What happened to Eadon??

This topic was created by cyberdemon .

  1. cyberdemon
    FAIL

    What happened to Eadon??

    Every last post of his seems to have been deleted:

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/34672/

    Is he banned? Wtf did he do?

    I know everyone loved to hate him, but he wasn't THAT bad. I quite liked him really, he made me laugh.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: What happened to Eadon??

      He went spam-tastically bonkers on one of Trevor Pott's Microsoft articles. I think every other post was calling him a shill, or a FAIL. So he was taken out and shot, then air-brushed from history. Don't ask what happened, or 2 sinister men in leather jackets and dark glasses will start hanging round outside your door. I'm told Siberia is very cold, this time of year...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What happened to Eadon??

        I always figured Eadon was one of Mr. Pott's alter-egos (and Trevor has had a few over the years) ... the entity appeared roughly when Mr. Pott started ranting about MS products.

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: What happened to Eadon??

        It wasn't just "one" of my articles. Thought admittedly there was one article that was completely over the live and served as the "last straw." He was progressively getting more and more out of hand for months and this just...was the end. I "ignored" him months ago, but even with that his tripe was ultimately hijacking every thread.

        Look, I don't have a problem with (most) criticism. You guys want to lay into me or my writing you go right ahead. But there have to be limits. There is a difference between disagreeing with an author and repeated, protracted ad homenim campaigns against an author.

        If I disagree with someone often enough I can just ignore them; I think jake is a jackass so he's a great example of someone I just chose not to have to deal with. I have better things to do with my day then listen to his condescending bullshit. For all his arrogant tripe, however, jake knows exactly where the line is and he doesn't cross it.

        Eadon, however, has moving way over the red line and trucking deep into the territory of "libel." He was warned - repeatedly - by the powers that be. Eventually they got fed up with his continual attacks on one of their writers (me) and zapped him.

        I'm all for free speech. As an internet troll I am doubly cautious about the idea of "censorship from the powers that be" on websites. Gods know I've trolled Andrew O - and others - around here hard enough myself. There are limits to that speech, especially in privately owned fora. If this were Ars Technica he would have been banhammered months ago.

        So while making commenttards into digital unpeople makes the troll in me nervous, I have to say that the powers that be showed a remarkable amount of restraint for a long time and that - quite frankly - the bastard had it coming. You can get away with a lot around here but when you start in with the repeated ad homenim attacks against the writers of the website don't be surprised if someone kicks you in the shins. Even if the writer is me.

        Gods help the poor sod who goes after someone who's actually worthwhile around here.

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: What happened to Eadon??

          Trevor, can I buy you a pint?

          Serious question ... If you're ever in the North Bay, drop me a line.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: What happened to Eadon??

          "I'm all for free speech. As an internet troll I am doubly cautious about the idea of "censorship from the powers that be" on websites. "

          Yes. That's the problem.

          Everyone is on someone's death list. Once people start banning where does it stop?

          It seems even I have made a few enemies despite my usually good natured posts. :-) .

          However picking a fight with an article author is about as wise as a defendant picking a fight with a judge in their courtroom. You're likely to get a quick lesson in what the phrase "I am the law" actually means. I've only ever had one posting for borderline libel. I think it would have skated if I'd just included "allegedly."

          It's Monday (so I'm hopeful) that Eadon will reform, rejoin under another identity and no one ever realizes it's him.

          Well it could happen.....

        3. Don Dumb
          Happy

          Re: What happened to Eadon??

          I have just googled this to satisfy my curiosity. I'm glad Eadon eventually got banned.

          I too have reservations of policing trolling, as I'm nervous about 'creeping censorship' and I also consider trolling healthy background noise usually.

          However in Eadon's case, this isn't government censorship, it is a private news site that has a duty to all its customers. While there were perhaps legal boundaries he crossed, there was also the more simple problem of the hijacking of the forums and comments sections of every story. It was spoiling my enjoyment of, at times, some very insightful and interesting discussions. I imagine that I was not alone in that regard. In the end, Eadon was spoiling the site for everyone else and a company like El Reg, can have only one winner in that contest.

          Discussions here have been more readable and enjoyable to me since.

          Simply, Thank You from this Reg reader.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: What happened to Eadon??

            It's a fine line, and I have to be honest when I say that I'm not entirely comfortable myself with the idea of outright bans for anyone. (Well, maybe jake or Bryant...)

