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FAQ and Primer for comp.os.linux.advocacy, Edition III Part 2

  • Subject: FAQ and Primer for comp.os.linux.advocacy, Edition III Part 2
  • From: High Plains Thumper <highplainsthumper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 07:11:51 -0700
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  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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Following are excerpts from the official FAQ, entire text is found at:



[comp.os.linux.advocacy] FAQ and Primer for COLA, Edition III

Copyright: (c) 2002 The FAQ and Primer for COLA Team -- All Rights Reserved

      Frequently Asked Questions and Primer for comp.os.linux.advocacy

                                Edition III

                               April 19, 2002

            | Beware of those who would call you a friend for |
            | many will eat your bread while working against  |
            | you. They will take credit for your good works  |
            |      and blame you for their own misdeeds.      |
            |               - TheGreat Unknown                |


                   7 Anti-Linux Propagandists and Trolls

 The comp.os.linux.advocacy newsgroup is a newsgroup that is under siege by
 one or more factions of anti-Linux propagandists. In the past those
 factions have appeared to be confident and smug; however, as of late it
 appears that they are becoming ever more desperate. The reason for their
 desperation appears to be as a result of growth of the mind share of Linux
 and the continuing failures of their chosen cause. Besides the true
 anti-Linux propagandists there are also the occasional classic newsgroup

 It can be difficult to determine what type of person a particular
 disruptive personality is; an anti-Linux Propagandist or just a troll.
 That is because they both use some of the same tactic. What it not
 difficult to determine is what their purpose is when they post to COLA.
 They are doing it to disrupt the newsgroup and sidetrack its purpose of
 existence. Regardless of their reason for the disruption, they are trying
 to prevent: the free exchange of knowledge and support based on experience
 of using Linux that would otherwise be happening in COLA, if it were not
 for their interference.

 The free and open discussions between the experienced users and the new
 users and the would be users of Linux that is our goal. That is the goal
 of all those who would be Linux advocates as well as all others who come
 to COLA to discuss Linux. All of us, Linux users new and old, those
 curious about Linux, and others, have come to COLA as students and as
 teachers. All that is except for the anti-Linux propagandists and the
 trolls, they have come to COLA to destroy it and prevent its being an
 asset to the Linux community.

 As has been stated else where in this document, all are welcome in COLA,
 except those who come to COLA to destroy Linux, COLA, or the Linux

7.1 Disinformation

 If COLA were a physical location like a building where those who would
 advocate the growth of the Linux operating systems and the Linux community
 gather, the anti-Linux propagandists would be raiding that building. They
 would be vandalizing the building, painting graffiti on the walls,
 defecating and urinating on the floors and furniture, breaking down the
 doors, setting fire to the building and physically assaulting the resident
 Linux advocates and the visitors who happen to be in the building at the
 time of the raid.

 COLA is not a physical location, so they have had to adapt their methods
 so that they can do an on-line version of what was described in the prior
 paragraph. A key method used by anti-Linux propagandist to attack Linux,
 its users, sysadmins, developers, advocates and those who have come to
 COLA to lean about Linux. is a form of propaganda known as disinformation.
 One of their favorite version of disinformation is known as FUD.

7.3 A Common FUD of the Anti-Linux Propagandists

 An example of dishonesty of the anti-Linux propagandists is their common
 claim that the Linux proponents in COLA oppose the use of any other
 operating system. They also would have you believe that the Linux
 proponents in COLA oppose everyone who does not use Linux all the time.
 Those are some of the lies that they use to try to discredit Linux users
 who post in COLA.

 The truth is that a user of one or more operating systems other than Linux
 are not opposed in COLA for that reason alone. Many of the Linux Advocates
 in COLA have experience on many other operating systems besides Linux.
 Many do use multiple operating systems on a regular basis. It is due to
 this experience that any disinformation regarding the capabilities of
 Linux, or that of other operating systems are easily detected by the Linux

 It is not difficult to tell the difference between an anti-Linux
 Propagandist and a true advocates of another operating system. Occasional
 mention of other operating systems is fine. However, it is the frequent or
 continuous promotion of other operating systems that turns a welcome
 poster into an unwelcome troll or anti-Linux propagandist.

