A sad tale of two wrecked newsgroups

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I would like to suggest that all of you regulars of alt.home repair take a look at the newsgroups rec.boats and rec.boats.cruising. I have used the internet since the 1980's. Long before the days of the World Wide Web. This newsgroup as well as the rec.boats groups were well established before I found them.
The usernet has always been a favorite hiding place for internet kooks and trolls. They have almost completely overwhelmed rec.boats and are now slowly destroying rec.boats.cruising.
In both rec.boat groups it was simply a matter of the troublemaker(s) posting off topic subjects of a political and personal nature that many of the less restrained members could not resist responding to. The resulting flame wars have driven off most of the serious users so that now both groups are little more than a bunch of kooks doing everything possible to annoy each other.
One of the biggest Off Topic troublemakers in the rec.boats group goes by the names Harry, Harry Krause, HK and probably a few others. He also likes to spoof the id's of others to stir up trouble when people don't respond to his posts or trolls, which is what it is all about in his case.
Anybody on this group notice our Harry's. We seem to have a few. Some of our Harry's post normally. Some of our Harry's start threads like this:
Interesting UK hand gun link
Obama, dictator of America.
The end of the world is nigh!
Take a look at the state of those other newsgroups before you decide to respond to this one.
If you are a Harry and consider yourself a serious user of this group I apologize for dragging you into the thread. If you are the Harry that posts off topic would you please explain why you find it necessary to do so. You do know there are many political newsgroups that would welcome those posts?
For the rest of the home repair users, you have now seen what the trolls can do to newsgroups. You can continue on as usual or you can possibly think first before responding to a troll. Google Internet Trolls if you need a little more convincing that there could be a problem.
To the Harry troll
I can understand why you people would go after the rec.boats group. In short they deserve you but that's another story. Why would you want to come after this group? They're just a bunch of ordinary people from all walks of life. They mean no harm to anyone. They're just looking for simple homeowners advice or are willing to help others with some of the same. I really can't understand why you or others like you would get any enjoyment out of attacking a group like this?
LdB
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Guilty as charged as far as replying to some of those threads. I've seen posters in other groups make the case against off topic posts but you did a better job arguing your case than most. Plus the posts in other groups seem more like people just bitching about off topic posts but seldom or never post on topic threads themselves.
I can't promise anything but I will keep this thread in mind when I am tempted to post in the off topic threads in this NG in the future.
David
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wrote:

Guilty as charged as far as replying to some of those threads. I've seen posters in other groups make the case against off topic posts but you did a better job arguing your case than most. Plus the posts in other groups seem more like people just bitching about off topic posts but seldom or never post on topic threads themselves.
I can't promise anything but I will keep this thread in mind when I am tempted to post in the off topic threads in this NG in the future.
David
Having seen what hibb speaks of in rec.boats, I agree. Yet, it does take two people to argue. Trolls only stay where they are fed. If they don't get the attention they crave, they will be off to another group. Yes, I comment on off topic stuff, but just to a brief point. After that, it becomes an adolescent namecalling flame war that really then doesn't even have anything to do with the original off topic political rant. It's just up to everyone if they want to get into it with the trolls. And a lot of good people who can offer good ON topic advice are then killfiled with the political troll, and then a valuable poster is lost, even if they can't control themselves enough to decide who they want to talk to, and not.
Usenet is losing its value. I scroll through, and if I see someone who is posting a lot about things political, I just killfile them. There are a few here who post a lot about things political, yet who do post about home repair topics. I just avoid the threads that are OT. Servers and ISPs are letting newsgroups go for just the reasons mentioned here, that is what originally started as a help column turned into a crabfest, and they don't want to dedicate the time and machinery needed to pass along people like HK et al. They'd rather do anything that generates advertising or revenue. So, it is going to be interesting to see where Usenet goes from here.
It has gotten so bad that now there is a proliferation of sites where if you have a question or a problem, for XX bucks, they will get and give you the answer. And these are answers that used to be, or need to be, free.
It's sad these little people have nothing better to do in their lives.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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LdB wrote:

Add to your list David Nebenzahl, another troll who posts his off-topic political crap, most recently regarding the blocking of ship unloading of an Israeli ship in California.
I detest the lack of respect he shows in posting such crap on as home repair forum. Clearly he has no respect for the other people who frequent this forum seeking home repair information.
--


