Anti Troll FAQ.

                  What is a troll, 
                  what do they do, 
                 why do they do it,
          and what can one do about them?

               Last modified 3 Nov 2002


Subject: 1. Introduction and Intent

This FAQ describes what a Troll is, what they do, what can be
done about them, together with some suggestions as to why they do
may it.  Other FAQs on similar subjects, have not covered the
?philosophy? and ?organization? behind this phenomena, and have
not covered the intent of destruction which is now evident.

While every usenet user has been the victim of Trolls, very
few have had the opportunity to study many thousand troll
posts and look for patterns. They are therefore unaware of
the methods used. It is important that all usenet users
have access to as much information as possible.  A person
who has only experienced the Crosspost Trolls in a Sub
Target newsgroup will naturally suggest inappropriate

I have only included things which the Trolls have demonstrated
that they are well aware.

This FAQ is coordinated by Dave Fawthrop

This FAQ is held at Feel free to
incorporated the URL into sig files, web pages etc, and post in full
to any newsgroup which has problems.  


Subject: 2.  Table of contents

1.   Introduction
2.   Table of contents
3.   What is a troll?
3.1  The old definition
3.2  the drivel Troll
3.3  The destructive Troll
3.4  The nasty Troll
3.5  The evil and illegal Troll
3.6  How they are organised
4.   What do they do?
4.1  Drivel
4.2  The crosspost Troll
4.3  The request for assistance.
4.4  General nastiness
4.5  Personal attacks on individuals and groups.
4.6  Forgeries
4.7  Setting X-No-Archive: Yes
4.8  On Topic Trolls
4.9  Disrupting usenet
4.10 Hipcrime
4.11 They read newsgroups
4.12 Generate splits among subscribers
4.13 Bullying
4.14 Threaten to infect computers with viruses.
5.   What can be done about them?
5.1  Ignore them and they will go away?
5.2  Use a Killfile
5.3  A moderated newsgroup
5.4  A purely robomoderated newsgroup
5.5  A Yahoo Group Listserver
5.6  Cancel posts
5.7  LART (report to ISP)
5.8  Trim the newsgroup line
5.9  Give them a good st*ff*ng
5.10 Follow up the offending posts.
5.11 Digitally Sign Posts with PGP.
5.12 Continue posting On Topic posts to the newsgroup.
5.13  Unsubscribe
5.14 Tempt them back into the mainstream of usenet
5.15 Reclaim Troll threads
5.16  Retromoderation
6.   Why do they do it?
6.1  The Infant or Attention Seeker theory
6.2  The retired bitter old person theory.
6.3  The insane person theory.
6.4  The just evil theory.
6.5  The sad git theory.
6.6  The loser theory.
7.   Definitions
7.1  Target Newsgroup
7.2  Sub Target newsgroup(s)
7.3  Old Target newsgroup(s)
7.4  Troll communications newsgroup(s).
7.5  Sockpuppet
7.6  Morphed Identity
7.7  Morphed Subject
7.8  K00k or kook
8    Links
9    Disclaimer


Subject: 3.   What is a troll?

There are four basic types of Troll.


Subject: 3.1  The old definition

The old definition of a Troll is one who posts to generate
the maximum number of follow ups.  These are a very minor
irritation, and can be considered to be advantageous to


Subject: 3.2  The Irritating Troll

Some merely post drivel, or tirades against netnannies and
netcops, often at a BI of over 20.  In general they cause
little real damage to newsgroups.


Subject: 3.3  The destructive Troll

In about the year 1999 a new breed of Troll appeared who
have the declared intention of destroying a specific Target
newsgroup.  This is done by a variety of posts, (see
Section 4) intended to drive normal posters away from the
specific newsgroup.

When the percentage of Troll posts, including followups
exceeds about 75% of the total posts, most readers seem to
just give up and unsubscribe.  Usenet, and particularly the
uk.local.* hierarchy is for most users a hobby and if that
hobby ceases to be enjoyable, the obvious answer is just to
find another hobby.

