Stealth Blocking

Albert Meyer albert at
Thu May 24 00:33:43 UTC 2001

At 04:49 PM 5/23/01 -0400, Shawn McMahon wrote:
>You're assuming that the responses are an attempt to convince the troll.
>They're not; nobody cares what the troll thinks.
>The responses are to convince the peanut gallery, because the fact is that
>the vast majority of those reading this (or any) mailing list are not
>posting, and many of them are undecided on any issue that comes up.
>We respond to trolls so that the lurkers will hear the rational sides of
>the story, not just the troll side.
>This has the unfortunate side effect of feeding the trolls, but it's
>an acceptable risk if it enhances the clue level of someone who isn't
>yet lost.

I disagree. This isn't CLUELESS-NEWBIE-L. Anyone reading NANOG can probably 
smell a troll. I know it's hard to resist feeding them - I participated in 
my share of trollfests on SPAM-L in 98 and 99 (not to mention the flamewars 
between genuine anti-spammers who disagreed about methods), but I like to 
think that I learned from the experience. Trolls don't go away until they 
stop getting responses. If you must enlighten the peanut gallery, "Go away 
troll" would suffice. Anything more guarantees that he will continue 
trolling.  Arguing with a troll as if he were a rational person gives him 
the appearance of credibility.You can't get the last word. I know, I've 
tried. You can't. No matter how irrefutably you prove your point, he will 
simply embellish his troll and post it again.

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