Genii Weblog


Thu 20 May 2004, 12:13 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
The Gold forums have a particularly annoying pest right now who keeps sucking people into inane discussions of topics.  He goes by the name "rodente v bharti", and he seems to relish the idea of wating people's time and insulting them.  Through a bit of detective work, I now have a fairly clear idea of who this person is, and certainly what company he is posting from.  Is exposure justified?  Do I leave it alone, or let people know what company he works for (which should make it fairly easy to track him down), or call them up and complain?  What would you do?

Copyright 2004 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

160.1. Greyhawk68
(05/21/2004 10:09 AM)

If you are REALLY sure that this person isn't spoofing where they are coming from, then I say POST the information. They deserve to be outted for what they are. There is no anonymity on the internet, and the trolls don't deserve special protection. Post away.

160.2. Ben Langhinrichs
(05/21/2004 10:14 AM)

Ben Poole beat me to it.

160.3. Ben Poole
(05/21/2004 10:59 AM)

It's a tricky one, though as I said in the LDD, I don't really feel trolls like this deserve protection / discretion.

This particular character has been very active in the 4/5 forum (in a bad way), and now he's turned to the 6 forum. He actually said that he finds annoying us humourless souls to be great fun -- if I were his employer, I'd take a very dim view of that.

But perhaps we over-estimate the impact of "outing" such people in what is, after all, a pretty niche corner of the web. Case in point: around 18 months ago my site received repeated attacks from someone working for a major firm of international lawyers -- when I raised the issue with them, their HR department was not interested.

160.4. Rob McDonagh
(05/21/2004 11:28 AM)

I'm curious - what made you guys look at that other post (the job one) suspiciously? Or did you just create a view sorted on ip address on the off chance he'd have posted something under another name?

I can see (obviously) how you know the two posts came from the same company (same machine or at least proxy), but that's in hindsight - I'm wondering what made you look to begin with?

160.5. Ben Langhinrichs
(05/21/2004 11:34 AM)

I have long had a view by IP address to clue me in when another ISV or product vendor starts touting their own products as if they were customers (gives a bad name to those of us who tout our products openly). I have been waiting for rodente to post under another name, as most trolls do eventually, and happened to search today.

There are certainly others who post under multiple names, but I don't "out" anybody unless they are doing something nasty, or are misrepresenting themselves to sell products.

160.6. Ben Poole
(05/21/2004 11:44 AM)

I post under two names... can you guess what they are? :o)

I suspect Rodente was just posting from the same proxy as Scott, but who knows?

160.7. Ben Langhinrichs
(05/21/2004 11:48 AM)

I agree about it being the same proxy, since I have found at least two other people who look legitimate using the same IP address, and since it ends in .1.

I'm now not sure whether Scott Baines is a legitimate person with jobs to offer or rodente making trouble and leading people on. With any luck, if Scott is a different person, he will do a bit of detective work of his own.

160.8. Christopher Byrne
(05/21/2004 01:23 PM)

Hmm..I was wondering about Mary A White, thinking this might be the rodente also. What say you Ben?

160.9. Duffbert
(05/21/2004 04:50 PM)

Boy... Doesn't *that* bring back memories of the old Lotus Support forum, tracking down people who were irritants and getting them kicked off their ISPs.

I would say expose away.

I also don't frequent the Forums much any more, and I can't find the thread where Ben exposed him. Can you drop the URL in here?

160.10. Duffbert
(05/22/2004 08:50 AM)

Thanks... :-)

The vendor posting scam reminds me of a certain vendor who markets replication bandwidth enhancements. They did the same type of "ask question, answer question" routine, and we called them on it. I *still* won't even look at their stuff to this day.

160.11. Ed Brill
(05/23/2004 12:18 PM)

Joined this one late...and haven't been as active lately on the LDD forums. But I know that by blogging about someone like this a few months ago, that person ended up losing their job based on what they had said on LDD. I thought it was a bit harsh, but it did serve as a reminder that you are what you say (I've run into this recently as well).

160.12. Ben Langhinrichs
(05/24/2004 06:47 PM)

Ahh, I'm almost going to miss the rodent... NOT!