Once a specific Target newsgroup has been laid waste as
was uk.local.birmingham it becomes a Old Target newsgroup,
This happened in about February 2000 it is being maintained a
wasteground by crossposts from the current Target ng.
Alt.astrology.metapsych at the time of writing is totally
destroyed by destructive trolls.  This is repported at:  
Here is a useful FAQ that explains what has happened to 
the group I created alt.astrology.metapsych:


Subject: 3.4  The nasty Troll

If anyone does anything which will interfere with the
troll's ability to cause mayhem, they can become very
nasty, posting from obviously incorrect variations of the
name etc. insults, call them netcops, netnannies,

Various off usenet methods are also used to force the
victim to stop posting:  Subscribing the victim to hundreds
of unwanted pornographic email newsletters, and sites.
Complaining to employers about non existent misdemeanours.
Sending garbage emails without indication of sender.
Telephone calls at dead of night.  Harassing the close
relatives of victims.


Subject: 3.5  The evil and illegal Troll

If anyone does anything which will interfere with the
troll's ability to cause mayhem, they also forge posts in
that persons name and internet address and libel them on
usenet.  Both these are illegal.


Subject: 3.6  How they are organised

They use private listservers to communicate between
themselves. An archive of one such listserver is at  For less important
communications, they use Troll Communications newsgroup(s).

The listserver must have an owner(s) who can approve or
deny access.  Other than that anarchy reigns where each
member does what he/she thinks fit. Thus because no leader
or committee exists coordination with the group is
impossible.  Any agreement reached with one or more can
instantly be abrogated by others.

Coordinated action can occur where it forwards their
general aims.


Subject: 4.   What do they do?

There are several quite formalised methods of trolling.
Non of these actions occurring singly or in moderation
indicate a troll attack.  When they occur in combination or
large amounts they may indicate a troll attack.


Subject: 4.1  Drivel

Posts without interesting content are simple to produce.
Cascades have a long history on usenet, usually containing
wordplays round a specific theme.  The Trolls version is a
cascade of drivel. two persons working online to the same
newsserver can throw a thread between themselves and create
very large numbers of posts.  One person can throw a thread
between two or more sockpuppets.


Subject: 4.2  The crosspost Troll

This is perhaps the most effective Troll in that it
produces large numbers of posts with little effort from the
Troll.  An inflammatory post is made to a group of Sub
Target newsgroups, say cooking, politics or guns. The
Target Newsgroup is included in the ng list.  The innocent
posters to the Sub Target newsgroup continue to discuss
this in the normal way without noticing that the posts are
also going to the Target Newsgroup.

This is commonly combined with The Request for Assistance


Subject: 4.3  The Request for Assistance.

This is similar to  The crosspost Troll but it is
crossposted to Troll Communications newsgroup(s). Thus any
Troll subscribed to a Troll Communications Newsgroup(s),
may troll newsgroups to which he/she is not subscribed.
An example <snipped> where uk.local.yorkshire is the 
Target newsgroup is:
From: "Sharon Thorman" <>
Subject: Re: Troll Owned and Operated
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 10:36:57 -0400
Organization: Altopia Corp. - Usenet Access -
Message-ID: <akinab$qot$>
References: <>
xganon <> wrote in message
> Please add to all x-poastes. 
> We need traffic to be eligible for valuable prizes.

It is commonly combined with The crosspost Troll


Subject: 4.4  General nastiness

The Target newsgroup is flooded with nastiness, name
calling and swearing, and flame wars, mostly between
themselves.   This can be a great off put to new

An interesting variation is for one of their number
purports to object to swearing, while encouraging others,
off newsgroup, in the practice.


Subject: 4.5  Personal attacks on individuals and groups.

Selected individuals are subjected to quite vicious
personal attacks throughout usenet. Examples are: "fucks
animals!" "is a cannibal" "is a hermaphrodite!" "is a
molester of boys" "in panties gets fucked up the arse" "is
a Nazi!" "is a cocksucking queer" "is a hermaphrodite just
like Maryanne Kehoe" "molests boys on American Airlines"
"Sexually harassed by" "is an anthrax pervert" "AT GAY
PARTY" "sucks his father's cock" "is a pervert" "hated
wherever he goes!" "White Racist" "Usenet spammer!" "Usenet
k00k!" "I hope you die SOON".