7.6 Trespasser Disinformation Tactics

 This is a list of the disinformation tactics that the that the anti-Linux
 propagandists who post in COLA have been using. All of these tactics have
 been used in COLA by the anti-Linux propagandists against the Linux
 advocates and the rest of the COLA readership to further the cause of the
 anti-Linux propagandists. This list has been worded as though you are one
 of them, so that you can better see through their eyes how they think.

[1.] Act offended or claim that opposing viewpoints are incredible and/or
     unbelievable. When you are unable to valid argument to refute a Linux
     advocate, use empty statements such as:
        * "OH PULEEEZE!"
        * "Only a Linonut would say that"
        * "And they wonder why no one takes Linux seriously!"
        * "How dare you say that!"
        * "That's the way to offend thousands!"

[2.] Distract your opponent from the issues at hand by accusing your
     opponents of being "petty", "pathetic", "childish" or any of a number
     of other such terms.

[3.] Put your opponent off guard by insulting him.  The liberal use of
     profanity and vulgarisms can be very effective, particularly when used
     against you more dignified opponents.  Your experience as a school
     yard bully can be handy here

[4.] Be patronizing, condescending and present an air of superiority. It
     may hide your inferiority to the casual reader.  Use phrases like
     "kid" or "son", to elevate your relative apparent authority by
     attempting to diminish that of the Linux advocate you are addressing.

[5.] Discredit your opponent or his position through the use of
     inappropriate laugher and other non-verbal grunts.

[6.] When your tactics are turned on you, call you opponents trolls.  Do
     not accept the fact that by calling someone using your tactics a troll
     that makes you the real troll.

[7.] Keep posting non-stop.  Flood the group with your idiocy and nonsense.
     Some readers may equate your volume with proof of quality.  You will
     tie good Linux advocates in knots trying to refute you and they won't
     have time for real advocacy.

[8.] Brag about destroying newsgroups and threaten to do the same to

[9.] Drive as many good Linux Advocates out of the group as possible.

 10. Refuse to admit your errors
     Never ever admit your errors no matter how blatant they are.  If you
     find no way out and have to admit that you are wrong, phrase it so
     that you can accuse your opponent of being wrong.

 11. Never apologize for your misbehavior
     Never ever apologize no matter how out of line you have been behaving.
     If you should ever find it to your advantage to apologize, phrase it
     as a slap in the face of the person who you have already wronged.

 12. Blame your stupidity and lies on your opponent
     Blame your own stupidity on the Linux advocate you are dealing with.
     Such as when you have made an unsupportable claim that suggest a list
     of details and your are asked to present your non-existent list reply
     with, "I don't have to list them for you; you aren't bright enough to
     know what you're missing by using X instead of a real Y, I'm not going
     to explain it to you." Then hope that nobody reading the thread
     realizes that your statement translates as, "I lack the knowledge or
     facts needed to counter your position or your position is too complete
     and accurate to be refuted.  So, I will say things to sound superior
     to avoid admitting you are right."

 13. Embarrass your opponent
     Locate or create apparently embarrassing information or detail and
     utilize it out of all proportion-trying to create a scandal around it,
     to hijack a thread or drive everyone to distraction.

 14. Blackmail your opponent
     Locate or create apparently embarrassing information or detail and
     threaten your opponent with exposure to force him to do as you want
     him to. This tactic can be combined with the "Embarrass your opponent"
     tactic if you can no longer get your way though Blackmail.

 15. Avoid answering direct questions
     Avoid answering a direct questions that you fear by claiming to not
     have seen the question then refuse to address it for other reasons.
     Keep it up along with other tactics until your opponent is distracted
     from the question.