            The reality of it is that Eadon was an outlier that caused some problems, stepped over the line and has caused a rethink of commenter and forum policy within El Reg. Drew and I had a frank and open discussion about all of this and I am under the impression that dialogue internally at El Reg has been proceeding apace on the topic as well.

            My position on this is thus: I agree with the decision to banhammer Eadon, despite the misgivings that it causes with my inner internet troll. The situation was unique. I similarly believe that we should unban Eadon and invite him back with the understanding that he refrain from ad homs against the authors or other El Reg staffs. Call it "time served."

            He may or may not accept - $deity knows I'd be pissed if I got banhammered from somewhere - but I think that "undeading" him is ultimately the right path forward. There is, however, a catch.

            I believe - and others have agreed - that the forum policies need an update for clarity and that the issue should probably be discussed in the open. We're a technology website, after all, and this is an issue that affects online communities the world over.

            A large part of the reason why this hasn't happened is because I agreed to create the draft and I simply haven't held up my end. I'm a little on the OCD side about trying to find the right balance and so I'm neck-deep in research about how other online communities have solved the same problems, as well as researching how the active members of our community are responding to the fallout of the incident. I've started soliciting input from members of the community as well about how The Register should deal with moderation.

            Part of the issue is that full bore moderation - as it occurred under the moderatrix - is time intensive and expensive. The bigger issue, however, is that it is soul crushingly disheartening. What a lot of readers don't appreciate is exactly how utterly vile some of the comments that get posted here are. This is part of the reason why there are post counts before a commenter is allowed the right to post without moderation.

            I don't exactly moderate this stuff myself, but I do talk to the folks that do...and frankly they find some of what people post quite upsetting, sometimes even legally questionable. So any policy needs to not only take into account issues like "continued and ever-ratcheting ad homs against writers and staff" but outright "not okay" posts from new users and even a sustainable methodology for tagging, reporting and acting upon offensive posts from established community members.

            As a nerd I'd love to find a nice clean set of rules that are absolute. Ultimately, I don't believe that's going to be possible. Make absolute rules and a true troll will simply find a loophole. Clearly, however, we should try to do better then we have.

            Some people are going to be very upset that we don't allow everyone to say anything they want. They demand nothing less than a moot-free 4Chan and they'll get all huffy and "leave" unless they get it. Others will leave if we let the community degenerate into trollmageddon.

            I am a troll at heart; hell, I write for the register and am essentially a professional shit disturber. I prefer a community that falls between the two extremes of "4Chan" and "fully moderated by 'think of the children' NIMBYs." I suspect that the majority of El Reg staffers and community members feel the same.

            If you agree, or if you disagree, I think the next month or so is your chance to speak up. I don't have the final say on community anything, but I have been given the opportunity to put forth a few proposals. The people trying refine the community rules are decent people. I can say with absolute confidence that all ideas will be considered.

            So speak up! The Register isn't a faceless megacorp bent on pushing its view of the universe upon you. (In fact, given the eclectic nature of the people who work and write for El Reg I'd go so far as to say "The Register" doesn't have a collective 'view' on most topics.) You have a voice in the discussion regarding the evolution of the forums and it will be heard. Even if we all ultimately disagree vehemently, your views will be weighed and considered.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: What happened to Eadon??

              Trevor,

              This should be interesting. Is this one to start a topic on El Reg Matters, or is discussion going to be launched with an article, in order to get all the commentards involved? You get a much smaller set of us on the non-article forums.

              I can imagine it's time for a re-think. Unless I'm mistaken the volume of voting and comments has gone up massively, even in the last 6 months. For example, it was only early this year that I hit 2,000 upvotes (I wondered if my badge would turn silver), and it's now 4,300. Voting's been going for more than a couple of years - so this looks like acceleration. There also seem to be a lot more 100 post topics than there used to be.

              I used to moderate on a forum for an online game, with a million users. Although most of them never posted. I don't remember ever being upset by a post on there, although I guess accidentally clicking on links to that bloody Rick Astley song counts as mentally traumatic... I've always hated those link-shortener sites since those days, as they won't let you plug the link into their site and see where it goes, before you play Russian Roulette and click on it. Hence the Rick Astley pain.