As will be seen several of these are libelous, and
thus illegal

Groups such as the regular posters are attacked similarly,


Subject: 4.6  Forgeries

They regularly forge the identities of posters who they do
not like.  This can vary from badly spelled versions of
their name and/or email address, to forgeries which the
average reader would not be able to detect.

At times this can reach a bizarre condition where they
troll using a forged identity at a Breidbart Index of well
over 20.  They then at every opportunity call the victim a

Larting the offender is often effective because ISPs recognise 
the seriousness of this offence. 

Where Forgery is done via an anonymous remailer complaints 
to abuse@thelastremailerinthechain may well be effective.
The remailers administrators do not like their facilities 
being misused, and have ways of combatting this.  It is 
also worth registering with


Subject: 4.7  Setting X-No-Archive: Yes

There are several usenet archive sites where posts are kept
for ever.  If one is doing something underhand, illegal, or
very nasty, it is an advantage to do the dirty deed, create
mayhem, and then let all evidence disappear when the servers
delete the posts when they are 7 days old or whatever limit
is set on that server.

This can be compared with a town centre with CCTV cameras,
where the vandals begin a systematic to trashing of an area
by disabling the CCTV system.

When combined with other practises in this section X-
No-Archive: Yes can be particularly damaging.


Subject: 4.8  On Topic Trolls

A bizzare troll post has emerged where On Topic posts are
used to troll a newsgroup.

There is a WWW site which contains out of copyright
Yorkshire Dialect poetry and readings.   This site has
been copied and each poen individually posted to
uk.local.yorkshire in a single day.

This is very irritating but disobeys no ISP or Usenet

Several other vareiants of this troll have been seen.


Subject: 4.9  Disrupting usenet

Usenet and its procedures were designed in the days when
usenet was a group of likeminded organisations and
individuals, working together to create a worthwhile whole.
It was not designed to withstand sustained attack by those
intent on destroying usenet.

The Trolls disrupting usenet by using the holes in existing
rules to harm usenet.  This is normally done in the
*.config and *.management newsgroups.


Subject: 4.10 Hipcrime

This is a program which splits a large file into sections
and creates an individual post from each section.  It also
has other functions, not relevant here.

On one particular night they posted 1700+ posts a total of
30Mbytes+.  On another ocasion they posted many identical
copies of freeware programs each copy being more than
100kBytes long.


Subject: 4.11 They read newsgroups

That they read newsgroups is on the face of it obvious.
They are thus privy to any discussions about
countermeasures.  It is clear that they adjust what they do
to reduce the effect of countermeasures, and further their
general aims.


Subject: 4.12 Generate splits among subscribers.

Any tensions within a newsgroup are deliberately increased.


Subject: 4.13 Bullying

The Trolls often demand the right to post anything and
everything to a newsgroup.  If anyone or any group opposes
them they threaten to continue, for longer.


Subject: 4.14 Threaten to infect computers with viruses.

They regularly threaten to infect opponents computers with
Viruses and/or Trojans.  It is difficult to prove where a
Virus or Trojan originated, so I cannot prove that they have
ever carried out this threat.

Running one of the commercial anti virus programs to
permanently monitor incoming newsgroups, email, etc is
always a Good Thing and to be recommended.


Subject: 5.   What can be done about them?

The actions taken by a person, or a group, against Trolls
depends on many factors, technical expertise, personality,
equipment available to name but a few.

Below are listed some possible actions with advantages
(Pro) and disadvantages (Con) given for each.


Subject: 5.1  Ignore them and they will go away.

