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Re: Trolls' Purpose

__/ [wd] on Tuesday 01 November 2005 07:21 \__

> I wrote a post a while ago wondering what the purpose of the trolls might
> be.
> * Fill the Web with anti-Linux content for search engines?
> * Derail serious conversation/action from taking place in COLA by
> creating heated ridiculous arguments?
> * etc.

Excellent point. Owing to your post, I have made a vow never to reply trolls
again. I promised this before, but I have always caved. Let Bailo talk trash
on behalf of us...

> The more of these posts I read, I think a lot of what they are doing
> falls into the first category: filling the Web with anti-Linux content.
> They are coming at Linux from every angle they can think of.  They are
> trying to propagate the myths about Linux being difficult to use.
> Frankentroll has his own style (which I don't read anymore).  Flatfish is
> definitely doing it also. He changes his name to avoid being killfiled (to
> create chaos through arguments and crossposting) and/or to sound like many
> different "users" complaining about Linux.

I sometimes wonder how such posts can be found/search for. Are they not
merely thrown into a big pile in cyberspace? Will people intentionally
search for 'linux sux hard to use', for instance? I doubt it, unless they
are off their medication.

> Here is a sample (flatfish?) of something that someone might come across
> online someday, or read in the crossposted newsgroups:
> "Linux is a joke!!!!!!! I don't care that it is free. You can wrap a
> piece of crap in a fancy gold wrapper, but it still taste like crap.
> The install from ftp, this is so bad it's laughable. It took me so many
> times to finally get it installed, I can't even tell ya. Then to add
> Apache, PHP and MySQL with administrators, I had to select 103..."
> (1130744100.133332.249520@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
> These kinds of things reinforce the stereotypes of Linux being difficult
> to use.  The person that reads a few bits of information like this from
> "different sources" internalizes it and then passes it off to other
> people, "I've heard of Linux, but I think I remember something about it
> being difficult to use.  I don't want that kind of hassle."  They will
> then say these things to themselves about Linux without any actual
> experience, and as soon as they reach their first natural hurdle with a
> new operating system they will think back to their preconception, and say,
> "it *IS* true, Linux is too difficult to use."

True. Bad reputation is being fed by the masses, which unfortunately still
use Windows and thus have interest it keeping it alive. People always fear
what they have not mastered yet.

> I saw this with someone who I got started with Linux.  He couldn't figure
> out how to add colors to text in OpenOffice.  This was very annoying for
> him.  He thought Linux was too difficult because of this one
> experience (based on his previous brainwashing).  The reason that he
> couldn't figure out how to select new colors for text is because in
> Windows, you click on something and a menu opens.  In OpenOffice, to open
> the color picker you have to hold down the mouse button.  If you just
> click on it, nothing happens.  It is just a different way of doing things
> from Windows.
> That is a very simple solution to a very simple problem.  It has nothing
> to do with "Linux being difficult to use."  But the preconception of Linux
> is brought back and the simple problem irrationally turns into "Linux is
> difficult to use."

Bear in mind that /some/ applications are indeed difficult to use. This does
not apply, however, to projects as large as Firefox, OpenOffice and the
like. It often applies to a one-man application that was coded in some
distant garage during a summer vacation.

> I believe this is one of the major reasons the long-time trolls are here.

Better ignore the opposition and /advocate/ Linux rather than /defend/ it.
Not only should one killfile trolls, but also exclude them from archives
where possible. Google Groups is the exception, ironically enough.


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Vista: as the reputation of "Longhorn" was mucked
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
 11:50am  up 67 days 17:39,  5 users,  load average: 1.26, 1.07, 0.93
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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