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Socks and Puppets and Trolls...OH MY!


Mopar
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OK, lemme start by saying I love a good joke as much as the next guy, maybe more (/me blows Chobey a kiss!). It just seems like lately I'm not at all sure what users are real, and who isn't. In the beginning, it was pretty easy to guess that a 0/0 user might not be a totally legit. Lately, the fake accounts have taken to logging finds, so its really hard to tell. As Jeremy has pointed out, he has always had the ability to see the IP address of the posters, making it easy for him to spot people with multiple accounts, but the rest of us don't have that luxury.

I have used other web forums where the msg posters IP address is shown to other users. Often the last group of numbers is blanked, such as 138.89.74.xxx . This allows all users to see what ISP and POP location the msg is coming from, without providing enough info to direct DOS or hack attacks at the user.

This would be enough info for most users to spot "sockpuppets". It would also discourage trolls, as it becomes fairly easy to lodge a complaint with the offender's ISP. "Trolling" or harassing other net users is usually against the Terms of Service of most ISPs, and many are willing to take appropriate action when notified of a problem user.

I'm really not sure how easy it would be to implement into the software, nor would I want it to turn into a witch hunt, but it has worked to clean up other msg forums.

Just an idea

 

Illegitimus non carborundum!

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This might also be a good time to again bring up the suggestion of an "off topic" forum. Many of us have found we have alot in common with other cachers besides the desire to hunt down a box in the woods. We like to BS about other things, we like to flirt with members of the opposite sex (/me blows Chobe another kiss!), we like to play jokes on each other. These are not really geocache related at all, but they are things that friends do when they are with other friends. In many cases, our mutual love of tupperware has created lots of very real friendships with other cachers all over the world. An area where friends can just hang out and be friends would be nice. Would also move alot of the non cache related threads to a place where other users wouldnt be forced to wade thru if they didn't want to.

OK, I've spent my 2 cents for the day

 

Illegitimus non carborundum!

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Geez... Chris, you take the fun out of everything!

 

Before you go exclaiming that I was not the butt of the intended joke - and you'd be right - also understand the I agree with you that 'trolls' are bad (and I've let myself get taken in by more than one). However, some good natured ribbing between friends is not.

 

I just think of it as an extension of the chat room that ClayJar has so often kicked me out of for my insolence ("Okay! I'll stop using colored text!") and bad turn of a double-entendre (sp?). Sock puppets are what keep me interested in coming back to discuss more than just the benefits of traditional over plastic ammo cans and whether or not one should geocache armed.

 

An off-topic section, like the Ham Radio or Travel Bug sections, would be a wondrous benefit to this forum.

 

Again I say, "Good Show, Old Man!" and tip my hat to you, Mopar. You didn't take the bait prepared and dangled specifically to capture you. Bravo and Hussah!

----------

Lori aka: RedwoodRed

KF6VFI

"I don't get lost, I investigate alternative destinations."

GeoGadgets Team Website

Comics, Video Games and Movie Fansite

 

"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is." - Yoda, Jedi Master from Star Wars - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

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I'm not even close to the taste of sour grapes in my mouth! Actually, I was in on it fully as soon as Eric realized that as much as I wanted to believe, I just couldn't.

I guess maybe I'm afraid that someone will feel the need to "top" Mitsuko (don't EVEN say it, Majic! icon_biggrin.gif ).

I also think that the puppets are starting to outnumber the real posters here. I LOVE the good natured kidding and ribbing, and you KNOW I can dish it out as well as take it. Ever notice that Clayjar always stops logging the monday night chats when I get there?

I wholeheartily agree all this non-caching conversation and playing around is a Good Thing®, just not inserted into the serious caching threads. Give us an offtopic area to play in

 

Illegitimus non carborundum!

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I'm not even close to the taste of sour grapes in my mouth! Actually, I was in on it fully as soon as Eric realized that as much as I wanted to believe, I just couldn't.

I guess maybe I'm afraid that someone will feel the need to "top" Mitsuko (don't EVEN say it, Majic! icon_biggrin.gif ).

I also think that the puppets are starting to outnumber the real posters here. I LOVE the good natured kidding and ribbing, and you KNOW I can dish it out as well as take it. Ever notice that Clayjar always stops logging the monday night chats when I get there?

I wholeheartily agree all this non-caching conversation and playing around is a Good Thing®, just not inserted into the serious caching threads. Give us an offtopic area to play in

 

Illegitimus non carborundum!

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quote:
Originally posted by Mopar:

As Jeremy has pointed out, he has always had the ability to see the IP address of the posters, making it easy for him to spot people with multiple accounts, but the rest of us don't have that luxury.

I have used other web forums where the msg posters IP address is shown to other users. Often the last group of numbers is blanked, such as 138.89.74.xxx . This allows all users to see what ISP and POP location the msg is coming from, without providing enough info to direct DOS or hack attacks at the user.

+ _Illegitimus non carborundum!_


 

Stuff like this doesn't really help. First, a lot of people use the same IPs and then to access the same POPS (There are about 20 geocachers who use the same DSL ISP that I do, for instance.) So, between dhcp address allocation, nat, and the tendency of people to concentrate, it's not really all that easy to use an IP range to figure out who's who.

 

Second, people who really want to give the appearnce of multiple identities should have no trouble at all finding multiple ISPs or other access points. A lot of people, for instance, have an account at work and another one at home. All such a person has to do is keep straight which one they're using for which avatar, and there's no obvious connection between the two.

 

People like Eric who try hoaxes that they mean to be innocent hoaxes are easy to detect, but people who really want to cause trouble are usually people who know how to get acccess to multiple accounts.