This is the traditional usenet method of dealing with
Trolls, and is regularly suggested.
It is similar to the method use to train dogs, and very 
young children, ignore bad behaviour and reward good 
behaviour. Thus it is only likely to work if the, The Infant 
or Attention Seeker theory, is true


If you are subscribed to a Sub Target newsgroup this is
quite a reasonable method.   The normal change of Sub
Targets will ensure that they do "go away", convincing you
that this is an effective way of dealing with the problem.
It however leaves the Target newsgroup in exactly the same
mess as it was before.
If you are confronted with a minor attack by merely 
Irritating Trolls, or inexperienced and disorganized Trolls, 
this may also work.


If you are subscribed to a Target newsgroup, this is
impossible, as up to 90% of posts may be trolls.  As the
Intension is to destroy the Target Newsgroup, they will
*never* go away.

On any newsgroup there are a mixture of subscribers, non of
whom has any ability to control the postings of other
subscribers.  Human nature dictates that someone will
*always* reply to a good troll.  Arguably this section
should be headed "If *everyone* ignores them and they will
go away." which is arguably impossible to attain.
In the case of uly after a full week of almost total
ignoring of a specific troll made him so angry that he
invited in other trolls.  After that a massive and damaging
attack began.
uk.local.yorkshire contained this telling sentence.
> Most people like the countryside, but not everyone is
> willing to tread shin deep through pig shit to get
> to a meadow.


Subject: 5.2  Use a Killfile

There is a killfile FAQ at giving information
about how to use killfile facilities many newsreaders.
Almost all newsreaders will kill individual threads and/or 
posters.  Some have more complex, and wide ranging facilities.


One only sees posts from each thread, or by each Troll,
Sockpuppet or morphed identity a few times to determine the
true nature of the poster.


You might miss something important, such as a libel against
oneself.  However an important post will usually start a
thread and you may well see someone else's follow ups.

It takes quite a bit of effort, and knowledge for someone
subscribed to a Target newsgroup to maintain a killfile.
For someone subscribed to a Sub Target maintaining the
killfile is easy, and recommended.

Very few posters know of the existence of killfile
facilities, and some cannot handle them when pointed out.
The old hands on usenet can not understand why newbies
cannot do what the old hands find so simple.

Even very technically savvy, usenet hands are often
unwilling to subscribe to the Target newsgroup.  The hard
grind of keeping the killfile working may be considered
more bother than the subscription is worth.


Subject: 5.3  A moderated newsgroup

A Moderated newsgroup is almost impossible to troll. a newsgroup for parents and carers for kids, 
rather than the kids themselves, had trolling problems as 
recorded in
>>> The effort began sometime in the
summer of 1996, when a regular poster to, Roger
Hunt, suggested to the newsgroup, as well as others who were
former regular posters, that we establish a moderated
alternative to This time, unlike previous
occasions when this type of suggestion was made, many people
seized upon the idea. had suffered several troll
invasions; many regular and trusted posters had left; and
the level of discourse had declined.  Colleen Porter did a
straw poll on some issues related to creating a new
newsgroup and got 199 responses.  Those responses have been
thoughtfully considered throughout this creation process and
form the basis for much of what appears in the RFD. <<<

Towards the end of 1997 was created

After the creation of the level of 
_destructive_ trolling of fell drastically.  At 
the time of writing, is a small but 
thriving newsgroup, also is a large newsgroup, but 
riven by On Topic disputes.  On a superficial examination it 
could be concluded that the creation of mkm was a waste of 
time and effort, because mk now has only minor problems. On 
a deeper examination, it could be concluded that the 
existence of mkm protects mk from the worst of the outright 
trolling, presumably because in the case of drastic 
problems, subscribers could move to mkm.


It works and is a traditional usenet method of solving the
problems of troublesome newsgroups.


It requires a permanently on line machine. It requires a
moderbot to handle much of the work. It requires a team of
moderators ideally about six to handle posts which the
moderbot does not approve. It requires a very well written
charter,  with specific moderation guidelines, otherwise
the moderators will end up accepting or rejecting posts on
personal preference. The Trolls will try to become
moderators, and cause mayhem. Changing from a non moderated
to a moderated newsgroup is *extremely* difficult.  A new
newsgroup with the same name but .moderated would normally
have to be created. This would need an RFD and vote in the
uk.* hierarchy, if that is where the newsgroup is to be


Subject: 5.4  A purely robomoderated newsgroup

A purely automatic moderation system which will reject all
crossposting.  Also limit the number of posts which can be
made by a single poster in a day, and similar problems.