              Admittedly we didn't have article authors in the same way, so there wasn't the same personal target for bile and spite. There was a game-dev forum, but I didn't moderate that, I'd imagine it suffered from those problems. I never saw a death threat, and I believe El Reg have had to put up with several of those, mostly my job was stopping the bickering getting unpleasant (for which the Scottish forums were a nightmare) and swearing (for which the Irish were worst). And spam.

              Obviously you've got the legal issues as well. You don't want to be sued for something written by a commentard, and I believe there's more of a risk of that as you moderate.

              As well as laying out what El Reg is thinking the options are, I think we also need to know what problems it is that these changes are meant to solve.

              For example I wouldn't recommend changing policy to get rid of swearing. There's not too much on here, so I don't see it as a problem. But it opens a moderation minefield. However, if other users see that as a problem (some who browsing at work), then you'll be forced to get into it. Oh what joy...

              If you're worried about not getting bad stuff off the forums quickly enough, then you could give certain users a bit of moderating-ligtht powers. Just give them a 'report post' button that temporarily hides it, until El Reg staff have had a chance to look at it. Should be easy enough to take away if they abuse it, or over-use it. Non-employee moderation is something a lot of forums do. However, I've not noticed too many bad posts, given the rough-and-tumble that is normally allowed here. But if there's a lot being modded, it may be an option to reduce the workload of paid staff, let more through and catch it afterwards.

              Hmmm. Think I've gone on a bit here. So I'll shut up. Perhaps El Reg should introduce punishments for posts that are too long? Eek! Shouldn't have suggested that...

            2. Hungry Sean

              Re: What happened to Eadon??

              Trevor, I didn't see the ad-hominem comments from Eadon, but I suspect a lot of regular readers would agree that there should already have been some sort of disciplinary action in place long before on the basis of continuous forum-jacking. Eadon did have an occasional post that had something interesting to say, but the majority of his contributions removed value from the site.

              It sounds like the position you are floating is that the continuous trolling and general ass-hattery would have been ok as long as he didn't do anything potentially illegal, and I think that's a bad decision. Your idea of a troll seems to involve a strongly stated, possibly deliberately controversial, but reasonably thought through position. There is a world of difference between that and what led to multiple comments per day with two thumbs up and 50 thumbs down. Sociopathy shouldn't be acceptable.

              By the way, there are more options at your disposal than a ban-hammer. You could, for example, rate limit posts, remove people's no-moderate tag, temporarily suspend accounts, use a badge of shame, default comments to invisible. . .

              Thankfully this all seems to have been a pretty unique situation, there's a nice group of regular readers here, so hopefully all this discussion remains firmly theoretical.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: What happened to Eadon??

                "By the way, there are more options at your disposal than a ban-hammer. You could, for example, rate limit posts, remove people's no-moderate tag, temporarily suspend accounts, use a badge of shame, default comments to invisible. . ."

                Excellent ideas, some of which I had not considered before. Thank you!

                As for my idea of what it would take to get to the "banhammer" state, yeah, I really do think that you'd need to go all out on the douchewagon to get there. I'm a pretty hard-core believer in freedom of speech. (As well ast he freedom to add people to your ignore list. The freedom to say something doesn't mean you have the freedom to force them to read your tripe.) I'd love to see the "ignore" button that gold badge holders get extended to all commenttards. I think it's a viable solution to a certain class of troll.

                That said, your insights are exactly what i am trying to get feedback from "people who are not Trevor" before submitting my proposal. I realize that my views on freedom of speech are certainly far more extreme than would be generally acceptable in most places.

                A part of me does believe you should be able to forum jack, be generally dickish, off topic and so forth. I think that it is up to individual users to push back against that, to ostracise or ignore. If I didn't then frankly I'd have agitated ages ago to have jake, Matt Bryant, RICHTO and others booted. I never have.

                What I did instead was ask for an "ignore" button and put their asses on my ignore list. I do plan to agitate to have that extended to everyone. If the really offensive individuals and/or serial thread-jackers are simply "ignored" by 85%+ of the community they will either go away entirely or look like complete tools talking only to themselves while the discussion continues around them as though they weren't there.