 

But you can't even tell from multiple accounts because a lot of people who have multiple connections tend to use them all, so if you assumed multiple IP ranges was bad, you'd tar a lot of innocent people that way.

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quote:
Originally posted by magellan315:

But could someone please explain the term, sockpuppet? I get a visual of the old Pets.com commercials.


 

Hmm... you're not far wrong. A hand puppet is usually a character made of cloth with the puppeteer's hand up in it making it move, etc. My mental image of 'sock puppet' is someone imaginary with the puppeteer's electronic 'hand' up inside operating it. Funny, the first time I read the phrase in regard to imaginary internet people was in regard to Choberiba and his propensity to log on to the chat room under made-up names and playing with people. It didn't have to be explained to me, it just seemed to fit (no pun intended).

 

I'm still trying to figure out where the term "troll" came from, unless it is used to designate another type of imaginary internet person designed to "troll" for people's reactions by posting derogatory comments/posts/threads.

 

How much red would a redwood red if a redwood could red wood?

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quote:
Originally posted by The GeoGadgets Team:

I'm still trying to figure out where the term "troll" came from, unless it is used to designate another type of imaginary internet person designed to "troll" for people's reactions by posting derogatory comments/posts/threads.


 

You're right on. Trolling was (and still is) used as a term for fishermen who run a lure behind a moving boat. They "lure" you in and either catch you in the trap or move quickly on so all you see is their wake.

 

Very similar to seagull management, where a manager flaps in, craps and squawks all over the place, and quicky flaps away from the ensuing chaos.

 

Normally a troll is for someone who runs into a forum like "Pro Choice" and says abortion is a sin, just to get a flamewar started. (Please no debates over Pro Choice/Life icon_biggrin.gif) But it fits the sockpuppet case since the purpose was deception.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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quote:
Originally posted by The GeoGadgets Team:

I'm still trying to figure out where the term "troll" came from, unless it is used to designate another type of imaginary internet person designed to "troll" for people's reactions by posting derogatory comments/posts/threads.


 

You're right on. Trolling was (and still is) used as a term for fishermen who run a lure behind a moving boat. They "lure" you in and either catch you in the trap or move quickly on so all you see is their wake.

 

Very similar to seagull management, where a manager flaps in, craps and squawks all over the place, and quicky flaps away from the ensuing chaos.

 

Normally a troll is for someone who runs into a forum like "Pro Choice" and says abortion is a sin, just to get a flamewar started. (Please no debates over Pro Choice/Life icon_biggrin.gif) But it fits the sockpuppet case since the purpose was deception.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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Marty is, unfortunately, correct. Associating IPs with users can only go so far. Although it's likely that most casual geocaching.com visitors only have a single ISP account, with most consumer ISPs the customer is dynamically assigned an IP from a pool of addresses at connect time. Obviously AOL doesn't have enough IPs for every subscriber... They only need enough for their anticipated maximum number of concurrent dialup users, a far smaller figure.

 

I for one have read (and possibly posted -- I'm not keeping track) from home on both dialup and ADSL (different ISPs), as well as from half a dozen clients while on their premises. I'd hate to be under suspicion of being a troll or a sock puppet just because I move around.

 

If I *were* interested in concealing a false identity... Well, how many public points of Internet access can you think of? How about most public libraries? Internet cafes? How many open 802.11b nodes are there in Seattle or San Francisco? And if someone is really interested, it's not hard to fake the IP that a Web server "sees" from a browser connection.

 

And now for something completely different...

 

quote:
Very similar to seagull management, where a manager flaps in, craps and squawks all over the place, and quicky flaps away from the ensuing chaos.

 

LOL! Jeremy, this reminds me of mushroom management. You know: Keep them in the dark, feed them s**t, and when they grow up, cut them off at the knees!

 

JAR

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To elaborate on sock puppetry. A sock puppet is distinguished from a troll in that their intent is usually benign. A troll persona usually posts once or twice and is gone for good because they are usually "outed" quickly. Sockpuppets are often already members of the forum and use their "other voice" to amuse, annoy, titilate, or to give added support to opinions they've previously posted.

 

I couldn't say that publicly displaying the IP address would fix the problem, but it would certainly eliminate the casual troll or puppet.

 

-E

 

--

N35°32.981 W98°34.631

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quote:
Originally posted by Navdog:

Calling other cachers morons in the cache hint won't win you many friends, but this could just be the West Coast version of the "Alluvial Materials" cache. Some old timers will remember how that one got a lot of negative talk and ruffled a few feathers before someone finally found it.

 

http://www.moondog3.comhttp://www.moondog3.com

 

I'm on the west coast, where is this puppy? I heard about Alluvial Minerals back before it was stollen and I would have given it a shot. Where is the west coast equivallent?

 

george

 

Remember: Half the people you meet are below average.

5867_200.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by georgeandmary:

 

I'm on the west coast, where is this puppy? I heard about Alluvial Minerals back before it was stollen and I would have given it a shot. Where is the west coast equivallent?

 


 

Sorry, I posted on the wrong sock puppet thread. This is the one I was referring to.

 

http://opentopic.Groundspeak.com/0/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=1750973553&f=3000917383&m=9040945525

 

19973_600.gifThe adventures of Navdog, Justdog, and Otterpup

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I haven't cruised through the forums for a while because of the brain surgeons playing games in legit topics or 'same old, same old' topics. An off topic might be fun though... Hmmm... Just had a bizzarre thought, a Geocaching Tupperware party disguised as an "event" with sock puppet making as the party game. Maybe a sockpuppet that looks like a squid or eel so I can troll it for stripers.

 

48 hours watching 'whale-pushers', I need some sleep...

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