This is being discussed at the time of writing on subject: RFD:


It might work, or at least improve matters.


It requires a permanently on line machine.
It requires a very well written charter,  with specific
moderation guidelines,
Changing from a non moderated to a moderated newsgroup is
*extremely* difficult.
A new newsgroup with the same name but .moderated would
have to be created.
This would need an RFD and vote in the uk.* hierarchy.
Nobody knows how well it would withstand an onslaught by
determined and well organised Trolls.


Subject: 5.5  A Yahoo Group Listserver

If things get too rough the existing group of posters could
move to an invitation only Yahoo Group, or a UK Yahoo
group. This has been done successfully with
uk.local.yorkshire where most of the posters have moved to
Tykesground, which provides respite from the continuing 
Trolling problems, but uly has not died, because many post 
to both forums,


The Trolls can be effectively kept out.
The group of reasonable posters is kept together.


Yahoo posts do not thread as usenet posts, on some
newsreaders. The list owner is Ghod.  He/she must be
trusted, and treat the group with a light hand. People get
bored, lose Internet access, die and so on, and thus
unsubscribe.  In the longer term, new recruits must be
found or the group will wither and die.
The Trolls have effectively won, and the newsgroup will
probably wither and die.

The Trolls hate it and treat the Yahoo group as an affront
to the their ability to control the Target Newsgroup.  They
will fight harder, and *never* go away.
All usenet groups need new blood to replace people who get 
bored, move on, die, loose access to the net etc. etc.   
Getting new subscribers to a closed group is difficult.


Subject: 5.6  Cancel posts

Traditionally posts which exceed a Breidbart Index of 20 or
any of the other usenet rules may be cancelled.

For unix users, there is a system NoCeM which lists posts
with a BI above 20, and prevents you from downloading them.


It gets rid of offending posts.
The Trolls hate it.

For forgeries of oneself there is good justification for


Cancelling other peoples posts is not for the uninitiated.
Cancellation does not work on all newsservers.  It must be
done quickly, or it is not worth doing.  The posts get to
the users machine where cancellation has no effect, harm is
done before the canceller sees the post.

Most troll posts are not strictly against the usenet rules
and guidelines.  In these cases, it is difficult to justify


Subject: 5.7  LART (report to ISP)

Where a Troll breaks the rules of usenet or their ISP an
email or "LART" to abuse@ISP,name will often persuade the
ISP, newsserver operator, or their upstream providers to
cancel a users account.

It often works.  It is traditional usenet practice.

Free ISPs are ten a penny, and the Troll can easily get
another account and continue as before.

Some Trolls can have several paid for internet accounts.

Some of the worst trolls take care not to break their ISPs
Terms and Conditions, or usenet rules. ISPs are reluctant
to act without evidence of an offence.


Subject: 5.8  Trim the newsgroup line

With the crossposting Trolls one can follow up the posts
asking only those in the Sub Target newsgroups to trim the
newsgroup line, when following up.  Remember not to ask the
Troll Communications newsgroups to trim the newsgroup line.


It reduces the inadvertent crossposts by up to 90%


The Trolls notice that it has been done, and replace the

Newbies, do not have a clue, and ask what on earth you are
talking about.


Subject: 5.9  Give them a good (virtual) st*ff*ng.

This is the preferred method on, a robust


It is very satisfying.


Some would say that it makes things worse because it gives
them the attention which they crave.

At best it becomes a war of attrition.  In the Target
newsgroups there is nothing to loose, so one might as well
try to wear them down.


Subject: 5.10 Follow up the offending posts.

It is always possible to follow up troll posts.


For forgeries of posts in your name, and libelous posts, A
follow up is an effective rejoinder, because of the
ineffectiveness of Cancel posts.