 16. Turn a question asked of you back on your opponent
     Better yet, turn the questions back on the Linux Advocate with a
     question like: "What do you think is the `right' answer, lamer?" You
     have now taken the heat off of your ignorance and you have cast doubt
     on the credibility of your opponent.

 17. Don't substantiate your claims
     Refuse to present evidence to support your invalid claims. Repeat your
     invalid claims and have your anti-Linux propagandist comrades do the
     same. Do the same for any invalid claims that you have notice your
     anti-Linux propagandists comrades make.

 18. Don't discuss evidence counter to your position
     Avoid examining or discussing evidence counter to your position. This
     is especially effective when combined with 3.2.8, Dancing Fool,
     wherein you change your position with every post.

 19. Present multiple personalities
     Change your position with every few article you post to
     comp.os.linux.advocacy. Appear to be supporting all sides of the
     issues. You can make a statements or opinion in one posting then
     follow it up with a another post with a contrary opinion. You can even
     get into an argument with yourself. This could cause readers to
     dismiss the subject of the thread.

 20. Narrow the scope of threads so that you can handle it. Narrow the
     scope of the issues that are being addressed in a thread to details
     you feel that you can refute, ridicule, or dismiss leaving the main
     issues unaddressed.

 21. Widen the scope of threads to swamp out the original issue.
     Widen the scope of the issues discussed in a thread to the point that
     the original issues are buried away and hopefully soon forgotten.

 22. Use invalid statistics
     Introduce statistics to try to hurt Linux, Linux Advocates, and/or the
     Linux community at large. Do not about them be valid or real. It would
     be nice if you can find those statistics on-line, but if you can't
     find any, invent them out of whole cloth.  If they are discredited,
     don't let that bother you, keep citing them. If you see a fellow
     anti-Linux propagandist using statistics, cite them as well, no matter
     their lack of validity.

 23. Lie
     Lie, lie, lie, lie.  If you do it often enough you may create the
     appearance of truth.

 24. Ignore dictionaries when they don't support you
     Rage against the use of dictionaries or other such documents, their
     use can only hurt you and expose your ignorance.

 25. Attack new posters who favor Linux
     Some of these Linux Advocates may be new to Linux and COLA. Show no
     mercy. Pounce upon their innocence with every single one of these
     tactics. If you are lucky you might turn them to your side, at the
     very least you may be able to drive them out of COLA and neutralize
     them as a threat.

 26. Attack typos and ignore the content of the message.
     Point out your opponent's grammatical flaws and spelling errors. By
     doing this you can concentrate on form while ignoring substance. This
     is a very handy method to discredit your opponent and by extension his
     position, without once again exposing your ignorance of the issues
     begin discussed in the thread.

 27. Use Spelling and Grammatical Errors to Distract
     Make statements like, "Why do you nea d to dbug the cernal? Is lienux
     not working agen!" When this tactic works, you have disarmed the
     supporters of Linux who have chosen to ignore you because of your
     idiot act, others may react to your style and fail to refute your
     disinformation. Meanwhile, you have posted your disinformation in
     support your cause.

 28. Start trolling threads
     Start threads with subjects like "Linsux Sux", "Linux fonts are bad",
     etc. Manufacture false evidence to back up your claims when possible,
     but don't worry that that is not important. All that is important is
     that you consume the efforts and resources of Linux Advocate as they
     try to refute your trolling threads and that you scare the new and
     casual readership of COLA.

 29. Unreasonably proclaim your reasonableness
     If your method to deliver anti-Linux propaganda is not among the more
     article style, you can try to claim to be reasonable. Of course if you

     really were reasonable, you would not be an anti-Linux propagandists
     in he first place; however, compared to your more radical comrades you
     may seem to be more reasonable. You can not be certain that the
     readership of COLA will accept your actions as being reasonable
     without your prompting them to think of you that way. So you need
     frequently mention how reasonable you are.