                Per-user ignore lists at least remove the ambiguity of "so who decides if someone deserves to be [insert disciplinary measure here]ed". Only the most egregious cases would thus need intervention. That said, this is a personal preference, and I'm interested to hear other viewpoints.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What happened to Eadon?? - 'Ignore Lists'

                  Trevor,

                  I previously came down against ignore lists, but I've recently come to the conclusion that they do provide a useful function - mainly for the reason you put forward, that if a commentard is ignored it might save threads being hijacked.

                  There's at least one whose comments regularly spoil my enjoyment, and I wouldn't mind blocking them (oddly enough, I wasn't that bothered about eadon).

                  If it is rolled out, can I suggest modifying badges to reflect the extent to which a commentard is being ignored? That might be fun.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: What happened to Eadon?? - 'Ignore Lists'

                    "Shameometer?" Hmm...that could go either way, but interesting concept!

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What happened to Eadon??

              I got put on the naughty step (posts moderated - Hello moderator!) presumably because I had two of my posts rejected. Which is fair enough - your house, your rules. But I can only assume Eadon didn't have his posts moderated, otherwise the final straw post (and plenty others before) would have been rejected instead of published.

              If I am correct and had Eadon been moderated, chances are he would have got the message about the types of posts that are acceptable to El Reg and he may have wound in his neck a little.

              I'm all for giving Eadon a second chance - he did have some useful things to say in between his almost irrational MS hatred. But moderate him and if he continues to offend, banhammer him, permanently.

            4. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Re: What happened to Eadon??

              This, a thousand times this. From the comment moderator's perspective, first thing folks should realise is that since the departure of the Moderatrix years ago there hasn't been a fulltime mod.

              tl;dr I'm with Trev, we're a diverse house but people gotta read and respect the rules. If you don't, expect to get b&.

              The system piles some incoming comments up in a queue: newbies and anyone on the naughty step, and there's a separate queue for reported posts. Tards with over a certain number of posts - and no, I'm not posting publicly what that number is - are auto-modded by the system. Reg staffers with spare time during the day go through that queue and approves/rejects them. Usually (but not always) it's me during UK hours, sometimes it isn't. YMMV.

              Speaking personally, I'm pretty laissez-faire on comments. As long as they don't break the law ... as soon as I press "approve" on your spittle-flecked rant about corrupt MS shills (or whatever) I'm taking legal responsibility for the contents of your comment.

              And guess what? If it's even in the slightest bit legally troublesome, I bin it. No qualms whatsoever. English law is very restrictive and I reckon 90% of people would be shocked to discover just how easy it is to end up receiving a lawsuit. And it covers everything, even your offhand one-liner about Tim Cook being a crack-addled retard who couldn't design his way out of a plastic bag (or whatever - I deal with literally hundreds of variations of this sort of crap daily).

              Rarely, I'll email the commentard and explain why I've binned a comment. Perhaps if it's a reasoned post with a slipup, that sort of thing. But most of the time, I just don't have the time. Modding is not, and never will be, my primary task.

              Ad homs are a big no-no with me as well. Thou shalt not attack Reg staff, but bitch amongst yourselves - to a point. The present comments policy covers things fairly well in that regard.

              But all in all, my primary duty is to keep site content within the law and that's my main approach to modding. I quite like my job and I don't want The Register to fold because some jobless, bitter no-mark sat at home in his stained y-fronts gets his kicks from writing naughty words on someone else's corner of the internet.

        4. Wallyb132
          Coat

          Re: What happened to Eadon??

          Ok Trevor,

          I can sympathize with your situation, the guy was actually driving me nuts. To the point that i cut down my reading of the comments by about 85%, because i couldnt stand his constant banter, but this led to a sad realization. Reading the comments was one of the biggest reasons I read El Reg in the first place, So by cutting out the comments, I also cut out my interest in even reading this website. So for a brief period El Reg was replaced in my daily rag lineup by Tech Dirt, but after a while i felt as though something was missing from my daily life. it slowly start to dawn on me that I've been reading this website for the better part of 9 years, long before Eadon was even a forethought on this rag. So here i am reading El Reg once again. I did notice that there was a widespread and extremely welcome lack of Eadon, which has been delightful to say the least.

          But Trevor! Let me say first off, I read many of your articles and i agree with the things you say 99% of the time and i find them really insightful, as I too walk the same path as you, I'm an IT specialist and an independent consultant and support mostly Microsoft products. Now, with that said, I must say, I dont mind you using the occasional euphemisms, even those is foreign languages, but for the love of god will you at least fucking spell them right. its ad hominem not ad homenim.

