Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Journal twitter's Journal: A Troll Zoo

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.

Yes, M$ hires plenty of PR firms. If you don't believe PJ, Roy, Eric or Bruce, you can take it from M$ themselves:

Mind Control

  • 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:

These are easy to find if you follow the Dedazo account, which is largely dedicated to harassing me. Some of the ugliest comments show up there, including death threats.

Here are a couple of silly little accounts in the style of fake Bruce Perens or Miguel.

Only the willyhill account was ever used much because it's the least obvious harassment. There is good evidence that all of these were created by dedazo or whoever owns all of his sockpuppets.

Death threats are not as funny.

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.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.