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Re: Stealth Blocking
From: Albert Meyer <albert () waller net>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 19:33:43 -0500

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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