          Thank you, that is all

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
            Pint

            @Wallyb132

            You are correct in that my spelling are le suckosity. I apologise. I can only offer as explanation the "on the outside looking in" section of this article. I'm working on it, a bit each day.

          2. Mpeler

            Re: What happened to Eadon?? Ad hominem

            Just think, though, if it was ad homonym ...parallel ads for the same thing...ouch...spam...

            Agree with you about Trevor, his posts are spot on.... SMBs (and SOHOs and even supergeeks) are

            getting neglected by M$ ... WHS, SBS, etc.,etc.

            Wrt Eadon, sad he couldn't change...from stirring the pot to losing the plot...

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: What happened to Eadon??

      See here for his demise at Drew's hands.

  2. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    I heard different - I heard he woke up one morning to find Steve Ballmer on his doorstep in a pissed off mood - "So you think Windows 8.1 on is FAIL do you? Take your coat off and meet me in the parking lot, we're guna settle this like developers!"

    Eadon is still in the hospital - they still can't remove the six foot cardboard cutout of a Windows Start menu that Steve used on him as a finishing move!

    If you are missing him though don't worry, I've been told I do a good impression of him sometimes much to my horror!

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Happy

      Those puzzled by the last bit of that post may wish to look here.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        TeeCee,

        We are being Mr Helpful today. While you're acting as librarian for these people, can you make me a coffee, organise all my CDs into alphabetical order and find all my posts with the word banana in them...

        1. TeeCee Gold badge
          Meh

          When I'm done with the ironing, ok?

  3. cyberdemon

    I hope it's not permanent though. El Reg just won't be the same without him.

    Plus it's not really fair to permaban him simply for not recognising when we have had enough of him:

    http://smart-aspergers.blogspot.co.uk/ Recognise that guy?

  4. John 62

    I rarely read any of Eadon's comments, indeed I heard his name first because someone was complaining about something he'd said in another article discussion thread, but often I was more annoyed that people would pre-emptively hi-jack a thread with Eadon-related comments without Eadon himself having to do anything.

    That's probably what I've used most of my down-votes for so far.

    Anyway. Could there be a button or something to mark a post as troll-food? It's not a great analogy, but it's like pigeons: they themselves are merely a nuisance, but feeding them makes things far worse for everyone and makes things really messy - hence local by-laws preventing the feeding of pigeons.

  5. h4rm0ny

    I heard...

    ...that threw a bucket of Windows phones over them and he melted.

    Eadon was particularly unwholesome. He (or she, but male seems to be the consensus), sometimes caused me to wonder if he was actually an MS-fan trying to discredit Linux and Open Source users. He was that bad. There were some days that I could almost feel the hatred fizzing out of my monitor at me when he and I discussed things. I think I was particularly bad because I *am* a UNIX programmer (or was for many years) and I'd lay fairly good odds that I actually know a considerable amount more about GNU/Linux than he does. (I still remember snobbishly looking down on Ubuntu when it appeared for being pre-compiled :D )And yet since some time after Windows 7, I've been increasingly impressed by MS's products and direction. And so day after day, Eadon would hiss and spit at me about the virtues of Linux and call me a shill and every other name, and I'd vainly try to explain that both were good. I've no doubt got a bit of a reputation here and elsewhere as a Microsoft fanperson, but the weird thing is that it is Eadon and a few like him, that have pushed me in that direction.

    But Eadon could also very easily be tied up in knots. Conditioned hatred leads to that. I once got him to out and out state that bias and distortion of the truth was the morally right thing if it made Microsoft look bad.

    I would almost feel sorry for him, if he weren't such a destructive thing to the image of Open Source. We're all better off without him.

  6. nanchatte

    When you ban someone

    Why do all their comments have to disappear. It makes those who replied look like randomly blathering idiots.

    ESPECIALLY WHEN REPLYING TO EADON.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: When you ban someone

      Seconded. Next time you guys reach for a hammer - please do so in a restrained way. Block login, delete a few offending posts, but please stop after that. Deleting all posts looks like a personal vendetta.

      1. diodesign Silver badge

        Re: When you ban someone

        Thanks for the feedback. Preserving a user's posts is an option when banning them, a measure we've used in the past and will in the future.

        C.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

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