 30. Expose yourself on COLA.
     Post articles in COLA containing ASCII art depicting your body
     including your genitals, either in the message body or in the sig.
     Discuss your bodily functions and your bodily wastes, the more
     disgusting the better. It will tend to drive away more of the casual
     and new readers. The Linux Advocates who are frequent posters may
     become disgusted enough to avoid threads that you involve yourself in.

 31. If it makes Microsoft or Windows look bad call it a rumor
     Claim that anything that tends to make Microsoft or Windows look bad
     is an unfounded rumor and that you opponent is being unfair.  If the
     information is obscure enough claim that it is an urban legend, hoping
     that no one knows that many legends are based on fact.

 32. Promote Windows at every opportunity
     Microsoft Windows needs a lot of help to be successful in the mind
     share of its targeted user base. Point out to everybody on COLA how
     wonderful it is. Ignore the meaning of the name of the newsgroup and
     its charter.

 33. Claim false Alignment
     Remind Everyone that you are a long-time Linux user and advocate. Of
     course it is not true, so you will be accused of being what you really
     are.  When that happens and you are accused of working against Linux.
     Deny!  Deny! Deny!

 34. Use of false identities
     Create throw away identities to enter the newsgroup to spread discord
     and after a few days or weeks, stop using that identity. If you are
     losing an argument create a new identity to support the position of
     your main identity. If things are getting slow, create a few
     identities counter to your primary identity.  Start a n-on-1 argument
     with your primary identity being outnumbered.  Then have each of your
     new identities be convinced by your primary identity to the error of
     their ways.

 35. When thing get too hot go away
     When all else fails and things get too hot, disappear from the group.
     This is not as drastic as it sounds.  You might stay away for a few
     months and then return hoping that the other wintrolls have softened
     up the field a bit.  If you don't want to stay away at all.  Create a
     new primary identity and drop the use of the other one.

 36. Enter COLA as a sleeper.
     If you are a new anti-Linux propagandist, or at least your current
     false identity is new, then make your entrance as a dedicated Linux
     user. After a little while, claim to have seen the light and "convert
     back to Windows".  Then you can promote Windows all you want for a
     while, before your true nature is commonly known. Sometimes this works
     for several hours before you are shouted down and have to move on to a
     new identity or continue on as "normal" anti-Linux propagandist.

 37. Enter COLA as a false disgruntled Linux user.
     Create a throw away false identity to enter the newsgroup in order
     claim to be short or long term Linux users who "have had enough of
     Linux and are returning to Windows." Stir things up for a day or two
     and disappear forever.

 38. Never leave a Linux positive thread unchallenged.
     If there is a thread developing that is positive for Linux, hijack
     that thread at all cost.  Even if it means sacrificing your current
     identity.  One method to do this is to ramble on about other topics,
     with or without the use embedded insults.  Even if you fail to hijack
     the thread, you may be able to derail it enough to cancel the
     positive-for Linux-impact that it could have had.

 39. Lie about what you know
     Claim credit for experience, knowledge, or education that you do not
     have. It will impress readers who are not knowledgeable on the topic
     of the moment. Be careful to not engage someone who is truly
     knowledgeable on the subject in conversation or your actual ignorance
     will be exposed.

 40. Avoid providing any help.
     Because you claim to be such an expert so often, you may from time to
     time be asked for assistance.  Don't provide it, you would only
     destroy the image you have lied so long to create.  Treat an honest
     request based on a real situation as an argument: Restate the request
     for assistance in a real situation as a hypothetical situation that
     you can argue against.

 41. Use of Undefined Terminology
     Use terms such as "indoctrinated" as a substitute for "educated" or
     "experienced" when referring to a Linux Advocate.  Use "pedantic" in
     place of "correct", "precise", or "accurate" when referring to a Linux
     Advocate.  Create and use personal definitions such as "commercial
     quality" for impressive sounding terms to mislead the unwary.  But
     never share your definitions for your inappropriate terminology. This
     is commonly known as Troll-speak.