For The Crosspost Troll, warning the Sub Target
newsgroup(s) of the list of crosspostings, is effective in
reducing the damage.

For The Request for Assistance Troll, only the Target
Newsgroup and the  Troll communications newsgroup(s) will
see the followup so they are not effective.

For combined Crosspost Troll combined with a Request for
Asistance Troll, only the Sub Target newsgroups should be


In general just following up is not a good idea.


Subject: 5.11 Digitally Sign Posts with PGP.

If forgery is a problem, one can sign posts with Pretty
Good Privacy.  This is free for non commercial use and may
be found at  There are
USA and Non USA versions available.  Non USA users should
ensure that they get the non USA version.

This does not stop the forgeries, but does allow the reader
to check if a post comes from the person it appears to come
Continuous surveillance of incoming email etc. for viruses 
and trojans is essential for those using a PGP sig.   If 
your machine becomes infected with a backdoor trojan the 
digital sig may be compromised.


Subject: 5.12 Continue posting On Topic posts to the

Those who find themselves subscribed to a Target Newsgroup,
can agree amongst themselves that they will not be driven
away by the Trolls.  If they just keep on posting On Topic
posts, the Trolls can never totally win.  Better, new
subscribers will find something interesting to read amongst
the dross, and filth.

If someone includes the URL for the killfile FAQ in a sig, and
perhaps posts the whole thing weekly, new subscribers will
learn very quickly how to use killfiles, and so not see the

Subject: 5.13  Unsubscribe

When a ng is troubled by trolls it is always possible to
just unsubscribe.


From a purely selfish point of view this is by far the
easiest thing to do.  You can happily transfer your
subscriptions to less troubled ngs.  Problem solved!


From the point of view of usenet as a whole, it is
absolutely the worst possible course of action.  Whether the
trolls are the infantile kind with a strange sense of fun,
or the evil kind intent on destruction, the result will be
the same.   No On Topic posts, lots of ridiculous troll posts,
dead newsgroup.

This is what happened to uk.local.birmingham, when a group
of reasonable posters including Iain Bowen just
unsubscribed.  It has never recovered.


Subject: 5.14 Tempt them back into the mainstream of usenet

Trolls sometimes post reasonable things, these can be
followed up


It may improve matters.


Those who believe in a strict "ignore them" policy
will not use this.
Subject: 5.15 Reclaim Troll threads

There is sometimes a small point of general interest in
troll posts.  Careful snipping and follow ups can create
interesting threads.


It irritates the Trolls.


Reasonable posters may already have killed the threads


Subject: 5.16  Retromoderation

Two forms of retromoderation already exists on usenet, namely:

Spam canceling.   This function is not automatic at the
time of writing.  Spam is *detected* automatically but the
canceling is done manually by volunteers.

Also binaries, except tiny ones, posted to text newsgroups
are automatically cancelled.

It would be possible to write scripts which would
automatically detect and cancel posts to any specific
newsgroup or newsgroups which contravene some parts of the
newsgroup charter.

Examples would be excessive crossposting, and perhaps
hipcrime attacks.


It may be effective against crossposting


Most Troll activities could not be reliably detected
automatically.  A human retromoderator would have great
difficulty determining exactly if a specific post was
to be cancelled.

Retromoderation is intensely disliked by usenet generally.

The Troll communications newsgroup(s) used changes rapidly
It would be impossible to list, Troll communications
newsgroup(s), in a charter because the trolls would just use
a different newsgroup.


Subject: 6.   Why do they do it?

No one knows why the Trolls act as they do, but there are
several theories.  Clearly an individual Troll may be in
one, or several of these groups, or indeed in none at all.
It is difficult to believe, but possible, that a totally
normal person would become a Troll.


Subject: 6.1  The Infant or Attention Seeker theory

Some believe that the trolls are just adults who brains and
morals have not developed beyond childhood, and they are
just behaving as attention seeking children.


Subject: 6.2  The retired bitter old person theory.

