[off-list] flames, trolls, and newbies (was: attitudes)

From: Ian Kluft (ikluft@thunder.sbay.org)
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 15:24:49 EDT


>From: "Mikes work account" <mrock@stewartsigns.com>
>Please excuse this intrusioon into you obvious fun with the alilenated list
>member. I am a member of three LUG's; The Tri LUG in NC, SLUG in Tampa, and
>your SVLUG. I can say without hesitation that between the three lists that
>I read daily, the svlug is the most intimidating as far as posting questions
>and not knowing what to expect in return.
>[...]

Mike -

Congratulations. You got the point. A lot of others didn't.

My intent behind the "changing the rules" post was also to turn the subject
around. When I reviewed Jose Sanchez's messages on the mail list, I saw
a kid who made some newbie mistakes and never heard the end of it from Rick.
Putting it up for others to review would, of course, point out Rick's
involvement.

Rick doesn't just do this to newbies. A week ago, I sent him a private
e-mail asking him to "self-evaluate" whether a remark was too harsh that
he had made about Jeff Siegel, a long-time SVLUG member.

The only thing restraining me from returning his attack was that he's
currently a volunteer for the Linux10 picnic. And we don't have enough
volunteers as it is.

Two messages are attached, starting with my private message to him...

>From ikluft Thu Aug 9 10:19:43 2001
>Subject: [off-list] re-evaluate tone please (was: [svlug] Netscape 6.01)
>To: rick@linuxmafia.com (Rick Moen)
>Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 10:19:43 -0700 (PDT)
>
>Rick -
>
>I'm sending this off-list. I'm going to ask you to self-evaluate the
>message you just sent to the SVLUG list for what proportions of Linux
>related material and what proportion of personal attack it contains.
>And how many personal attacks were made to you to lead up to this?
>
>This was unnecessary. Let's not go in that direction again, please.
>You always have the option to just not respond to any message on the list.
>As with most mail lists, many messages deserve to be ignored.
>
>>From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
>>I wrote:
>>> [Hey, gang! Watch me gracefully drop one of the list's more notorious
>>> tarbabies. Observe the technique.]
>>
>>And, by the way, the tarbaby _is_ still in my killfile, where I dropped
>>him (after huge amounts of wasted time) about a year ago. I only see
>>his posts on rare occasions when I happen to browse the list's Web
>>archive.

And his reply...

>Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 10:33:28 -0700
>To: Ian Kluft <ikluft@thunder.sbay.org>
>Subject: Re: [off-list] re-evaluate tone please (was: [svlug] Netscape 6.01)
>From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
>
>begin Ian Kluft quotation:
>
>> I'm sending this off-list. I'm going to ask you to self-evaluate the
>> message you just sent to the SVLUG list for what proportions of Linux
>> related material and what proportion of personal attack it contains.
>
>Excuse me, but _what_ personal attack? I made no aspersions on anyone's
>person or character.
>
>You seem to have a fixation on the notion of "personal attacks" that do
>not appear to exist. I do not share it, and I consider that crusade to
>be harrassment. Therefore: Go away.
>
>> This was unnecessary.
>
>*I* am also unnecessary. The globe will not cease rotating when I expire.
>Don't try to feed me this irrelevant, high-context, passive-agressive
>shit, Ian.
>
>> Let's not go in that direction again, please.
>
>Your unsolicited view on my "direction" is noted. Now, go away.
>
>> You always have the option to just not respond to any message on the
>> list.
>
>You always have the option to get the hell out of my personal affairs.
>I would strongly urge that you exercise that option.
>
>> As with most mail lists, many messages deserve to be ignored.
>
>Ian, I've been participating in on-line discussion since you were too
>young to type. You might _ask_ me about such matters. Don't have the
>unmitigated gall to try to _tell_ me about them.
>
>--
>Cheers, My pid is Inigo Montoya. You kill -9
>Rick Moen my parent process. Prepare to vi.
>rick@linuxmafia.com

So what can be done about this? Probably not much on the SVLUG list.
I tried to do battle with Rick in August 1999 to get the point through
that his flames are hurting the list. His wife Deirdre comes in to help
with a tag-team counterattack. Everyone in SVLUG gets tired of it. And
Rick is still on the list when the dust settles. As expected, I was
kicked off the SVLUG officers for participating in that flamefest.
(It was a risk I was willing to take to have someone finally try to deliver
the message to Rick. Since it didn't work, I didn't want to stay anyway.)
But Rick got off with no consequences, as he does every time.

SVLUG doesn't have the will or ability to stand up against his behavior.
But he is most of the reason SVLUG has such a bad reputation with newbies.

So, lacking the ability to remove Rick from the list, maybe it's time
to re-visit the idea of creating an svlug-newbies mail list. And ban
anyone from that list who flames a newbie and fails to apologize, even
if they're a newbie.



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