 42. Use fake email addresses.
     Use a fake email address, not just a de-spammed address like real
     advocates use, but a completely fake and made-up one. If you feel the
     need for the appearance of normality use a real appearing email
     address-maybe not one of yours, but you can try to explain your act of
     identity theft as an accident.

 43. Citing vapor postings
     Cite the statements that you had "intended" to include but never
     actual written into your past posting. Gamble on the possibility that
     nobody will remember what you posted and that nobody will do the
     research to determine what you have posted. If you loose that bet, use
     another disinformation tactic to deflect the results of your using
     this tactic.

 44. Use being an idiot as an excuse
     When you are criticized for using disinformation tactics, claim
     ignorance of the disinformation tactics and use your apparent idiocy
     as an excuse for your actions. Do the same for your comrades, when a
     Linux Advocate corners one of your fellow anti-Linux propagandists
     tell that advocate something like "What are you doing? It's only John
     Doe for goodness sake!"

 45. Criticize Linux Advocates but ignore anti-Linux propagandist
     Always criticize the behavior of Linux Advocates, but, ignore the same
     and even worse transgressions are being committed by your fellow

 46. Accept the claims of other anti-Linux propagandists as face value
     Always treat other anti-Linux propagandist's statements as being true.
     Accept their interpretations without question, don't bother verifying
     their statements. If they claim something against a Linux advocate
     always side with the anti-Linux propagandists.

 47. Don't do your own homework
     Make your opponent do your research for you. Depending on who much
     credibility you still have will determine how successful you will be
     at this tactic.

 48. Don't let your ignorance stop you from posting
     No matter how little you understand of the issues being discussed in a
     thread, post anyway. If you don't know what you are talking about just
     pretend that you do.

 49. Restate the issues to support your preconceptions
     If the issues being discussed in a thread are not exploitable by you
     for your purpose, restate the issues to support your ability to attack
     Linux Advocate opponent.

 50. Claim god like attributes
     Claim god like attributes, such as being all knowing. If you don't
     want to make that claim, behave as though you are, any way.

 51. Claim only you understand what the issues are.
     Claim and other wise present the attitude to imply that only you know
     what the issues really are. Attempt to project the attitude that would
     tend to discredit your opponent at the same time.

 52. Invoke the mythical average user
     Always use the mythical average users as your yardstick for usability.
     No matter what is being discussed about Linux, restate the abilities
     of the average users to fall short of that needed.

 53. Use extortion to build an army
     Use extortion against a group to generate an army of flunkies to do
     your bidding and do you fighting for you. Such as when things are not
     going the way you want in COLA, crosspost a threat in another
     newsgroup a thread of your intention of making thing miserable for
     them if they don't take up your battle for you. This is a dangerous
     tactic for you the anti-Linux propagandists. If they don't react the
     way you wanted them to, you will either have to forget it or you could
     carry our your threat. If you forget it, you will loose even more
     credibility. If you carry out your threat you will still loose
     credibility and you could open yourself up for reprisal from those
     your are hurting by carrying out your threat. Even if you do form your
     army, you will be held responsible for the results of their actions on
     your behalf. A recent case (as of this writing) of this tactic being
     used by a anti-Linux propagandists can be revived by reading the
     thread that resulted with the crossposting of Message-ID:
     ozub8.40974$Wf1.7452626@xxxxxxxxxxxxx to comp.os.linux.advocacy and

 54. The devil made me do it
     When you are caught in a situation for which you can not explain you
     actions without a confession of your dishonesty and your alignment,
     blame it on someone else. Create a boogyman to take the blame. A
     variation of this tactic was used in the thread cited above, in which
     the failed extortionist blames all the Linux Advocates in COLA for
     forcing him into attempting extortion.

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