How do we handle abusive posts from anonymous users

Just putting this out there, we have had a number of people create anonymous accounts and then proceed to be not very nice and conducting themselves in a fashion which is unwelcome.

I’m loathe the use the ban hammer, but I think we need a policy here.

How does this sound, anyone doing this behind anonymous handles in the future will be required to update their profile to a real name, or be suspended.

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You’ve got a CoC, yeah? I have to say though: if you do… it’s not promoted as clearly as it could be because I can’t find it. Full disclosure: I only looked for either a pinned post or a link in the page header or footer, and poss I’m just a goof and didn’t see it.

But assuming their is a CoC, I presume it sets out what measure will be taken if ppl don’t respect it?

As for ppl creating sock-puppet accounts… does… what’s this thing call… Discourse?.. does it provide facility for new users to go through a workflow approval process on their first n posts / first n days of membership? It would require a human to eyeball the new posts, but am sure that there’s enough ppl here to act as community leaders and check the queue every now and then?

For the specific topic you are talking about, I think it’s probably legit just to close their account, if I am to be honest. As soon as a person starts “playing the person not the ball” as I put it… screw 'em, they’re out. Especially if they have not yet built up sufficient credibility here to be allowed some leeway sometimes; eg if you were to call me a dick in the heat of the moment, I think it’s probably OK, because you’ve established a rep and on balance a small transgression amongst otherwise valuable contributions is probably OK.

FYI, that user just kept going and has now been prevented from posting


It’s been an issue since the first BBS … humans are awesome and are also terrible.

  • Define “real name”. How does one really do that / enforce it?

I think Adam’s Comment about establishing a certain amount of credibility with an occasional withdrawal is a good concept.

Feel free to downvote me if you disagree.

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From my experience: I bet that a first time user posting like the last one - by using such a wording, being so aggressive towards others and being that contradictory - is a user that have already been around before and may need some sort of retaliation to some previous incident. However, that is just an assumption that might be wrong.

These people won’t be impressed by any CoC, they just want to move over and make their troll post.

I have experience with that, and I can tell you… It won’t work. That people with that negative energy will update their profile to a fake non-existing name or they will just copy and paste from somebodys exisiting public social media account. Better use their mobile phone numbers as a unique ID and have that mobile number verfied by sending a verification code to that number. This still can be faked but it reduces their options. The downside is that mobile number verifcation would need to be implemented and costs money. There are more options, for more reliable identification but that wouldn’t make sense in such a communty forum.

Sincerely, I’d let everything as it is at the moment. We from the community can flag these users and you can decide to take it down. I know it’s hard to define the red line, because sometimes a post might cross the line, but it wouldn’t necessarily deserve to be taken down.

What I’ve learnt: When I (as a community member) identify a user with such need of attention, I’ll start ignoring the posts. I’ll just stop feeding them with any attention. I might flag a post, but that is the highest level of attention they might get from me.


Could introduce account verification like twitter and moderate any posts by non verified users.


I think attempting to de-anonymize users is the wrong direction here. Set the forum rules and enforce them equally. I know a lot of people post anonymously on public forums because they work for a large corp or gov shop who would freak out if they posted any details of their job. As much as I enjoy knowing who people are, and as much as I know anonymity can empower jerks, I still say we solve this by standing by the CoC regardless of who they are. Discourse already comes with a lot of tools to help prevent spam, report inappropriate content, and snooze users who aren’t playing by the rules.


As long as the “full name” doesn’t appear in the posts, I personally wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’m not only a developer, but also a professional musician and many fans search for my “full name” in Google. It wouldn’t be nice for me if fans can google all the posts I’ve ever made as a developer.

sure, but as others have pointed out, root problem is the tone (music joke lol, get it? ).

as such even if they told me privately who they were, it simply doesn’t help they are being abusive to other people does it?

Yeah I think the zeitgeist is that it’s up to contributors whether they wish to be fully out-in-the-open, or maintain a level of anonymity or have an alter-ego in different environments etc. I don’t think we need ppl to provide their reallyreally names.

We (ie: ppl with oversight / moderation functionality, and I am not part of that “we”) just need to be vigilant and act(*) on ppl flagging content is inappropriate.

(*) where “act” does not necessarily mean “ban” / “delete” etc, it means “evaluate the situation and act in a measured and appropriate fashion”. This might mean advising the person raising the flag that no action is necessary, etc.

I asked earlier about the CoC for these forums. No response to that?

I think all communities should have a Code of Conduct. Even my twitch channel (dont go looking) has one.

All conferences, social communities etc. Should have one and I wonder if the software that runs this community allows you to sign up to a Code of Conduct before posting? (same as the contributor agreement feature in Github)

I should add that there is a sort of CoC in the FAQ (?)

I think we need to finish setting it up as we need to change the company_domain in the Terms of Service (Terms of Service - Lucee Dev) too

Got it :slight_smile:

Of course, you are right.

Maybe at the same time you change company_logo


@Zackster : How do we handle abusive posts from anonymous users

Create a system to flag and delete the posts as soon as they appear.

alas, it’s too subjective, spammy posts get blocked automatically, but people flag problematic posts

This is a people issue, and should be dealt with by people.

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@Zackster : alas, it’s too subjective, spammy posts get blocked automatically, but people flag problematic posts

I take it for granted that any system to flag and delete abusive posts will involve people. Inevitable, I think, as this is indeed a subjective matter.

And perhaps a cultural one, too. What a Luceean considers a heated argument may pass as abuse in other circles.

In any case, whichever system you use, you wouldn’t want to come down too heavy.

Fair enough.

Once the CoC rules are established any who violate the rules should face a mile long spanking machine should they wish to reclaim their membership.