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On 6/21/2010 12:24 PM Smarty spake thus:

Oh, bullshit.
All these posts were preceded by "OT", something no self-respecting troll would ever do. And I also post plenty of on-topic home repair stuff. So quitcherbellyachin'.
I can't speak for those other groups the OP mentioned, but it seems to me that this group is very much alive and well so far as the on-topic exchange of information goes, so it all sounds a bit like the usual Chicken Little stuff we hear around here.
The biggest threat to usenet is actually the loss of service from large ISPs, much more significant than any trolling that might go on.
--
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
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I'd say YOU are the BS artist. Starting political posts in a home repair group isn't OK, just because you want to spread your anti Israel agenda or whatever else bugs you at the moment. Like others here, I've been drawn into these too, but I have never started one. And the pace is accelerating.

The concerns about newsgroups being destroyed by OT posts and trolls is vaild. I've seen it happen and the trend is starting here as well.
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On 6/22/2010 2:18 AM snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net spake thus:

Look, this group isn't anywhere near "wrecked". Like I said, I don't know anything about the two groups the OP mentioned, so I can't say how bad things are there. You might want to take a peek at sci.electronics.repair to see what *real* newsgroup wreckers look like. They not only post off-topic messages, often quite offensive ones, but they deliberately try to further fuck things up by posing as other posters (like myself and others in that group) and posting maliciously. Compared to them, "Harry" is a harmless annoyance.
Even that group still isn't quite wrecked, but it's a lot to it closer than this one. Despite the off-topic stuff here, this group is still quite readable--I read it without any filters whatsoever. (I do use a filter, but it's a simple one: do I want to read that message or not?) There's still a *lot* of valid information being exchanged here, which is after all why most of us are here.
So things could be a *lot* worse.
--
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
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Despite your best efforts. Damned nymshifting troll.
<plonk> (again).
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
-snip-

Whassup? Steve had to replonk Harry & you had to re-plonk David. Neither one has gone past my filter on name & email. [and I don't think I have some overly broad filter on as I don't see replies to anyone whose posts I care about seeing]
Jim
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wrote:

For me, I just don't care enough to find out why. Whenever I see Harry, or "Cliff" from another bunch of groups, or any of the usual suspects, I just automatically hit BLOCK SENDER, and my inbox drops by about half of its content. I use standard off the rack programs, OE. Have thought about changing it lately, but lately, I'm busy just doing life, and my time is more valuable than to waste it on the likes of trolls.
I still find out what I need to learn here and on other newsgroups, help out the occasional person, and the trolls keep getting shot off the bridges.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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But not valuable enough to continue posting to this OT thread that the OP hasn't even responded to since the initial post?
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wrote:

But not valuable enough to continue posting to this OT thread that the OP hasn't even responded to since the initial post?
pot..........kettle...............
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Hook....line...and... sinker.
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wrote:

Hook....line...and... sinker.
bink .....................
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Dunno. Might be a problem in my newsreader; same thing happened to me with one poster in another newsgroup too.
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No, you moron. The biggest threat to usenet is that it has a very high content of spam and bullshit in proportion to top related content and the companies just say, "enough", as they are starting to do.
Take your crayons and spraypaint somewhere else. We're not buying it here.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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The solution has always been kill filters.
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....and common sense, which seems to becoming less common at an ever increasing pace.
nb
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notbob wrote:

I concur with both of these statements. I still love usenet though, I just wish people would not bring their personal divisive issues into them (unless those divise issues are on-point with the group, of course).
Especially the political bickering.
Jon
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Jon Danniken wrote:

I'm guilty of a good deal of politicking on the ng, and will avoid more unless it is a thread everyone joins in with intelligent discussion. The OP made a good point, as I have seen a formerly great ng disappear entirely after being taken over by crazy trolls in one narrow interest topic. AHR has been good, but the trolling has increased dramatically in just the past couple of months. Answering the main troll is foolish, and does diminish enjoyment for me. I use Thunderbird for email and news reader and haven't found a way to filter ng messages. I just scroll past the usual trollers (most of the time) and look for something of interest. There is a great deal of good advice, save those who get hostile when a newbie apparently hasn't Googled first :o)
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