried to destroy my career and took lethal action against a small struggling company because my wife worked there.
Trolls have always been easy to spot. All of them share hatred of everything Slashdot is about and love of all that threatens free software. No matter how many accounts they use, they have to give themselves away to do their job.
Most of these accounts are sockpuppets for one or two losers. Accounts marked with a * have links to a single nasty thing rather than the proper send up, but sometimes that's a normal person having a bad day. More evidence of malice comes from the new "twitter firehose gaming index ", marked below as [%]. Firehose gaming is secondary to the things people say, but it can provide conclusive evidence where there is no comment trail. 1% and above is suspicious. Enjoy:
- Alex Belits (437) *, also has a live journal with more.
- Keith Russell (4440) [17%]
- Ed Avis (5917)
- Lemmy Caution (8378)
- SL Baur (19540) says M$ sucks because Emacs sucks. Also claims that GNU/Linux adoption would take off if only people like me would not claim Vista is a failure. The Vista submarine has yet to surface. Amazing.
- bonch (38532) and he's still an ass.
- dreamchaser (49529), Vista defender and twitter attack troll.
- gad_zuki! (70830)*, a Vista defender.
- billstewart (78916)*
- Teilo (91279) twitter hater.
- Blakey Rat (99501) * denies the existence of DRM on Vista.
- roman_mir (125474) *
- MrHanky (141717) *
- FortKnox (169099)
- Moridineas (213502)
- smitty_one_each (243267), GNAA crank.
- GeckoX (259575)
- Danga (307709)* a dollar sign nazi
- jwilcox154 (469038), twitter attack bot, minor irritant, chases around people he thinks are twitter and has all but admitted he writes on M$'s behalf for money. [5%]
- larry bagina (561269)*
- mumblestheclown (569987)
- tintruder (578375)*
- geminidomino (614729) *
- westlake (615356)
- DroopyStonx (683090)*
- GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) *
- orevo (697682)*
- tepples (727027) twitter attack bot, general annoyance and crap flooder. "friends" with trolls koreaman and drinkypoo.
- mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) *
- dedazo (737510), really. This one represents a group powerful enough to announce the destruction of three slashdot accounts, two well respected, and deliver the same the next day. That's more than the usual crap flood and insult attack, it's blatant gaming. Not content to ruin Slashdot, this troll has taken his fight to Boycott Novell as G.Michaels and other nyms. [21%]
- Umbral Blot (737704)
- TheRealMindChild (743925) *
- jb.hl.com (782137)
- Ralish (775196) *, Guttman assault, promptly corrected.
- Hal_Porter (817932) *, twitter attack troll
- FlorianMueller (818981). Microsoft attack dog who's also coppied by the more mainstream Microsoft press. He routinely says bad things about RMS, PJ, IBM, Red Hat, Google, and others Microsoft sets him on as he pretends to battle software patents and represent the free software community.
- hairyfeet (841228) * probably another nym for Macthorpe, M$ Office promoter and GNU/Linux hater.
- iced_773 (857608)
- Achromatic1978 (916097)*
- MikeRT (947531) *, I used to think this way but realized such measures create a universal censor and destroys freedom of the press but I was never sure most bit torrent is "pirated."
- Toreo asesino (951231)
- Macthorpe (960048) Dedicated PayTard and would be destroyer of Twitter credibility. This tool is still the same. [4%]
- renegadesx (977007), ,, twitter attack troll and general ass. [5%]
- AlexGr (1054296), an oddly well published troll submitter.
- lilomar (1072448) *, twitter attack troll.
- brothke Firehose disrupter. Has submitted crap like this and nothing else, five or six times over a few months.
- twatter (867120)
- tvvitter (1000880)
- willyhill (965620)
- A whole collection of vile willyhill clones for accusations of racism and other things that have nothing to do with Twitter.
Death threats are not as funny.
- June 15, 2007, Mactrope
- July 23, 2007, AC
- August 1, 2007, AC
- November 4, 2007, AC
- May 25, 2008, AC
- June 22, 2008, Mactrope
- August 7, 2008, another AC threat to me and my family.
It would be nice to see these unlawful posts traced back to their owners and used to find out who's actually paying for the trolling of Slashdot.
Slashdot is a big place, big enough for people who like or must use Windows, but there's no place here for intentional disruption and harassment. PJ of Groklaw describes her policy for these people and I think it's time Slashdot editors started to ban IP addresses and accounts like she does.