There is evidence that some Trolls are retired persons,
with a good pension and little to do with their lives.
They may have suffered a personal loss such as the death of
a much loved spouse which warped their outlook on life.

This type is particularly dangerous, because they may have
ample funds to buy computer equipment, own multiple domain
names, and multiple access to the internet.   Worse they
may have, say 8 hour per day to invest in their "hobby".


Subject: 6.3  The insane person theory.

Some Trolls may be clinically insane, indeed one posts as
Mogadon John which may indicate that he/she is taking this
*major* tranquiliser, or it may just be a joke.


Subject: 6.4  The just evil theory.

There are people in this world who enjoy destruction. Some
enjoy murdering children. Some enjoy sexually abusing
children.  Some Trolls may be in a similar category.


Subject: 6.5  The sad git theory.

There are unfortunately people with such restricted lives
that they cannot think of anything useful or constructive
to do with the powerful and expensive kit which they are


Subject: 6.6  The loser theory.

This theory is that the Trolls are just losers who cannot
succeed in anything in their real lives.  They can however
disrupt usenet with relative impunity.


Subject: 7.   Definitions

Some of the terms used may not be familiar to all readers,
and indeed I have been forced to invent some definitions.


Subject: 7.1  Target Newsgroup(s)

The newsgroup(s) which they are attempting to destroy, at
the time of writing, May 2002, two are uk.local.yorkshire
and comp.os.linux.advocacy (thanks to mjcr)


Subject: 7.2  Sub Target newsgroup(s)

The newsgroups(s) which they are using to flood the target
newsgroup with Off Topic posts.   These are continuously
changed, examples are the cooking newsgroups, the guns
newsgroups, and the political newsgroups.  All of which may
be relied upon to follow up inflammatory posts which are on
topic to them, but off topic to the Target newsgroup.


Subject: 7.3  Old Target newsgroup(s)

The newsgroup(s) which have been made into a wasteground by
the Trolls, and are being maintained so by using crossposts
from the target newsgroups.  At the time of writing, end
2001, one is uk.local.birmingham.


Subject: 7.4  Troll communications newsgroup(s).

These are ngs used by the trolls for non important
communications, such as the Request for Assistance. Typical
ones are alt.troll, alt.alien.vampire.flonk.flonk.flonk, malden.nose, alt.hackers.malicious.  If a
troll is subscribed to one of these he/she may assist in
trolling many Target newsgroups, using the request for
assistance troll. The ngs used for this purpose change

Subject: 7.5  Sockpuppet

A Sockpuppet is when a poster has several usenet identities,
either just different names and email addresses from a single
account.  Alternatively several email identities with valid email
addresses and email accounts.


Subject: 7.6  Morphed Identity

A morphed identity is when a poster has one usenet identity,
which changes in detail, to outwit killfiles.  For instance the
name may remain the same and the email address change, or the
name and/or email address may contain accented characters which
are changed for different versions of the same letter.


Subject: 7.7  Morphed Subject:

A morphed Subject: is when a poster changes the subject
line, in some visually insignificant way in the middle of a
thread to outwit killfiles set to that thread.

Subject: 7.8  K00k or kook 

A general insult used by Trolls.
One who displeases or opposes Trolls


Subject: 8.    Links

Using a search engine such as is the
best way to obtain up to date information on Trolls, but some
worthwhile links are included here.



Google Usenet and Bulletin Board Abuse

Spam-L FAQ

The Art of Lart


Subject: 9.    Disclaimer

This article is provided as is without any express or
implied warranties.  While every effort has been taken to
ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this
article, the author/maintainer/contributors <take your
pick> assume(s) no responsibility for errors or omissions,
or for damages resulting from the use of the information
contained herein.


Dave Fawthrop <>
<> Computer Hyphenation Ltd,
Hyphen House, 8 Cooper Grove, Halifax HX3 7RF, UK,
Tel/F/A +44(0)1274 691092. M: +44(0)7720455248,
16 years of Word Splitting. Hyphenologist is sold as
C source code and splits 50 languages.