Summary: Dispelling and exposing the FUD tactics where trolls get treated as spokesmen (or spokeswomen) of this Web site
A LOT OF Internet trolls have been attacking our Web site via comments and IRC recently. Some weeks ago, DDoS attacks began as well (they still return occasionally, the last time being 3 days ago) and there is personal abuse. But the last thing we need is people spreading criminal accusations against us, so here are some urgent clarifications.
Jo Shields, the Mono packager from Debian and Ubuntu, has just had Linux Today publish a guest post. We won’t delve into the details, but there are some serious smears against our site in there. To give examples, Shields says:
“Many of those who advertise themselves as anti-Mono are, quite frankly, frightening. Calling for the deaths of Microsoft employees (see comments on Boycott Novell)
It says “see comments”, but there is no link. Which one among ~20,000 comments would it be? Who said such a thing? There is nothing there but the cold insinuation that we are some kind of a site that wants to kill people.
Shields carries on by saying that we are “trying to have people who make positive comments about Mono fired (see recent comments on Ubuntu mailing lists)…”
That has absolutely nothing to do with us. For those who have not been following this, someone who chose to link to our site caused a big mess in the Ubuntu mailing lists and now we are getting accused of being responsible. Why? Because the poster linked to our site as source/proof. We were also seen as accountable for Boycott Novell protests in India — ones which we didn’t even know about after they had happened.
“There is nothing there but the cold insinuation that we are some kind of a site that wants to kill people.”We quickly addressed this issue last night (upon the request of a victim) and since there have been lot more issues with IRC logs recently (sites that hate us sending anonymous trolls to fill the logs with hateful, nauseating, racist garbage), it then serves as weapon against ‘us’ (trolls who enter the IRC channel) which they themselves plant through feedback mechanisms. In a ways, voices are being hijacked. We have reasons to believe that it’s this type of behaviour that led Bruce Perens to closing down his good Web site, Technocrat.
As one of our readers points out, Winston Churchill once said: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” But we — and by “we” it’s reasonable to refer to editorship — never “called for the deaths of Microsoft employees.” And if Mono folks, or supposedly one who represents them in this case, descend to such disgusting unsubstantiated accusations, then where to go from here? Shields’ last comment in this Web site said: “Fuck it, and fuck you.” I did not do anything to provoke such language, but this is the stuff we need to deal with for daring to write critically about Mono. █
“It’s [Windows is] an operating system, not a religion.”
–Ted Waitt, then CEO of Gateway.